Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I am the author of the Tree of Life series of fantasy books and This Sacred Isle, an epic historical fantasy set in Dark Age Britain.
I live in Suffolk, England with my wife, daughter and cat. My writing reflects my love of history and mythology, especially the folktales and legends of the British Isles. My literary influences include the works of Mervyn Peake, Charles Dickens, J.R.R. Tolkien, Richard Adams and George Orwell.
The Tree of Life trilogy (comprised of The Map of the Known World, The Ordeal of Fire and The Last Days) was originally published between 2007 and 2012. An ebook boxset of the complete trilogy is now available.
I am currently writing my next novel, a SF story called ‘Second Sun’.
Aside from writing, I enjoy reading a wide range of books, watching films, visiting museums and art galleries, and spending time with family and friends.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My latest book is ‘This Sacred Isle’, an epic historical fantasy. It was inspired by my love of Anglo-Saxon history and mythology, and the landscape and legends of my native East Anglia.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
As I also have a full-time job, I often write at lunchtimes – it helps to keep the wordcount moving upwards!
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Two books I read in children inspired me to be a writer: Watership Down by Richard Adams, and The Lord of the Rings by J R R Tolkien. I remember getting lost for hours in both books, and I have been interested the power of storytelling and mythology ever since. I suspect my writing will always have a fantastical element, and that possibly comes from both those books.
In later life, authors such as George Orwell, Philip K Dick and Charles Dickens have greatly inspired and influenced my writing.
What are you working on now?
I am currently writing a SF novel called ‘Second Sun’ – it is set a generation after a successful alien invasion of Earth, and as well as being an adventure story, also explores themes of identity and personal freedom.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Social Media (Twitter especially) is very helpful at reaching out to readers and other writers.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Read regularly and widely (in a range of genres) to get a good feel what kind of writing you like. A good editor is also a must!
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
A research trip to a library or museum is the best cure for writer’s block – this is definitely true for me!
What are you reading now?
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman – it has long been on my ‘to-read’ list and I am enjoying it immensely.
What’s next for you as a writer?
The current priority is completing and publishing ‘Second Sun’. After that, I have plans for a fantasy novel set in 1940s Britain – I only have a vague outline so far, but watch this space!
I also want to blog more regularly, to share my experiences as a writer and pass on any tips / lessons learned.
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?
Lord of the Rings
Nineteen Eighty Four