Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I have been writing since I was six years old, and publishing more or less ever since ebooks became a reality. I’ve also had a long career in computing, first as a programmer and more recently as a database manager in an art gallery. I live in the city of Edinburgh, in Scotland and I have a cat who likes to distract me from writing in numerous ways.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
I published a book right at the end of May 2019 and another one in mid-June so I am going to be greedy and mention both of them here. The first was ‘Unrelated Incidents’, which is the 18th in a series of quirky mysteries. I suppose the plot was inspired by an item in the local news here about a farmer who fought and won a battle to stop a movie studio being built on land he had been farming for decades. The second was ‘The French Heir’, the second in a series of historical romances about heirs who have been lost or otherwise prevented from claiming their inheritance in Regency England.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I mostly write first drafts during the various NaNoWriMo events through the year. I seem to need the self-imposed goals to keep me going! Perhaps that isn’t so unusual. I can write almost anywhere and I’ve recently taken to writing a few hundred words on my Kindle Fire at odd moments.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I suppose Agatha Christie is a major influence on my mystery writing, but my books seem to make people laugh a lot too, so I think my reading and re-reading of Douglas Addams and Terry Pratchett must have had some effect too.
I would love to be able to write Regency romance like Georgette Heyer but I’m afraid that’s an impossible dream.
What are you working on now?
I’ve started on the 19th in my mystery series (working title ‘As Yet Untitled’) for Camp NaNoWriMo in July 2019.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I have a small but very engaged following on my Facebook page, and I am sure they have been spreading the word around on their own.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Make sure you write as often and as much as you can before publishing. Sometimes it’s worth starting with short stories and maybe entering them for writing competitions or submitting them to magazines just for the feedback.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
I don’t really listen to advice – I prefer to make it up myself. Though I often think of my late father’s advice ‘Never apologise’. I think he borrowed that from someone famous.
What are you reading now?
A print book called ‘Around the World in 80 Trains’. (I love train travel)
What’s next for you as a writer?
I hope to complete ‘As Yet Untitled’ and have a title for it by the end of August 2019. After that I will have to decide which of two options is preferable to write during NaNoWriMo in November.
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?
This is a very difficult one. One of the books might have to be ‘War and Peace’ to make myself read it at last. It would be useful to take some sort of survival handbook too. Then I think I would take a long an empty notebook so that I could write something of my own. And a pencil or pen!
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