I was born in Liverpool and was growing up there while the Beatles were doing their thing. Spent 15 years of my life as a computer Programmer/Analyst before finding myself training as a hypnotherapist. That journey is explored in more detail in my book Change Your Life with Self Hypnosis. I also love photography, and, as you might expect, reading. My first venture into published writing came about as a result of my desire to sell my images. I discovered that the best way to do that was to write magazine articles and use my images as illustrations. I loved seeing my words and pictures in print each month and ended up hooked on writing.
What inspires you to write?
I love to share what I know. I write Self-help/How to non-fiction so my books are always teaching. I enjoy the challenge of putting words together in a way that is not only entertaining, but also of great value to the reader. My desire is improve some aspect of life and judging from some of the personal emails I receive, I do seem to be achieving that.
Tell us about your writing process.
I create a chapter list and then write the chapters in order. In my mind there is a requirement for a logical progression and achieving mastery i one area before moving on to the next, so in order for what I’m writing to make sense to me, I have to write it as I would read it. I also set a target word count. Usually my book has twice as many words as I intended to write.
I set aside a couple of hours each weekday, sit at my computer and tap away at the keys. I keep a log of my progress so I can encourage myself by seeing how much I have done already and give myself a mental pat on the back every 10,000 words.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
What advice would you give other writers?
It’s obvious, I know. It’s been said by many people, but unless the words on paper/screen/hard drive, they don’t exist and you are not a writer. You need to write. If you have difficulty with the process here’s a little trick that I found incredibly helpful.
Do a Google search for Google alerts. Sign up and ask Google to let you know about any subjects that interest you. Google will send you a daily email message to let you know when that subject is mentioned anywhere on the internet. Click on the links, read the information, and write a 1000 word blog post on that subject. If you don’t have a blog, check out the WordPress site. They are dead easy to create. Do that every day for a month.
It gets you into the habit of writing. It also gets you into the habit of thinking outside of your comfort zone.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
That was easy. I’m an unknown writer Publishers aren’t really interested in unknowns – unless they have a big following. My hypnosis facebook page had about 50 likes, publishers want 10,000 before they’ll look at you. So self-publishing was my only option. Kindle first. Then paperback through Createspace, and finally, once I was established on Amazon, Smashwords, to get into the other e-bookstores.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
It’s definitely going electronic. Amazon has huge power, so publishing is pretty much in Amazon’s hands. That said a lot of people, myself included, still prefer paper books. But mainstream publishers have signed their own death warrant. They seem only interested in big name authors, and are not prepared to take risks with talented newcomers. However, the ease of self-publishing means there is a ton of junk available out there. Some deliberately so by get-rich quick merchants who seek only to separate you from your money without giving anything of value in return. Others, who mistakenly believe they can write, are also in the mix. There will be a backlash at some point.
What do you use?
What genres do you write?
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print