I was babysitting for my grandson one evening, when I left to go home I found a spooky white cat just sitting on the path in front of me. He then followed me to the car and just sat staring at me. He looked just like a ghost and the idea to write a story around a ghost cat bloomed in my mind.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I have always wanted to write and have lots of ideas buzzing around in my head. But somehow life just seemed to get in the way. But as I hit a particular birthday I decided to stop procrastinating and get on with it.
I spent a year writing to agents who seem to insist on such a ridiculous amount of theater just to be allowed to submit a manuscript that I gave up and decided to do it on my own.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords is new for us so watch this space!
What do your fans mean to you?
Everything, without people who enjoy your writing and engage with it what's the point? I submitted my book to a young persons book club and was thrilled when one of the students told me the ending made her cry.
What are you working on next?
I am halfway through my next novel which may be called 'School Creature'. An action adventure story set in a remote and very elite private school. The very beautiful (fictional) PM's daughter attends and Gus, our protagonist, has a bit of a thing for her.
But there are some strange & sinister disappearances and other odd goings on that could bring down the English Government!
Who are your favorite authors?
There are loads, off the top of my head: Neil Gaiman, Ben Aaronovitch, Patrick Ness and Amy Tan
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I run a small business, Animated Youth, we work with young people on film, animation and technology projects. That keeps me busy and I also teach.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes I was in the first year at secondary school. I wrote a story about a tiny alien who had been sent to earth to save his planet from being destroyed by a rocket launch. The planet was so small that the scientist didn't know it was there. The alien was going to sacrifice himself by being breathed in by the only scientist who had the launch code.
Reading this back I can see I must have been a strange child!
What is your writing process?
I start with mind maps and then I make a longhand plan of the story. Then I write (in longhand again) the basic plot and then tidy it up on the computer.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Yes, again at school. It was a story about a burglar who broke into a remote house. The owner confronted him and the burglar killed him. From then on the burglar was followed about by two red footprints that got closer and closer until they caught up with him and the inevitable happened. I think the burglar dies of fright. I was only eleven at the time and it frightened me to death, the fact that I can still remember it all these years later shows what an impact it had. My English teacher, Mr Cooper, thought it was funny.
How do you approach cover design?
I gave a description of what I wanted to a professional illustrator (Amit Tayal) who designed two fabulous scenes for me. I found having the illustrations made the project more real. I also had a 3D print of Freya made. She sits on my desk and bosses me about.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
The Time Travellers Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. The book was much better than the film. When I finished the book I wished I hadn't read it so I could read it again.
What do you read for pleasure?
I always have more than one book on the go, often a fiction and a non fiction, at the moment I am reading 'Head of State' by Andrew Marr and a book on the philosophy of Karl Marx. We have a huge collection of books in the house.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I read on my iPad.
Describe your desk
I have an in tray that is full up with junk or maybe important stuff who knows! My lovely iMac, a section of writing stuff, phone, an old sponge. Ugh where did that come from? On the top of the computer; a selection of vinyl toys including a Damper Baby from Taipei 101 (brought back by my partner) a 3D print of my youngest daughter (obviously not a full size one!). A 3D print of Freya a character in the story.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.