Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I’ve written about eight books since I was eleven years old, but I’m about to publish my second. I had two novels published with a start-up publisher, but that didn’t work out.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My newest novelette, which will be released soon, is called A Bard’s Lament. It was actually partly inspired by a YouTube singer I’ve been listening to recently called Malukah. She is like a bard. It was also inspired by some personal emotions I’ve been feeling recently, such as powerlessness. Sorry if that sounds depressing.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Not really, I’m very boring! I like to get a blanket and a cup of tea and cuddle up on the couch. I can’t stand background music so I usually write at home instead of a cafe.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
As a kid I’d blitz through Jacqueline Wilson and Darren Shan books and of course I was the age where my mum read the Harry Potters to me as well. Nowadays I read indie books, mostly fantasy, but other genres too. The sheer determination and enthusiasm of indie authors is incredibly inspiring.
What are you working on now?
The first two novels of the trilogy that was published by the bad publisher were taken down from Amazon and the like after the contract was ended. A few people have asked me to finish the third book (which is set in the same universe as A Bard’s Lament), so I’m working on that in my spare time. I’m also reviving a children’s series I wrote when I was a teenager, although it’s early days yet.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I haven’t done much promoting because I’d like several published books first and right now I only have one short story, plus A Bard’s Lament on the way. I’ve got my own blog, but I don’t just write about books; I also write about video games and life in Japan. I’ve done some Facebook ads, tweets, and sponsored Amazon links but that’s about it for now. I’m just enjoying the writing experience. It’s especially fun getting custom covers designed.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
It’s important that you really love what you do and that you really care about your stories. Make a great pitch to get people interested. Don’t be disheartened with low sales, especially if you decide to self-publish. It’s also important to take criticism well, because you can’t improve if your ego is too fragile.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Some great quotes just stick in your head. My dad always says “you weren’t put on this earth to win a popularity contest,” and he always told me to never be afraid of anyone, either. As for advice related to writing, it was actually given to me by someone who I didn’t know that well, and he wasn’t even talking about books! He said “Who cares if it sucks? Just do it!” Simple, but effective. It got me finishing projects I was unsure about. It’s better than not doing anything at all.
What are you reading now?
The Angst series by David Pedersen. It’s about a middle-aged knight wannabe with a massive sword!
What’s next for you as a writer?
I’m quitting my day job soon so I have more time to write. As well as fiction I write a lot of non-fiction articles which generates most of my income. Hopefully without my day job I’ll be able to write more. I definitely want to write more stories. Articles are fun, but it doesn’t bring the same satisfaction or pride, you know?
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?
You mean to read, not to use as kindling or to learn about island survival, right? I’d have to say the Darren Shan vampire books, as they’re so good I can read them again and again. If I’m only allowed four, though, it would be The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy. The Emma Grady trilogy by Josephine Cox is excellent too, although it’s very sad.