The Machair Crow is a crime thriller set on the hebridean island of Lewis. It follows the dramatic events that follow from a feisty woman who doesn't take kindly to being threatened, bullied, or intimidated. She is investigating the death of client when she uncovers illicit drone surveillance activity. When she does so, her life and the lives of others are immediately put in danger.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
During an avid spell of devouring every crime detective story I could get my hands on, I came across one or two that weren't very inspiring. In a rash moment of arrogance I said to myself, 'I could do better than this.' About 18 months later I had produced my debut novel, The Machair Crow.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
It is too early to tell yet, but I used a combination of Scrivener and ePub to upload the novel and it barely too 40 minutes. I'm very impressed.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I love the notion of the fictive world, when I am captivated by a novel that I can't put down. The best novelists manage this consistently. The greatest joy for me is when my readers tell me that they couldn't put my novel down. The problem with tis comment is, as one reader told me: 'I read your book in one sitting. It took me 2 days.' It took me 18 months to create it and my readers are devouring it in 2 days!
What do your fans mean to you?
They keep me motivated. Without their feedback and inspiration, I might have been tempted to give up. They also tell me that they are waiting for the next novel, so my motivation now is to write a better book than the last one.
What are you working on next?
I'm working on the sequel to The Machair Crow. It is called Dixon's Revenge. The first chapter is already published at the end of The Machair Crow so it's out there. Helen Riley is driving to work when she is shot at. The assailant missed. In her words 'Tinted windows saved my life.'
Who are your favorite authors?
So many. I studied English Literature at Stirling University. It should have been a great preparation for becoming an author, but the studies only served to put me off reading literature. For years I only read management and leadership texts. I’ve become a big fan of action detectives and novelists such as Lee Child, Ian Rankine, Stieg Larsson, Jo Nesbo, Vince Flynn, Patricia Cornwell and Jeffery Deaver.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Scrivener First and Twitter Second has become my new mantra. I love writing and I enjoy the feedback from followers.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Long walks in the countryside. We live in the North East of England and we travel to Scotland a lot. Scenery and fresh air! I especially like the barren land that is the Isle of Lewis. My readers have been impressed by how accurately I've described the island. In the book, Riley and her client describe their fascination with the scenic journey they make from the ferry port of Tarbert through North Harris and Lewis and on to the harbour at Port of Ness. I tried to describe the beauty of the island from the perspective of two English tourists, two women who have never been to the island before and who are stunned by its raw beauty.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Sometimes by accident, but my other mantra is 'Chance Fvours The Prepared Mind.' It's a quote from Louis Pasteur the French chemist and bacteriologist (1822 - 1895). He was looking for solution to a problem and although he found it (sterilisation and pasteurisation) by accident, as he says it wasn't just by Chance. So I'm looking for good thrillers and also excellent advisers on how to write fiction. I've just finished 'Story Engineering' by Larry Brooks.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
The first text I wrote that was published was 'Chance Favours The Prepared Mind.' It is out of print now, but I'm considering updating it and publishing it is an eBook. It covers leadership, innovation, teamworking and managing change.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.