Interview with Simon Coates

Published 2015-09-20.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
It is getting into the mind of the character. This is most obvious when I think of Bike Racing into the Red. I am a competitive cyclist myself, and so when the main character rides his bike I imagine being on the bike myself. As a result these scenes are very vivid.
What do your fans mean to you?
Well, it is a bit of a cliche, but they are everything really. My ambition is to make my writing my career, and without fans that simply isn't possible. If I write stuff my fans like then we both win; they get something they enjoy, and doing so enables me to pursue my writing. Of course it is not just a financial gain for me; creating something that is genuinely liked is fantastic, the idea that I've written something and people like it. That is great and can't really be quantified to be honest.
What are you working on next?
I have been really busy getting paperback versions of my books done. I use a local publisher called Quoin Publishing, who do a fantastic job. The internet publishers I find are OK, but I wanted my books to stand out, and I find the only way I could get what I wanted was to ensure I was able to meet face to face with my publisher. As a result the paperbacks are absolutely fantastic and certainly far better than Createspace etc.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Well as I am not a full time author, getting out of bed means getting ready to go to my day job. I do enjoy what I do as a means to earn money, but it isn't where my heart is. I really want to become a full time author, but I am not a dreamer. I know how hard and difficult it is, but hey, I'm giving it a go, so who knows where it will end up.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I am a competitive cyclist; this gave me the idea for the cycling story Bike Racing into the Red. I race time trials in North East England, up to National Championship level. The season goes from March to September, when I am not racing I enjoy walking and photography. I do like to get out, it helps with thinking about my writing. You could say a bit like Mr Elgar!
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Not the first one, but one of my earliest was a joint-effort with a school friend, about a martian that came to Earth and caused mayhem! It was part of a competition in our class and we won, so you could say I have tasted writing success at an early age!
What is your writing process?
All my stories are based on an idea or event that can only happen in my proposed existence in the 24th century. This sets the theme for the whole story. The thing that fascinates me is that this 'event' is the main centerpiece of the story, and the characters around it are what give it real life. One thing that I find I have done that I am really pleased about is that I seem to make all the goings on seem real and normal - so for example when someone has to travel to Mars from Earth, it is like us taking a plane journey from France to London.
What do you read for pleasure?
I actually don't read much, to be honest, which is really unusual for a fiction writer! I like to read cycling and car magazines, and also science books; you can probably tell I am a real 'space' enthusiast.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I find that getting out there and meeting people is the best way to get the story out. I find I have a genuine affection for people, and a real enthusiasm for my writing, which is quite obvious for anyone who has met me! I go to a lot of science fiction events which does mean I end up taking to Stormtroopers and Dr Who about my writing which let's face it is pretty cool.
When did you first start writing?
I don't have a traditional background in writing. For instance, it is not like I've been writing novels and stories for ten years or anything like that, nor have I ever been a journalist. I first got the idea for what has become the Galactic Echo about six years ago and from there slowly developed the ideas to where I am now.
What's the story behind your latest book?
At the moment I am developing a number of ideas which are just in the very initial stages. The concept of life in the far future has unlimited potential for stories so I don't seem to struggle for ideas. Watch this space!
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Books by This Author

The Discovery of Love
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 56,110. Language: English. Published: September 20, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Sci-fi, Fiction » Inspirational
Not your typical love story! This is the story of love, and what it really means; and that anyone, regardless of who they are or how wealthy they are, have meaningless lives without it.
Encyclopaedia of the Galactic Echo
Price: Free! Words: 37,540. Language: English. Published: November 5, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » General, Fiction » Science fiction » High tech
Everything you need to know about life in the far future... welcome to the Galactic Echo.
Bike Racing into the Red
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 54,090. Language: English. Published: June 25, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure, Fiction » Science fiction » General
The story of Jonas Zemke, an amateur bike racer from England as he takes on the challenge of the 240 mile hill climb up Olympus Mons on Mars.
2299 Formula X Guidebook
Price: $3.49 USD. Words: 18,090. Language: English. Published: May 13, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » General, Fiction » Romance » Action/adventure
Produced by the Galactic Motorsports Council, the Guidebook to the 2299 Formula X Galactic Championship gives you, the reader, an insight into the racing season for the year 2299. With a foreword from Council President Vance Lavarone, the guidebook gives details of past champions, a review and results of the 2298 season, and notes for significant dates and events during 2299.
The Diary of Silas Volante
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 52,400. Language: English. Published: May 11, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » General, Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
Join Silas Volante in the pilot seat of his Japan Racing E2 racing spaceship, as he races in the dangerous, manic, highly charged and adrenaline fueled Formula X racing series, the top branch of motorsport in the year 2299. After an impressive third place in the championship in 2298, Silas is looking to go one or two steps higher in his ambition to become Galactic Champion.