1. What inspired you to write this book?
Answer: One hot summers evening in 2011, I was watching the sunset and noticed a spider spinning a web. It inspired me to think of faeries and spiritual stuff. So many thoughts were going through my mind that I went in and picked up my tape recorder and recorded notes.
2. Can you tell me about the book?
Answer: Soulfate is a trilogy that I wrote in approximately six weeks and it got to #3. It tells the story of Erasmus, a mystical man with supernatural gifts that he uses to his advantage. However, when he sees the beautiful Shasta in a dream he decides to transport himself to her time frame. Shasta meets the stranger in her tiny village, and her newly adopted stray cat is hostile toward the enigmatic Erasmus, betraying the paranormal essence of her feline companion. Shasta is plunged into a reality where realms warp and meld, and where she is their conquest. Time is not linear and plays foul with every expectation. All is not as it seems.
2. What is your writing process like?
Answer: Oh dear, can I say erratic? Sometimes I will sit for hours just writing if it’s flowing easily. However there have been occasions when I’ve sat looking at a blank screen wondering where it’s going next.
3. Was the character inspired by a real person? If so, who?
Answer: No this character was purely from my imagination.
4. What do you think happened to the characters after the book ended?
Answer: Well I had decided to end it at the completion of the trilogy but my readers wanted more so I’m now writing a prequel set in medieval times which hopefully answers their questions.
5. Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Answer: Sometimes it’s very energizing when it’s flowing but when I come to writing the end I often feel exhausted, but at the same time elated.
6. What are common traps for aspiring writers?
Answer: Um… In my opinion only. Constant repetition of the same words. Also asking for a critique of the story and being reluctant to accept helpful advice, which could perhaps help improve the storyline.
7. What is your writing Kryptonite?
Answer: The only way I can answer this is by saying…. “Sending my manuscript off to the publisher in the hope it won’t be rejected.”
8. Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
Answer: To be honest I try to combine the two if that makes sense. My books are in the genres of both crime and fantasy and I’m lucky in as much as my readers are just happy to read my work.
9. Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
Answer: The trilogy Soulfate and the prequel Merlin (when it’s finished) is the only series I’ve written. I prefer to write stand-alone books.
10. How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
Answer: One non fiction unpublished and two works in progress at the moment.
11. What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
Answer: I do endless research, which can take months depending on the subject matter, and of course Google is my best friend!
12. How long were you a part-time writer before you became a full-time one?
Answer: I’m still a part time writer but I’m retired so I can write when the muse takes me I’m happy to say.
13. How many hours a day do you write?
Answer: I don’t have any structure to my writing habits to be honest. I just write when I feel like it.
14. What period of your life do you find you write about most often? (child, teenager, young adult)
Answer: Probably young adult, but it just depends on the storyline I’m writing.
15. What did you edit out of this book?
Answer: Soulfate…. Loads lol
16. How do you select the names of your characters?
Answer: I usually allow my mind to wander and see what transpires.
17. If you didn’t write, what would you do for work?
Answer: I’m retired as stated so I can just sit and read all day if I want, which is my other passion.
18. What was your hardest scene to write?
Answer: Probably the scene of the shootings of young children in an American tragedy. A non fiction I was asked to write by an earlier American publisher I had. It’s unpublished at the moment as I can’t get permission from the American lawyers. Possibly a good thing as I don’t want to make money from someone else’s misery.
19. How long on average does it take you to write a book?
Answer: Ohhh that’s a piece of string question these days. Depending on the subject matter it can range from weeks to months.
20. Do you believe in writer’s block?
Answer: Yes is the short answer. I’m struggling with my current writing in progress at the moment. Nothing is happening…
21. What works best for you: Typewriters, fountain pen, dictate, computer or longhand?
Answer: I use a computer.
22. When did it dawn upon you that you wanted to be a writer?
Answer: When I saw the spider spinning the web as stated at the beginning of the interview.
23. How hard was it to sit down and actually start writing something?
Answer: Very easy. As soon as I sat down the story flowed.
24. Do you aim to complete a set number of pages or words each day?
Answer: No. I write until I’m tired.
25. Do you set a plot or prefer going wherever an idea takes you?
Answer: Usually it’s where the idea takes me and then if necessary I might re-plot my ideas.
26. Do you read much and, if so, who are your favorite authors?
Answer: I’m an avid reader and at the moment I’m reading a new author to me called Kath Middleton.
27. What is the most important thing about a book, in your opinion?
Answer: To entertain the reader.
28. Do you recall the first ever book/novel you read?
Answer: Ohhh um… probably Black Beauty.
29. How much of yourself do you put into your books?
Answer: Mostly blood, sweat and tears!
30. Who are your books mostly dedicated to?
Answer: Usually family members.
31. Who is the most supportive of your writing in your family?
Answer: My son and Daughter in Law.
32. Writers are often believed to have a Muse, your thoughts on that?
Answer: Oh I totally agree with this. In the past as soon as I got the laptop out, I sensed they were sitting by my shoulders waiting to see what I came up with. Then they‘d take me down a completely different route and go off on a tangent. Every so often I‘d have to haul them back into line.
33. Is it true that authors write word-perfect first drafts?
Answer: Not to my knowledge. I haven’t met one yet.
34. Did any of your books get rejected by publishers?
Answer: Yes lots of times. I bought The Writers and Artists Year Book. Then selected publishers starting with ‘A’ and worked my way through. I ended up with a draw full of rejections. Then I was asked to interview a publisher and unbeknown to me they were checking my books and asked to publish me. That’s how it all began.
35. What is your view on co-authoring books; have you done any?
Answer: I did start co-authoring a book back in the day but we both wanted different directions so we left it. I do believe that it can work if both writers enjoy the same genre.
36. Is writing a book series more challenging?
Answer: I’m not sure of the answer to this. I guess if you start off with a character in one book it could be interesting to follow their trail and see where it goes.
37. Does it get frustrating if you are unable to recall an idea you had in your mind some time earlier?
Answer: Oh all the time, but mostly at night when you get ideas during sleep patterns. I tend to keep a notebook or tape recorder beside me now.
38. Have you ever destroyed any of your drafts?
Answer: Absolutely not. I file everything until I’ve finished writing the book.
39. Can you tell us about your current projects?
Answer: I’m writing another crime novel, which is taking a lot of research. It will be my eighth book.
40. Had any of your literary teachers ever tell you growing up that you were going to become a published writer one day?
Answer: No quite the reverse actually!
41. Were your parents reading enthusiasts who gave you a push to be a reader as a kid?
Answer: No. I just had an inbuilt love of books I guess.
42. Do you enjoy discussing upcoming ideas with your partner? If yes, how much do you value their inputs?
Answer: I often discuss my ideas with my current partner Cyril (the squirrel) but he just looks at me blankly from the fireplace. Probably wondering what the heck I’m going on about. The fox sitting beside him is usually a bit more forthcoming!!
43. Have you ever turned a dream or a nightmare into a written piece?
Answer: Not so far.
44. How can readers find out more info about you and your books?
Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/l/B00J7HGF4W?_encoding=UTF8&redirectedFromKindleDbs=true&rfkd=1&shoppingPortalEnabled=true