Smashwords Interview

Don’t forget, you can use the code ND72U to get 100% off The Little Queen from Smashwords, and download it in most popular e-reader formats.  It would then be cool if you leave me some feedback, or leave a quick review there or on Amazon (or any of the other places where it will be available… I’ll let you know).

In the meantime, I did the Smashwords interview which was a kind of fun to do.  Here’s the link to the original.

 What’s the story behind your latest book?

Among the things I enjoy and love are science, science fiction, fantasy, mystery and mythology and folklore.  The Little Queen contains all of those things so is essentially a love letter to them, at least in terms of background and plot.  But what draws me into a story are the characters, and in Jen Air the characters I suppose represent different sides of myself.  Jennifer is my skeptical and higher reasoning self, although also shy.  Kaya is brash and bold which I really wish I was sometimes.  Tenley of course is an inner child who acts very quickly on her feelings and emotions, not always thinking much of the consequences.  So the story is really just the bringing together of all these different elements that I have been interested in and thought about my entire life.

What motivated you to become an indie author?

I’d always wanted to write.  I’d dabbled a lot, but it’s only recently I finally forced myself to sit down and write something from start to finish.  When it came time to publish I wanted to make sure that I was responsible and in control of my own original ideas and characters.

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?

All of it.  I love bringing my characters to life.  I love planning and building the worlds that they inhabit.  I love when I’m doing research and learn about new things and possible ideas to write about in the future.

What do your fans mean to you?

Not much until around July or August when the heat compels me to seek them out again.

What are you working on next?

A few things.  I’ll be writing a follow up/sequel to The Little Queen, although a different kind of story.  The Little Queen was horror/thriller, whereas the next one, currently going by the title ‘Asterion’ will be more of a dungeon crawl.  There’s also another story I’ve started to work on which is kind of a spin off from that, and a couple of standalone story ideas.

Who are your favorite authors?

I don’t really like to pick favorites.  All authors are special and unique in their own ways, just like everyone else.   However, when I was a boy I recall reading Roald Dahl a lot, and John Chistopher’s Tripods Trilogy and other books by that same author.  Into my teens undoubtedly Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett became my favorite writers.  As a man I try to read a wide variety of works.  Most recently I’ve been reading some of the classic sci-fi stories, starting with Mary Shelley and through Jules Verne and H.G. Wells and into the twentieth century with Clarke, Bradbury, Asimov, etcetera.

What inspires you to get out of bed each day?   

My window faces east, so usually the rising sun.

When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?

I have a lot of hobbies.  I read a lot of other fiction, and non-fiction.  I have a few cameras so I like to go for walks and take some photos during the day.  At night, when the weather allows, I turn to my telescopes.  And then the usual stuff; I like to watch movies, TV shows, play games.  I am, unfortunately, very good at procrastination, but writing is always the thing I return to and want most to do.

How do you discover the ebooks you read?

Lots of ways.  Sometimes I browse.  Sometimes I’ll be searching for a particular author or story I want to reread and stumble on other things that catch my interest.  Sometimes I’ll see a review or something mentioned in a blog post and be intrigued by it.

 Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?

Not exactly.  I’ve been telling stories all my life and started writing a few when I was very young, but unfortunately most of those early efforts have been lost to time.  I remember there was something about kingdoms of tiny folk living in my garden, and the people who lived in the rockery attacking those who lived in the flowerbed while naval battles were fought in the pond.  I wrote a few detective stories, and stories about exploring the solar system.  I was fascinated by old sailing ships when I was young, so I wrote about that.  I just went through various periods being fascinated by different things so would write a story about them.

What is your writing process?

I just write.  Usually I have a quite good idea of what I want before I begin, but as I write I may decide that certain things don’t work, have some new ideas or decide to go a different direction with others.  Generally by about half-way through writing the first draft a more complete plan will have developed making the rest come a little easier.

Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?

Again, no, I don’t really remember the first.   Reading is just something I’ve done all my life.  But I remember the first books I became hooked on were Roald Dahls.  Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, BFG, Fantastic Mr. Fox.  I remember the worlds he created and how they were exciting and magical, thrilling and terrifying all at the same time.

Describe your desk

Messy.  There are currently a few mugs and little Star Wars toys spread out on it.

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?

Basingstoke, England.  Once voted the most boring town in europe, so you could say that being so bored all the time must have increased my longing for more excitement and escapism.  But in truth I was never really that bored.  Although it’s a largish town, you’re also never far from the country so I would go off and explore it, imagining the ancient people who must have walked the same country, or the various kinds of monsters that might be lurking inside the woods.

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