Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The first book I ever really enjoyed reading was Lord of the Rings. Fresh out of school I was a student nurse at the time and doing my stint of night duty on a quiet ward. I knew my father had some sci-fi stories in his head but making radio programs became his creative outlet. Neither of my parents have an academic background but they are both passionate learners. They instilled in me a belief that if you really wanted to do something then you could find out how, find people who could show you and have a go. I started writing a story on a bit of notepad. I'm not even sure now what happened to it. It never went any further but it was probably for the best. I knew nothing of the craft of writing at the time. It was my partner who encouraged me to follow my dreams. Firstly to do some open learning to make up for the deficiencies in my schooling. Having done his schooling before it got 'modernized' he taught me my first bits of grammar along with mathematics and basic science. He showed me ways of learning abstract stuff that my non-linear mind could make sense of. Writing for a pagan newsletter got me a few short stories published but then life sidetracked me for a bit. My career gave me an opportunity to learn first HTML then the finer points of managing the work's website. I got involved in an initiative to inspire teachers to the possibilities of elearning, including the use of social media. Life took yet another turn when in 2012, instead of the trip around outback Queensland we had planned our vehicle died in a big way before we could leave. Left with time on my hands, in the depths of winter, I thought again of writing. I had a story nagging at me so I thrashed it on to paper, found a couple of friends to help edit it and then went about learning how to publish my first ebook. And yes Lord of the Rings, despite the movie version which I hadn't liked, must have still been influencing me. So I ended up creating a fantasy world of immortals, magic and battles against evil. The other big influence on me has been all the romance and erotic books I've read. I found the books those authors wrote about how they did their craft. They have been my guide and inspiration.
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How do you approach cover design?
Both my partner and I worked for a time as cameramen. Photography was in the blood. My partner has a better eye for detail and better ideas about what might work to tell the story of the book in a picture so I usually leave the artwork to him. He's pretty damn good with the software editing too. The final version of the artwork goes through an online cover creator.