Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I’m a man-child, just turned forty and started writing a few years ago, mainly articles and game reviews for a local magazine. My friend eventually talked me into working on my first book in 2016, which is The Night Out, released on 19/2/2018. I took a lot of persuading at first as I didn’t have the confidence in myself to work on something long-form. But as people read it, my confidence grew to the point where I have completed work on the second in the trilogy, Backbones and I’m still working on the final part, GY ’til I Die.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
The Night Out. I live in a small, quite impoverished town on the East Coast of England. I’ve suffered quite badly with depression throughout my life and the feeling during the worst points was that I was simply doing the same thing over and over again, what I once enjoyed was a trap that eventually made me feel worse. With that in mind I came up with the idea of that quite literally happening in a ‘Groundhog Day’ type scenario. I wanted some sort of release for all of the negativity I was feeling. To an extent, it worked.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Nothing at all. I cried a fair bit at some points working on the trilogy and then felt like an idiot for doing so.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Irvine Welsh will probably be the main influence I would say. I love the way he blends a gritty reality with fantasy elements, particularly in Bedroom Secrets of the Master Chefs. He is one of a kind though, and whilst I may have a nod to him on occasion, I try not to ape anything he has done.
What are you working on now?
Still working on the third book and writing my blog, mostly short stories lately at https://tokyocowboy.wordpress.com
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I’ve just started, so basically Facebook has been my first stop. It is an overwhelming world when it comes to internet marketing. I’m basically winging it.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
I found it best to have a couple of close friends reading my work at first. That way I knew any criticism didn’t come from a position of malice. If they were excited, I got excited. I loved the reactions when I swerved. Just have some faith in yourself. No matter what you write, some people will like it, some people won’t.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Don’t urinate on an electric fence. I wish I had listened.
What are you reading now?
Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep. I’m honestly not getting along with it.
What’s next for you as a writer?
More blogging. Finish trilogy and after that I have a few ideas for the next book. Possibly going to go with something a little more ‘global’.
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?
Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (omnibus edition featuring all four books)
An Irvine Welsh book, I’ll decide when I’m packing.
Books of Blood collection by Clive Barker – Dread was one of my favourite short stories of all time. The film was a disaster.
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Just for the nostalgia