Easy! I mean, sort of easy. Well, it's actually pretty hard ... I like lots of things about writing. One is the actual writing. I get lost. I write and it's like time disappears without me realising it. This can happen watching TV or playing the Wii as well, but with writing it's different. It's creative. It's energising. But I also love seeing a book come together, the whole process ... writing, editing, illustrating, editing, laying out, editing, proofreading, editing, cover, editing. And then I love the reactions. I love knowing that what I have done, what I have loved doing, is inspiring and entertaining the people it's aimed at, and that's awesome too. So, basically, it's all very, very good!
What do your fans mean to you?
Your fans ... it means the things I have that keep me cool in Summer. Hang on. Ohhhhhh, Gotcha. I understand now. They mean everything, because a) they're the ones who keep helping me do what I do and not have to go back to Engineering, b) they can lift me up when I am in a down patch and struggling to get anything happening, c) they keep me cool in Summer, and d) they give me focus, inspiration, and the knowledge that I am writing for someone. I picture my number one fan in my head, and I write for them and for me, so we can have a laugh together. And then I put it out there and hope that they like it!
What are you working on next?
My Smashwords books! A series of self-help books with a twist ... also, I am in the process of writing a new children's book, and there is a slim chance I will also be doing some pictures for that one as well.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My alarm ... and the sun ... and the fact that if I don't, if I lay on my lazy ass and do nothing, nothing will get done! I love getting up and getting into my writing or school visits or whatever is on, but not every day is easy, and knowing that a day can disappear and then it's gone and I will never get a chance to see it again and fill it with awesome stuff kind of freaks me out a little, and so up I get and straight to work ... after reading the paper and checking my emails, of course.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I play golf ... oh no, wait, I haven't played one round this year! Depressing!!! I used to play golf, and I plan on getting back into it asap! So in the meantime I listen to music, I research, I read, I go for walks, I listen to music, I battle zombies, I take siestas, I wrestle crocodiles, I train my pet kangaroo to catch tennis balls, and I go to live comedy.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Often it will be a search for a topic, and something will jump out at me. Or it will be an author I know and like and want to read their next book. Or it will be from reading an article or interview, and thinking that is the sort of person whose book i want to read.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I do!!! In fact, I still have it! My mum kept it for me. I wrote it back when I was somewhere around 7 or 8, and my grandmother typed it up on her old typewriter and we bound it and everything. It's called Frogmen of the USA, and it's about these killer frogmen that come out of the ocean and start biting everyone's heads off. There is a lot of blood and gore and heads falling off in the pictures and then an old man invents a ray gun that saves the world in the nick of time and it's all good although it does worry me about the state of my mind as a child!
What is your writing process?
Very organic. I write as I think, and as I speak, and I write to get as much as possible out of my head before going back and working and reworking it. I try to keep the style and language as casual as possible, so it feels like a friend is telling you a story. So that means my process contains a lot of stream of consciousness writing. I always write in the morning, every morning, and get my quota for the day done. That way, if it gets to afternoon and I got nothing, I have still done enough. But if I get to the afternoon and there's more popping into my head that I just gots to be writing down, well, I go for it!
How do you approach cover design?
Hmmm, good question. In the past I have approached it by having someone else do it for me. Yay! I am generally part of the consultation process though, and I guess in my head I want a cover that would attract me to buying and reading the book. I figure if I like it and would buy it, then there will be at least a couple of people around the world that will like it too!
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Harpo Speaks - Because Harpo Marx was an amazing, gentle, funny, brilliant man, and his book changed my life. It's a self-help book without being a self-help book. The Tipping Point - Because Malcolm Gladwell could write about a twig and make me believe it was awesome. Oh, The Places You'll Go - Becaue Dr Seuss is a genius. Somehow you can't read his rhyme and rhythm incorrectly. This book is similar to Harpo. It's not a self-help book, but boy, did it inspire me. On Writing - Stephen King puts his life in a book, and his writing process, and he does it with wit, charm, and a whole lot of swearing. The Warrior Within - This, and Bruce Lee, Artist of Life, changed my life. He was a genius. And his philosophies! Wow! Try this on for size. I will write what I am going to write. If you like it and it connects with you, that's beautiful. If not, well, it can't be helped. This freed me as a writer, knowing that not everyone would like my book, and that was okay. I had to write it and make it me on the page, and that would be enough.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Well, it's about zombies. I love zombies. I also love self-help books. I devour them. I was wanting to write a self-help book, and I thought, how can I write it so that it really has a sense of fun about it, so that it is easy to read, so that it is still inspiring but funny at the same time? Zombies. And then I thought, what else do I love? Ninjas. So that's the next one|!
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.