I think, like any design it must have relevance, however vague but a relevance to the theme of the novel is an imperative for me. Being an old school vinyl record fan I have always looked for attractive covers with great art work. I believe that it is just as applicable to works of fiction. I love browsing bookshops and record shops, to view the art and sometimes surprise myself with what's inside. A good cover design should make you turn the book over read the synopsis and then turn it back to view the art again.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
5 only: Wow, OK. Here goes:
'Jitterbug Perfume' by Tom Robbins: A book about smell and transcendence. A wonderful story .
'Cities of the Red Night' by William Burroughs: This is a brilliant primer into the head of Burroughs, if you like delicious prose and mad dark worlds, with Pirates, then this is for you. I was fortunate enough to be in Brixton Academy, England, in 1982 and heard the charismatic man read sections of this book, so it holds a very special place in litreture for me.
'Hard-Boiled Wonderland' by Haruki Murakami: My favourite Murakami book, probably because of the Unicorns and strange dream readings that intertwine with a detective story and the end of the World.
'Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy' by Douglas Adams: Well, if you don't know this book then....I was going to say, you've been living on another planet.....but maybe you've just been here. I like books that make me laugh and when I first read this book it made me roar.
'The Final Testament' by James Fey: Somethings are so unbelievable that we could not comprehend them even if confronted by them directly. And Messiah's are at the top of the list in our disillusioned world. Made me laugh and ultimately cry as so much in our world does.
What do you read for pleasure?
Historical Non-Fiction, because I am really interested in where we have come from and Sci-fi because I'd like to know where we are going.
Graphic Novels with great stories and amazing artwork like: 'Lucifer' by Mike Carey. 'Y' the last man by Pia Guerra. 'Fell' by Ben Templesmith.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have a Kindle because it was bought for me and great for reading on the beach, and my Mac which pretty much contains my whole life and travels everywhere with me.
Describe your desk
Deliciously cluttered with "my' stuff. My laptop and Wacom tablet in the centre. On the right; pens, black fine tipped. Moleskin notebooks both lined and plain, I always carry one of these. On the left is my watch, mobile and wallet. Behind the screen is a tray full of bills and stuff that I occasionally, reluctantly, have to deal with.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I have never grown up. My formative years were spent in England in the 1960's and 70's. I was a punk in 1977 went to Art school in the 80's, clubbed in London in the 90's. I have always been a bit of a loner, living inside my head and watching stranger than fiction stuff happen around me. I have hundreds of notebooks stuffed with scrawled images and dire prose starting from my early teens that have helped me develop something of a style that I'm still working on.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I have to hold down a very demanding job that sometimes allows me time to write. I found that I was spending an inordinate amount of my valuable time trying to get published. As I work all around the world and have no connections in the publishing world I could see that there was no future in the post and wait method. I am a creative and have never been very good at the hard sell but I figured that it's better to have a chance to promote my work rather than it just going from the post box to someones rubbish bin.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I would love to say escapism but it is more than that. It is defining to myself, the beauty and the tragedy that I see and feel around me. I am happy if I have written just one line a day and can be exhausted if I write a few pages, but when it flows, there is nothing like it. I often look back at my work and think, did that really come from me? I guess the greatest joy then is the unexpected results.
What do your fans mean to you?
If I had any fans they would mean the world to me. I would send them flowers, buy them birthday cakes and visit them on holidays with gifts and tasty treats. Well at least that would be my intention, could possibly work for one or two, lets see how it goes.
What are you working on next?
A really crazy Sci-fi. It's ultimately a love story that has mutant lizards, a giant dog man a couple of psychotic brothers an old bag lady, amongst other characters. Actually this was my first book but I wasn't happy with the edit. It should be out very soon.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.