Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I can't remember the exact first story I ever read, but I know it was an Anthony Brown picture book when I was a very small child. Anthony Brown is known for his bizarre and intriguing illustrations, and I wonder if this had an impact on my imagination growing up.
How do you approach cover design?
I approach my friend Francesca Spencer to interpret and illustrate my stories, she never fails to impress, always capturing the slightly cartoonish but nightmarish style which I feel reflects on my work perfectly.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
I really couldn't pick my five favourite books, partly because a lot of my favourites are parts of series' and I can't pick just one, and partly because I have read so many that I really love. But among them would be Uncle Montague's Tales of Terror by Chris Priestly, which was a big influence on the 'Thirteen' collection of stories that I wrote.
What do you read for pleasure?
Anything intriguing enough. I'm not select in my genre, so long as it's interesting enough to keep me reading, it will be a pleasurable experience.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
At the moment, I'm very new to it, but I've been getting help, and social media appears to be a powerful tool.
Describe your desk
I don't write on a desk, but the desk I do have I daren't touch as it's covered in so much junk I shudder to imagine what's under there.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I actually spent a significant portion of my life growing up in Dubai, which is imagined by many as a luxurious place to live, and in some ways it is. But I was a painfully shy child with very few friends, who spent most of my time in my room, stewing in my steadily darkening imagination.
When did you first start writing?
What's the story behind your latest book?
Well, the book I'm writing right now is part of the 'Creepy Chronicles of Christmas Leaf' collection, none of which are yet published, but I am on the fourth one at the moment, and it centres on an alcoholic girl named Evie going on a reality talk show to try and clear her name after being accused of stealing, only to notice a load of robotic phantoms around her, people seeming to change their personalities at a moment's notice, her long-estranged mother acting like a completely different person, and, worst of all for her, a ban on alcohol in the premises she's staying in.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Other people getting a thrill from things I've created and hurrying me to write more. That is a most gratifying feeling.
What do your fans mean to you?
I'm not the type to keep my work to myself, so without my readers, it's very unlikely I'd be writing at all.
What are you working on next?
Next will be the fifth book in the Creepy Chronicles series, which will be a murder mystery set at the school Christmas works at.
Who are your favorite authors?
Chris Priestley, Darren Shan, Lemony Snicket, Paul Jennings, plenty of others.
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