It hasn't yet, but I hope it will. I have had eight novels published in the mainstream, traditional way. But as a horror author I find it hard to find markets for short stories, which I like writing. I think Smashwords is an ideal way to by-pass the traditional model and self-publish short fiction - which is why my first Smashwords book is The Trees and Other Stories.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Writing is a job for me. I love doing it and I count myself lucky that I am able to do, as a job, something I love. How many working people can honestly say they love their job? I write every day. I treat it as work. I get to my desk in the morning and do a day's work. So really the greatest joy of writing for me is writing.
What do your fans mean to you?
Readers, fans, supporters, they mean everything. Without them, writers are nothing. Some people say, "I write for myself, I don't care if no one reads my work." That's nonsense. Humans are storytellers. And storytellers tell stories - to other humans. I love interacting with my readers, and I do so on Twitter. It makes me very happy when a reader says, "I loved your book."
What are you working on next?
Always working something. Working on a novel, in fact.
Who are your favorite authors?
Michael Connolly, Elmore Leonard, Sjowall and Wahloo (the original Nordic Noir writers), Clive Barker, Jo Nesbo.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I spend time with my wife, we have two dogs, we live in a lovely part of the UK, so we have nice times. Other hobbies include going to the gym and reading about religion (although I am an atheist; I'm just fascinated particularly by the history of the New Testament). I like watching films and TV, especially Game Of Thrones and The Newsroom with the brilliant Jeff Daniels.
What is your writing process?
On a novel, I spend two weeks on a synopsis. Then I write the first draft very quickly, not stopping to correct, not worrying about getting things wrong, aiming for about 10,000 words a week. It's done in 8-10 weeks. Then I spend about 8-10 weeks on the second draft, really cleaning up the terrible looking first draft. Then it's a few weeks on draft three, then a couple on draft four. This is how I wrote two books a year for my publisher Snowbooks.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Not the first, but the novel that made me want to write was Stephen King's Salem's Lot. It must have triggered my creative nature.
How do you approach cover design?
I enjoy design. I used to be a journalist, and I worked on the design side. I have a lot of experience working with images and fonts. The image must convey the nature of the book and have impact. Someone said fonts are the clothes words wear, so they must do the same as a photo in so many way. I used a brilliant program called Gimp to design the cover to The Trees.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have a Kindle, but not by choice: I inherited it.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Up to now publishers have always done the marketing for me, so I'm new to it. Twitter is useful, but if anyone's got any tips, please let me know.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.