Updated: Mar 28, 2019
What is your name?
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I liked writing at school and was quite good at it. But I had no thoughts or ambitions to be a writer. At 15 I was conveyored out of school and into a factory to complete an apprenticship. Over the next 17 years I worked and travelled. I wasn’t writing. Then in my late 20’s and 30’s I was politicised by the antiwar movement (CND) and left wing politics. I wrote poems and articles for some local left wing journals. I even tried my hand at writing for magazines but was rejected. Later in my 30’s I went to university, and wrote there, essays. Then onto a PhD where I was writing academic papers. I worked in the UK university system for over 20 years writing academic and business papers. I saw this to have a creative aspect too. Then blogging happened. I blogged. Novel writing has only happened really in the last couple of years.
What genre books do you write?
I am told they are urban fantasy. I didn’t set out to write urban fantasy. I just started writing and let the characters tell their story. I’m not a plotter or a planner I’m a pantser apparently. I’ve just finished a historical fiction novella (with some ghosts)
What is the name of your book/books?
Novel 1. Meditations on Murder
Novella (with an editor) The Castle of the Red-Haired Maidens
Novel 2 (WIP) The Twelfth Rune
Where there alternate endings you considered?
No because I don’t plan. I knew the ending of the Novella because in Meditations on Murder the 12th Century Scottish ghost tells us she had been murdered most horribly – but didn’t want to tell us more. (Understandably) So I had to write the backstory.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Don’t listen to the naysayers in the family go and do the English A level as the Head of English in the college asked you to do when you were doing your day release as an engineering apprentice.
Does your family support your career as a writer?
I live in China. I am old enough to do what I want without caring what my family think about it. My Dad gave me five stars on Amazon. Does that count?
What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
I find I have no difficulty. In Meditations on Murder and The Castle, Nye, one of my MC’s is a strong scottish woman.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Neither. I am not an emotional writer. I do it for pleasure. I have lots of freetime as an esl teacher in China. It gives me something to do. It’s as relaxing as reading.
What items do you surround yourself with when you write?
I have the small corner of a two seater settee. Usually with my macbook on my lap with my girlfriend and small Jack Russell taking up about 80% of the available space. I do write in my office but only between some classes and when I have some free time. Its much more comfortable there.
What is your favourite genre of books to read?
Action adventure usually. If I’m on a plane back to China I usually like to have a Jack Reacher story or something of that ilk. English books are hard to come by in China so thank god for kindle. I like travel books and biographies, history, adventure and anything that looks good for 0.99p (or freebies people post on the facebook groups)
What is your favorite childhood book?
The Famous Five and Secret Seven by Enid Blyton
Swallows and Amazons, by Arthur Ransome (he was an Soviet Spy you know)
Do you have a favourite author or one who inspires you to write?
James Lee Burke is a wonderful writer. His novels set in New Orleans are very evocative.
What words of wisdom would you give to someone who wants to be an author?
Write like a bastard everyday.
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