I have a real treat for you guys! 😀 Please welcome author, talented voice actor, and Disney/classic 80’s and 90’s cartoon lover, Mr. Will Turner, author of the “Reynard City” graphic novel series!
- Where did you grow up? Did your childhood have any impact on your writing? I grew up in a market town called Beccles in the county of Suffolk. For as long as I can remember I’ve always loved writing. As a child I loved cartoons like X-Men, Samurai Pizza Cats etc as well as Roald Dahl books so that could explain the odd mix in the stories.
- Tell us about the first story you ever wrote, published or not? The first book I published was Mix Tape: The Will Turner Collection, a collection of short stories, poetry and sketches based on the idea of a mix tape and all the odd mixtures you get when you make one for someone. It came about because me and my brother made mix tapes for each other when we went to uni.
- What are you currently working on, writing wise? Just finished doing a rewrite on the next couple of issues of Reynard City. It’s a story I’ve been wanting to tell for a few years now!
- What is your favorite character you have ever created and why? A genuinely tough question. Cliché as it is this is like saying “who are your favourite children?” That being said AK Girl and Wondervixen are probably who I enjoy writing most- AK Girl is like my personality when performing. She is very bubbly, energetic and her enthusiasm can sometimes be a bit annoying. By contrast Wondervixen is the one who works hard and is a bit more introverted and tends to find it harder to deal with her problems.
- Do you have to write in order or do your ideas just come to you and you put them in order later? Depends what I’m writing- Reynard City is based on an overall arc that I am working on with a clear ending eventually coming. With comedy sketches it can often be as simple as a one sentence idea on a phone!
- What was your path like until you found writing? To be honest writing has always been a part of my path. What has been harder is making it work- I do a lot of gigs to pay the bills as well as the fun stuff!
- How is your relationship with your publishing company? With Reynard City I am the publishing company! In effect I’m working with a team and it’s great. With Mix Tape and Publish America (who published it) I’ve got no complaints- they did all they promised but it was a bit early in my writing career and I didn’t fully appreciate the work involved.
- Tell us about your covers. As a comic covers are vital and everyone wants to do them. However this is why we changed so the artist working on the comic gets to do the cover- it is about every page coming to life and it helps when the cover properly ties in with the events in the comic. Artists like Dan Butcher, Susie Gander and Nicholas Webb have very distinct styles and in their own ways they draw people in and often I’ll pick them based on the nature of the comic. Dan seems to suit the dark stories, Susie can handle the emotional side well while Nicholas has an interesting combination of cartoony and dramatic.
- What inspires you to write? I feel a responsibility to the people who have made Reynard City happen- we have got people who do artwork for us, act for us, make merchandise etc. This is a project that deserves to be better known because it is not just mine- a lot of people have worked hard and it and I want to repay the faith they have shown in it. We have people who have made forums for us, said it helped them through tough times and so much more- I like the fact I have shared this with some great people.
- How do you get book reviews? I tend to ask- it’s hard but worth it. Basically you need to be prepared to do a lot of work.
- What is harder: writing, editing, or marketing? I would say marketing- Writing and editing are part of the gig for me but marketing involves skills that I need to work on. Although I do work hard it I know I can do better!
- If you could publish every book idea you’ve ever had, how many books would you have out right now? I’d probably have three books, a play, five films, three sitcoms and an animated TV series!
- Have you ever considered co-writing a book or series with another author? We have had a number of writers on Reynard City including Dan McKee, a very talented local comedian and comic writer. When it comes to writing books I think we’d need to establish a routine- I’ve written sketches and a play with other writers but generally speaking I tend to be the one that writes something up after the ideas are finalized!
- What do you do to relax? I love comedy and have performed with local groups. I also enjoy karaoke, walking while listening to the radio and I’m a supporter of Norwich City football club (though that’s not always what you’d call “relaxing!”) When I get the chance I love going to the cinema- TVs and computer screens just aren’t the same!
- If you could tell your 14 year old self one thing, what would it be? Everything takes longer than you think and things aren’t always what they seem. But don’t let that get you down!
- What advice would you have for this upcoming generation? Without wanting to sound like an old man I would have dreamed of having this easy access to cameras, video uploads etc- take full advantage of all the tools available to you!
- Have you ever read a book that changed your outlook on life? Lots of them- Burton on Burton was great because he seems very passionate about his work and it kind of reassured me that he was also a normal sounding guy that gets perceived as “weird.”
- Do you have a classic piece of literature or a classic author you are fond of? How about one that is overrated? With classic literature I’d have to say George Orwell’s Animal Farm- a very sharp bit of satire. I also love Crime and Punishment as well as any number of Victorian Gothic stories.
- Any type of music that gets your writing juices flowing? I’m open to a range of music- however when it comes to influencing writing I would probably say David Bowie has that oddness that creeps into a lot of what I write, as does Sgt Peppers.
- If you could pick three people who are your heroes or role models, who would they be and why? Reeves and Mortimer I count as one due to their delightful surrealness. Another would be Orson Welles because he was a man of great vision and influenced radio, cinema and the theatre. The final choice is a tough one because in terms of role models you also want to pick people who help you and influence you in a positive way- so I’m going to cheat and say my friends and family.
- Dog or cat person? I was scared of dogs as a child but then I’m not a big cat person either. Therefore I plead Switzerland on this.
- What do you want to eat right now? Ate just before writing this so I’m good for now. For those curious it was coffee and sponge cake.
- If you could be in any movie that has already been made, which one would it be? The original version of Robocop.
- What is your favorite holiday or time of year? Christmas in Beccles- it is a beautiful small town. Watching It’s A Wonderful Life with my mum, opening presents with the family, a fab roast dinner- I love it.
- Anything else you would like to add? I would just like to say a big thank you to Dan Wright, Casandra Porter, Dan Butcher, Susie Gander, Nicholas Webb, Rach Nobes, Amanda Appel, Gizzy Linnell, Linda Hook, Jim and Jo Keeble, Norwich Kitty, Mark Margason, Holly McKeon, Dr Vincent M Gaine, Laura Landamore, Jess Austin, Mark Marx, Cmore Trix, Samuel Victor, Jed Soriano, John Paul Guerra and Abi Woodrow and a whole ton of other people that make Reynard City happen.
Sample of volume 26 of “Reynard City.”
Bio of Will Turner:
Robert William Turner (known as “Rob” or “Will” depending on the project he is working on or if you are one of his many creditors) is a writer from Norwich, Norfolk (UK). His first novel was published in 2004 (Mix Tape: The Will Turner Collection). Since then his writing work has been varied, covering everything from B2B magazines to scripts for documentaries. However his first love is the online comic and collaborative art project Reynard City.