Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
anemogram., my latest release, is my debut novel. I attempted to write a zombie apocalypse novel years ago, long before the market was oversaturated with them, but didn’t finish it. Up until now I’ve concentrated on short story writing.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My book is titled anemogram., which means “a record of the pressure or velocity of the wind, automatically marked by an anemograph”. It was picked with the assistance of a random word generator when I was having real difficulty in finding a title. Seems to fit the novel much better than anything that I could have come up with.
This novel was inspired by pure panic as I’d agreed to take part in a writing project where the final aim was to write something novel length in a month. With nothing but a few amorphous ideas I knuckled down and anemogram. is the result. At the time there was a great deal of hysteria in the media about the relationship between men and children, and that fed into the theme of my novel. I knew I wanted a young female protagonist and to focus on an unconventional interaction.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Not that I can think of! I do use music as a motivator for certain types of writing. This works especially well with more freely structured writing. But when I need to dig deep I prefer silence.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I haven’t really idolised any particular authors at all. The first book that I remember really loving was The Twits by Roald Dahl. The authors I’ve read the most are Paul Auster, JG Ballard and Albert Camus. I’m very enthusiastic about indie authors and I’m energised by that scene.
What are you working on now?
Being newly self-published my time in the short-term is devoted to promotion and getting my book to those who may appreciate it. When that has settled down I plan to start writing my next novel, and I’m also considering releasing a short story collection.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I’m very much still learning but so far the most positive response to my novel has come from Goodreads. I’ve found it invaluable as a way to connect with like-minded authors and potential readers.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Forget the market and write what moves you. Write from your gut and with your truth and your audience will find you. That’s what I keep telling myself anyway.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Not to take too much advice! It’s so easy to confuse a piece of writing by making unnecessary changes. It’s great and always appreciated when people give feedback but it’s important to be able to judge when that is serving the story or not.
What are you reading now?
I’ve just finished a book of poetry by Harry Whitewolf called New Beat Newbie, and am now about halfway through Franz Kafka’s The Trial. After that I plan to read Sket City: In Your Dreams with a Six Legged Carcass by Matt Cary Williams. I’m very much enjoying sampling the best that indie publishing has to offer.
What’s next for you as a writer?
Lots of searching for ways to gain exposure for my novel. My main aim for it is to find readers who will connect with the story. Then I’m heading for some intense writing time as I start work on my next project.
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?
I’d start with The Terminal Beach by JG Ballard. A short story collection is always handy in a marooned situation as it adds variety. I remember being very impressed with the descriptive tone of these stories but I haven’t read it in years, so would be interested to revisit it. I’d take The House on the Borderland by William Hope Hodgson, which is a great fantasy piece, perfect for trying to spiritually escape from my island prison. The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides is a pretty perfect book, and The New York Trilogy by Paul Auster.