Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I’ve got a degree in engineering, and also have a career as a freelance financial modeller so I’m probably not a conventional author. I love the flexibility that being freelance gives me because I can fit writing, work and hobbies around each other. I live in Lancashire, England where the beautiful countryside has influenced some of the scenery in my books. There are some places I describe that really do exist.
I’m also a field archer, which is something I enjoy very much. We shoot indoors in the winter and outdoors in the summer – we live in hill country and our outdoor ground isn’t easily accessible in winter. As a club we do a lot of daft – but safe – things to keep shooting fun.
I’ve written a series of four books. The first is Strand of Faith which is already published. The second, Thread of Hope will be released 2nd May 2019, with Weave of Love in October 2019 and Cloth of Grace in February 2020.
The series is a romance, set far in our future after the world has been decimated by a range of cataclysmic events, and some people have developed mental powers. In Strand of Faith, the first book in the series, a monk and a girl fall in love, but they both have compelling reasons to stay apart – and they make different decisions. In Thread of Hope they start to face up to the consequences of those decisions – without knowing that their actions and history will generate further world shattering consequences. Ultimately this series is about people discovering their place in the world, lost and broken people finding love, healing, hope and redemption.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
The latest published book is Strand of Faith, and I’m about to publish the sequel, Thread of Hope.
I know it sounds corny, but I dreamt one scene at the end of what is now Strand of Faith. It was so vivid that I wanted to know what led up to it and what happened next. So I started thinking about that and as the story developed the characters took on lives of their own and I started writing it down. I thought it was just one book – it’s turned into a four book series.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Not that I’m aware of! I write directly on the computer because if I hand write my brain goes faster than the pen and it stops being readable very quickly. I think I am unusual in that I don’t mind being disturbed when I’m writing. I don’t lose my place and I can pick it up again straight away.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I have quite a list – some of my favourites include Neil Gaiman, Terry Prachett (Discworld), Jodi Picoult, Annette Marie (urban fantasy), Jodi Taylor (Chronicles of St Mary’s), Sarah Woodbury (After Cilmeri time travel fiction), Trisha Ashley (romance), Diane Gabaldon (Outlander), Anne McCaffery (Dragonrider series). But there are many, many more.
What are you working on now?
The sequel to Strand of Faith, Thread of Hope is almost ready for publication so I’m working on the third book in the series, Weave of Love. That’s due for publication at the beginning of October, so it’s in the rewrite stage before going to my editor in a few weeks. Book 4, Cloth of Grace, which will be out next February is in much the same place.
But I’ve also got a new book idea on the go – fantasy romance again, but this time with angels – which is competing for my time, and a non-fiction book based on letters to my great grandfather …
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I don’t know yet! For me, it’s still very early days. So far I think most of my sales have come from word of mouth, but I’m trying out lots of different options. I’ll keep you posted…
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Work on your marketing early. You’re not just a writer, you’re a business and you need to get your head round more than just the writing.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Finish it. Always finish it. You can’t do anything with a blank page or half finished book. But once it’s written you can improve it.
What are you reading now?
What I’m reading now is not what I’ll be reading tomorrow, or the day after! I read fast and as much as possible! I’m about to start Laini Taylor’s Night of Cake and Puppets. I’ve got the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series on my Kindle, but my son has bought me a beautiful hardback illustrated edition of this story. After that I’ve got a huge TBR pile – one of my favorite authors, Annette Marie, manages to write several books a year and I need to catch up.
What’s next for you as a writer?
As I mentioned, I’ve got a new book idea on the go – fantasy romance again, but this time with angels. I’m not sure yet whether that’s a standalone or a series. Then there’s a non-fiction book based on letters to my great grandfather from his nephew, which will be rather different, but fascinating.
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?
Very tricky one! I’d bring the Bible (in a modern translation). Or is that cheating because it’s really 66 books? You can find almost every genre in there – romance, erotica, war, thriller, mystery, murder, suspense, psychological drama, family sagas…
And I’d bring my all time favourite, Winnie-the-Pooh. After that – box sets, long series, lots and lots of words to keep me busy!