Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I have been writing for about twenty years, but focussed mainly on short stories. Now that I am retired, I find that I have no excuses left, so I have just published my first novel.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My book is called ‘A Compound Investigation’. It is set in the early 1950s. This is an era that I wanted to research, as I was born in the late ‘50s and knew little of how my parents had coped with WW2 and the aftermath..
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I’m sure that we all have different approaches. Personally, I like to break a story into bite-size chunks – scenes. Once my book is complete, I then group these scenes into chapters.
I use a Chromebook mostly for writing, as this can be used almost anywhere and it takes no time to boot. I also know that all of my work is safely backed-up and I don’t have to worry about pressing ‘save’ all of the time. This means that I can concentrate on the writing.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Where do I begin? I suppose that I mostly read Mystery and Science Fiction, so authors like Leslie Charteris and Anne McCaffrey have been influential. As a child, I enjoyed the Swallows and Amazons books by Arthur Ransome.
What are you working on now?
I am resting until November, then I intend to write a Science Fiction series. When I say that I am resting, I will not be idle – A series takes an awful lot of planning. I am also trying to promote my published novel, A Compound Investigation.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
As this is my first book and I am just beginning to promote it, I feel that I am too new to this subject to give advice. MyBookPlace seems to be a good place to start.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Persevere. You will need to stay focussed if you want to finish your draft and get published. You will need to spend a lot of your time checking for typos and grammar. Computer and online tools do not do a thorough job, although they are worth using before you embark on manual checking.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Don’t look at a blank page – write something – anything.
You have permission to write badly. Just because you wrote it, doesn’t mean anyone else has to see it. Just because you typed it, doesn't mean it has to stay on the page. That’s what revisions are for.
What are you reading now?
The Fixer, by Rex Carpenter.
What’s next for you as a writer?
Hopefully, starting to write a Science Fiction series this winter. The plan is to write the first two stories. That should be quite a challenge!
What is your favorite book of all time?
I know that it is cheating, but I have two: I Robot, by Isaac Asimov, and DragonFlight, by Anne McCaffrey.