Peter Verinder

Peter Verinder

Interviewed by: Lauretta Pierce
February 11, 2005

Q.   Who is Peter Verinder?

A.   I am a settled resident of Sydney, Australia. I work full time in the consulting engineering and building areas, helping to solve ongoing building problems and contractual issues throughout the country. I am also someone who likes to write, which is something I do for self-expression. I also write in an effort to share my thoughts through fiction on aspects life and the world in general. Writing is probably what I would prefer to do full time these days if there is a demand and appreciation of my work.

Q.  What inspired you to write a story about a young man's experience in the real estate business?

A.  A few years ago, I came to a crossroad in my working life that allowed me time to evaluate several aspects of my life. When I considered what was really important to me it inspired the story and my underlying desire to write. I also felt that my experiences with different types people and several aspects of business over the preceding twenty-five years would gave me a strong base from which to write a unique story. I should also add that the real estate and related building industries are experienced by nearly everyone at some stage of their lives, so I felt that this would allow me a common platform upon which to base my story.

Q.  How did you come about the title?

A.  Like many writers, I had several "working" titles during the evolution of the book, but I wanted a one-word title that captured the essence of the book. "Ambition" stuck out as a such a title and became a good fit with the story and the premise of the book as it evolved.

Q.  How did you come about Marc's character?

A.   Marc Braddon's character developed quite naturally during the evolution book. To a great extent he responded the way I expect many people would in a similar situation, particularly if they had his burning desire to succeed. I wanted Marc's character to be driven, but I also wanted him to maintain a moral and ethical sense in all of his dealings. To some extent Marc was an innocent when he started in business, encountering new people and learning and developing his character traits along the way in response to the world around him. I wanted to show the readers his growth so that they could understand how he became the man he was, allowing them to relate this understanding to his desire to get control of his life. To do that, I put the Marc's character into several situations and his natural responses allowed me to form his particular character as he progressed through the book.

Q.  Do you have any of Marc's personalities?

A.  The simple answer is yes. When I was younger I was also very ambitious and always seemed to be striving to achieve against the odds. Like Marc, I have also tried to maintain my standards during this process. I have never wanted to climb over dead bodies to achieve my goals--for my achievements to be worth anything to me they had to be reached without damaging anyone else, so to that extent I think Marc and I are very similar.

Q.  How long have you been writing?

A.  A few years. Ambition took me about a year to write part-time, but I then spent the next couple of years editing and polishing the manuscript, first to get a publisher to pick up the book and then later to meet the editorial requirements for publication.

Q.  How is it that you know so much about negotiating and purchasing properties for speculative homes and the like?

A.  My business career has included starting and running my own building and development businesses over a ten year period. I have done hundreds of deals to buy, develop and build real estate. Over the years, I have bought plenty of land that I have then subdivided and sold off for home sites or built on prior to selling off the finished house and land package.

Q.  How many books have you written?

A.   Ambition is my first book.

Q.  Are you currently working on another novel?

A.  Yes. I have another novel about the intrigues and internal working of a multi-national resource company on the drawing board at the moment.

Q.  What message would you like readers to receive from reading Ambition?

A.  I would like my readers to appreciate that although life is a struggle for all of us, it is still worthwhile striving to achieve those things that define us as a person. They should also see that there is value in achieving goals while also maintaining one's dignity and standards in the face of great temptation to take an easier and less virtuous path. I also want my readers to see that Ambition is a good thing in that it can save one from self-destruction, but too much Ambition can also steal your life away by making you blind to all the other aspects of life.