Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a small cotton town in Lancashire, UK. Most of the people I knew were hard working, no nonsense people who spoke their mind. We wouldn't use a thousand words when just a few would convey what we had to say. My writing style is concise and to the point
When did you first start writing?
I have written for my own enjoyment at different times in my life, ever since my school days. The first significant piece of writing was my MSc thesis, written in 1971, and most of the writing I've done since then until recent times has been business related; reports, business plans, marketing materials. Only now, when I'm semi-retired and have time to do more of what I want to do, as opposed to what I have to do, have I turned to writing for publication.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Mine is a business book. Based on my experiences of running several small businesses and ten years working as a business broker, my book is a practical guide for owners who want to prepare their business for investment or for sale.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I believe that what I offer is advice that can significantly increase the value of a business and so make it easier for that business to attract funding for growth and/or enable the owner to extract more value at exit. In conversation with traditional publishers it became apparent that they didn't feel the market for such a book was big enough to justify them publishing. This despite the fact that at any one time there are around 50,000 businesses for sale in the UK alone, and a similar number of companies seeking investment in one form or another. Most of the companies for sale are ill prepared and so will either not sell, or will sell for much less than the owner's aspirations. Similarly many companies that need investment won't get invested because they haven't prepared themselves and their presentations properly. I felt it was important for me to get my message out there and so turned to indie publishing. I have two more books part written and believe that indie publishing will be the best route to market for both.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
The Smashwords model is easy to understand and to use, and there's lots of good advice about promoting one's books. I used people on Mark's List to format my book and to design the cover. It made it quick and easy and fool proof.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I've always found it easier to express myself in writing than with the spoken word. I love the thought processes involved in constructing sentences that accurately convey what I'm trying to say.
What do your fans mean to you?
I've had a fairly successful career, so I get great satisfaction in now using my experience to benefit others.
What are you working on next?
I have the outlines of two books. One will be a very short work, telling people at the start and earlier stages of their careers the useful stuff that their teachers and employers are very unlikely to tell them, but which I wish I'd known when I was starting out. The second will be a collection of anecdotes; short stories about the people I've met and the amusing things they've done and said.
Who are your favorite authors?
George Orwell is the stand out author for me. Jack Kerouac and William Faulkner were influences in my formative years. Over time I've had any number of business books recommended to me but the writer whose work I found most useful was John Fenton; a self-made millionaire, so well worth listening to.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Making a difference in peoples' lives
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
When I'm not working on my business I enjoy being with my wife, walking our dogs, gardening, and keeping up with current affairs.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.