Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I was born and raised in South Africa, where I still live. I am passionate about the written word, and have been ever since I was 3 years old. I’m the kind of annoying person who reads dictionaries for fun. I also really love elephants for some reason. I mean, I’m obsessed – my house looks like a shrine to Old Foot (a famous fictional South African elephant).
I’ve written way too many books to count – that doesn’t mean I’ve published them all though. One day, I may dust them off and share them with the world but right now they’re on a hard drive somewhere, gathering dust. I’ve published two books, and I’m working on the second book in my “Veritas” series.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My latest book is called Veritas. It’s about an unconventional Catholic priest with a morally suspect past who starts to question his vows. I don’t know what inspired it though – it just ‘dropped in my head’ one day. Most of my ideas seem to come from nowhere.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Define unusual. I don’t think so, no. I consume a lot of caffeine, but that’s not unusual for writers. I do have this habit of finding a song that fits the mood of the story. Every day before I start writing, I’ll listen to that song (and only that song) so it can anchor me in the story. When I’m done with the story and the novel is published, I have to find a new song because I can’t ‘re-use’ it for the next book.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Stephen King is my hero. I don’t write in the same genre, but I’ve always found his character development exceptional. Roald Dahl, Anne Rice, John Saul, Graham Masterton, J.K. Rowling, and the late Richard Laymon all influenced me in one way or the other. There are other authors I admire greatly, and I’m sure they’ve all inspired me along the way. It would be impossible to give a complete list though.
What are you working on now?
I’m working on Book 2 in the Veritas series. It’s currently still without a title, because I decided to be uppity and go with Latin titles for this series.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I’m still trying to figure this one out. I’m extremely shy and uncomfortably with self-promotion, so at the moment I really need to learn how to get over myself. Facebook and email lists do seem to be the most effective tools though.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Don’t give up. Write every day. The more you write, the better you’ll become at the craft. Form a close group of writing buddies – fellow writers who you can turn to for help, inspiration and support (only a writer understands another writer).
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
“You are not as special as you think you are.” My mentor told me this when I was in my early twenties. I was extremely angry at him at the time, but I’ve come to realize he was right. Writers are by nature sensitive creatures, and we take it personally when people criticize our work. When you understand that you are not that special, and can always improve, the criticism you receive along the way will turn from hurtful to inspirational.
What are you reading now?
I’m currently between books.
What’s next for you as a writer?
We’ll see what happens. What’s next is always more stories, more writing, more fun with new characters. That never changes.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
The Green Mile – Stephen King
The Vampire Lestat – Anne Rice
And I’m only adding this one, because I figure being stuck on a desert island will finally give me that push I need to finish it: Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy