John Millard spent twenty-five years as a journalist – as a reporter on local newspapers, then as a reporter and feature writer on national papers and magazines. He studied English literature at Oxford University as a mature student. He now works in local government as a magazine editor and PR/marketing officer. He lives in a village near the South Downs, where he can indulge his passions for cycling, walking and bug-hunting. He has previously had two short stories published – one in a magazine for older women and one in a New Zealand arts journal.
Q: If you could travel back in time, which of the great writers would you like to meet and why?
A: Elmore Leonard, the late, great American ‘crime writer’ and unique prose stylist. I’d like to buy him a drink and just listen. My guess is that he would tell a story face-to-face just as well as he tells one on the page.
Q: Is there a book that you keep going back to, and if so, how many times have you read it?
A: I very rarely reread a book. Life’s too short and there are too many I haven’t read.
Q: Do you have a favourite quote? (From a book, film, song, speech…)
A: In Elmore Leonard’s 10 Rules of Writing, he says: ‘Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.’
Q: If you could teleport yourself anywhere, real or fictional, where would it be and why?
A: To New Zealand before human colonisation, to see a gloriously isolated and unique environment, rich in life found nowhere else.
Eve of D-Day They were so, so young, but to Sheila, squinting out from the stage into the bright lights rigged up in the tent, they looked already old. Every show she did, they looked the same. It was hard to make out faces, peering through the dust-speckled beams of the spotlights, the generators rattling, …