I remember writing my first story when I was about thirteen/fourteen years old. After that I found myself writing intermittently over the following few years, until I began Caethion. That's when I started to write everyday.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was born in Merthyr, South Wales, then grew up in the Neath valley. Hills, mountains, forests and waterfalls have surrounded me my whole life. It has definitely influenced my Celestial Souls series, which is a dark fantasy series set in Wales. If I can, I take my notepad and venture to a waterfall or woodland to write in peace.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Among other things, a well-crafted sentence or paragraph is always extremely satisfying.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
My two main hobbies besides writing are gaming and knitting. I love immersing myself into a interesting and well-made game, my favourites being The Elder Scrolls series and Fable 2.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
It was about a man who walked through a vast white space and every few steps he came across something in his life, the last item being the door to his house. It turns out he died and when he woke up in hospital after being resuscitated he saw, walking passed the window, the person that put him there. I was thirteen, which might be a little worrying.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest book is a short story called 'Belinda Locke and the Space Seeds'. I recently went on a road-trip and while sitting in the car I couldn't help but wonder how cabin-like it felt. That, in addition to my desire to write a sci-fi, gave birth to the short story.
What is your writing process?
After going through a process similar to the 'Snowflake' method, I begin handwriting my manuscript. I create a master word document which will be written in chronological order, but when I hand-write I skip to whatever scenes or chapters I want to write. If my book is 60,000 words, about 40,000 would have been handwritten initially. When my first draft is finished, I print it out and read through with a pen. Then I create a new word document (completely different font and size), and re-write the entire book with the first draft in front of me. After that I'll carry out about 3-4 edits myself, before sending it to a professional editor.
How do you approach cover design?
I'm grateful to have had years of experience using Photoshop both for personal use and in education. I usually decide whether I want a basic cover (no illustrations, just shapes) or if I want to spend more time creating a drawing to use. It's extremely important to research book covers, even if you only look at others.
Describe your desk
My desk is very cramped. I have just enough room for a monitor, graphic tablet, keyboard, and a cup of tea. I tend to do most of my writing by hand, away from my desk, so I don't need any more room.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I love the freedom. I don't necessarily mean the freedom of control, but rather the fact that if I have a completed story, it can be available quickly.
What are you working on next?
I am currently working on Etholaeth, the sequal to Caethion.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.