Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I spent ten years working as an archaeologist in the Middle East and Europe before taking the plunge and becoming a full time writer. I've written a dozen fiction books, numerous history books, and a bunch of stuff for ghostwriting clients.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
The Last Hotel Room. This book deals with a bankrupt American who ends up in Tangier while running away from his problems. He meets a Syrian refugee boy who he tries to help get off the streets. I spent some time in Syria before the war and found it a wonderful place full of hospitable people. Now the country is destroyed. I've been doing some charity work for refugees here in Europe (I live in Spain) and a portion of my royalties goes to Doctors Without Borders.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I've noticed that I work best first thing in the morning, so I've created extra "early mornings" by breaking up the workday. I'll get up, work, go to the gym, work, take a siesta, work. After each break I feel like it's early morning again!
What authors, or books have influenced you?
So many it's hard to count. The 19th century Russians, of course, and the Beats. Plus lots of the Moroccan authors such as Mohammad Chukri and Albdellah Taia.
What are you working on now?
The Masked Man of Cairo. It's an adventure novel in the old pulp style, set in Cairo in 1919. I'm going to Cairo at the end of the month for a couple of weeks to research it and get into the mood.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Spreading the word through newsletters like yours works pretty well. I have to admit I'm a bit over my head with the marketing side of things. I'm learning, though!
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Write, write, write. Like any other art, writing takes practice. Write every day, don't get caught in the trap of endless revisions, and constantly put out new material.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
What are you reading now?
The second book of The Cairo Trilogy by Naguib Mafouz. Brilliant family saga and set in the same time period as my own novel!
What’s next for you as a writer?
More writing! This year I want to get out that Cairo book I mentioned above, plus new installments in my Toxic World post-apocalyptic series and my Trench Raiders WWI action series.
What is your favorite book of all time?
On the Road by Jack Kerouac. I first read it when I was 24 and hitching across Asia. Perfect timing.