I import industrial quantities of Class A drugs, kill people and lie (a lot) for a living, being a British based crime fiction writer.
I became obsessed with motorcycles at an early age, taking a six hundred mile cross-country tour to Cornwall as soon as I bought a moped at the tender age of sixteen and after working as a dispatch rider in London I built my first chopper in my bedroom at university, undeterred by the fact that the workshop was upstairs.
Armed with a MBA degree, I worked in insolvency and business restructuring in the UK and overseas, where I wrote my first novel The Liquidator a conspiracy thriller set in East Africa. Whatever you do, don’t take it on holiday as your safari reading!
My second book was a ‘Biker Lit’ crime thriller Heavy Duty People, set amongst UK outlaw bikers in the North East and Borders, which unexpectedly turned into a trilogy (which has now been optioned for TV) after two of the characters met up again in my head and demanded I write it. Now I’ve found that biker books are a bit like zombies, whenever you think you have them dead and buried but they just keep lurching back to life, only dirtier, bloodier and more violent than before as I’m part way through a second linked trilogy starting with Operation Bourbon.
I live off the grid, high up on the North Pennines in Northumberland with my wife, dogs, and a garage full of motorcycle restoration projects
What inspires you to write?
Everything and everybody.
I’m a bit like a magpie with words and phrases in that things I hear seem to get picked up and hidden away somewhere, for years, decades even, until all of a sudden they come bursting back up to the surface demanding to be used and setting me off on some story or other.
Tell us about your writing process.
I kid myself I’m in control but really, once my characters are off, I’m just following along behind them really as they get on with it.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
My third book only came about because two of the characters from the second one got together in my head for a meeting entirely off their own bat.
What advice would you give other writers?
Get back to writing.
Don’t give up the day job.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
Got fed up with rejection slip bingo and with all the tools now available just thought I’d test the market myself anyway.
5 books and 1 TV option deal later I’m just cracking on with it.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
It will be quite an eco-system.
Self publishing and making a success of sales will replace a fair bit of the slush pile.
Publishers will increasingly act like VCs, investing in successful start up authors – but will only make a success of this if they can move fast enough and deliver enough value to successful self publishers
What do you use?
What genres do you write?
crime, thriller, action & adventure, biker lit
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print