Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I was born in Wolverhampton, England in 1956 and worked primarily in the steel industry until 1990 when I embarked on a fairly radical change of direction, moving to Japan where I opened a small English language school. Married with two grown up children, work still takes up a great deal of my time. The remainder I divide up between taking long walks by the sea with my ever faithful border collie, building model tall ships and writing.The Blunt End of the Service, published in March 2016 is my first novel.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
The Blunt End of the Service was inspired by Star Trek – that most famous of sci-fi dramas, Lewis, the wonderful detective series set in the beautiful university town of Oxford, and Terry Pratchett, the creator of the amazing Discworld novels.
As a consequence, my tale is… set in space and has detectives. As for the late, great Mr. Pratchett, would that I were able to emulate his extraordinary imagination and gift for writing but alas, some things are not meant to be.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I have a very general outline of how the story will pan out but as for the rest, the story seems to evolve with a life of it’s own.
I probably spend three times as much time thinking than writing. This is usually done during the long walks I take with my beautiful border collie through the woods and down by the sea. Once home I jot a few things down in a notebook and take it from there.
Once I start writing I find that one sentence leads to another, which in turn gives me another idea and I think, “What if this happens, or what if that happens…?” Then I take the dog out and begin the cycle all over again.
Healthy for the body, healthy for the mind. The dog’s happy too.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Have to go with Tom Clancy and Terry Pratchett.
What are you working on now?
I’m working on the sequel to the Blunt End of the Service which will be entitled ‘The Blunt End of the Comet’.
I’m also working on a collection of short stories, the lead story of which will be called ‘Across Enemy Space’.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
As a new author I’m still learning!
Do you have any advice for new authors?
The best advice I can give is to take your time, don’t set deadlines and do the best job you possibly can. There might be times when you think you’ll never finish the project but stick at it and you’ll get there in the end. I got such a buzz when I actually published on Amazon.
One thing though, it might be a good idea to think about the promoting and marketing side of things before you publish. I never gave it a thought. Silly me…
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Never walk down the street and grab a strange dog by the ears.
What are you reading now?
I’m reading Agent Zigzag, by Nicholas Booth, the true story of a WW2 double agent.
What’s next for you as a writer?
Where the next page takes me…. I’m not always in control.
What is your favorite book of all time?
Shogun, by James Clavell
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