Mastodon The Writing Desk: Special Guest Interview with Mike Everley, Author of A Moment In Time: Collective Works: 1972 - 2022

5 March 2023

Special Guest Interview with Mike Everley, Author of A Moment In Time: Collective Works: 1972 - 2022

Available from Amazon UK and Amazon US

A Moment in Time is a collection of poetry, flash fiction and short stories written over a 50 year period between 1972-2022. It comprises light and dark pieces that explore the human condition. Many of the pieces have been published in Literary and other publications. But, they are all brought together for the first time.

I'm pleased to welcome author Mike Everley to The Writing Desk:

Tell us about your latest book

Thank you very much Tony for having me on your excellent blog! My latest book is really a bringing together of poetry, flash fiction and short stories written over the past fifty years. Hence the title A Moment in Time: Collected Work 1972-2022. Much of the content has lain idle in typewriter and word processor script as well as in faded magazines and journals. 

Therefore I felt the need to bring them all together in one place for the first time. However, digitalisation of old papers proved an interesting challenge. As did optical character recognition which insisted on reading marks on the paper as either characters or punctuation marks. This called for a lot of manual proof reading by both myself and by Alana Beth Davies another member of the Swansea and District Writers Circle.

Rather than saying more about the publication, I thought I would utilise the old writers’ adage “show don't tell” and provide some extracts from the book. The first is from a creative non-fiction piece:


The small television above the door was playing a Colombo mystery, although no one was watching and the sound was turned down. This was an old fashioned bar even then. The lounge was where couples went on Friday and Saturday nights. The bar a men only area except for the landlady, the barmaid and the Salvation Army lady selling War Cry on a Saturday night.
The cellar was deep and below the level of the nearby river, a dark and dank place cool enough to ensure that the best beer in town was served.
    Tin ashtrays were on most tables filled with stub ends and spent matches. A cloud of blue-grey smoke hung in the air along with the slightly sweet smell of tobacco.
    Big Jim played his hand, a knuckle rapped sharply on wood and a dart buried itself in double top as Jeff T entered the bar. He was short; barely five foot two inches, lively and with a rich crop of copper hair.”

The next extract is a performance poem, not a style I usually write in:


Bring out your bones.

              Old bones.
               Young bones.
       Smashed bones.
    Crushed bones.
  Glue bones.
    Stew bones.
      Any old bones
      will do.

             Slashed bones.
                 Dashed bones.
                Thank you squire.
              Bones for hire.
           Flesh stripped.
         Flesh ripped. 
       Hanging on
        the old barbed wire.
      Any old bones
      will do.

              Relic bones.
             Fractured bones.
               Splintered bones.
               Saintly bones.
                 Go on Guv
          give it a rub.
       Now you'll get
   what you desire.
       Any old bones
       will do.

The last extract is a poem in my more usual style:

Crabbing At Brixham Harbour

Brixham Harbour
Leaning over the sea wall.
Dropping a baited net
into the turquoise water.
Watching it as it falls
into the distant rock pools.

Here the hungry crabs wait
to be caught for the umpteenth
time. Held in a small world.
This they have learned to endure
for the taste of mackerel.

What is your preferred writing routine?

That is a difficult question to answer. Obviously now retired I have more time and flexibility to write than when I was working. But, I find that I have periods when I almost write non-stop followed by fallow periods. In the past I always had a pencil or pen and a notepad with me and would scribble down thoughts as they came to me. The paper would then be lost, discovered months later and worked into something else. Now I use the notepad on my mobile and dropbox the text over to my computer. This is very handy in the early hours when you know that you won’t get back to sleep until you jot the thought down!

What advice do you have for new writers?

Read everything you can get your hands on, books, blogs, advertising leaflets and even the ingredients on food packaging. It all helps to build your word store. Earwig everyone when you are out on the street, in cafes on buses etc. Listen to how they talk as well as to what they say. Develop an ear for dialogue so characters sound different from each other and rarely speak in full, grammatical passages.

What have you found to be the best way to raise awareness of your books?

I’m now on Instagram and Twitter and this has led to several magazines, both online and print, seeing my work and asking if they could use it. But, it is much more difficult now then when I started writing as the market for poetry and short stories has shrunk considerably and more and more people are writing good quality stuff.

What are you planning to write next?

I have completed about 9000 words of a thriller about MI5 investigating the Red Queen sleeper cell that is heavily influenced by Lewis Carroll's mathematical attack on entanglement and the new maths of his day. Most of the characters are drawn from real people. It starts with the murder of a G.C.H.Q. analyst in the Wonderland Arcade in Cheltenham and has a working title of Death in Wonderland. I hope when finished the novel will be a companion piece to my sci-fi conspiracy thriller Body of Evidence. I have also started a Selected Works of poetry and short stories written since 2022 and which I hope to complete by the end of 2023.

Mike Everley
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About the Author

Mike Everley has been a writer for over 50 years. Born in the South Wales Valleys when coal was King he was a mature student at Coleg Harlech, Aberystwyth and Leeds Universities obtaining a MA and MPhil in Philosophy. He has had articles published in literary, specialist and general magazines and journals. Also, short stories and poetry in literary magazines such as: Anglo Welsh Review, New Welsh Review, Poetry Wales and Outposts. While at Aberystwyth he edited the student literary magazine "Dragon." Before retirement he was a member of both the National Union of Journalists and the Society of Authors and acted as a tutor on creative writing courses run by London School of Journalism and Writers News. Now retired, he has taken up the creative pen as a Silver Scribbler. He has self-published seventeen books on Amazon covering family history, philosophy, art and creative writing. His Amazon Author's Page is at: You can find Mike on Twitter @mike_everley

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