For me, the greatest joy of writing is that I get to inhabit a whole different world entirely of my own making which means I get to determine what happens, who lives there and what their future is. It also never ceases to amaze me how the story will take me down avenues previously unplanned but somehow, as I'm writing, I'm just taken there. Fortunately this seems to work most of the time - almost as if my subconscious had it planned all along!
What do your fans mean to you?
It's wonderful to hear that people are enjoying my books and their support means absolutely everything. Writing is a solitary process and until you actually publish you've got no idea how that story is going to be received, so to get positive feedback and have people ask for more is really encouraging.
What are you working on next?
My next book is entitled 'World On Fire' which is a sequel to my first ever book, 'Bad Blood', which many people have been asking me to write for a long time. I've always had it in my mind to do a sequel but until now I didn't have a clear enough vision of where the story was going to go from where it left off. However, now I do and I can't wait to start writing it. Currently I'm outlining story arcs and character profiles but with luck I'll start the actual writing of the book in the next few days.
Who are your favorite authors?
My favourite authors vary regularly and on the whole I will read pretty much anything. I like a good page-turner and aspire to write books that keep the reader gripped myself. I'm not really into horror or anything overly romantic but anything else is fine - just as long as it's good!
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The very fact that I am able to get out of bed each day inspires me and I hope that I am long able to do so. I work from a studio at home so it would be easy to lie-in or maybe start late but I think you have to be disciplined about it. Start work at 8.30am finish at around 5-5.30pm. Although if I'm exceptionally busy then the hours are invariably longer. As I still have a 'proper' job, I can only write in my spare time so this tends to take place either in bed when I'll be tapping away on my iPad long into the night or at weekends. In fact, when I am writing, the last thing I want to do is stay in bed in the morning - I want to be up and writing and having adventures with my characters! I've also got a wife and two kids to support so doing nothing is not an option!
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I like to watch movies and I read a lot. I'm also an illustrator and cartoonist and spend a lot of my time illustrating the children's books that I write alongside my adult novels. I find this very therapeutic and not at all what I would call 'work'. My wife and I enjoy holidays and eating out as well as the occasional weekend away which we can take more often now that the kids are all grown up.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I suppose I'm quite media aware - I work all day with computers and spend a lot of time browsing the internet so I tend to stumble across things like books, movies and music with increasing regularity. I buy from iTunes, iBooks, Amazon and Kindle on a regular basis and they are always recommending other things I might like so that's how mainly I discover things.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I enjoyed writing stories almost from the moment I learnt to write way back in primary school - my Mum's still got all my old exercise books with my stories in them. They were usual about my friend Jamie and me, about ghosts and haunted houses but there was one which I particularly remember that was almost an exact rip-off of 'The Towering Inferno'. I think my Mum must have taken me to see the film a few days before and obviously I had been very impressed by it!
What is your writing process?
Usually it starts with just a simple idea. Maybe a name or a scenario - both of which are likely to change as I start mapping things out. Then I'll start making notes on my phone or iPad. Often these will stay just as notes for a long time as I'm often in the middle of writing something else but the germ of the idea stays with me. Eventually, when the idea has bounced around in my head long enough, I'll start laying down a proper outline. However, I'll often write a chapter or two just to 'feel it out' and that can sometimes lead me down a completely different path. Again, after more notes, further outlines and some firm story landmarks and objectives, I'll get cracking on it properly - then I'm pretty well absorbed by it - very nearly obsessed by it, until the first draft is written. After that it's editing, re-writes, more editing, more re-writes, a final read through and, at last, it's done.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I can't remember the first story I ever read but I remember being ill in bed when I was very young and reading Peter Pan from cover to cover in just one day - which seemed quite an achievement then. I also remember reading 'Papillon' by Henri Charriere and being completely blown away by it. I was also very impressed by David Niven's autobiography, 'The Moon's a Balloon' which fed my interest in Hollywood. It is maybe a combination of that and Papillon that influence the novels I write today in some strange way - although they're a bit of an odd mix I'll grant you.
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