When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I have two daughters (4 and 7) odd names I know.... I also have two dogs so my time is spent entertaining the four of them. Although my wife and I do love watching box sets. We finished 4400, Dexter and Heroes and are now on season 5 of 24.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
When I first got a kindle I discovered my e-books by reading all the out of print books from the kindle store. When I became an author I started reading the work of other indie authors I have met on the way. The sometimes read recommendations I get from Goodreads as well.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes, I wrote a story when I was about 6 about my pet dog who was called Tam. It was about what he does during the day when there was no one in the house with him.
What is your writing process?
It's as simple as it gets. I need quiet, I need my netbook my notebook and the Tron Legacy soundtrack. I don't make lots of notes but I like having my notebook close by as I'm writing a series at the moment so it helps to check back small details to make sure there are no plot holes.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The first story or 'real book' that I read was called War of the Computers by Granville Wilson. The main character was a boy in a school of the future. I was more pleased with myself actually reading the whole book than with the story itself!
How do you approach cover design?
I give my artist my concept, my idea and then I let them take over. The first cover was drawn by my brother so that was easy as I could just head over to his house to talk about it. The second cover was done by an artist in Egypt so that was a bit more troublesome but he was excellent and the cover speaks for its self. The one thing I insist on is that the hero character on the cover must face away from the reader. My books are for children and I don't want to tell them what their hero looks like, I want them to make up their own mind.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
The Eyes of the Dragon - Stephen King, Simply the best children's book ever written. It is also the book that inspired me to become a writer. Shutter Island - Dennis Lehane. A great story, so much better than the film. I remember reading it at work one day and thinking it would make an amazing movie. A Simple Act of Violence - R J Ellory. Everything Ellory writes is perfect. His style is brilliant, his story weaving is amazing. I could read his books over and over again. The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien - It's a wonderful story and the imagination taken to create it is simply fantastic. The BFG - Roald Dahl - One of my favourite books as a child.
What do you read for pleasure?
I read anything at all. I will give every genre a go. For example my last two books have been The Hunger Games and Bram Stoker Dracula.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have a kindle, I've had it for over 2 years and I love it.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Going out and speaking to people. Whether that is going to schools or book fairs or libraries it doesn't matter. Anywhere that I can talk to my readers face to face has the best effect in my experience.
Describe your desk
I have two. Downstairs it is neat and tidy and there is nothing on it apart from my netbook. Upstairs my desk is covered in many things, from books, to my daughter's clothes!
What's the story behind your latest book?
At the moment I am writing book 3 in The Viking's Apprentice series which has a working title of 'Journey to the Other Side'. That might change though as the title of the other two in the series changed more than once! The series is the story of the adventure of Peter and George two friends from school who spend the beginning of their summer holidays in Campbell's Cove at Peter's Granddad's house. To say there are one or two surprises for the readers is a huge understatement.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.