Interview with Author Peter Bunzl, Conclusion

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Welcome back to the conclusion in our talk with filmmaker and animator Peter Bunzl, who is the author of Cogheart.

Read Part One here.

Read Part Two here.

Read Part Three here.

Read Part Four here.

Read Part Five here.


Airship Ambassador: Many authors have a day job and that writing is their other job. What has that situation been for you ?

Peter Bunzl: I don’t have another job at the moment, currently I’m writing book two. I used to do freelance animation working on TV shows and commercials. I think it would be a bit crazy-making to work on a Children’s TV show over a long stretch and try and do your own creative work as well. I did it for a time when I was creating short films and it drove me up the wall. Doing shorter commercial jobs and working on your own thing is not so bad, because you can switch between the two projects.


AA: Looking beyond steampunk, writing and working, what other interests fill your time?

PB: I’m obsessed with film. I see tons of films in my spare time. Not so much the Hollywood stuff, but old movies, indies, or foreign films and docs – films with a bit of quirk and style, rather than the hackneyed blockbusters. And I still enjoy going to the cinema over watching something on TV.


AA: How do those older films influence your work?

PB: Learning about screenwriting and editing and filmic storytelling at college, and from watching movies, influenced the way I tell stories. I want them to be cinematic and visual and packed with action and strong images, and I try my best to get those qualities into the writing.


AA: Films are a great hobby – what interests don’t you have time for?

PB: I don’t watch a lot of TV anymore. I do watch box sets though. Recently I binge watched Peaky Blinders and Penny Dreadful, both of which I loved. And Game of Thrones is ace too!


AA: Are there other fandoms are you part of ?

PB: I love animation – especially the old Disney and Studio Ghibli movies. As a kid I was a complete Disney nerd, back then you could’ve asked me anything about Disney and I would have probably known the answer, now, not so much.


AA: The Witches by Roald Dahl is one of your favourite children’s books. What is the appeal and attraction in it for you?

PB: The stunning way it’s written. The style is completely different from my book. It’s a first-person memoir. Those kind of book – told in retrospect by a character – always have a cracking opening line and The Witches is no exception: “I myself had two encounters with witches before I was eight years old.” It’s the sort of opener that makes you want to read on.


AA: What is on your to-be read or watched pile right now?

PB: The Uncommoners by Jennifer Bell which is a children’s book that sounds a bit like Unlundun or Neverwhere. Plus the second season of Penny Dreadful, which I’ve just downloaded to watch.


AA: Penny Dreadful is grand, isn’t it? Are there people you consider an inspiration, role model, or other motivating influence?

PB: My mum has been an artist all her life, she’s done commercial work and worked for herself and she’s always striving to create new things, whether it be textiles or painting or sculpture. She keeps going creatively, making things no matter what. She’s a big inspiration for me as an artist when it comes to maintaining your creative practice day in day out – through ups and downs – and ensuring your work is as good as it can be.


AA: What event or situation has had the most positive impact in your life? What has been your greatest challenge?

PB: Getting into film school – I learnt so much about creative storytelling and gained confidence there. Fear of failure – but the truth is you have to fail at a few things before you find one you succeed at.


AA: What is the best advice you’ve been given?

PB: Do what you love.


AA: Three quick-fire random questions – what is your favourite food with tea, next location to visit which you haven’t been to yet, and which book would you like to see made into a movie?

PB: Chocolate Hobnobs for dunking. California. Riddley Walker.


AA: When you do interviews, what is something that you wish you were asked about but haven’t been?

PB: I can’t think of anything. This interview has certainly been quite thorough! About the only one you haven’t asked which I sometimes get is: “If you could have a clockwork mechanimal what would it be?” And the answer would probably be a dragon.


AA: Dragons are definitely cool! Any final thoughts to share with our readers

PB: If you read the book and enjoy it please let me know on Twitter @peterbunzl I am also available for school visits via my website. And I’d love to hear about any steampunk events happening around the country.


Thanks, Peter, for joining us for this interview and for sharing all of your thoughts. We look forward to hearing about the next book in this series!

Keep up to date with Peter’s latest news on his website, Twitter, and YouTube.

You can support Peter and our community by getting your copy of Cogheart here.

Published in: on October 21, 2016 at 2:08 pm  Leave a Comment  
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