Stevie Turner, Author
Colin Guest's Interview
Colin has many tales to tell, having travelled the world widely in the course of his work. Colin’s book’s Follow in the Tigerman’s Footsteps and An Expat’s Experiences of Living in Turkey can be found on his worldwide Amazon author link:
You can find Colin on the social media listed below:
1. At what age did you first start writing?
I loved writing while at school, with my quite good at writing composition. In 1985 just before going to work in Brunei, I joined a correspondence writing course. However, my tutor who had been pleased with my progress was replaced with one who for some reason, did not believe the true stories I wrote were true. I was so annoyed with her comments that I stopped the course. I then started writing again after joining a course by Jo Parfitt, with my writing a number of articles that were published in online magazines starting in 2006.
2. You did a 5 year apprenticeship as a joiner/shopfitter. Do you think there’s the same apprentice opportunities for young people today?
Unfortunately, no. Most companies stopped apprenticeships many years ago. This I think a great pity, as it enabled young people to learn a trade. Nowadays, although it seems there are numerous short term training sessions available, due to the length of them, I do not think they allow for adequate training.
3. Your memoir, ‘Follow in the Tigerman’s Footsteps’ tells of your experiences and adventures whilst living and working for 19 years in the Middle East, Far East, and North Africa. Why did you prefer to work in these countries rather than in the UK?
Because I could earn far more money than if I worked in the UK. Also, by working in other countries with foreign workers, I knew it would improve my future career prospects.
4. Were any of your adventures life-threatening?
Yes, several. For Iran, see below. In Saudi Arabia, one of our men went crazy at a joke comment I made and thrust the tip of a spoon in my throat. I was petrified and thought he was going to rip my throat out. However, after what seemed like a life-time he removed it and walked away. In Qatar I almost drowned while snorkeling, and only by making a supreme effort survived. While in Manila the capital city of the Philippines, an earthquake occurred. Fortunately, it was a short one. I later heard that had it lasted a few seconds longer, it could have proved fatal.
5. Have you ever been caught up in a war zone?
The nearest I came to a war zone was when working in Iran, a revolution broke out that led to the downfall of the Shah of Iran. At one time on the way to work in our coach, we had to pass several crossroads guarded by tanks with armed soldiers standing next to them. I was about to take a photo of one of the tanks when one of the guards must have seen me. On seeing him raise and point his rifle at me, I quickly decided not to take the photo and dropped to the floor of our coach. My work colleagues were not amused to say the least. Later, due to the deteriorating situation, along with a team of expat workers that I was the superintendant- in- charge of, we had to leave the country.
6. Why do you call yourself ‘Tigerman?’
I love tigers and like them love to roam far and wide. I have adopted a tiger from Care for the Wild/Born Free organisation for the past ten years.
7. What kind of articles do you write for online magazines?
Numerous have been about my working/living in various countries, including how I came to live as an expat in Kemer down on the Turkish Mediterranean Coast. I also wrote about the rules and regulation requirements on how a foreigner can get married to a Turkish citizen. Retirement in Turkey, and Living in Istanbul, one of the most vibrant cities in the world. I also write love poems, with several receiving excellent comments. One ended up in the final five of a poetry contest, with my recently submitting a love poem in a contest where the winner gets their poem made into a film.
8. Are you writing anything at the moment?
Yes, I am working on my first novel. This is a mixture of love/ romance and about a best selling author of steamy novels helping a younger writer find a publishing agent. The present ending is a thrilling climax in the Italian Alps.
9. Who is your favourite author?
I have several authors whose books I read. These include Lee Child, Tom Clancy, Robert Ludlum and Eric Van Lustbader.
10. One of your articles, published in the ex-pat Nexus magazine is called ‘How I Travelled to 14 Countries with no Money’. How did you travel to 14 countries with no money?
I obtained contracts to work on mainly high-class interior fit-out projects in these countries. So not only did it cost me no money to travel there, I was well paid to go there.
11. Now that you are retired, has the wanderlust stopped, or do you still have itchy feet?
No. My wife and I love traveling. We normally go abroad on holiday twice a year.
12. Where will you be spending your holidays this year?
Probably Italy and England.
13. How do you market your books? Do you enjoy the marketing side of writing?
I belong to several writing organisations and expat sites that promote my book. I also use social media and take part in online interviews, with my recently taking part in an American live radio interview show re my book.
Although it can be rather challenging, I enjoy marketing my book. I know it is an important part of being an author, and do my best to get the word out about my book.
14. What is the downside of being an ex-pat in a foreign country?
You cannot always get the food you’re used to eating. If married, unless your wife and family are with you, it can be lonely, and put a strain on relationships. Having to try and learn the language, so as to better understand things.
15. What advice would you give to people thinking of going to live in Turkey?
Be warned that on the Mediterranean and Aegean Coast where many English expats live/holiday, the temperatures can be very high compared to England. 50 degrees centigrade is not that unusual down on the Med. A major plus is that Turkish people are very friendly and hospitable.
16. How many languages can you speak?
One. Although I understand quite a bit of Turkish and know many words, despite trying for many years, I‘m sorry to say I have still not learnt to speak Turkish.
17. Do you ever get homesick for Plymouth?
18. Apart from writing and travelling, what are your hobbies?
I love walking with my wife, exploring parts of old cities and looking for interesting antiques, reading and wood carving.
19. What’s number one on your bucket list?
At present, I am in the process of working with a media company who think my book could be used as the basis for a television series. If successful, it would be the icing on the cake.
20. What one possession could you not do without?
My wonderful wife who I love dearly.
Thanks Colin for agreeing to answer my questions. If any other authors/publishers would like to be interviewed, please contact me here on http://www.stevie-turner-author.co.uk