Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a incredibly small village called Langley Burrell, located near Chippenham, Wiltshire. It's incredibly peaceful, even though a plastics factory and main road are literally a quarter-mile away - you don't notice it, which is the odd thing. What I would say influenced me most, when I grew up there, was the country lanes just down the road. Very few people walk or drive there. Down there lies a train bridge, which crosses the line that leads between London and Bristol. When I first started writing my first book, I often took a stroll down to this train bridge in the morning. Usually before sunrise, so I could just sit there, think, and watch the clouds change colours as I'm doing so. You know, going over things in your head. Why am I writing. Shall I go back to college. How will I end the book. Stuff like that.
When did you first start writing?
Properly, when I was... nineteen? Maybe twenty. Been a while now! Probably nineteen.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I assume the latest one I've published, as opposed to the one I am currently writing in my series? Well, I don't want to give much away in the term of the story, or it would undermine the series if you haven't read the first volume (or more). So, basically, I spent my time (when I was working full time) during night shifts in writing Echo, Vol. III - but apart from that...
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I wanted to publish my own books without having to go through the expense of an agent that would promote my books (on top of the costs associated with proofing and editors - which I don't pay for, either). Back when I started writing in 2004, I had no idea how the publishing industry worked, aside from sending off your manuscripts to these big named publishing houses - for that small 0.001% chance that they'd consider your book for publication.
By the time I almost finished by first book (2006), my mother told me of a company called Lulu - a company dedicated to self-publishing. This excited me. However, due to being highly Dyslexic, and due to low funds and knowing I needed my book to be proofed and edited, it took me a further 3 years until I realized my dream. Once the constraints were lifted, that was it, I was on my way. I have only published 3 books in my series (with my 4th coming out very soon), yet it has taken me 8 years to reach this far.
My main motivation above all?
I wanted to share my adventure. I wanted to share a piece of my world, my mind, with others.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Since Lulu, I have learned of many new platforms as time's gone by. Smashwords is an amazing platform, and although it is noway near as huge as Amazon, Mark Coker certainly knows his success and how to share it - which means he and Smashwords has my complete respect. And, unlike some other self-publishing platforms out there, Smashwords really goes all out when trying to help you for free, and to help build your writing up, and your success.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Being able to share my thoughts and vision with those who like my series, and are who on the same wave-length.
What do your fans mean to you?
Everything! When I see a five star review by them, I think to myself "that's amazing, I've really contributed to this person's imagination". I'm feel really, really honored by those that love my works - I write for them, they spur me on with their words of kindness and love.
What are you working on next?
The fourth book in my series! Then the 5th, 6th and 7th (the finale).
Who are your favorite authors?
Funny thing is... and I know many of you won't believe this, but I don't really have any. However, I have complete respect and love for people like Stephen King and Tolkien (both have movies of their books, and all are totally awesome). King is down to earth, and unlike many writers who're totally stuck up their ass and think they know everything about the profession, he is realistic and takes a laid-back approach to writing, and is extremely helpful when doing so (he goes into some length in his book "On Writing") - an extremely rare trait - this man has my undivided respect.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I hate getting out of bed... I inspire to sleep as much as I can now that I'm a father... or take advantage of naps!
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Computer gaming, reading friends books, thinking, feeding my beautiful daughter, taking her out for walks, feeding her some more, changing nappies...
How some writers can pump out a book every month... well, they obviously have plenty of time on their hands (such as hiring someone else to clean their home, tend their plants, mow their lawn, etc.).
Seriously though, I am lucky if I have ANY spare time!
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.