Christopher Griffith has been writing for a number of years and still can’t quite decide whether he prefers penning novels, poems or plays – for the purposes of this article, he has plumped for novels! He lives in England and has a wonderful day job supporting students in their A-level studies.
His book, Shakespeare’s Secret Knowledge, sprung almost straight from this enterprise as he was researching all things and manner Shakespeare whilst supervising pupils, some of whom were engaged in similar activity. The novel is a conspiracy theory, but one which doesn’t take itself too seriously – it questions, as many are still doing to this day, how a man who apparently studied little and seemed hardly concerned with composition came to write such profound theatre plays whose dominance has resounded through the centuries even to our present time. It offers an alternative candidate in his stead, the suggestion being a playwright who was writing in London at around the same time and a little before Will Shakespeare.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
In direct reference to this, what I enjoy most about writing is discovery, whether it be confirmation of knowledge already accrued, or in this case revelation that I have been completely erroneous in my assumptions! As I wrote Shakespeare’s Secret Knowledge, the gradual dawning realisation was that my particular conspiracy theory was totally misguided, completely wrong, with which outcome the challenge then became to sustain the novel to its end point in the tavern, a fitting place to pause and to which I will return later in my career.
What has inspired you lately?
And again, in terms of inspiration it is the actual process of writing which is didactic, but as much for the author as for the audience. I never actually like to think of myself as teaching when I compose for the simple reason that I don’t believe I have anything valuable to impart to others at all. That’s not the author-reader partnership I envisage – what inspires me is the thought that on my journey through writing a novel, I may be joined by like minds who persevere with me to the conclusion or else by those who differ from me in thought, most likely therefore to stop reading long before the end!
Finally, what advice do you have for aspiring authors?
My advice to aspiring authors is quite simply to read and write as much as possible – I firmly believe the two activities are in tandem, sparring partners if you prefer; reading fills the well within us, and writing performs its expulsion. In my view, one complements the other and neither must be neglected!!