After studying to be an architect, Pete realised he wasn’t very good at it. He liked designing buildings he just couldn’t make them stand up, which is a bit of a handicap in an industry that likes to keep things upright. So he switched to advertising, writing ads for everything from cruise lines to zombie video games. After meeting his wife Shalini and having two boys, he was amazed when she sat and actually wrote a book. Then another and another. They were good too. Really good. So he thought, I’ll have a go at that. He soon realised there’s no magic formula. You just have to put one word in front of the other (and keep doing that for about a year). It also helps if you can resist the lure of surfing, Taekwondo, playing Lego with the boys and drinking beer in front of the TV.
What inspires you to write?
Music, definitely. The character in my series is a strong but shy and bullied female, so I listen to tons of Anna Calvi, PJ Harvey, First Aid Kit and Lana Del Ray.
Tell us about your writing process.
I spend ages mulling over the idea before I write anything. Long walks, lonely mountain bike rides and runs along the beach all help me to get the idea straight in my head. I take a notebook with me and jot anything down. Once I have enough, I start putting the ideas on post it notes and sticking them on a wall. It’s like a mental dump, but it allows me to move things around and make it make sense. Once I’m happy, I commit the structure to paper and then start writing. but I’m always flexible to modify it as I go.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
If your character is strong enough, they’ll dictate to you how they want to act, so get the character right and it should all fall into place.
What advice would you give other writers?
Find the way that works best for you. I write in a completely different way to my wife. She’ll work straight for five hours at a time, whereas I write a little and often. I need frequent breaks to step away from it so I can think through where I’m going next.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I tried the publisher route and came very close. My book got to ‘the table’ as it’s called (that’s where a load of editors sit around and discuss your work). One editor wasn’t sure about it so it got rejected. This whole process took well over a year. I’m too impatient to go through all that again, so I went self-published.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
If I was a publisher, I’d be worried. The power has shifted into the hands of the public, both readers and writers. They decide what’s good and what isn’t, and I think that’s a good thing.
What do you use?
Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?
teen dystopian sci-fi
What formats are your books in?
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