Please tell us a little about yourself. I’m 39 years old and growing older on an almost annual basis. I work as an ICU nurse in the UK and employ a wife and two children to shout at me rather a lot. I’ve just returned from a mountain bike weekend where I cycled to the top of a mountain (definitely a mountain … we checked) and then back down again. I also play the guitar, despite what other people say. I’ve been writing for about ten years and have started to release my work on Kindle.
Please tell us a little about your writing – for example genre, title, etc. My styles are very eclectic. I seem to be best at writing first person, literary fiction novels. I’ve had some astonishing reviews for my first novel, The Watchman. But I also enjoy writing dark comedy, sci fi (more akin to extraordinary moments occurring in the real world) and horror. I have a collection of short stories called the Burning Man Prophecies which cover all of these genres. I like to really get into the guts of my characters and get them to behave appallingly. I’m currently writing the final draft of the first of a series of novels that take place in the fictional town of Minus, a place somewhere in the UK where all sorts of unusual rules and occurrences govern the lives of its inhabitants. A trip to Jupiter, for instance, is not considered out of the ordinary. People are able to travel back to moments in their lives and learn lessons from their mistakes. It rarely helps them, however…
Where can readers find your book? The Watchman can be found http://amzn.to/13fLzsZ (US amazon) and The Burning Man Prophecies can be found here http://amzn.to/18ISUTQ(also US amazon). UK readers need to simply click on the UK link at the side of the page.
How long have you been writing and what, if anything, made you choose the genre in which you write? My first story was written 25 years ago during a history lesson. My teacher was very cross. I think the genres have chosen me. As I say, I enjoy the comedy/sci fi stuff, but seem to have more flair for the literary stuff.
Who or what are your inspirations/influences? Douglas Adams is my ultimate inspiration. His ability to create a fully functional yet hilariously flawed world and then dismantle it with one devastating line was unparalleled.
Can you name both a positive and negative experience from your writing? The most positive experience I have gained from writing is being able to spend a bit of time on my own and allow my imagination to run away and wild. The most negative experience from writing is being isolated from my family and the weird places I visit in my head. Writing is a strange pass time…
With the rise of e-books do you still publish in print as well? Is this medium important and why? Yes I would like to publish printed books. It is a vital medium. The printed word is part of our history as a species and gave rise to the spread of our intelligence. There is something special about picking up a book or a newspaper and having that tangible link to the mind that wrote those words. Although ebooks and ereaders are extraordinary items and every bit as revolutionary to human evolution as the printing press was hundreds of years ago, there exists a different magic. Both should live side by side – I’d hate to see one push the other into extinction.
Do you listen to music or watch TV whilst you write? I listen to music. Well, I press play on a CD and then realise 2 hours later that the music finished playing some time before. Always a good sign I’m writing well..
Books are important, why is this the case? Our minds are like a series of doors that need to be unlocked over and over again. Only books can open those doors and leave a wedge. They teach us not only about the subject in hand but also about ourselves – by studying our own reactions to what we read on a page we can learn and become enriched. No other medium can do this.
What can a book provide that say a video game cannot? Everything. Video games close those ‘mind’ doors, turn the key in the lock, snap the key off and move a heavy piece of furniture over the doorway…
Can you give us a silly fact about yourself? I am the ‘eye double’ for Harrison Ford in all the Indiana Jones films. Also, I once saved a penalty from Peter Osgood in a five a side match. A penalty is a free shot at goal in football (soccer). Peter Osgood was one of the great football (soccer) players from the 1970s.