Yes, I was only 5 years old, and it was called THE ADVENTURES OF TWO IN THE SUNSET. It was about a day out with my big sister Diane and how we thought we saw a sea monster! My second story, written only a few months later, was about Cleopatra; my teacher was amazed that such a young kid was writing about adults and including death scenes and so on!
What is your writing process?
I am not a quick writer, I just have to make myself do a bit each day. If a character really leaps to life I am off like a shor, though.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I don't, but I was always intrigued with faerytales--not the maudlin bowdlerised ones but the darker, eerier versions, the Snow White where the Hunter was going to cut out her heart and the Red Riding Hood where granny stayed eaten! The first story that really had a huge impact on me was THE LORD OF THE RINGS. I read it when I was eleven.
How do you approach cover design?
My two indie books have covers by Dublin artist Frances Quinn. I wanted someone who I could give direct info to on what bronze age people would be wearing. I am not keen on many photoshopped covers, preferring real art...and I was terrified I might end up with a cover that depicted shaggy cavemen or something else totally inappropriate. And if the covers had just shown Stonehenge, they might have been mistaken for non-fiction
What are your five favorite books, and why?
THE LORD OF THE RINGS- To me, this book is more than a fantasy; it shones with an inner light. Superb world building and I love his use of linguistic knowledge to create languages for his different peoples. Stunning visual imagery throughout--Middle Earth is REAL. THE HOBBIT-similar to LOTR but on a lighter note. THE MOON OF GOMRATH by Alan Garner. Beautiful language, a deep knowledge of that land and its mythic qualities THE DARK IS RISING by Susan Cooper. Arthurian myth and folklore, again that love of the Land ands its deep legends coming through THE SUNNE IN SPLENDOUR by Sharon Penman. Superbly researched histotical about the maligned Richard III
What do you read for pleasure?
Lots of things on Richard III at the moment--both fiction and non-fiction. Finding him has really opened a new world for me, though I have always had an interest in medieval times I also read other historicals set in medieval or earlier times, some fantasy, and archaeology/anthropology books
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Good old print books, but like my kindle too
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Social media-twitter,facebook. But really my best sales are from face to face events in and around my hometown!
Describe your desk
Full of books and papers!
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Victoria, Canada. This is an interesting question--when I started to write I always had stories set in different locations, usually fantasy versions of the British Isles. I had a great NEED for castles and countryside. The history, the layer upon layer of time, fascinated me and drew me in; perhaps it is a dna thing, blood thicker than water, drawn to your roots. In 1992 I actually made the 'big move' to the UK and have been there ever since. I do have a forthcoming YA dystopian fantasy which is coming out later this year and which, for the first time, has a modern (ish) North American setting, based on my old hometown. It's called QUEST FOR THE ROSE and will be out from Koru books
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