How would you describe your work to someone who was completely new to it? Do you write with a specific audience in mind?
I write for the sort of readers who like the same stories and authors I do. When I’m writing, it’s as if I’m reading the story and watching it unfold and I find myself getting totally wrapped up in a storyline, sometimes without knowing where it’s going to go next. If I were to describe it, I might say Fantasy with a touch of Dickens.
What made you decide to start writing? Where does your inspiration come from? Are there times when you don’t feel inspired to write and if so how do you get through them?
That’s three questions. I started writing as soon as I learned to write, at age 6. It’s just something I’ve always been driven to do. Inspiration comes from all sorts of things. A casual comment, a random thought, a ‘what if’ question or anything at all. I wish I had the time to catch up with all the ideas flowing around in my head. This brings us to the third question to which the easy answer is ‘No’. I write Because I’m inspired to do so.
Could you tell us about your writing process? Do you have any quirks or habits when you write? Do you need to plan out a piece or do you just start writing and see where it goes?
Some of each. I generally start a story with no idea where it’s going and then it starts falling into place and I start thinking about how to finish it. If it gets too complicated I might have to map it a little, but so far I’ve only done a proper outline for a script because I had a large core group of characters and needed to work out who was where at any given time.
Are there any other writers who you really admire? What was the last thing you read and would you recommend it?
My favourite authors in Fantasy are Marion Zimmer Bradley, Roger Zelazny and Anne McCaffrey. I admire any author who can create a brilliant world and execute it well. The last book I read is Tamed by Douglas R. Brown and yes, I would thoroughly recommend it. It’s a new ‘take’ on a werewolf story. Proper werewolves, not Romance.
Finally, do you have any hints and tips for other aspiring writers?
Learn the business side of writing and for pity’s sake, proper spelling and grammar. The number of times I’ve seen people write on a forum that spelling and grammar is an editor’s job is appalling. Manuscript format, options for publishing and the art of the writing itself are all essential. Don’t imagine you can be lazy and skim on any of those ingredients. Writing is not an easy way to fame and fortune, it’s hard work and there will be times that you have to sit and go through editing notes to get everything right if you want to produce a quality product. If you can’t do that, someone else will and they will also get the fame and fortune that goes with quality writing.