Iain writes middle grade and young adult books. His published works include the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series, The Wizards of Waterfire Series, and the dragon of the month club.
What inspires you to write?
Life inspires me to write. Not only my own life, but the life all around, past and present, near and far. I like to write about these things because it feels like I am taking a very magical journey to faraway places and experiencing the beauty of our world and its many cultures. That's a bit like a travel book, I suppose, but I try to weave it all together with history and mysteries.
Tell us about your writing process.
I always approach my books like the story is a ride on a subway train. You know where the start of the journey is, and where the end is, and also every stop along the way. The only thing you don't know is exactly what happens between all the stops. I suppose this makes me an outliner, except that I never write any of that down. I just try to build it all in my head and be clear about where I'm going before I ever sit down to actually type it out.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
In my head I definitely imagine the things that my characters want to say. Usually, I do this while walking. My imagination gets going and the scenes unfold as my feet take me from one place to the next, like a kind of meditation.
Who are your favorite authors?
I have two favourite books of all time and forever: The Mosquito Coast by Paul Theroux and Contact by Carl Sagan. There is something I love about the weight and atmospheric-ness of both of these books.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I would have to say that the fact that no publishers or agents were interested in my books was definitely an influence on my decision to self-publish. But I was probably inclined to do that anyway. I enjoy the freedom of self-publishing and the way it allows you to interact more closely with your books and readers. (But of course sometimes I also wouldn't mind of some publisher had my back once and a while too…)
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think that the increase in self-published material in the last years has made an enormous change in the world of publishing. It's changed the way people read and the consume books – as well as how writers write them. I was always fascinated by the stories of Sherlock Holmes and how these short stories were published in magazines and periodicals. That kind of model for getting stories out there never fully died out, but it certainly wasn't at the same level of readership as it was when Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was cranking out the Holmes stories. But once again that kind of model is back, isn't it? And I wonder what Sir Arthur would make of that? I bet he'd be a self-published author too.
What genres do you write?
Young Adult, Middle Grade, Adventure, Fantasy, Mystery
What formats are your books in?