Who am I? I was born in the UK. I am short, balding, slightly overweight and I have little fingers that don’t like typing… I started my working career on a farm growing fruit and veg. Most of you will know that the weather in the UK is unpredictable, so after a while, I retrained to work in IT. I became a contractor, left that to run and teach at a Cisco Academy. As my enthusiasm waned for all things computerised, (please remember the industry moves on so fast that I had to resit exams year in, year out), I retrained to become a business start-up advisor and worked on a Government programme. I now spend my time writing and in my off hours, I create websites for other authors. I am also part of a consortium who assist self-publishers and I am a committee member of an annual, week-long literary festival.
What inspires you to write?
I have enjoyed reading since childhood. Through the written works of multiple authors, I experienced adventures, learnt new things, explored imaginary worlds and much more. It was from this enjoyment that I realised I wanted to write. Sadly it took three attempts over several decades for me to finish my first draft.
Tell us about your writing process.
I am finishing off the last book in a five book series at the moment. As I started the series, I wrote out an outline for the overarching story for the series. I created a story arch per book and created chapter headings to remind me where the story was to go as I wrote. I do not have a rigid path that I must follow. When I start a book I know certain key chapters that must happen for the story arch, but I let the personalities of my characters guide me as to how to get there. I am a fan of Scrivener as a writing platform and I use Grammarly to perform a rough spell/grammar check.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
The characters that I have developed for my book are real at the time of writing, they live inside my head and most of the time I write about their exploits as they enact the scenarios I require. They do not always go the way I want and sometimes I have to redesign part of the story to accommodate this. They have to stay in character according to the character sheet that wrote for them. Once I have finished this series I will miss the protagonists, they are fun to be with.
Who are your favorite authors?
I like so many genres, but the authors I look out for are (or were, as a few have died) Clancy, Child and Cussler. I am a big fan of Terry Pratchett and I regularly check out Jim Butcher's website to see when the next instalment will be ready. As I work with new authors I have a constant flow of novels which are forever increasing the height of my to read pile.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
When I wrote my first novel, Mineran Influence, I was as green as they come. I knew nothing about the industry and so I used what I had hoped to be a reputable self-publishing company. One who had the largest adverts in the writer's magazines. After spending a lot of money I pulled my book from them and enlisted the aid of a local company that assists self-publishers, their ethos is to teach you rather than rip you off. I now Work closely with TAUK helping other authors fulfil their dreams. Ultimately, I would like to find a proper publisher who can take my books to the next level, but these days you have to prove yourself first.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
The constant battle between Amazon and the mainstream publishers/bookstores is not healthy and will only harm the industry. Many stores will not stock Amazon printed books and this then restricts the smaller self-publishing authors like myself. Print On Demand is a useful tool and a cheap entry into the market, the only thing I wish I had done differently with Amazon would be to have used my own ISBN numbers, I could have had the books printed elsewhere at the same time as having them on Amazon. For a box of a hundred books, it's cheaper this way (I'm in the UK and Amazon prints author copies in the States, postage is a killer).
What genres do you write?
Sci-Fi and Children's Picture Book
What formats are your books in?
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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.