Hi, I’m May J. Panayi. I’ve been writing stuff since I was five years old when I had my first piece of work published. It was a poem called ‘In a Rage’ and it went in the Harlow Gazette. I think that was the point at which I decided I wanted to write, and I have been scribbling in one form or another ever since.
I have had poetry, short stories, articles and fillers, published in a variety of magazines, two book anthology collections, fanzines and websites.
I am currently living and writing in Brighton, UK. I write with a view of the sea and passing boats. I have written thirteen books, the last five, novels.
What inspires you to write?
I feel inspired by writing. It’s something I have to work through and get out of my system, like a virus. A book irritates me like a stone in my shoe until I get it written. I’ve currently got five more stones in my shoe; which is pretty annoying as I don’t write that fast! Writing is just part of my life; if I don't do it I get depressed.
Tell us about your writing process.
I outline in a notebook with a pen. I usually break the book down into segments and draft each segment. If I get away from the content during that segment, I look to see where I can slot in the bits I missed. If there are a lot of characters I have a board with notes and pictures about them, so I can visualise them more easily. I set myself word targets for each day.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Not really. Some characters become more real to me than others as I write. Some I think I'm going to like or dislike, then I feel the opposite way when I start writing them.
Who are your favorite authors?
Well I could try and be really highbrow here and list the literary greats; but when I curl up with a good book, my favourites are; Stephen King, Dean Koontz and Clive Barker. I really enjoy a good Joanne Harris too. Stephen King is my writing guru; he’s so prolific so readable, and so popular. His book, On Writing, is something I would recommend for all authors. Other influences include J.G. Ballard, George Orwell, Ray Bradbury, Clifford D. Simak… too many to list really. I read prolifically and constantly, so favourites change a lot. But I always enjoy settling down with something new by a core favourite.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I tried the standard 'slush pile' route for years. I wrote articles and fillers to try and make a name; then a friend told me about one of the original hard copy self publishing companies. Then I discovered Amazon and e-books. Now I earn more than I ever have in all my years of writing, and I'm happy being an 'Indie.'
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Indie all the way. Save the trees man! I bought a Kindle and now I enjoy my indie authors more than the old paperback crew of famous names. Okay, I'll always love Stephen King and buy his new books in paperback as they come out, but for dystopian/zombie, my favourite reads; indie is the future.
What genres do you write?
travel, horror, fiction, drama, romance, kids, cookery, wicca, shorts, poetry, philosophy, politics, photography.
What formats are your books in?
All information is provided by the author and is presented as it was submitted so you the reader get to hear the author’s own “voice” in their interview.