Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The first book I remember reading was The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien. As a child, I didn't really understand the story but I loved the characters and all of their misadventures. I used to read it and then go right back to the start and read it again. It was such a beautiful, engaging book that it made me want to create worlds like that myself someday. And that time is now. The Hobbit always remains my inspiration for my writing.
Who are your favorite authors?
Stephen King, Michael Grant, Stephen Chbosky, Lionel Shriver, Kathy Reichs, P.C & Kristen Cast. And I can't deny that Meg Cabot's books really sucked me in as well at a young age.
What is your writing process?
I don't really tend to have a writing process. I write when I feel like writing, and I only have a very basic plan to begin with. I know what plot points A and B (and possibly C) are but the journey is what I enjoy most about writing. I let things unravel, let the characters lead the way, and see what mischief and adventure they get up to on the way. I learn about them and I learn about their story as it happens, not as some pre-planned, minutely detailed plot.
What do you read for pleasure?
Anything and everything. From horror to chick flick, thriller to autobiography, teen fiction to comics, and Christopher Marlowe to Roald Dahl. Anything that helps me escape from the real world and indulge my need to be surrounded by fictional characters and universes that have been spawned from pure imagination.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
'The Perks of Being a Wallflower' by Stephen Chbosky remains to be one of my favourite books of all time. It's so beautifully honest and bittersweet that I just can't help but feel everything Charlie feels. It's the reason I gave a nod to it in The Storm, and even named one of my characters for Charlie's friend Patrick. 'The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon' by Stephen King is another that blew me away. The way he portrayed the decaying mind of a child was astounding and, even though it's not as well known, it sits proudly on my shelf. The 'Gone' series by Michael Grant. As far as teen fiction goes, this is darker than most and it keeps you so captivated through all six books. I could easily read them again and still find them as fantastical and noteworthy. 'Cloud Atlas' by David Mitchell. As confusing a read it was, the sheer scope of his storytelling skills and the almost limitless imagination he seems to have made this an incredible adventure into the realms of fantasy. And, finally, the 'Harry Potter' series. I grew up with these books and I would be lying if I said I wasn't utterly in love with the beautiful world and array of characters that J.K. Rowling created. These books inspired a generation, one that I was a part of and one that helped me find my voice in writing.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
When I hear that people are talking about my book it gives me a huge amount of joy. There's nothing that can quite compare to overhearing a conversation or stumbling upon a blog in which the topic is your very own book. And, as irritating as it can be, people harassing me to finish the next book is a huge compliment and it keeps me inspired to write.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I'm a bit of a geek so I like to read comics, play Magic The Gathering and I enjoy gaming. I also like to go rock climbing, walking and whenever I find myself with some spare time outside all of this, I read until I can barely keep my eyes open.
How do you approach cover design?
The cover for my first book was designed by a friend of mine who is an up-and-comer in the comic and graphic novel industry. Her artwork is incredible and I knew that her work fitted the genre and subject matter of by book perfectly.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Mainly twitter, and through recommendations from friends.
What are you working on next?
I'm currently working on a sequel to The Storm, the first book in the Tales of Alloria series. The ending of the first book was a bit different many I've read before and so I felt that making a brave choice and changing the main character was the right thing to do. I'm excited to see how it turns out!
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