Interview with author Stephen Ainley

Stephen Ainley was born in Birmingham U.K. in 1952. He served in the British Airborne in the 1970s before emigrating to Australia. He has written short stories and articles for many years, but recently had his first novel published in the UK. Stephen now resides in Western Australia with wife Jane and Irish terrier O'Malley. We have conducted an interview with him.

Where did you write your short stories and articles? What inspires you to publish your first novel in the UK?

I moved to Australia in the late 1970's and have written many articles and short stories over the years. Including a series of humorous articles called, Thinking Strange Thoughts. These were published in several magazines and newsletters. For some reason, although I have lived in Australia, for a lot longer than I lived in the UK, most of them seemed to be based on my early years. My first novel, The Dennis Bisskit Adventures is about a young boy growing up in Dudley, in the 1950's and 60's. Not about me, has some people seem to think, but a work of fiction....well...that's what I tell them anyway. It had such an “English” feel to it, that looking for a UK publisher seemed the obvious thing to do.

What kind of books do you like to write? Why did you title this book “The Dennis Bisskit Adventures”

Well, this is my first book, but a sequel is due out next year. I think just about everything I’ve ever written would be categorised as humorous (hopefully) although I do love to place some poignant situations, in amongst the laughs. The title comes from the main protagonist of the story, young, Dennis Bisskit and I think the only reason I called him Bisskit, was because I immediately imagined him with ginger hair, and Ginger Bisskit is such a great name.

Just curious, do you really have a 'Spongebob' tattoo? 

Yes, I have several tattoos and Spongebob was a Xmas present from my wife about 10 years ago. I'm a huge fan of the show and it's great to see kids faces when they recognise it on my arm.

What do you consider in writing a 'funny' book, the most challenging?

I suppose the main challenge is that everyone has their own ideas about what is funny. I've been influenced by listening to, and reading so much comedy over the years, going back to Spike Milligan. I think you just must write what you, yourself, find funny, and have some trusted critics to test it out on. In my case, my wife and grandson. If they both laugh, I know I'm going okay.

Popular Posts