I first started to write seriously when I was about sixteen. Then it was extension to films I'd seen. I remember writing further adventures of the marines in Aliens. I wish I still had that, it was crappy but great fun.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I love being in control of the prices of my work and getting it out there so people can read it instead of it being stuck in a bargain bin at the back of a bookshop. Also it sounds a bit exotic when people ask me what I do for a living - I'm also a nurse. "I'm a nurse and an indie author." "Oh, what's that?" "Someone who looks after people in hospital." Ha ha.
Who are your favorite authors?
I read quite an eclectic array of books. I love science fiction from authors like Arthur C Clarke and Peter F Hamilton. I'm also a big reader of fun adventure books by James Rollins, Matthew Reilly and the brilliant Clive Cussler. But recently I have got into historical fiction novels by C J Sansom and Matthew Pearl. I'd never say I read too much, no one can do that, but I will read and have read anything. Once, while on holiday, I read all the books I'd brought with me and I couldn't find an open bookstore so I read the Egyptian Yellow Pages (Luxor edition) - riveting and engaging, a real page turner, I recommend it to all the residents of Luxor.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Rochdale, Lancashire in the North-west of England. Although I thought the town was grubby and boring as a child I grew to appreciate it when I grew up. I also lived in Liverpool and now I live in County Mayo in Ireland, but I miss Rochdale so that's why I write about it. I just think it's a magical, amusing, often dark kind of place. If you ever get the chance go and visit it, but please don't stay too long.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My wife. My kids. My job. The nagging pain in my back.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
My fifth favourite is Under the Dome by Stephen King. I honestly thought that I would never read a better book when I was reading this. The characterisations and intricate plotting is pure King. I loved it. Number four is actually a joint favourite: Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith and The Kite Runner by Khalid Hosseini. Although different choices, I couldn't separate them. Child 44 is a gripping story of a serial killer in Stalinist Russia and the detective on his trail. The Kite Runner is about the rite of a man who needs to forgive himself for a mistake from his past in pre-war Afghanistan. Three is The World According to Garp by John Irving. A funny, moving and erudite fictional biography of TS Garp. The writing is perfection. My second favourite is The Passage by Justin Cronin. A horror filled look at a shocking end of the world by 'rip off your head and spit down your neck' vampires. I ate every single word by this literary god. It's followed by The Twelve and I'm still awaiting for the third installment though. My super favourite of all time is The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty. It's a genius investigation into neurology and religious fanaticism, or it's a brilliant horror. Either way it's well written and nervy and exciting. A must read.
What's your inspiration?
When I wrote NRPD I started by looking at my love of the old detective shows from the seventies and eighties, such as Cagney and Lacey, Magnum PI and Hill Street Blues. I wanted to re-create the feel of good cops after bad guys, especially with that buddy/ partner relationship between the two main characters. I hope I achieved this with Nugus Bottomley and Padraic Evans, the two detectives in my book. I also added a touch of science fiction and Monty Python. It's probably a bit Douglas Adams meets The Streets of San Francisco (I hope).
Describe your desk
I don't have one. I constantly walk around with folders and papers under my arm and pencils in my pocket. My desk is an empty space where I can't be disturbed.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I'm currently working on a sequel to NRPD, called - wait for it - NRPD 2. The name will change. As yet the story is a deeper look at Maurice, the time traveling dead detective (it sounds better in the book). It takes off where the first one finishes, even though the first one can be read as a single book. Further information will be available soon. I'm also in the middle of a short story anthology based in a fictional Mid-American town that seems to draw horror and wicked crimes. The stories include A Small Town Robbery - a bank heist that goes wrong, The Boatman - a quick look at the end of the world, and Dreamer - a serial killer who invades our dreams. More to follow.
What is your writing process?
I tend to immerse myself into a story forgoing all other considerations until I've finished (according to my wife). I can be fickle though. I find myself marketing and not writing, then writing and not marketing. Hopefully this interview will mark the end of my current marketing spree and I'll be back to writing this very eve!
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