Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I’ve been a missionary, a mystery shopper, and a youth leader. I’ve worked as a Health Care Assistant, have crewed on a North Sea helicopter, and been taken at gunpoint from my home and threatened by corrupt police officers in a language I didn’t understand.
I’m a Scottish author who lived in York, England—the setting for my latest novel: Fallen Warriors—for ten years.
I’ve been writing since I was Eight and worked on and off to complete Fallen Warriors for ten years. I’m the author of The Great Scottish Land Grab, a contemporary political tale of one man’s fight to reverse the Highland Clearances and transform Scotland, first published in 2014. I’ve also published two short stories: Dragon Lake and The day we all finally had enough.
I’m married with three children, and now work as an IT Consultant in Scotland, developing applications for businesses, databases and reports.
I’m passionate about goals and a few years ago accepted a challenge to write down 100 goals. To date I still haven’t stood on a new planet or learned to fly, but there must still be time…
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
Fallen Warriors is my latest novel. It came from two ideas I had ten years apart. I was sitting in a traffic jam in York when I saw hooded children weaving in and out of traffic on their bikes. I had an idea for a terrorist attack using traffic to seal off a city. Quite frankly, the idea scared me and I shelved it until I was in a church service ten years later and had an idea for a story about ordinary people suddenly finding they had the ability to work miracles. I combined the two ideas and Fallen Warriors was born.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I dance to music while I’m writing sometimes… I hope no-one’s ever filmed me!
What authors, or books have influenced you?
The Bible has been a huge influence: the gritty, no attempt to cover anything up, in your face descriptions of events; the weakness and human failing laid bare; the astounding descriptions of miracles that are told matter of fact.
I read a lot of science fiction as a child which I think first inspired me to want to create my own worlds. As I got older I got into Tom Clancy and loved his complex plots. George RR Martin has taken his place and both have been a big influence on the type of character driven plot I’m now writing.
What are you working on now?
I’m writing the sequel to Fallen Warriors and beginning to plot out the third book which will give readers a full trilogy.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Face to face. Since I published Land Grab, I’ve printed up business cards with my book cover on them and have handed them out. I’ve seen consistent sales by doing that.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Keep writing. Finish your first book. Ask other people to read it. Be willing to accept criticism. Keep writing, keep learning, keep reading.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
What are you reading now?
In His Steps by Charles M Sheldon
What’s next for you as a writer?
Push on to publish my first sequel and then I would also like to branch out to publish a couple of non-fiction books I’ve been working on.
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?
SAS Survival Handbook 😉
Swiss Family Robinson