My book writing starts life in journals, often while on walkabouts. I enjoy the spontaneity and the freedom to sketch with words, to take longer looks at ordinary things I might otherwise pass by. To respond more deeply to nature and people. This act of listening and searching for my experience is a royal path of learning for me. Some books take years of gestation, others seem to fly in like the wind. Mostly I work little by little to bring a work into a recognisable form.
This writing has been likened to a cardiograph on a bad day or a piece of textile. I have to decipher it the following day or it will elude me. On some pages I will doodle in the margins, for no obvious reason. I like its inscrutability, the way something so inferior can become interesting. I see things in it, like hieroglyphs or my own secret language. Clattinger: An Alphabet of Signs from Nature is inspired by this.
Songs inspired by the novel, The Chronicles of the White Horse, and released on vinyl by Plantlife Records. Now a collector's album. MORE INFO
I had written a dozen books - three novels, four travel books, poetry and children books etc - before I started to take my doodles more seriously, developing them in mixed media. These days I can't decide whether I'm a writer who wants to be an artist or whether I am an artist who wants to write.
Actually, I think of myself as a writer who likes to illuminate my words. The colours and doodles provide another sort of space, a resting place, between the words. They complement the texts, rather than illustrating them. I am still experimenting with this, mixing old and new technologies, the machined with the hand-made, the happy accident with the planned. Nature is a mirror: what we see is who we are. Somebody else said that, but I like it.
I give recitations of my work, with or without musical accompaniment. I have performed my texts and music with The Yirdbards.
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Peter Please is a trained writer from a background of British journalism. His first novel was shortlisted by The Guardian for a Commonwealth Literature Award.