Donald Finnaeus Mayo
Donald Finnaeus Mayo was born in London and grew up in Australia and South East Asia, the backdrop for his novel, Francesca.
He was educated in England, where he graduated in Politics and Culture. At various times he has worked as a radio journalist for the BBC, a business writer for major corporations, and as a photographer. He currently lives in Hampshire with his wife and three children.
10 Questions for Donald Finneaus Mayo:
Why do you write?
It’s a way for me to make sense of the world around me.
Which authors do you most admire?
There are loads of authors I like, but George Orwell, Paul Scott and Tom Wolfe stand out.
What advice do you have to anyone who wants to write?
A novel is like a marathon (not that I’ve ever run one!); you need to settle into a rhythm. Turning up every day is the way to get it done.
When do you like to write?
Early mornings work best for me. No phones, no distractions, just so long as you stay off the internet. 5am starts aren’t unusual, though I realise that’s not to everyone’s taste.
What is the most overrated virtue in literature?
Staying with a bad book just because you started it. I would no more pursue a novel I found tedious than I would spend an entire evening in a room full of fascinating people talking to a crashing bore. Life is so short, there’s too much good stuff out there to waste time on crap.
What do you do for relaxation?
Hang out in coffee bars, go for walks in the country with my wife, take pointless road trips.
Have you always wanted to write?
Deep down, yes, but in the words of the song it’s been a long and winding road.
How do you see the future of fiction?
I think the desire to share stories will always be there, but the way those stories are shared will continue to evolve. I don’t think we should get too hung up on the technology; besides, it would be a bit hypocritical of me to insist people read my work in book form when I have a hundred or so albums loaded onto my phone.
What’s the most interesting job you’ve had?
Managing a rock band. Aside from my love of music, it taught me a lot about human nature, especially the ego. Nothing particularly flattering, I have to say.
And the worst?
There have been quite a few of those, but I think feeding 25kg slabs of frozen meat derivatives into a burger grinding machine takes the prize. Needless to say, the horsemeat scandal didn’t come as much of a surprise to me.