1: What is the most productive time of the day for you to write?
Anytime when there is some peace and quiet; which is rare to be honest. With young kids in the house I find I crash down in front of the keyboard at about 8pm and struggle on until exhaustion takes over (about 8.50pm).
2: Do you start your projects writing with paper and pen or is it all on the computer?
I do all of my writing on the computer. What does go in notebooks, are the little pieces of storyline that come to you at strange moments. I also write a lot of dialogue passages in notebook form; these also come at odd times, usually when I am in the woods with the dog. Where they come from I don’t know, but am thankful all the same. Having read all of this, it does seem to cancel my initial statement! I’ll amend it and admit that I do an awful lot of scribbling in notebooks.
3: What do you draw inspiration from?
I was looking inside a John Connolly novel the other day to see how he manages to move between his protagonist’s first person voice and the third person voice of everyone else and not get at all lost with who knows what and still manage to be frightening. The answer is that he does it quite naturally and brilliantly. That’s inspiring to me. Fantasy wise, I revisit the works of Conan’s creator Robert E Howard and marvel at the darkness and strangeness of his worlds.
Closer to home, I think of my late aunt, Violet Winspear, who wrote like a demon for Mills and Boon Romance (Harlequin) right up to her untimely death; a real writer who just got on with the job every single day, even when very poorly.
4: Do you set goals for yourself when you sit down to write such as word count?
No, my only goal is that I sit down and do something every day. I rarely get beyond 2500 words with 1000 being the norm. I must add that this is done in the two hours of writing time that I might get in a day.
5: Are you a published or a self published author and how do you come up with your cover art?
I’m self published through Amazon KDP.
Artwork wise, I’m a bit of a tight wad with no money at all for art or marketing. I knew my sister was doing an art degree course so I decided to offer her some work to practice on. I let her do the cover of Aelfric – Bloodied Spears in return for 10% of any profits that might accrue. At the time this seemed quite generous; she now realizes that I still only owe her about two Dime bars.
6: What drives you to choose the career of being a writer?
The dream of not getting in the car at 0600 or 2200 and driving to work for a long day’s drudge, but just to walk out to my studio and crack on with some writing.
7: Do you own an ebook reading device?
Hell yes, I couldn’t be without my Kindle keyboard 3G!
8: Who are some of your favorite authors and What are you reading now?
I love all of John Connolly’s Charlie Parker books, they are fantastically written, exciting, and sometimes downright creepy - The Lovers gave me chills big time. Fantasy wise I read and read again all of R E Howard’s stories, especially Conan; I don’t think anyone has written with such skill and scope and lonely darkness as Howard did.
9: What do you think of book trailers and do you have any plans to have any?
I’ll be honest and say that I don’t know much about them, my marketing is not brilliant. It’s something I’d certainly look into if the cash started coming in.
10: How did you come up with the title of your latest book?
I originally wrote the story in answer to a website’s request for some old fashioned pulp fiction. Its original title was something pretentious and not at all pulpy, so I changed it to something bloody. Of course I then found out about KDP and went for that instead.
11: What are you working on now that you can talk about?
I’ve just finished the follow up to Aelfric – Bloodied Spears, and am awaiting artwork. I’m actually writing something more contemporary at the moment; I think I needed a break from the fantasy world, and sometimes characters speak to you from nowhere and you just have start writing before they disappear. A friend asked me what it was about and I mumbled that it was crime or something. I then settled on ‘Essex Noir’ or ‘Contemporary Gloom’. Maybe when it is finished it will be a new genre, you never know.