Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
When I'm not TW Iain, I'm a pretty average bloke — kids, job, house, all that good stuff. But I've always loved, and have tried writing a number of times over the years. I wrote my first novel between working shifts at a flour mill — and it stinks! But I got back into writing in 2015, and since then I've put out three novels and a few shorter books in a dark dystopian thriller series, and have now just released the first book in a new sci-fi/horror series.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My latest book is Shadowfall, and it's the start of a sci-fi/horror series. I think I wanted a break from the dystopian thriller stuff of my other books, and I've always enjoyed horror, so it seemed like a fun thing to try.
I'm definitely into the more creepy/psychological horror rather than the blood & guts stuff, and Alien was a big influence.
But the sci-fi elements were inspired by progress in science, and what that actually means. Compared to a hundred years ago, we can do so much to fix and improve our bodies, but that is causing new problems we can't yet imagine. Think of stuff like MRSAs, where over-use of antibiotics has arguably made things worse. So in Shadowfall there's a whole underlying thing questioning technology and scientific advances.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I don't think getting up at a ridiculous time of the morning counts as unusual, does it? I could mention that I use a standing desk, but that's getting more common now, too. So I don't think I have any unusual writing habits. No more unusual than other writers, anyway.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Probably every single thing I've read, even the ones I didn't enjoy.
Recently, I've been influenced by the Sterling and Stone team (Sean Platt, Johnny B Truant and David Wright). Their books are always fun to read, and although they don't always pull off what they attempt, I admire how they constantly push themselves. It's interesting to see how their writing has changed and improved over the years, and I suppose that's an influence in the way it pushes me to keep improving my craft and trying new things.
What are you working on now?
I'm currently working on the second novel in my Shadows series, but I also have the fourth in my Dominions series almost complete, as well as a few shorts in this same series. Oh, and I've been putting a free short story up on my website every fortnight.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I don't think I have a good grasp of promotion yet. At the moment, I'm concentrating more on producing books, because that's the part I really enjoy. And when I have more books out there, I'll have more products to experiment with.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Write. It's that simple — and that hard.
If you haven't finished a first draft yet, then forget editing, forget going back and changing stuff. Just get in the habit of writing, and plough through to the end. Don't wait for 'the muse', just write.
And for that first draft of that first book — don't listen to anyone else. Write what you want. Wait until later for advice. Stephen King put it best — 'write with the door shut, edit with the door open.'
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
There's so much good advice out there, but one phrase that has stuck with me (and this ties in with my answer to the last question) is 'you can't edit a blank page'. You want to be a writer? Then write.
At the moment I'm planning a new book, but I can feel myself getting bogged down in details, and worrying if it's going to work. So I'm forcing myself to start the writing. There will always be things to change later, but getting the words down is always the most important step.
What are you reading now?
Rebecca Cantrell's first Joe Tesla book, The World Beneath. I'm intrigued by the idea of an agoraphobic character living in a house in the subways of New York (I think), and I'm enjoying the book so far. It's one of hundreds of e-books I've downloaded over the last couple of years, and I'm trying to read them all. Problem is, I keep on finding more that look interesting!
What’s next for you as a writer?
Keep on writing! I want to wrap up the Shadows trilogy by early 2018, and have books 4-6 of the Dominions series out by the end of next year. I also have plans for another series based on a short story I wrote, but I really need to put in a bit more time on marketing.
What is your favorite book of all time?
I only get to choose one? That's impossible!
For sheer enjoyment, Hitch-Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy. I don't have to read it now, I just look at the page and remember the words. Douglas Adams was a genius.