The Punished: Crooked Cat’s Cy Forrest Q&A. What Have Your New Followers Missed?

Kick back. Take a deep breath. Summer really is here (over!) promising the seeds of change. Welcome to Crooked Cat’s Cy Forrest live from his studio in a rural village just south of Bath.

What have your new followers missed, Cy?

They’ve missed a lot of organic growth and hard forged creative development leading up to The Punished. By ‘organic growth’ I mean the marketing term used to describe something spreading under its own steam without branding and advertising. I don’t pay for adverts for my work. I pay for ad blocker so it would be hypocritical to expect others to suffer my ads. I get my work out there by hard graft, targeting the people who matter: editors, publishers, readers and followers. Who says blogs don’t work? I’ve been blogging since 2007 although my work had been successful long before that. It’s the organic creative development that my followers have seen charted in my blog. By allowing creative ideas space to breathe and flourish in a setting of my own creation I’ve cracked on and brought people along with me. My blog is my writing studio.

Noting your earlier boating theme, has it all been plain sailing?

Good and bad memories are rare and priceless gifts that taught me to have the courage and determination to negotiate the unexpected stumbling blocks of the creative lifestyle. I didn’t think so at the time, but one of the best things that happened to me creatively was seeing my old school being torn down in 2013. Art and life is intrinsically connected and this setback instilled a new decisive certainty.

Craig Cash, Peel Moat alumni, BAFTA award-winning writer and producer of the Royle Family, can’t go back to the old school. Neither can I. It’s a smack on the head. Try it. Try knocking your old school down in your mind.

My childhood football pitch was overgrown and the school library was derelict. To feel that weight of metaphor, seeing the wrecking ball taken to my memories, was one hell of a way to learn that the only way is up. It was a stark wake up call.

Cy Forrest’s The Punished (Crooked Cat Books) is out now.