What’s your story? How did you get into writing?
I started writing for pleasure when I was 13 and have never entirely stopped, though it receded at times. I really only returned to serious writing in 2012, after a serious illness. I’ve always wanted to be an author, since falling in love with books and then discovering that many stories I wanted to read had never been written. I was encouraged, right from the beginning, by my English teacher (who was a published poet) and that’s a debt I can never repay.
What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
First, never call yourself an ‘aspiring’ author! You either are an author or you’re not. It’s something inside, and, no matter how long it takes to come out, you don’t have any choice but to write. Second, write – write – write! You can’t just plan to write ortry to write. You just have to get down to it. Third, apart from some very sensible basic rules, like ‘use punctuation’, anything else is subject to choice and adaptation to suit you! Don’t let others make you feel bad or incapable. Listen to advice and use what makes sense to you.
What are you working on now?
I’m writing a new tale in my G1: The Guardians series and a story in my Thief series. I’ve got a novel on the back burner, but that’s badly stalled.
What has been the most challenging part of publishing or marketing your book?
The marketing has definitely been the tough part. It’s too easy to get carried away and join website after website until you lose track, for one thing. But it’s sheer hard slog demanding great care. You can’t bang on and on about your books or you’re just another Spammer. You have to demonstrate a broader interest than just your own work. Then again, you still have to make sure that you get your work noticed. It’s a difficult balance. Ultimately, the most important thing is not to expect to sell loads of books! You may sell none, or just the odd one or two, for ages. Then, sales suddenly come in really nice numbers, because word has spread far beyond your reach – people are finding you and not the other way round!
What has been your favorite part?
That’s a tough question. I guess I’d have to say that it’s having collaborated with my son in creating the cover of my recently published novella, The Sigil of Ahriman. He’s a talented artist and created a superb image for the book, based on a very sketchy outline.
Who are your favorite authors?
We’d be here all day if I answered that honestly. There are a distressing number of them who are dead, now. I guess that, if pushed really hard, I’d pick J R R Tolkien, Gordon R Dickson, Rowland White and William Horwood. Quite an eclectic mixture.
What gave you the idea for your current work?
The latest work I finished was inspired by my fascination with ancient history. The one I’m working on now has similar roots but with a hint of wanting to explore some of the mysteries of ancient South Amerca.
If you could be any character in the book, which one would you be?
This is going to sound really odd, but I don’t have one single character I could choose. There’s a triangle of characters who I identify with in some way, so it would be some really weird conglomerate of those! One is Matt Carter, who hides his intelligence much of the time, preferring to let people think he’s just muscle. Second is his co-leader, Kate Wellesley, who is the anchor, with a caring nature but able to be harder, at times, than Carter. Third is the Director, Siribahta Dhal, something of a Nepalese/Tibetan mystic who represents spirit, calmness and very deep wisdom.
What other books have you written and/or are working on for the future?
I’ve written several short stories which I released as ebooks. Skylord is for younger readers but doesn’t really have an upper age limit, and is a kind of sci fi/fantasy story with a simple moral. Seelie Heiress is a fantasy which is definitely for an adult audience (rare for me to be so clear about that!) and includes a romantic element. In Night’s Shadows is a bit f an odd one to pin down, being a mild horror/paranormal story with a difference (I hope). There’s a series of short stories, under theThief banner, which are fantasy tales based around a group of friends in a specific city. And the last of the short stories (so far) is To Sail the Dark Sea, which involves the characters to be found in my sci fi series, The Captain Henri Duschelle Stories, which are found in two novelettes (to date). Finally, I have two novelettes and a novella out in the G1: The Guardians series of mild horror/supernatural/
paranormal/future fiction. The three series will, hopefully, continue to grow over time. I hope, of course, to finally break the deadlock with my novel, an epic fantasy, and actually complete it, but that’s some time away, I suspect.
What’s your favorite quote?
I can’t actually remember the words! It’s from The Lord of the Rings and is the rebuke by Gandalf of Frodo, in which he says that many who live deserve death but many who have died deserve life, unable to give the gift of life, we shouldn’t be in a hurry to impose the punishment of death!
What’s your favorite supernatural creature?
It’s a tie between the dragon and Pegasus! In fact, years ago, I wrote a fantasy short story which featured winged horses and their riders, even inventing a name for the flying horses as Pegasus is actually a specific creature.
Amazon.com Author Page
Short Story eBooks:
Shade of Evil (Smashwords, also available from all Amazon sites)
For the Sake of Mercy (Smashwords, also available from all Amazon sites)
The Ossilan Affair (Smashwords, also available from all Amazon sites)
Evil Under The Circle (Available from all Amazon sites – search ASIN B00CA74SX6)
Novelettes in Paperback:
For the Sake of Mercy (skoobebooks Book Store only)
The Ossilan Affair (skoobebooks Book Store only)
Shade of Evil (FeedARead only)