I must start with Agatha Christie because she was my first love. I read all her books when I was still at school. She lived about a mile away from me in this huge house and we used to go carol singing there at Christmas when we were kids hoping to see her. We never did, but I used to think it was really cool that such a great writer actually lived there.
Catherine Cookson is an absolute legend. She brought to life a period and a part of England with such vivid realism. She created characters I cared about, characters that moved me and made me feel involved in the story. I love the way her dialogue flows and the way her stories make you forget that you are reading because you are so engrossed in the story.
Stephen King has also been a massive influence. I’d advise anyone who wants to write to study his books. He is the best. I love the way his characters instantly come to life. Under the Dome has a huge cast, but every character is written vividly and with wit. I didn’t like the television adaptation, but the novel was nine hundred or so pages of fictional heaven for me.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I've always enjoyed writing and I've sold some short stories to magazines years ago. After overcoming a difficult time in my life and raising 2 daughters as a single parent, writing began to appear in my life again. I saw that more and more people were trying self-publishing and having some success. I looked into the process and thought that it would give me an outlet for the stories that had been developing in my head for so long.
How do you approach cover design?
I did a lot of research for the cover design for The Revelation Room. I looked at other books in the same genres/categories I write in to see what colours and fonts were popular and where best-sellers placed the title and their name on their covers. I then thought about the main concepts of the book and what I thought were the most interesting. After much thought I drew an image of the picture in my head, found a great designer (The Cover Collection) and showed them what I'd drawn. A few days later I had 4 custom drafts sent to me to choose from, and the one I chose was the one I thought would have the most impact on readers.
What are you working on next?
I'm working on the 2nd Ben Whittle Investigation (as yet untitled) and trying to keep all the characters from the story happy in my head!
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