Get down the ideas first, then link them together and ask if they still make sense, do they make a point?
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The first stories that I ever read independently were The Hardy Boys, I quickly got bored of the formula and started sneaking a read of my step- mum's Steven King books. My first was 'Thinner' that he had written under the pseudonym of Richard Bachman; from then on I was hooked.
How do you approach cover design?
I play around with images in Photoshop although Powerpoint is easier to put those components together. My daughter always gets the final say as she's the artist in the family. That was her on the red 'Revengeance' cover by the way.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Tough question, it tends to alter according to what I'm writing. Most recently Larsson's 'Millenium series' (The films are better in Swedish), Chaucer's 'Canterbury Tales', Douglas Adam's 'Hitchiker series', James Clavell's 'Shogun', Doestoevsky's 'Crime and Punishment'. It really depends on my mood at the time.
What do you read for pleasure?
Maybe I misunderstood the last question but the answers are the same.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I prefer a book, I'm kind of old fashioned that way. If you were to twist my arm I'd probably go for a Kobo. Not that I would use it often.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
None of them, seriously I'm not much of a salesman. I like to think that it's because I'm too honest.
Describe your desk
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
The most important stages of my development were split between me being born in Manchester (England). We later moved to South Africa when I was about six. After that I've been in Chorley or there abouts. So I suppose that I'm more of a Lancashire lad really. The impact on my writing I suppose is that I hate injustice, segregation and hatred born of ignorance. As a species we fear the unknown and hide that fear behind violence. The best cure for ignorance is to read and gain knowledge; that in turn helps to cure the fear.
When did you first start writing?
High School, Parklands on my first day. You see we had to do a writing test, it was designed to test our spelling and grammer. We were told to write a story and I panicked, but put together a short ghost story. I was hooked after that. Later on to get out of doing P.E I would be made to write as punishment. The teachers made me write on such topics as : 'Life inside a ping pong ball' and I rose to the challenge and managed the 200 words as I recall. The games teacher actually took it home to read as nobody had managed to complete the challenge before. I believe that he enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My last book 'Revengeance' is about a family coping with the murder of their sibling; it explores the notion of revenge and how far is too far to go for retribution, and at what ultimate cost. The council estate where the mob come from is, I think, atypical and the local crime boss is of the type that you could find in most Manchester pubs. I've made the action scenes highly realistic and worked in a lot of personal conflict. For a short novella its pretty epic really.
My next title is 'Death Row Rejects' a collection of old and new short tales like the ones that many of us have watched on tv. I speak of: The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, Tales from the Darkside and Creepshow. The best part is that there are no vampires, warewolves or ghosts in sight. The synopsis of the tales that I included are quite mind blowing on their own. They link together under a common theme that is alluded to in the title. The collection itself is a thirty year effort because some of those tales were penned back in high school.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The plotline and their resolutions; I'll admit that sometimes i'm writing before the my first coffee in the morning.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
The job market is pretty slow and has been for far too long. As a single parent, the longer that I remained unemployed the harder it came to get back to work. I awoke one morning with an epiphany and I've worked for myself ever since. I am my own boss and best of all, I love what I do.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I spend a lot of time on research and correcting my grammer. i suppose my down time is spent reading and spending time with the kids; which in turn means watching television.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Finishing the project that I'm working on so that I can move on to the backlog of other ideas; at any given time I'm working on eight or so other things.
What are you working on next?
I'm looking to find someone to do the illustrations for 'Of Unicorns & Leprechauns' and for 'Monster Gone'. The illustrators that I know are not confident enough to try. I have been rewriting some of my works into screenplays and I have five others that are on the starting block. As for books the first instalment of my secret project is nearly ready.
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