Interview with AMC

What's the story behind your latest book?
Salvation is a story fundamentally based on good versus evil, man versus alien, with the destiny of the world hanging in the balance - nothing original there! But what I think sets Salvation apart is that it manages to combines the very best elements of the most fantastic sci-fi and fantasy stories ever told, in a manner that the reader will not have experienced before. It is very much aimed at an adult audience, and does not pull any punches in regards to detail during the action scenes, which few have done before. As the tag line says, Salvation is Star Wars meets Lord of the Rings for the Game of Thrones generation!
What do you read for pleasure?
I love the works of Tolkien and George R Martin - but will happily read anything that grabs hold of my imagination and takes me to new exciting worlds. Lack of realism in fiction does annoy me however, particularly in fight scenes or action sequences involving 'normal humans' - in real life getting punched or shot hurts!
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I'm from the UK, and as my bio says I originally grew up in the North West near Chester (30mins away from Liverpool and Manchester). Parts of the area are lovely, whilst others are rough, and my upbringing was very much working class. The years I spent in the military undoubtedly crafted my writing style, particularly in combat scenes, as I can recall my own experiences to give my work genuine authenticity, which not every writer can call upon.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have a Kindle, but do read quite a lot now on my iPhone when on the tube.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Having someone finish reading my work and tell me how much they have enjoyed it. Also I love hearing from readers as they are working through a story, to see where they think the plot will go and hopefully to surprise them with the twists and turns that they did not expect.
What do your fans mean to you?
Everything - without fans, authors are just people sitting at a desk writing words on a screen to themselves. Fans are what makes writing interactive, and I love hearing from them, whether good or bad!
Describe your desk
When did you first start writing?
Late! Writing Salvation took me over 3 years, which I started in my late 20s, though the idea for the plot had been with me since I was a teenager. Before then I was guilty of falling into the trap of believing 'I did not have enough time' - though when I compare my life now to my life back then, I don't know what I was thinking!
What motivated you to become an indie author?
The money! Joking of course! I wanted to be able to allow others to read my story, and one day read the story I wrote to my boy (though I think it's going to be a number of years before he is old enough to be allowed to read this yet!)
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
My advice for any new author is to invest the time in securing beta readers - word of mouth really is the best form of marketing. Find some readers who fit the demographic that you book is aiming at, and listen to any feedback and improvements they may suggest in the drafting phase. Once you have people championing how good your work is, either on social media or by writing reviews, others will take notice much more than you spamming them!
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
As with all indie authors, Smashwords allows me to gain access to readers through a variety of formats. Without Smashwords, indie authors like me would struggle to locate people who appreciate our work!
What are you working on next?
Well, I have a prequel in mind, a sequel, and a series of short stories set pre Salvation. In short lots of stories and not enough time to write!
Published 2015-01-14.
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