Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
Currently I have four published books aimed at adults, six novels for children, two collections of short stories, three stage plays and a non-fiction book about the craft of writing.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My most recent book (Curse of the Baskervilles), is the third in The Watson Letters series, a spoof Sherlock Holmes adventure that pits the intrepid duo against a ghostly locomotive, sends them on a journey to Dartmoor in search of a gigantic hound, and teams them up with bloodthirsty psychiatrist Hannibal Lecter in the hunt for a murderer.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Many famous authors, including Hemingway, Virginia Woolf and Nabokov, would write standing up. I’ve had a standing desk at my place of work for a few years but have only recently acquired one for my writing at home. Using this technique gets the creative juices flowing, is good for posture, burns more calories and is said to prolong life.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I'm influenced by many authors, most recently including Robert McCammon, Kate Summerscale, Stephen King, Graham Greene, Kate Colquhoun and James Herbert. I think it's really important for writers to also be readers – anyone who believes it's possible to do one without the other is an idiot.
What are you working on now?
I'm currently working on the second ‘Skeleton Cove Horror’ series for kids (The Curse of Calico Jack), and the second in the Terry Bell Mysteries (A Long Cool Glass of Murder).
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I don't have a particular method, other than trying to get my books on as many sites as possible. If I discover the magic formula, I'll let you know!
Do you have any advice for new authors?
It's hard sometimes to keep writing when there isn't much in the way of success. All writers want to be read, they want feedback, interaction and (naturally) praise. The only way to reach your goal is to keep writing and striving to improve your work, but mainly I think it's about writing what you want to write, not what you think you should write.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Stephen King said it all:
Read a lot, write a lot.
What are you reading now?
I'm reading ‘The Song of Geneva Chance’ by Keith Dixon and ‘The Michigan Murders’ by Edward Keyes.
What’s next for you as a writer?
My father died last summer and I hardly wrote a word for six months, so now I’m working on getting back into a regular routine.
What is your favorite book of all time?
'I am Messenger' by Markus Zusak