Author Simon Palmer was born in the small fishing town of Whitby in North Yorkshire. His father was a lyricist and musician and, from the age of seven, Simon wrote lyrics and poems of his own before he developed an interest in drama and, upon attending the Lee Strasberg School of Method Acting in London, expanded his writing repertoire to include short stories, monologues, duologues and a pair of screenplays that were both sold.
Palmer spent several months researching his first novel, Lost Innocence, which included visiting an Australian inmate named Mitchell Blake inside the infamous prison known as the Bangkok Hilton. Released in the summer of 2014 by Spanking Pulp Press, the book tells the story of a pair of prisoners and their quest for freedom and, in the process, examines the dark, corrupt underbelly of the Bangkok justice system.
To learn more about Palmer and his novel, visit him online at www.palmerfiction.com.
What was your upbringing like, and how did it shape who you are today?
My upbringing was great until my mother passed away. We were raised with different nannies after that as our father worked away in London as a musician. I had a very loving mother, so it was a huge shock to lose her, but my father has already been very loving and supportive. We’re very close and critique each other’s work.
Who are your biggest creative influences?
I was never a big reader of books because I rarely have the patience to read, but I was inspired by John Grisham’s novel, The Testament. He killed off his narrator in the first chapter and that showed me not to be afraid to be adventurous. My other main creative influences came from screenplay writers such as Woody Allen and Quentin Tarantino. Woody with the way he writes dialogue and Quentin with his unique story twists.
What did you learn about yourself and about writing during your time at the Lee Strasberg School of Method Acting?
I learnt that I loved to act and had a realistic ability for writing dialogue.
How did you end up in Thailand?
I came to Thailand over twenty years ago and found it a fascinating place to visit and write about. I came here to write a series of Thai-based books.
How did you first meet Mitchell Blake, and what was it about his story that you found most interesting?
Lost Innocence is not about Mitchell’s story. I met him through a friend who knew an older man who visits prisoners who are serving a long sentence.
What was the most challenging aspect of writing Lost Innocence?
The most challenging thing was that I’d never trained on how to write, so I literally learnt how to write as I wrote it. Letting it go was equally as challenging and even now it’s out on Amazon, I’m still working on another version.
How have you evolved creatively over the course of your life as a writer?
I’d like to think so and I’d say I’m still evolving.
Do you read reviews of your own work? If so, how do they affect your approach to writing?
I read all reviews of my work, but don’t take them as seriously as I once did.
Aside from writing, what are you most passionate about?
Acting, although I haven’t acted in years.
If you could sit down and talk to your ten-year-old self, what would you tell him?
Read more books and don’t be afraid to dream.
Are you superstitious?
What are you working on next?
My next book is called Working Girl. It’s the story of a young girl who is pushed into prostitution and is also based in Bangkok.