Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I was born in England; my childhood years, a comfortable middle-class upbringing in a small town, two hours’ drive west of London. An avid reader since childhood.
In my early twenties, and with a degree in electronics engineering, and an unabated wanderlust to see the world I left England for Sydney, Australia. Forty years later, I am still in Australia, although many intervening years spent in a myriad of countries, some calm and safe – others, no more than war zones. To date I have written twelve books.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
DEATH AND THE ASSASSIN’S BLADE. An amateur dramatic society’s production of Julius Caesar, only someone’s switched two of the daggers. The actor is murdered onstage in front of two police officers.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
None that I would consider unusual, unless routine is, although I would regard that as mandatory. Four o’clock in the morning when it’s still cool outside and there is no noise. I’ll normally write till nine or ten a.m. and I always aim for 5000 words a day. Some days, it will come easily, other days I’ll struggle, but no procrastination.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
When I was younger, science fiction. Frank G. Herbert and Asimov. Nowadays, I appreciate the writing style of Ken Follett, John Le Carre, John Grisham.
What are you working on now?
The seventh book in the DCI Isaac Cook series. Two women are murdered within one hour of each other. One is wealthy, the other is not. It looks to be professional and it’s the same murderer, but why?
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
The eternal problem. I hold that Facebook advertising should be the best avenue, although I’ve not been able to scale the adverts. Amazon ads are just too slow. The best method is a mailing list. I know that I can always sell books by way of it, and so far, it’s the most effective way of promoting. Building the mailing list numbers to be viable is still an issue. Instafreebie have given me a dramatic boost, otherwise FB Lead Gen ads.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Write. Each book that I write is better than the previous. There’s no way, unless you’re gifted, that you’ll get it right the first time, and no way you’ll sell sufficient without a series. It’s a marathon and it’s hard work.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Write and read. And routine. All three I practice. Whereas, I’m not there yet, I am making headway and money.
What are you reading now?
I try to read the best of the British detective books on Amazon, although my work schedule invariably means that I’m exhausted by the time that I get to them. Audio books are a great way to resolve the problem.
What’s next for you as a writer?
To continue to write, to improve. I find that writing is the most satisfying pursuit. I enjoy the whole process from the idea for the story and through the writing and up to publication.
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?
Shakespeare. The remaining books would be from the ancient Greek masters. Plato, Sophocles, Aeschylus, Aristophanes. They knew how to write, and they’ve still not been bettered.