When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Reading. I read a lot of science-fiction/fantasy as well as spiritual and self-help books. I'm a one for academic tomes too.
What do your fans mean to you?
Everything. Anyone who pays me the compliment of buying my work is special.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I wrote a very short story called "Tommy the Tortoise" back in the 70s, when I was a child. I drew lots of pictures for it too. We had a tortoise called Fritz (a German helmet, apparently). I used to love watching him eat lettuce as I loved that tiny pink tongue!
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
In truth, I search the lists on Amazon first, then I hunt around other sites.
What is your writing process?
I have a strict routine and have a 'day plan'. Each hour is blocked out for different tasks. My writing process includes research and promotion too. I have an hour and within that hour, I divide it into ten minute blocks. It's all very logical for a creative process, but it keeps me on plan as, if I didn't have it, my mind would wander aimlessly with a tendency to dream and stare out the window.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Anna Sewell's Black Beauty. It touched me to the core. I bawled my eyes out. It was only later in life that I realised it was a metaphorical story for everyone's life. Simply brilliant!
How do you approach cover design?
I pay others to do them.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
History, particularly medieval, and science-fiction/fantasy. Love the element of exploring other worlds and lives in another time gone by.
What do you read for pleasure?
What? Pleasure? Believe it or not, I can't stop writing. When, for some reason, I'm not writing, then I'm reading about writing. The term 'writer's block' hasn't come across my page since I began.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Ebooks are good in that I can upload thousands of them on my laptop. I confess I haven't got a Kindle.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter. I get to know the audience and to connect with the people. Plus they are good enough to warn me of mistakes/errors that they might see in my ebooks prior to printing them in paperback.
Describe your desk
Very tidy. Specific manila pocket folders for specific projects. I use the Dodo diary too.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
On a council estate in Slough. It helps to keep me grounded. I have quite fond memories of the place. Stoke Poges was just round the corner and me and my siblings used to walk in our willies around the country church yard that Grey's Elegy made famous.
When did you first start writing?
Only God knows that one. Have always written from as far back as I can remember.
What's the story behind your latest book?
It's a memoir about a week I spent in Sicily. Some quite harrowing experiences and in particular one that made me re-evaluate my life, goals and intentions.
What are you working on next?
Two follow-up memoirs, plus a book about promoting your writing which is volume 2 of a set of 3.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Waking up each morning with an idea in my head and watching the words form on the page.
Who are your favorite authors?
JoJo Moyes, Jane Austen, Cheryl Strayed, Nick Hornby, George RR Martin, Tolkien - and loads of writers of psychology books too.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Having an idea in my head for a scene for a character. The urge to get the kettle on and the laptop up and running is great!
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I just cannot stop writing. At one point I did try, but I just couldn't stop all these characters coming into my head. Their stories just have to be told. I've published 12 books now, but I have over 150 ideas and basic plot lines down on paper, ready to be worked on.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
To be honest, Smashwords hasn't provided me with much success - yet. But I have high hopes. I'm working on it.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.