Interview with Stewart Bruce

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in several places due to my father being in the R.A.F. I was born in Lincolnshire, moved to Singapore, back to Lincolnshire and ended up in South Wales. By the time I was eight I think I had lived in eight different houses.
I'm never sure about my nationality other than being British. I was born in England, grew up in Wales, my dad was Scottish, my mum is from Derby and her dad was Welsh. I love Wales and the Welsh culture and I love Scotland. If you asked me which rugby team I support it would have to be Wales every time but I love wearing my kilt at any opportunity!
How does this influence my writing? Well, I try to bring regional accents into my books with characters like Dai, Mark and Michelle. Accents was something I became aware of very early in my life. I remember being five or six and wondering why the kids in the village, where we had moved to, all spoke differently to me. Add to that the Welsh, Scottish, Derby (my mother) and North Yorkshire connection and you have a pot of different dialects.
When did you first start writing and why?
2011 at the age of 47. I've been thinking about the story of Beyond Uranus for 10 years but never bothered doing anything about it. My wife has an English degree and writes beautifully and I guess she inspired me to start. Once I started I found it the ultimate escapism. Teaching can be very stressful especially if you teach in a school that has been in special measures and is always on the brink of a government inspection. Writing completely removes all the stress of teaching and is a great way to relax. I always write for about an hour before going to bed and I sleep very well regardless of the events of the day.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Beyond Uranus is the first book of a trilogy. However, once the Uranus trilogy has finished I am going to continue with the characters in further books but drop the name Uranus. What's the story of my latest book? Part 2, The RIngs of Uranus, is now complete so I guess the latest book will be book 3, Inside Uranus. The book is about Doctor D'Eath's attempt to rule the galaxy, Roy trying to find Zak Wright and the final clash between Doctor D'Eath and Roy. Along the way there will be the usual stupid shenanigans as the characters get into some hilarious situations. As I write this the book has been finished and we, Nigel Moreland and I, are busy editing it to iron out mistakes. Inside Uranus has been the most enjoyable book I've written so for because it's turned out to be so funny and is chocked full of stories and adventure.

Book 4 has the seeds already planted and so does book 5 but they will have to wait. Book 4 and 5 will use the same characters but the name Uranus will be dropped so that it remains a trilogy.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
When I first started writing I did it for fun. There was never any intention of doing anything with my work and I never even considered publishing in any format. However, when I finished my first book I decided to do something with it. Publishing as an ebook seemed the best route for me and probably the only route for me. It's very easy, it's free and the only costs is your time.

I would love to get my work into a traditional book form but there are a lot of negatives like; you need an agent, you lose a lot of artistic control and royalties are appalling. I have had music published under the names of Roy McCormack and Zak Wright so I know royalties are very small compared to self publishing as an indie author.

Ultimately, I enjoy writing my books and I know my writing partner, Nigel Moorland, gets a lot of pleasure editing my work.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I discovered Smashwords after publishing on Amazon and I wish I knew about Smashwords first. This is a fantastic site. Authors reviewing authors, free books, short books, epic books and every style you can think of. This site is the jewel amongst the corporate mud hole of the internet.
Who are your favorite authors?
Here are my favourites:

Asimov, E.E Doc. Smith, Grant and Naylor, Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adams, Tom Sharp and Robert Rankin.

Science fiction and comedy. Who'd have guessed?
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I don't spent a massive amount of time writing so there are lots of things that keep me occupied. My job, having 6 kids, writing music, DIY, having 6 kids, playing the XBOX or PS3, having 6 kids, going for walks and mending items that the 6 kids break. Did I mention I have 6 kids?
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I love ebooks and I am a total convert to ebooks. Here's the problem I use to face:

I would walk into a book shop and go to a section like Science Fiction or Humour. My problem is - which book would I like reading? Do I go by the title? Do I go by the cover art? Do I read the description on the back of the book? Have I got enough time to read all the descriptions? What is the book like? Will I enjoy it? Then I would leave the shop because it's impossible to decide.

The ebook experience - You don't need to pull out a book to read the description because it's in front of you on the website and there are reviews.

What is the book about and what are the reviews like. That's all I need to know.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes! I must have been about 5 years old. I wrote a story about an airplane battle and I had just discovered the word 'and'. My teacher gave me a bollocking because it went like this...

The planes all flew in the sky. The red plane shot at the the blue plane and the blue plane shot at the black plane and the blue plane got shot by the green plane and the green plane shot the biplane and the biplane crashed and the yellow plane shot the green plane and the green plane blew up and the yellow plane won and the pilot was good and brave and he got a medal and.

What a story! I even remember drawing the picture next to the story with all the planes shooting each other. I didn't think I deserved a telling off for such a great story and I think it's affected me to this day as I've never written a plane battle since.
What is your writing process?
I start by writing a plan.
The plan then gets written up in full length.
Each chapter is then sent to my writing partner, Nigel, who turns my cack handed writing into something more readable.

I need a writing partner because I have lots of ideas but very little finesse. Nigel is brilliant at spotting errors, adding in more humour and expanding story lines. For book 3, Inside Uranus, Nigel will have to be co-author because of the amount of input he has.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Yes! And that's because I was so old!

I'll be honest and admit that I didn't read as a child. I didn't read because I was so bad at reading. I remember being in secondary school and dreading being asked to read out loud because I was so bad at reading. It was embarrassing because I was so bad. Each year the English department would release a book list with suggested books that we should read and I would read none of them, or any other books for that matter, because I was so bad at reading.

And then one day I started reading a book called....

Have Spacesuit - Will Travel by Heinlein.

It was the first book I ever read and I was hooked. From that point on I started reading but only read science fiction. I was obsessed. I remember driving my English teachers crazy because every essay they set, no matter what the subject, I would turn into a science fiction story. "What did you do this summer?" Nothing much, just hung about with my mates and then one morning I woke up and a flying saucer has landed in my back garden...
Published 2014-02-20.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Mozart 42
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 82,650. Language: British English. Published: June 14, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Action, Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
Richard Charles Darcy is taken from his mundane life into a melting pot of secrets, death and a mystery he needs to solve. What he doesn't realise is that there are people who want him and some of them want him dead. The chase is on. Will he be able to solve the mystery before he meets his demise?
The Androids of Thor's Helmet
Series: The Last Galactic War Trilogy. Price: $4.61 USD. Words: 89,090. Language: British English. Published: June 8, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » General, Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
Roy and the crew are back and they're ready for another bonkers mission. Androids have infested the station but where have they come from? To find the answer the crew of The Artois embark on another series of crazy space adventures.
Inside Uranus
Series: The Uranus Trilogy, Book 3. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 106,840. Language: English. Published: April 19, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » General, Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
(4.00 from 1 review)
The hilarious conclusion to an epic story. All your questions are answered in this massively funny space romp. It's a crazy universe out there so hold on to your space helmets, make sure your oxygen tanks are full and be prepared to fill your Maximum Absorption Garment!
The Rings of Uranus
Series: The Uranus Trilogy, Book 2. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 80,280. Language: English. Published: September 22, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » General, Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
(4.50 from 2 reviews)
The hilarious sequel to Beyond Uranus. After discovering that there may be a possibility that his father is still alive Roy sets out to discover the truth. Is he still alive? What happened to Doctor D'Eath? Who is the worst rock band in the Galaxy? Find out the answers to all these questions and more in The Rings of Uranus.
Beyond Uranus
Series: The Uranus Trilogy, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 85,040. Language: British English. Published: July 8, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » General, Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
(4.29 from 7 reviews)
Roy is taken from his boring job and launched into a galaxy of adventure. What should be a simple job of shunting space freighters turns into a hilarious cosmic adventure where Roy uncovers the truth about his past. A comedy space romp!