After growing up in the north east of England, studying English Literature at Sunderland University and failing to make it as a rock star, the real story began in 2006, when just days after my 27th birthday I boarded a plane to Sydney, Australia, with no return ticket.
I then spent 2 years in the land downunder and travelled through every far flung corner of the country, earning my keep by taking up jobs doing everything from pruning grape vines to tractor driving. In my spare time I vowed to try every new experience that was offered my way, no matter how crazy. I climbed glaciers, swam with sharks, jumped from aeroplanes and pretty much tried to live life as much as possible.
During my time overseas, I was also fortunate enough to meet the love of my life; Katie. Upon our return to the UK in 2009, what was originally intended as a birthday present (a travel journal recounting our time in Asia) ultimately led to me finding my vocation in life. I have completed 3 novels and have many more in the pipeline.
What inspires you to write?
I am a terrible day dreamer. I just find it impossible to turn my imagination off. My appalling attention span drives my wife nuts, but now I am putting my imagination to good use, she cannot complain so much.
Originally, I took moments from my days travelling and used them as the basis for my fiction, but I have recently started to branch out into sci-fi and even have a romantic comedy in the works.
Tell us about your writing process.
For my first novel, I had a rigid chapter by chapter outline and detailed character sketches, but found that the story evolved so much that I did not stick to any of it. I am now definitely a “pantser”. Rather than sit staring at a blank screen waiting for the words to come, I find that my imagination works much better when I am active. I come up with a lot of my ideas whilst jogging along the local seafront.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I tend to push my characters quite hard. I write in the 3rd person restricted viewpoint and I find that when using a particular character’s point of view, I have to commit to them 100%. This means that I really make it tough for my protagonist when I am behind the antagonist. If I ever met any of my characters in real life, I am pretty sure they would hate me.
What advice would you give other writers?
Do not be swayed by advice. We are all unique and have our own way of doing things. What works for some writers will not work fr others. Stephen King nails the important do’s and don’ts in his ‘On Writing’ book. Anything else is more or less up for grabs.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I played the agent submission game for two years with no luck. It just seemed that they were so inundated the chances of ever getting noticed were virtually none existent. For a time I considered moving to China and working as an English Teacher. I self published because I knew I would not get to submit to agents whilst in China and it at least got the book out there. Then my wife changed her mind on China and by that stage, I was committed to the indie route.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
A lot of people talk about e-readers replacing paper and others argue that paper will always be around. They are both wrong. Paperbacks will soon be relics found only in antique stores whether we like it or not. As for e-readers, they are actually a stop gap. It will be the technology that follows the e-reader that will signal the end of paper. Google glass is the pioneer of this technology. Imagine if you only had to own 1 book and that all of the pages were blank. It is the glasses that project the words onto the page, giving an experience indistinguishable from that of reading a standard paperback. It combines the feel and smell of paper with the storage capacity of ebooks. The technology is not far off either. Also, as authors learn more about the industry through self publishing, they will surpass the knowledge of the traditional publishers who are too removed from the readers. The real indie revolution has not even started yet, but it is coming.
What do you use?
What genres do you write?
Thriller, action and adventure, psychological horror
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print