Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was incredibly lucky to have been born in India during the end of the "Raj", as the British occupancy of the Indian subcontinent was known. All of my formative years were spent in conditions that, looking back, seem unbelievably idyllic. Yet it was not all roses. At the age of seven I was packed off to a remote boarding school that was run by the Christian Brothers, where the school term lasted nine months. At that age, long enough to have grown out of the shoes in which I had arrived! The credit for creating in a small boy an appetite for reading and, subsequently, writing, must go to one of the excellent teachers. One day I shall dip into the recesses of my memories of that time, and another book will be born.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest book is also my maiden novel. It is a pacey revenge thriller which drew heavily on my own life experiences. The story has two main plot lines. The first is about Geoff Summers, a brilliant designer of electronic control systems for a company that makes anti-burglar equipment. Geoff becomes a cold, ruthless criminal when his vindictive new managing director prevents him from fulfilling his wife's dying wish. The second plot line follows Jim Warwick, a wealthy motor trader who is also a dealer in drugs. Sparks fly on the night that Warwick is cornered by the police and Geoff is at Warwick's house with a gang of burglars.
When did you first start writing?
This is a question I find impossible to answer truthfully. I have always loved to write and for most of my long life, writing has been for me, an end in itself. During the last twenty-odd years of my working life, I ran my own business and was fortunate to have had articles published, mostly in specialist engineering journals, with occasional pieces in newspapers. Now, in my comfortable retirement in France, I have been gifted the time and the motivation to write my first novel.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I'd be delighted to answer fully when it happens. For now, I am grateful to Smashwords for the opportunity to make my work available to a wide audience. I have spent nearly two years fruitlessly submitting to literary agents. Some were complimentary, some encouraging, but the sad truth is that the majority are not interested in new work from a septuagenarian. What they all appear to be looking for is the next J.K. Rowling, preferably someone in his or her twenties, who can create a following, then grind out a new work each year. But I don't blame them for that; in the commercial world everybody wants something for nothing. To these people I say that the appreciation of a lifetime of experience is something they will achieve themselves---eventually!
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Seriously? Finding just the right word, or the perfect phrase, is like pulling teeth. The greatest joy is when it happens. Not nearly often enough.
What are you working on next?
My first novel, Payback, was my learning curve; learning the nuts and bolts of how to put a readable novel together. The one that I am working on now is my magnum opus, where I can put into practice the craft that I have learned so painfully. It is to be called My Brother's Keeper. It's about a Catholic priest who is charged with the task of helping in secret, other priests who are troubled. Hmmm...but he has problems of his own.
Who are your favorite authors?
Wilde, G.K. Chesterton, Dickens (Charles, not Monica, delightful though she is), Arnold Bennett. Loads of others, too.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
At seventy-five years of age, I need no motivation. The joy of living is enough.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Trying to keep menally and physically fit and enjoying the beauty of the surroundings where I live, in rural France.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
What is your writing process?
On-going, continuous new material every day, overlapped by the agony of editing what I've already written in the preceding days.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.