I began writing short stories for children in my early forties. At first they were only for my own children but then I tried a novel and it was published in 1990 entitled "The Silver Tea-Set." After that I began to write adult short stories.
What's the story behind your latest book?
The book is a collection of the best of my short stories written and published separately over the last 20 years. They are all set in a small town on the Northern Irish coast and the characters are known to each other.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
It is very difficult to publish a collection of short stories if you are not a well-known author. I tried for many years and then decided to publish an ebook myself.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords has given me so much information and advice that I am in a much better position now to market my book in the best possible way.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I enjoy the editing process best. The first creative output is terrifying but I am very happy with a manuscript to work on, again and again.
What are you working on next?
I have almost finished the final draft on another novel for children. It is called "Safe Home" and should be published on Smashwords in a month or so. I am also currently putting together a small collection of poetry entitled "Inside Out".
Who are your favorite authors?
Dickens, Donna Tartt, Annie Proulx, Joseph Heller, Joseph O'Connor.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I just trawl through categories depending on what I fancy at the time.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes, I can't remember the title but it was about two dolls at the back of a shelf in a toy shop, forgotten until the owner runs a sale and hokes them out. The dolls don't want to be separated and make plans to escape.
What is your writing process?
I write from 3.00 to 5.00 Monday to Friday - longer if I am finishing a draft.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I read comics before I discovered books and my favourite was "The School Friend" and the lead story "The Silent Three", about three girls in boarding school who wore concealing cloaks at night and went about writing wrongs. At first I wanted to be one of them; later I wanted to write about them.
How do you approach cover design?
First I decided which story to use in the title of the book and then the cover took shape in my mind and a very artistic friend did the actual design.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.