Raymond Carroll, author of the four part series Only Raising Dust On The Road, talks to me about his writing style and the books that have inspired him. It’s always great to hear from a fan of James Kelman, a truly under-appreciated writer, and Raymond has some interesting things to say about him and the other writers that have helped him create the books he has.
Tell me about how you came to define your writing style?
I began writing for myself and I suppose that’s what defined my writing style. I wasn’t reaching out to a specific audience when I started writing, and I didn’t set out to write a book in any particular genre. I started writing because I wanted to create something that I had always wanted to read. I use a lot of slang and colloquialisms in my writing and my style isn’t exactly mainstream, but over the years it has evolved into something that I am proud of.
Are there any particular mediums or narrative troupes you like to use in your writing and why?
I like to write short, snappy chapters that move the story along quickly. Short chapters for me are easy to read, and as long as the book is well written and the writer creates tension on almost every page, then I’ll keep turning those pages. I think it’s easier to keep a reader engaged with short chapters, and because the chapters are short the reader is more likely to read ‘just one more’, and then another, and another.
What do you enjoy reading and how does this influence your writing?
I enjoy being entertained. I like a good wordsmith and original prose. And I like a good story. A good book for me doesn’t need to be a literary masterpiece, but it does need to draw me in, and draw me in quickly. I like reading fiction and non-fiction. A few memorable books that have influenced my writing over the years are: Triad by Colin Falconer, Midnight Express by Billy Hayes and William Hoffer, Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer, A Sense Of Freedom by Jimmy Boyle, The Beast Of Jersey by Joan Paisnel, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey, The Beach by Alex Garland, Acid House by Irvine Welsh, Private Dancer by Stephen Leather, and A Dissafection by James Kelman.
If you could collaborate with anyone, living or dead, on a writing project, who would it be and why?
Collaborating with Irvine Welsh would be good; he’s a controversial author but a big inspiration.
Have you got any exciting new plans or projects coming up that you’d like to share with me?
I am planning on publishing Parts 3 and 4 of my 4 part series: Only raising Dust On The Road.
Part 1: Buckfast, Lager & Fags was published at the end of 2016; Part 2: Same Same But Different was published in 2017.
The story takes place in Thailand and is written from a multiple character first person point of view. The book deals with common social problems, such as alcoholism and drug addiction, and follows the chaotic life of the protagonist – Micky, as he attempts to transcend his disposition and re-establish a connection with the world.
Only Raising Dust On The Road is a work of fiction – a black comedy, inspired by, and based loosely on, true events.
Are there any new books or writers that you are looking forward to in the New Year?
I quite like the look of Adjustment Day by Chuck Palahniuk, the author of Fight Club. I think it’s due for release around spring/summer 2018.
Anything you’d like to add?
I’d like to thank you, Hannah, for asking me to do this interview. I enjoyed answering the questions and wish you all the best for 2018.
If any of your readers would like to know more about my writing, then my books can be found here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Raymond-Carroll/e/B01N7IT88F/
My travel blog: http://thai-nomad.com
My writing website: http://raymondcarrollwriter.com
My facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/scottishauthor/
My twitter account: https://twitter.com/ramie1970
Many thanks to Raymond for taking the time to speak to me, it has been a pleasure to hear your thoughts.