Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I’m a fifty-year-old balding Englishman. My favourite past time is dancing the American Lindyhop and Jive. I enjoy cooking real food, and my favourite recipe is freshly made pasta stuffed sweet potato and goats cheese. The thing that shocks people the most is that I do not have a TV, Cath has Amazon Prime on her iPad, so we do watch the odd item.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
I have a children’s picture book which is available in English and Welsh; I live in Wales, so I thought it appropriate to have it translated. ‘Emily’s First Pet’ is a diversity book with same-sex multiracial parents, and I have used a dyslexic font throughout.
I am currently working on the last book of my five book science fiction series ‘Mineran’. The series is about an ex-soldier who discovers something amiss and mistaking it for criminal activities stumbles upon an alien presence on Earth
‘Mineran Pursuit’, the fourth book in the Mineran Series. I suppose the other three are the inspiration. I will miss the character once the series has finished, they are fun.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
No, not really, I do most of my writing in cafes as I work from home creating websites for other authors. There are far too many distractions in my office.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I am a firm believer that everything you read, encounter or see influences you in some way or another. As for an influencing author, I will have to say the late Terry Pratchett for his imagination.
What are you working on now?
Besides ‘Mineran Resolve’, I am researching and drafting a fantasy book which I hope to start next year. The idea came from a short story that I wrote for a writing group. After finishing it, I thought, wow, there is a book that text.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I wish I knew the answer to that one, I have tried blog tours, Net Galley, paid adverts on Amazon, I’m active on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and I now have an account on Daisy. I would not say any of them is a magic bullet to sales.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
New authors should join local writing clubs and become active in self-publishing groups for their area. Writing can be a solitary past time, and without a literary support group, they may flounder. I have found the literary world to be full of wonderful and interesting people; it’s a nice place to be.
Most importantly never interact with anyone who leaves anything nasty about you on a site. I made this mistake, my daughter annoyed a troll a while back, and he blamed me taking his argument across several sites. I politely contacted him to try and resolve the issue. This correspondence only made him worse; you can not reason with a troll, just leave them alone and hope they go away.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Find and use beta readers; they will find holes in your story that you missed. Back up your data to the cloud, PCs fail all too easily, often taking your data with them. I use ‘One Drive’ as it was as cheap as Dropbox, but you get MS Office in the price.
What are you reading now?
I am reading ‘The Perplexing Theft of the Jewel in the Crown’ by Vaseem Khan. I am a committee member for the Wrexham Carnival of Words, an annual week-long literary event and met Vaseem after his talk there. He is a fascinating and honestly delightful man, and his personality shines through his writing.
What’s next for you as a writer?
I mentioned earlier that my next novel will be about a wizard. I felt like a break from science fiction, and I enjoy reading fantasy. I won’t give any spoilers yet; it’s too early.
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?
Terry Pratchett’s ‘Mort’ from his ‘Discworld’ series. Tom Clancy’s ‘Without Remorse’ as I feel the character John Kelly has influence one of my characters. Jim Butcher’s ‘Storm Front’ as I enjoyed his ‘Dresden Files’ and Frank Herberts Dune for the imagination and scope of the book.