I have several new books coming out this year. The first one is a sequel to The Black Fairy and The Dragonfly, then there is Children of Mars and another sequel, this time to Star Child and if I still have time, my epic fantasy novel, The Four Edged Sword. I have also entered into the Reader’s Favorite Author competition to win a major prize and a chance to have my book made into a TV series of Film.
When and why did you begin writing?
Writing or telling stories has always been in my blood. It was the one thing I was good at in school. But I didn’t really take it seriously until a few years ago when I decided that if I was ever going to be successful, I had to finish one project, then start the next. Now I have sixteen books, with more on the way.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I believe that a writer is someone who practices the art of writing on a daily basis. In that respect, because I write just about every single day, that makes me a writer. However, I couldn’t really say with certainty when I became a “writer”. I think either it’s in your blood or it’s not.
What inspired you to write your first book?
My first real book was The Misadventures of Red Bear. It was inspired by experiences I had growing up in a large family and feeling left out, like I did not belong. I based my character on my own personality. Red Bear himself is a sweet, sincere, dear little fellow, but he is unsure of his own abilities. His one true strength is that he never says no when others ask him for help.
Do you have a special writing style?
No. I try to write in the style dictated by the genre and readership. For example, I use a standard rhyming scheme for my children’s books, but for my junior novels I use a classic style of writing reminiscent of some of the older literature. However, my science fiction and fantasy novels for older readers has a different style again, with much more detailed narrative and more thoughtful meaning within the narrative. I try to treat each new book as its own unique thing and adapt my writing style to suit. If I have a style it is something that is natural, rather than forced. I write on instinct and let the story flow straight from me, usually without any pre-thought or planning, except for brief chapter notes at the beginning of each chapter. Even then I change them (notes) as I write.
How do you come up with your titles?
My titles are usually the second thing I do and I try to keep the title that I am inspired to use if I can. But then I usually do some research to make sure someone else doesn’t already have the same title. My titles are quite classic in the respect that I tend to use “The” at the beginning, as in The Black Fairy. But this is not always the case. A few of my books are more modern in title style. As with the story, I try to make my title match the genre and themes and style of my book. I then find a unique font which enhances the title. Each one of my books has its own unique look and the font is important to that.
Is there a message in your novels?
All of my books, almost without exception, have a message embedded in them. This is quite conscious on my part, though I do not set out to have a message. It seems to happen on its own. I think if you write from the heart, from deeply personal experiences, there is always going to be a message, by default in your work.
Are the experiences of your characters based on people you know?
Definitely. As a teacher and one of nine children myself, I have been exposed to the very best and worst behavior and I am always observing and watching and listening and conversations and personalities invariably turn up in my stories. But they are character types, rather than copies of real people. Otherwise they would seem too contrived.
Which author do you consider a mentor?
Probably Arthur C Clarke stands out for his realistic approach to writing and the incredible and tangible way he makes space seem real. Tolkien for the effortless way he interweaves the social conscience of the world into the narrative.
What are your current projects?
Children of Mars is a Sci-fi novel for Young Adults and older readers and centers around nine children aged between four and seventeen and how they cope and survive in a base on Mars after their parents go missing and are presumed dead. Also, the sequel to The Black Fairy and The Dragonfly, Escape From The Dark Queen, which I am delighted to say is almost finished.
Do you see writing as a career?
Absolutely yes. At least, if at all possible. I do work. I am a Relief Teacher. It helps to pay the bills and I enjoy it, but I want to write. It is what I was born to do. I believe that with all sincerity. The more books I release, the more I know it in my heart.
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Share this exciting adventure with Red Bear as he flies around the world in his red plane. Learn about strange new places as you read the adventures of The Red Bearon. Please note: Words are embedded in images so the word count is much more than it says in the description.