I live in rural, southern Scotland and have been writing fiction for a number of years, concentrating on the young adult genre. I originally trained in the visual arts and always have some project on the go. I like plot-driven writing that has its context in real life although I often stray to the edges of sci fi……..My own writing concentrates on strong female leads, stays away from romance and has the occasional bit of conflict, social issues and adventure.
I love reading fiction especially, young adult, end of the world and dystopian novels. My favourite authors include Gudrun Pausewang, John Christopher, Alex Shearer, Patrick Ness, Kevin Brooks and John Wyndham. I have a keen interest in the environment.
I live with my partner, and our house is situated well above sea level where we grow much of our own food and generate some of our own electricity.
I check my garden and surrounding areas regularly for signs of triffids……
What inspires you to write?
I love reading and have a creative background, having trained as an artist. I suppose creating works of art is a way of telling stories, or communicating ideas and so is writing. Frequently when I read books, or watch films my mind is always thinking, I wouldn’t have done that there, it would have been better if… so one day I thought do it yourself, write the stories and characters you want to see.
Tell us about your writing process.
Oh, seat of the pants…… most definitely. I generally have an outline idea in my mind of the direction of travel but I don’t find it particularly useful to write plot summaries of each chapter. I think once I am in to the flow of the book the characters can surprise me and take the story in different directions so I don’t like to tie them down too much.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I think I probably listen to them. If I take a break from writing a story part way through I do worry about having left my characters stranded in a no mans land of unfinished promise. I also like my characters to surprise the reader, as that is what happens in real life, people are not always what they seem….
What advice would you give other writers?
Keep writing, even if it goes nowhere it is good for the mind. Don’t underestimate how much effort and time goes in after you have completed the first draft and DON’T tell anyone the plot of your novel before you write it!
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I tried the usual agent and main stream publisher route for a number of years and then saw with the advent of self publishing that the squeeze on that market was going to increase. I found the agent route somewhat wearing and incredibly time consuming and it always bothered me that it seemed the industry wants to compare writers to other writers. I want my voice to mine, not “like” someone elses. One day , last year I just thought what exactly am I waiting for and what is the worst thing that can happen if I just seize the day and do this myself.
The worst thing that can happen is you don’t sell as many books as you hoped, but you still sell more than you would sitting waiting for someone else to come along and do it for you.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think the industry is going through a major shift and I think the agent, main stream publisher model is probably doomed in its present form. Partly I think this has been brought on the publishing industry by their over reliance on publishing celebrity titles rather than the work of authors. One of the positives to come from the world of self publishing is that it has encouraged more people to read and write and some of that writing will be of a poor quality, but that was also the case under the old system.
What do you use?
What genres do you write?
What formats are your books in?
eBook, Print, Both eBook and Print