Thursday, October 1, 2020

Author Interview: Paul Attaway

 Most people look at their retirement years as a time to travel, sit back and enjoy the sunsets.  Not Paul Attaway.  Attaway has always been an achiever and after retiring from a business career of thirty years, still had a burning an ambition - to write a book.  He has penned Blood in the Low Country, which has surged to the Amazon Bestseller list.  

I had a chance to interview him to learn more.

Tell me about Blood in the Low Country?

The story is set in Charleston, SC in the 1970s and is about a man, Monty Atkins, that faces losing everything – his business, his marriage, his relationship with his two boys and his life – because of events not of his making. When it looks as if everything is about to blowup in his face, he doubts the pillars of his world view – whether God is there at all and the value of hard work. Lying at the root of all that has gone wrong are secrets his wife keeps. When Monty learns a bit about her past, well,… I don’t want to ruin it.

Why did you decide to pick this particular genre?

It’s funny, when I sat down to write a book, the farthest thing from my mind was what genre I was writing. I set out to write a story. It was only when I had completed the book and began the publishing process that I began to think about the genre. 

What were the challenges in writing this book?

Other than the fact that I had never written a book? I completely underestimated how difficult it was to make up a story with plot twist and turns that (a) worked and (b) had characters that reacted in a manner to the twists and turns that was both consistent with their personalities and propelled the plot forward.

What did you enjoy the best?

Engineering the story. Coming up with storyline and characters that all worked together. I wanted to both come up with a compelling story and an interesting way to tell the story. I found that once I knew where a scene was going that I was able to bang it out. I would later re-write a scene several times to get the text right.

Do you plan on writing other books?

Absolutely. I’m working on a sequel now.

Why did you decide to have a career as a writer in retirement?

I didn’t want to retire but I didn’t want to keep doing what I was doing. I wanted to keep busy and have goals and projects. My wife and I, as empty nesters, are fortunate to be able to travel and spend time in both Charleston and Phoenix, AZ. It became increasingly more difficult to do what I had been doing and do it well while always moving about.

What is it like having a second career?

I’m loving it. But what I’m loving about it has more to do with what I’m doing than the fact that it’s a second career. I truly work for myself. I have no business-related debt and very few recurring expenses, so the work is something I want to do instead of something I have to do.

What do you like about being an author?

Being an author is a creative outlet. I knew I would miss that once I retired from the business world. I believe that far too many people fail to realize that creativity is required in the business world. Whether you are designing packaging for a product and you have to keep the costs down, or you are crafting a concise, accurate and compelling sales pitch for an investment or building out a team for a small business, problem solving is a must and creativity is a plus.

As an author, I create characters and storylines. There are times I write myself into a corner and have to solve that problem.

What advice would you give to other aspiring authors?

First, never follow the advice of someone that begins their advice with the word ‘never.’

There’s a lot of advice out there. Some of it is excellent. Some of it is written by people who believe they have developed the one and only way to do something. Simply stated, what is good advice for one person in a particular setting may not be good advice for someone else. At least that’s what I have learned.

With that in mind, advice that worked for me, especially in that I was writing my first book, was “write what you know.” I found it hard enough learning how to write a book. If I had also had to master a topic as part of the research for the 

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