Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in and around London a lot of the time. I was born in Essex but moved around a lot. I have also lived in Hampshire, Berkshire, A few places in Essex as well. I moved to the North east of England in 2004, and currently live just outside Newcastle Upon Tyne. I love living here and have no plans to ever move anywhere else. I dont believe where I have lived has really influenced my writing yet
When did you first start writing?
I don't really remember, I guess when I was in junior school. I remember once writing a story and I had to go to the headmaster and show him it, and read it out in assembly. I always loved creative writing lessons in school, and would always write really long stories and lots of poems. It's something I just seem to have always done.
What's the story behind your latest book?
It is basically a vampire book. however, I grew a little tired of reading poorly written vampire stories. I would read them and think "that's a very weak storyline, I can do better than that myself". But then I would feel a little self righteous for thinking that. I wanted to come up with something different, not the same old boring high school vampire falls in love story that has already been done a thousand times. I wanted something that would, hopefully, grip the reader, drawing them in and wanting them to read more. In this book (Babylon : Rise of the New age) the heroine is a an average woman of the time, fighting, alongside all humans, to merely survive. The vampires have taken over the entire planet apart from one city, Babylon. The humans struggle with survival, and the book starts off by telling you how things got this way. It is the first in a series of books, and I am hoping to keep each one as interesting as the first.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
How easy and cheap it is! I cant afford publicists, illustrators, proof readers etc. These days the internet has opened up a whole catalogue of ways we can publish books ourselves. I know I am not the next Dan Brown, JK Rowling, or anyone else like that. My only hope is SOMEONE reads my work.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I have literally only just opened an account with them, I am hoping that by offering my books for free more people will read them. I think smashwords can help get me more known and bring me more readers
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Writing seems like more of a hobby for me than a job, I enjoy it so much. I love the look on my sons face as I read famous writers stories to him at bed time, how he is enveloped by the story, and that's what I want to be able to do for others, to give them a few moments time out from the stress of the world, to invite them in to their own little world where they can relax and read and discover all sorts of characters and places.
What do your fans mean to you?
I honestly and truly appreciate every single person who reads my books, tweets me, downloads my work, follows me, leaves comments on facebook etc. I just love the thought of being able to give others something they enjoy reading. It means the world to me that people are not only willing to read my books, but that they also actually like them!
What are you working on next?
I am still working on completing my first book, it is only a few chapters at the moment. I have plans for the next book in the series, and also for some other books too. I wont give away the plots here, but one is a romance book with a little twist to it, so not an average everyday boy meets girl, boy hates girl, boy loves girl book, something with a bit more depth than that.
I also have started a children's book, and hope to make that into a short series of books as well.
I also want to research for a period novel, I love reading them but am not sure I can do them justice by writing one myself. I will try though and see what feedback I get.
I don't want to stick to just one genre. I would like to be able to write about many different genre's
Who are your favorite authors?
I used to collect Virginnia Andrews books, sadly my collection was lost in a house move. I also love Dan Brown, and I am a huge fan of the classics, Bran Stoker, Mary Shelley, Jules Verne< Charles Dickens, The Bronte sisters...
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My wife and son mainly. They brighten up my world. They always make me smile and laugh and are sometimes provide me inspiration in my writing. They also help proof read too!
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I love photography. I am by no means any good at it, but I really enjoy it all the same. I love how I can capture one moment that passes in a blink of an eye, and keep it forever.
I also knit, crochet,quilt, and cross stitch too. I also make my own jewellery. I love vising the theatre but only get to go once or twice a year. I love watching films, and am always reading at least 2 different books on the go!
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I look about kindle daily, I am hooked to that! I also look on here daily. I watch twitter for new authors too, and watch who retweets mine or others tweets, and follow them. I guess I am a bit of an indie author stalker in that way! I like to visit my local library and look at the new authors section too.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
gosh, not really. It would have been when I was about 8 or 9 ! Bablyon is my first adult (non erotic) fiction book. I Don't write erotic novels at the moment. It was probably about a child who finds something magic, as I loved the Magic Faraway tree in my younger days
What is your writing process?
I open a word doc, think of an opening sentence, and just type away. I type until my ideas run dry, then I go back and proof read what I have typed. I always stop for the day by leaving my last sentence or paragraph unfinished. I find it easier to come back another time and carry on with ideas from where I left off that way. I do tend to make little scribbles on pads of paper, or in margins of diaries etc, if I come up with an idea while I am not at my computer.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I remember the first story read to me that had any impact on me. It was Pollanna. A primary school teacher ( Miss Phyllis later Mrs Gray, if she ever comes across this I would LOVE to hear from her) read it to us all, and I was fascinated by it. That teacher gave me so much inspiration and support in her time teaching me that I will never forget her. She was so kind and friendly and supportive. I loved listening to her reading us stories.
How do you approach cover design?
This is something I need to give a lot of thought to, I currently just use an online programme that is free, and look around google for non copyrighted images that fit with my book idea.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Mainly at the moment kindle. This is probably because I am a complete techo-phobe and know little about whats out there, but I am slowly learning and am using smashwords more now
Describe your desk
It is nothing elaborate at all! It is a little white laptop table, covered in a black table cloth (I ruined the surface of the table when sticking hotfix gems to some shoes!) and a laptop, notepad and pen. That's it!
What do you read for pleasure?
I LOVE vampire books! Sci-fi is also my thing, as long as it is well written of course. I don't read many romance novels, I find a lot of them very samey... ie the Mills and Boon predictable story lines. If one sticks out to me I will read it. I love crime novels too. Anything scary, adventurous or intriguing. So not one genre but many.
Do you own any pets?
Yes. I have two dogs, a jack Russel and a Chihuahua. I also have 2 budgies called Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
As Banylon is my first book I am using kindle and smashwords. Also coming in 2014 is nokbok and I will upload my book there too. The MARsocial website has been a truly valuable site too, and I highly recommend it to anyone who writed or reads even. Twitter is also valuble if you use it wisely
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Pollyanna is one. My favourite school teacher read it to me when I was 8. She read it in such an animated way that I was immediately hooked on it.
Bram Stokers Dracula. I have visited Whitby, mentioned in this book. A charming place I hope to visit again. I love the detail in this book.
The da vinci code and digital fortress by Dan Brown. I love the way his books are written and found all of his, that I have read so far, to be exciting and intriguing
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.