When did you first start writing?
I started learning the craft properly in my early twenties (January 2000), after having a dream (cliche, I know). However, there were moments in my past when I loved to write. At the age of 11, I remember having to write about a day in the life of a medieval city. We were required to write 1-2 pages, but I couldn’t stop – I could see everything so clearly as if it were a film. I took it home to complete and it was 13 pages long (and I got 3 house points for it).
Where do you get your ideas from?
I think the question is where don’t I get them from. They are everywhere – floating above us in invisible clouds waiting to be plucked from the air. My characters come to me in the most unexpected places. Their faces emerge from rugged carpets, curtains, tiles, dreams and clouds. Ideas spring from the most mundane tasks such as ironing, washing up or cleaning in general. I also take what I most like from other books, films and dramas and turn them into something different, but of equal interest to me.
Do you ever get writer’s block and if so what do you do about it?
I have come to see Writer’s Block as a friend. A friend who tells me to take a break and go and do something else instead. There is no point pondering, getting frustrated and tapping your fingers. Simply stand up from the computer, switch it off, back away and enjoy the other hundred of things you could be doing. Going for a walk and getting fresh air is great as ideas can often resolve themselves.
Sometimes its a case of realising I’ve been going down the wrong path and perhaps a chapter or two needs to be deleted. The most I’ve ever deleted is 16,000 words. It was a little painful, but afterwards I felt great and was on the right path again.
What have you gained most from writing?
This is easy: two stone in weight! Jeez! And it doesn’t want to let me go any time soon.
On a serious note, I have become a better writer and my confidence has increased. It has taken me on many adventures and helped me to pursue a career as a teacher, which I love. Kids need inspiration and after speaking to them about writing, I often see a change in their attitude and they start to embrace it as they develop their own confidence. Confidence is the key to having the courage to open a closed door where creativity lies beyond.
What genres do you enjoy writing?
I enjoy writing science-fiction, fantasy, paranormal, romance and recently been toying with crime. Anything that teases and entertains my imagination, I thrive on.
How many books have you written?
Altogether I have written 9 books, but there are so many waiting to be created on the shelves inside my mind.
What is the book called that you are writing at the moment?
It’s titled Second Chance and is the second book from the Saviour of Souls Series. It’s been quite exciting as I’ve had colleagues involved in the proof reading stages of the first book and they are part of my journey too, which I am very grateful to them for. I am aiming for 75,000 words and so far have reached 60,000. But I am constantly going back and forth changing aspects and adding to them.
When do you find time to write as a teacher?
My first priority is as a teacher, since it’s my main job and income. If I am desperate to write, I won’t until my school work is complete first. I am very disciplined like that. Much of the bulk of writing takes place in school holidays and at weekends.
Do you make much money as an author?
No, hardly enough to call pocket money. But I realised something a long time ago – my main aim of writing isn’t to make a fortune, but rather it’s a ‘need’ that needs to be fulfilled. I don’t feel content or happy as a person if I can’t write. However, at the back of my mind, like most authors, I dream of the stories becoming films one day. And there’s no harm in dreaming, is there? 😉 My books are affordable, but I receive less than a pound (£) per book.
What have you done to market your books?
I used to say I was useless at marketing, until a friend (John Miller) asked me if I knew how to market the books. I said no, and he made me realise I can’t be useless at something I don’t know much about. He was amazing and gave me some great tips – including creating this website. Thank you John! It’s onwards and upwards from here! 😉