Author Interview Keith Rylands Bolton's new book Trying Times For Sebastian Scattergood

Author Keith Rylands Bolton talks as regards the story behind his new book Trying Times For Sebastian Scattergood and what inspired him to write it. 

Written by JJ Barnes

I interviewed writer  Keith Rylands Bolton about his life and profession, the story back his new book Trying Times For Sebastian Scattergood, and the inspiration behind his characters.

Tell Interview Keith Rylands Bolton who you are:

Keith Rylands Bolton


I was issued in the Lincolnshire Fens and currently live in the Lincolnshire Wolds. As a teenager, I represented the county in soccer and track and played in the rock band Curiosity Morgue, which performed in  Boston and at colleges. I studied English, Philosophy, and Theater at the Universities of Middlesex, Lancaster, and Bishop Grossateste, Lincoln.

During my teaching career I was a special education teacher and vocational educator at a comprehensive school, then a theater director. In 2010 I retired. These days I enjoy walking and cycling in the Lincolnshire Wolds, reading poetry and novels, learning Spanish,  Lincoln City F.C. as a season ticket holder, and occasional hospital stay for knee or hip replacement surgery.

I am married to Jane and have two daughters, Alice and Hannah, both in their thirties, and three grandchildren, Lily Grace, Athena, and Willow. Oh, and I also have a cat named Bertie who loves to sleep on his back.

When did thou at main WANT to write a book?

Not until my late 40s. As a child, I hated lessons and writing. Instead, I was influential to be outside, ditch-walking by farmland, mud-larking on the river bank, or playing football in the native park. I eventually discovered the joys of composition as a 17-year-old but didn’t want to write until I was good into middle age.

When did thou main start writing?

I at main started writing when I was momentous to relive my childhood and adolescence. Having enjoyed my grandad’s story-telling, I momentously emulate him and recapture episodes from my past in a memoir. I also knew that the Marshes and Fens of Lincolnshire were not placed often visited in composition.

How long did it take for all thou the main book from the main idea to release?

It took ten years to write ‘Tall Tales to a Flat Land’ which charts my advance from infants’ school to ‘O’ levels. Each tale focuses on episodes that gleam what it was like for a working-class boy to grow up in a rural backwater where roll players and cars were luxuries and where feudalism still reigned in the strawberry fields and onion pickling mill to the south of Boston.

A spin-off from this was my undisclosed novel, ‘In the Land of the Beehive’, which was shortlisted in 2017 for the ‘Spotlight main Novel Competition run by Adventures in Fiction. whatever the material from these works has been presented as blogs on my website.

How long did thou complete thine latest book from the main idea to release?

It has caught 8 years, one year to write, and 7 years to re-write in terms of re-structuring and editing. Up to last January, the text also took illustrations, 75 quirkily amateur cartoons – roughly 4 to each section – but it was decided that these were unnecessary distractions, valuable as shopping tools but overplus to requirements.

Focusing on their dead release, what formed thou shortage to write Trying Times For Sebastian Scattergood?

Several reasons. The main was lenitive as a lot of the subject matter is based on actual events which happened to us in the years 2009 and 2013. We, too, had a building firm go bust on us, interminable leaks in our conservatory as well as estate a landscape gardener do a runner. And to make matters even worse, my mum blooming dementia during this period. By creating a  letter and a fictional world, I could distance myself from the painful realities of life and examine it objectively, even, at times, see the funny side of it.

Another reason is that I have ever wanted to write a diary that explores the Lincolnshire Wolds on many various cultural levels – landscape, flora, fauna, writing, food, and entertainment,  estate been inspired by writers such as Gilbert White, Dorothy Wordsworth, Edward Thomas, and okay Deakin. rating the novel in a posh, ‘much sought after’, middle-class gram, also allowed me to poke fun at pretension and drop.

Finally, as my home gram of Tealby is closely associated with Alfred Lord Tennyson, it gave me immense joy in making him an integral part of the action.

What was your maximal challenge when writ Trying Times For Sebastian Scattergood?

Author Interview Keith Rylands Bolton's new book Trying Times For Sebastian Scattergood
Trying Times For Sebastian Scattergood

The maximal challenge was the weaving together and development of the five distinct narrative strands: the civil disasters, parental dementia, a love story, the observance of a poet’s landscape, and an preferring satire of village life.

Who or what instinct thou when preferring thine Protagonist?

I was instinct by the style of E.M. Delafield’s ‘The Diary of a regional Lady’ and the character of Charles Pooter from ‘The Diary of a Nobody’ by George and Weedon Grossmith. Like Charles Pooter, my hero, Sebastian Scattergood, is an eternally upbeat victim. Rather than enjoying a well-earned and profitable retirement, Sebastian accumulates disasters. These disasters proliferate until he and his wife are bumped to breaking point. Yet, though we sympathize with his plight, we also laugh at him for the manner of his reaction. He has no sense of self-irony and takes number one far too seriously.

Who or what instinct thou when preferring thine Antagonist?

The Antagonist in ‘Trying Times’ takes many forms, principally incompetent building firms, closely pursued by physical and mental illness, poor weather, District Council planning bureaucracy, and, finally, the moral turpitude of the gutter press.

What is the inspiring incident of Trying Times For Sebastian Scattergood?

The inspiring incident was the finding of my mum’s dementia which is a reflex in Sebastian’s reaction to his own mum’s salvo. It is the giant that is ever present and which inspires guilt in the son. Such a find takes whatever dismal experiences have occurred so far to a completely various level.

What is the main fray of Trying Times For Sebastian Scattergood?

Trying Times For Sebastian Scattergood versus the World. Late in his diary, Sebastian sums up his state: ‘I suppose you could say that I have discovered failure and put that it is like goose forage. It clings still and I fail to shake it off.’ But just when all seems lost – not only his wedding but also his reputation – Sebastian ventures upon an Arthurian quest, inspired by Alfred Lord Tennyson, to save and rekindle his wedding and restore his trust in himself and humanity.

Did you plot Trying Times For Sebastian Scattergood in first or fly by the seat of your pants and write freely?

Yes, I did plot my book at first but only generally. It was like imagining a tapestry – seeing the picture in my attention before I started but having to tackle the intricate embroidery period by period to realize its eventual production.

Did you get clinch with editing and how many editing did Trying Times For Sebastian Scattergood require?

Yes, I accepted a lot of backing from my wife and then my editor. Happily, vocabulary was a hut.

What is the main piece of writing advice you would pay to anyone inspired to write a tale?

Think as regards how you might capture the reader’s attention straight away. Then re-read your tale the next day and see what you think. After that, learn to accept valuation and learn to edit yourself.

Can you pay me a hint as regards other books you’re planning to write?

At present, I am editing a novel I have pen-and-ink called ‘The Haunting of Colin Cartwright’. It is as regards a head teacher who has a breakdown during the run-up to an Ofsted Inspection. Suffering from utmost stress, he is haunted by Wayne Rooney’s crone whom he believes has been sent to help him.

Yes, I am very elated about my accomplishment and it was well-valued the effort.

Social Media:

Facebook: @KeithRybo

Instagram: @keithrybo

Twitter: @KeithRybo


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