Interview with Bretton Loney

Author InterviewBretton Loney of Halifax, Nova Scotia, is the author of The Beggar’s Shoe Box, the story won second place in Quarter Castle Publishing’s first short story writing contest.

Recently Quarter Castle Publishing interviewed Bretton.

Interview Questions

QCP: When did you decide to become a writer?

I decided to become a journalist first. I decided to become a journalist during my first undergraduate degree at the University of Lethbridge and joined the student newspaper. From my late teens on, I thought about becoming a writer but didn’t seriously think about it until my late 20s. I didn’t really act upon it until my early 30s.

QCP: Do you write every day? If not, how many days do you dedicate to writing?

Regrettably, with a busy full-time job, I can’t. I write every weekend and when that is going well, sometimes I edit my writing at nights during the week.

Bretton Loney BandWQCP: Do you use an outline or do you write free style?

Short stories I tend to write free style. I have an “idea book” that I write ideas in, subjects or photos or images that strike me, stories I’ve ripped out of newspapers. Then once I have five or six key points on the same theme that seem to go together, I start to write.

QCP: What is the hardest thing about writing?

In writing short stories, it’s knowing when they are done. I constantly play with them, even after they’re published. I am good at getting my stories to the 70 percent mark in terms of quality; it’s the last 25 per cent that’s tough.

QCP: What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Read a lot. Write a lot. Join a writer’s circle. Join a writer’s federation. Take advice but ultimately follow your own heart. Only you know what you want to say, but be truly honest with yourself about that.

Quarter Castle Chronicles Vol 1 front cover mock upQCP: Do you have any books or short stories that will be published soon? If so, please share the details about where readers can find them.

I have just published a biography of a unique and fascinating Japanese-Canadian doctor from my home town. Rebel With A Cause: The Doc Nikaido Story is a compelling account of how Canada’s shameful treatment of Japanese-Canadians during Second World War impacted Dr. Harry Nikaido.

Turning his back on material things, “Doc” practised medicine in small-town Alberta, living a bohemian lifestyle and charging no more for his services than what he absolutely needed to survive. He adopted a virtual vow of poverty in order to pay little or no income tax over his 24-year career to a Canadian government whom he never forgave for the forcible resettlement of his family and 22,000 other Japanese-Canadians from British Columbia during World War II.

QCP: Where did the idea for The Beggar’s Shoe Box come from?

I’ve worked in downtown Halifax for the past dozen years. A few of the older street people have been panhandling downtown that whole time. I know them all to see them and a few by name. I began to wonder how much they could potentially know about all of us who walk by them most days and the story grew from there.

QCP: How can others learn more about you and your writing?

Website: My website, brettonloney.com or the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia’s website for members of its Writers’ Council.

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