Interview Cloud Storage by Samuel Astbury

Tuesday, October 15, 2019
Title: Cloud Storage
Author: Samuel Astbury
Genre: Dystopian, Science Fiction
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: Dec 20, 2019
An unhinged British backpacker meets ‘Michi’: a desperate, underemployed Japanese ‘Freeter’, on the communal couch of a dilapidated Osaka hostel. The pair form a close bond while exploring the regular haunts of Japan’s ‘lost generation’.

While travelling through the slums of Ho Chi Minh City, the Englishman is drugged by a sinister betel nut peddler on the banks of the putrid Thi Nghe canal.

Finding himself alone and stranded in an unidentifiable Megacity saturated with multinational brands, ice-white tablet computers and über-trendy Asian design students, the young man must fight his way through the city’s vast Junkspace shopping mall as chaos descends.

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How long have you been writing?

I started writing “seriously” when I was twenty-eight - about seven years ago now.

Have you always wanted to write or was that something that come later in life?

I think the process has been going on for as long as I can remember. I think the mental processes involved in writing fiction go back to the early years and that writers are usually “that way inclined” long before they actually sit down and write. When I was a kid I wanted to be a footballer and later I wanted to be a musician, but I lacked the work ethic to learn to play the guitar properly and I also had a hard time finding like-minded people to be in a band with in the small, Nothern English town where I grew up. Writing’s much more of a solo pursuit and I can have creative control over it, which suits my personality.

Do you plot your stories before writing or does it just flow when you sit down to write?

I often start with a strong image, or a location – often an urban one – that I would like to describe. That’s the initial impulse for me. I loosely gather an idea of where I start the novel but this could be as slight as a handful of scenarios or locations or images that I want to capture. I’m definitely more of a flow person even though I am building a “mental map” as I write.

Do you use a Story Board (Notebooks) to keep everything organized for when you write series?

I certainly make notes, often just after waking from a lucid dream or similar, but when I sit (usually lay) down to write I tend to spill everything out into a document then slowly begin to “draw a line” through the material. I do make reference to quite a lot of material as I write – usually philosophy/history or books/articles about urban environments (very rarely any fiction) – and tend to keep these close to hand as I type. I like my writing to be in one place, and to be able to save my file after almost every sentence – I really don’t like the idea of losing material (even if I choose to remove it later) think it gives that little illusion of progress that I need in order to get things finished.

What is the hardest part of writing for you character growth or world building? 

World building comes quite naturally for me. The thrill of building new worlds, creating a strong sense of place and transcribing images is really what propels me through the chore of constructing a novel. I do labour quite a lot over my descriptions, but it’s a labour of love really.
Although I do enjoy writing ambiguous, ambivalent characters who are in some ways sympathetic, I’ve never put a great emphasis on character development. I feel that character growth in the usual sense – a sort linear progression (or regression), often with a redemptive quality and a strong sense of agency and free will - is something of an illusion and in many novels/movies etc it feels a little contrived to me. In fact, my main characters often suffer a sort of identity confusion and that absence of a unified, continuous sense of self is one of the main threads of my books. I think the most powerful, important and interesting aspects of ourselves are unconscious, and these are the aspects of characters I focus on.

Samuel Astbury is a social worker and writer of dystopian fiction born and raised in Cheshire, England.

He spent most of his twenties exploring various East Asian megacities and now resides in Manchester with his wife and young daughter.

He eats Jamaican patties almost every day and is extremely tall.

Author Links
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Publishing Push
Twitter @Samuel_Astbury


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