Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Interview with romantic comedy author Ann Crawford

Novelist Ann Crawford joins me today to talk about her ‘romantic comedy that’s out of this world,’ Fresh off the Starship.

During her virtual book tour, Ann will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice) gift card to a lucky randomly drawn winner. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit her other tour stops and enter there, too!

Welcome, Ann. Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I'm a fun-loving, world-traveling, high-flying, deep-diving, and living-to-the-max author of eight books. When I'm not flying planes, scuba diving, climbing every mountain (on the back of my husband’s motorcycle) or riding the world’s fastest roller coasters, you can find me in my writing nest with a view of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains out the window. I've lived all over--from both oceans white with foam, to the prairie, and now to the mountain. Yes, a little backwards, but what the hey.

My bestselling and award-winning novels go as high and deep as I do—they’re profound yet funny; playful although poignant; heart-opening and heart-lifting; thought-provoking and inspiring; and edgy while universal. I'm also a screenwriter and award-winning filmmaker and humanitarian.

Please share a little bit about your current release.
Fresh off the Starship is a fun, quirky look at what it would be like to wake up…human! I know we do that all the time and we’ve gotten quite good at it, but what would it be like to wake up as an adult human and experience a shower, the sun on your face, making love, a Starbucks Macchiato (which leads to a When Harry Met Sally “I’ll have what she’s having” moment)?

A starbeing wakes up in the body of Missy, in Western Kansas—but she was supposed to be in Washington, D.C. where she could help humanity on a grand geopolitical scale. Wrong place, right time, though? Through meeting the people there, she learns—and reminds them—how awesome and special this being-a-human thing is.

What inspired you to write this book?
I moved to Kansas—from the Northern California coast and after growing up in New York—thirteen years ago to marry my husband and be a stepmom to his two wonderful kids. I’d been through Kansas a few times as I crisscrossed the country over the years. He grew up halftime in Wichita and halftime on a farm in Western Kansas. When he took me out there, I fell in love with the people and the land. When I would tell people from big cities and the coasts that I was living in Kansas, they’d roll their eyes—like I probably used to. So I wanted to celebrate these people and the land as well as delve into some of the issues they experience there, as many places do. I wanted to show these Kansas folks’ depth, sincerity, and wisdom—they’re definitely not the bunch of “hicks” so many may think.

Also, I heard a line from the movie Starman many years ago: something along the lines of “You humans are at your best when you’re at your worst.” I’ve wanted to create my own starbeing for decades and have to look through her eyes to see how beautiful we humans can be and how amazing life on Earth is. It was really fun to have to imagine taking a sip of water for the first time as well as the many other fun things humans engage in.

Excerpt from Fresh off the Starship:
Matt hands her a large drink with a little mountain of fluffy white stuff on top, with stripes of brown dripping down the mountainsides.
      “Here, got you extra whipped cream and lots of car’mul on top, just the way you like it.”
      Missy takes a lick of the whipped cream and her eyes go wide. “Oh!”
      “Well, yer not supposed to lick it like an ice-cream cone. Sip it.”
      She does and then slaps her hand on the table.
      “Missy! You okay?”
      “Oh, my! How can you beings ever complain about anything?”
      “How’s that now?”
      “Nothing.” She takes another sip and moans again. Several customers seated nearby look over at her.
      “Missy, sweetheart, can you calm yourself a bit?”
      She takes a bite of the round treat on a stick he’d set down by her. The moans escalate.
      “Geez,” Matt says, trying to sink farther into his seat, “I feel like I’m straight out of When Harry Met Sally.”
      “Who’s Harry? Who’s Sally?”
      “The main characters in one of yer favorite movies. You made me watch it at least half a dozen times.”
      She takes another sip and bite. The moans escalate even more. By this time everyone in the café is looking at her.
      “Missy! Perhaps we should eat these in the car.”
      “Wherever you want!”
      The customers in the café receive one more rendition of “Ohhhhhhhh!” as Matt leads her out the door and she takes another sip of her drink. She climbs into the truck as he walks around to the driver’s side.
      Okay, maybe it’s not thaaaat bad here.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m writing about three generations of women – an
ex-flower child/hippie still living like it’s 1969, an arch conservative, and a 20 y.o. envelope-pushing trans woman—all under one roof….What could possibly go right? Readers can laugh and commiserate at their dismays over not only their contrasts, but even more over their surprising similarities…over their banter, but even more over what’s left unsaid…over their snarkiness, but even more over their ever-abiding love, despite all differences.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Oh, age 3.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I am beyond grateful to be able to say I write full-time now. I generally wake up pretty early. Right after breakfast I sit down in my writing nest and meditate for about 15 minutes. Then I write for 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7—you get the idea—hours. After that comes marketing work. I’d stay home all day every day, but I make myself get out to the gym, improv rehearsal and performances, a women’s group that I love (it has great speakers), the movies, and things like that.

When I was working fulltime, I would write for an hour very early in the morning and then all day Sundays. I wrote a whole bunch of books that way. One of the things I’m most grateful for is…..Sundays!

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I don’t write at a desk. I have one but I don’t like writing there. I have a couch facing out a window to a garden and a grove of trees that looks like Arthur and Genevere would’ve hung out in. I put my feet up on a hassock and my laptop on a big, thick, but flat cushion. I love this and my posture is probably much better.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
An author!

My mom was very, very ill as I was growing up, and she eventually died when I was a teenager. But one of her favorite things to do was read to me when I was little. Those were very special times, and the magic of a book has stayed with me.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I absolutely LOVE hearing from readers. You can reach me on my website, anncrawford.net. I’m so grateful to get to do what I love, and I’m even more grateful when readers tell me how my books have touched them.


Thank you for being a guest on my blog!

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Friday, April 26, 2019

Interview with poet Nigel Tetley

Poet Nigel Tetley joins me today to chat about his collection of poetry, It’s a Funny Old World.

Welcome, Nigel. Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
It started with a telephone call. In 2001, another teacher I had got to know in a neighbouring school called me one November evening to ask me if I would agree to write some children’s stories for a new numeracy project that she wanted to pilot in her own primary school. Her idea was to teach basic mathematical ideas through the medium of story. To this day, I do not know what made her think of me because, as I told her at the time, I had never written creatively in my entire life. I had only ever written irrelevant, boring, academic stuff at university, and I hadn’t even been particularly good at that. My only writing experience had been on philosophical and religious ideas, and now, as a teacher, the only writing I ever did was when I was either marking homework or churning out reports (which, all the evidence suggested, nobody read anyway). I didn’t have an imaginative life, I told her. I was a teacher, after all. She would have none of it, however, and so, if only to get her off my back, I reluctantly decided to give it a go. The moment I started was one of total astonishment. I felt that I had come home.

The numeracy project drew to a close, but I carried on, and I have not been able to stop; nor do I want to. Like a true addict, I don’t care about my dependency. All that matters to me now is my next fix. I have since branched out from numeracy topics to a diverse range of subjects and to a broader range of readers.

Please tell us about your current release.
It’s a Funny Old World is a collection of twenty poems written primarily for teenage readers who regard themselves as reluctant readers. The twenty pieces are short and accessible enough not to be threatening, but broad enough in their range of topics to stand a good chance of hooking the reader in.

What inspired you to write this book?
In my job as a teacher, I am continually confronted with the fact that most young people have a purely functional understanding of reading; that the one and only purpose of reading is to gain necessary information. The idea that one can approach a text in exactly the same way that one can instinctively approach, say, a piece of music, for example, is alien to most young people, in my experience. This book is a small attempt to change that mindset. Thus, the book is primarily for those who think that reading has got nothing to do with entertainment.

Excerpt from It’s a Funny Old World:


                                                I am not who I am,
                                                And I am who I’m not,
                                                I’m a living and stark contradiction,
                                                I express what is true,
                                                Yet my life is a lie,
                                                I’m a fact even though I’m a fiction,
                                                Every move that I make
                                                Is an act of pretence,
                                                A sham from beginning to end,
                                                A sheer fabrication,
A glorified lie,
                                                Whenever I play Let’s Pretend,
                                                There is no human drama
                                                I cannot take part in,
                                                I perform every role unrestricted,
                                                But alone in my room,
                                                There’s no sign of myself,
                                                Like a tenant now long since evicted,
                                                My essence is merely
                                                Dramatis Personae,
                                                A bundle of roles with no core,
                                                An identity void
Of a real, solid self,
                                                A collection of parts, nothing more,
                                                So when I use the word ‘I’
                                                In the course of a script,
                                                What is meant by this pronoun’s grammatical span?
                                                Am I me when I act or somebody else?
                                                Just who is now speaking:
                                                The mask or the man?

What exciting story are you working on next?
Ten Finger Rhymes (to teach the first five cardinal and ordinal numbers).

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I have never considered myself to be a writer. After all, Shakespeare was a writer, and I’m no Shakespeare. What I am is somebody who loves to play with the English language in the hope that I will entice others to do the same.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I am a teacher, and so writing is just a hobby for me, but one of the great things about writing is that it is a hobby that you can take anywhere. For example, I wrote the words to one of my pieces when stuck in a traffic jam. I wrote another during a free period at work when I should have been marking, and I wrote yet another during a school staff meeting. That’s the beauty of writing. You can do it anywhere, anytime, under any conditions, and nobody ever knows what you’re up to. It is the greatest form of escapism, ever.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I never write anything down until the whole piece is finished in my head.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a musician. Thankfully, the world was spared that particular affliction.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
My earliest memory is that of writing out each of the twenty-six letters of the English Alphabet, over and over again, and each time being mesmerised at how the shape of each one exactly matched the sound that it made. That perfect correspondence is one that still bewitches me to this day. How is it that each letter looks like its sound? (If you haven’t ever noticed this before, go back and have a fresh look. You’re in for the shock of your life.)

Thanks for stopping by today! All the best with your writing.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Interview with fantasy author Natalie Johanson

Fantasy author Natalie Johanson joins me today to chat about her new novel, Shadow’s Voice.

During her virtual book tour, Natalie will be giving away a signed physical copy of Shadow’s Voice (US only). To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit her other tour stops and enter there, too.

Natalie Johanson grew up and lives in the valley of Salt Lake City surrounded by the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Her days are spent trying to herd her two cats, Holmes and Watson. Natalie’s summers are spent camping with her fiancée or doing obstacle races with her best friend. She usually spends her winters hiding from the snow. This is the first of what will hopefully become a trilogy, but sometimes the characters do what they want.

Please share a little bit about your current release.
Shadow’s Voice is about the heroine, Rose Trewin, who has the magic to walk through shadows. This magic is something she hates, and wishes she never had. Rose is on the run and is looking for nothing more than a simple and quiet life. Instead she is pulled into a coup and the workings of court. Shadow’s Voice is about how this young woman learns to accept herself all while trying to save the king.

What inspired you to write this book?
I really wanted to write a story that had the ending I wanted. Then as I was writing, I decided I wanted a story with characters that feel real. I wanted a heroine that made stupid mistakes and was selfish, and sometimes you just want to throttle. Because that’s how people are. No one is black and white. So, I wrote that character.

Excerpt from Shadow’s Voice:
Nico, back in that small clearing, was limping backward with his sword held defensively in front of him. A strange man paced back and forth in front of Nico, a sword held in one hand and a dagger in the other.

It is not my problem, she thought to herself and started to pull back, but stopped. When did she become this callous? She’d done terrible things in her past, more to stay hidden from her father but when did that make her soulless? She watched Nico struggle to stay on his feet. He had been kind to her, had tried to help her, and Rose had been about to leave him to his death. When had she become so cold?

Rose growled at herself and dropped into the mists of her shadows. She would not let herself become that person. Her head pounded, and Rose grit her teeth against the ache. It was a few quick steps through the darkness and Rose was back in the clearing with Nico and the mercenary. Rose stayed in the shadows, a shapeless form flowing in the darkness, looking and waiting.

Two were following Nico but only one was here. Where was the other?

“Where is it?”

Nico shook his head and adjusted the grip on his blade.

“The information you stole, where is it?” the man sneered. “I’m killing you either way, but if you could save me the time of hunting down any partners you have…”

The man raised his sword, and Rose saw her moment. She emerged from the shadows, saw stars as the pain in her head exploded, and kicked out hard with her foot. The clearing echoed with the man’s scream as her foot crashed into his knee.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m currently working on the sequel to Shadow’s Voice. It’ll pick up right where Shadow’s Voice ends at and will some exciting new characters from Rose’s past. This book will start to really address the true threat that is hinted at in Shadow’s Voice.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I think I started calling myself a writer when I was working full force on Shadow’s Voice with the intent to publish it.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I wish I had the time to write full time! I have a full time job that requires more than full time hours of me a lot of the time. I try my best to write on the weekends or in the evenings if I'm not too tired. Usually I binge write several dozen pages in an eight hour period then don’t get a chance to write again for days.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I don’t know if I’d call it a quirk, but if I can I love to hand write my pages first before I type them into my word doc. I can type really fast. Really fast. So, having a hand written page first, when I go to type the page I'm usually able to do a decent amount of editing and expanding right there.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be so many things. A teacher. Then a literary professor. Lawyer. Barrel racer. Cop. So many things. I’m a detective now, so at least one of those dreams happened.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Read anything you can. And write anything you want. Even if it’s fanfic. Write because you want to.


Thank you for being a guest on my blog!

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Monday, April 22, 2019

Interview with mystery author Travis Haugen

Today’s special guest is novelist Travis Haugen. He’s here chatting with me about his new mystery thriller, SOUP: The Future Is Past and Present.

During his virtual book tour, Travis will be awarding a $30 Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice) gift card to a lucky randomly drawn winner. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit his other tour stops and enter there, too.

Travis was born and raised in the prairies of Saskatchewan, lived in Calgary for over 25 years and presently lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Travis Haugen has spent forty years of his life touring on the road as a musician and has spent hundreds of hours in recording studios. Travis spends much of his time writing songs, writing stories, playing music and spending valuable time with his family and close group of friends.

Welcome, Travis. Please share a little bit about your current release.
The story spans 20 years from 2001 to 2021. It is the continuing story of the second generation of the Yonge family. They are a family in search of themselves while dealing with the premature death of their musical father. They find that answers come hard in this period of political unrest, an unrest that contributed to their father’s demise.

What inspired you to write this book?
Music. The writing of one song in 2001 started the process that led to SOUP.

Excerpt from SOUP: The Future Is Past and Present:
March 30, 2001 – Calgary
The melancholy sound of lonesome piano blues wakes Michelle from a restless sleep. She throws on Scott’s old faded black and white striped cotton robe and makes her way through the darkness to the living room. She takes her place beside him on the piano bench, his face partially lit by a solitary low wattage lamp sitting to the left, on the mantle of the old antique acoustic piano. He shows her a sad smile and continues playing an old blues tune she can’t place, but knows she’s heard somewhere before. “Scott, are you okay?” she asks.
He stops and turns to face her, patting her bare leg. “I’ve been better,” he replies with a wry grin.
“You’ve been crying,” she says softly. “What’s wrong?”
“The dream woke me again, same one. I remember more this time. A little, anyway. I’m a kid outside a blonde wooden door in a long white hallway. The door has number 519 stenciled in black on its surface. I don’t want to open that door, Michelle.”

What exciting story are you working on next?
My niece, Candy, and I, are working on bringing the second book in the ‘One Song’ series, Hedley, from the editing stage to the publishing stage. We are also working on music and prose for the 4th book in the series, so stay tuned.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I have been writing songs since I was 15 years old. Writing one particular song on one particular lonely night in late 2001 led directly to me writing the ‘One Song’ series.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
When I write, I write full-time. Once I start writing, it flows and flows and flows until it stops. However, I also work as a computer consultant, play in numerous bands, do session work at ‘Bedside Studios’ in Winnipeg, and conduct philatelic on line auctions for ‘Bow City Philatelics in Calgary, Alberta. So, you can see, when the writing urge hits me, my life is not busy at all, lol. This is why Candy has become invaluable to me in this process, we are a team.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I do most of my writing while I am not writing. I have not driven since 1980 because of my eye sight. I get around, snow, rain or shine 365 days of the year on a bike. I do most of my writing, be it music or prose, while I am riding. When I get home, I sit down to a piano or a guitar for the music, or a computer for the prose and I put down what came to me during the day.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A Mad Scientist!

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
If you are an e-book reader, I strongly recommend this format for you. The links to the music are embedded in the book so the music is a simple click away. If you prefer the hard copy, the interactivity between the music and the website is a simple thing. Instructions are in the book itself on the very first page on The Note From The Author. I hope you enjoy our Interactive Musical Thriller.


Thank you for being a guest on my blog!
Thanks for having us.
--Travis Haugen and Candy Haugen

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Friday, April 19, 2019

Interview with thriller author Richard Armstrong

Novelist Richard Armstrong joins me today and we’re chatting a bit about his new comedy crime thriller (aka, a ‘caper’), The Don Con.

Richard Armstrong's first book, Leaving the Nest (co-authored with his mother, Dorinne Armstrong) was published by William Morrow & Co. in 1986 and had five printings. His second book, The Next Hurrah, was published by Morrow in 1988. It was praised by The Los Angeles Times as “captivating and complete” and by Kirkus Reviews as “One of the best books on the ramifications of the electronic political process since Joe McGinniss's 'The Selling of a President.’” His first novel, God Doesn't Shoot Craps, was published by Sourcebooks in 2006 and optioned for film by the producers of the Broadway show "Xanadu." A 1974 graduate of Carleton College, he works as a freelance advertising copywriter and lives with his wife Sharon in the Glover Park neighborhood of Washington, D.C. If you’d like to contact Richard Armstrong with questions, comments, interview or book club requests, please visit www.TheDonCon.com

Welcome, Richard. Please tell us about your current release.
The Don Con tells the story of a washed-up actor who hit the high watermark of his career when he played a bit part as a gangster in The Sopranos. Now he makes a meager living signing autographs at pop-culture fan conventions.

But one day, a real gangster shows up in his autograph line and he makes the actor an offer he can’t refuse: “You’re going to help me rob all the celebrities at the next fan convention—or else.”

The Don Con is a pure entertainment caper novel with all the intrigue of Ocean’s 11, as well as a clever pop-culture satire that riffs on The Sopranos, Star Trek, and The Sting.

What inspired you to write this book?
I have an old friend who was one of the main actors in Star Trek: The Next Generation. My wife and I had dinner with him one night and he regaled us with funny stories about signing autographs at Star Trek conventions. (Until then, I didn’t know such things existed!) Among other things, he told us how much cash he brings home after one of these autograph sessions, because it’s still mostly a cash business. Not long after that dinner, I thought to myself, “I wonder what would happen if someone tried to steal the cash from all the celebrities at a fan convention.” And that’s how I got the idea for The Don Con!

What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m still looking around for a good idea. It’s been my experience that it only takes a month or two to write a novel. But it takes about five years to come up with a good idea for one! Then once you have the idea, of course, you’ve got to work out the plot and character development. That’s where it begins to get hard.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I started considering myself a professional writer from the moment I got my first check in the mail for a magazine article. That was about 40 years go. At the time I’d been working for a few years as an advertising writer. But I don’t really think you’re entitled to call yourself a “professional writer” until you’ve been published and gotten paid for it.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
As I mentioned, I make my living as a freelance advertising writer (also known as a “copywriter”). As a result, I’m writing or researching almost every day. I generally put in about three hours of creative work in the morning and then spend my afternoons at the local bar. No, just kidding. I spend my afternoon doing all the other tasks necessary with running a freelance copywriting business. When it comes to writing fiction, however, it’s more a matter of whether I have a good idea for a novel to work on. If I do, I usually clear the decks of my advertising work and then work on the novel very intensively until the first draft is done. If I’m in the throes of writing a novel, I can’t rest until it’s all out of my head and onto paper. So I might work up to ten hours a day on it. But writing is the easy part! The job of a novelist gets difficult when you start doing the editing, looking for an agent and/or publisher, and promoting the book.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Every time I open a manuscript on my computer I give it a new number. TheDonCon5 ... TheDonCon6 ... etc. But I always skip the number 13 because it’s bad luck!

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Believe it or not, I wanted to be President of the United States. But I wasn’t a good enough liar to succeed in politics. So I write fiction and advertising instead. (Politics isn’t the only field for people who like to make stuff up!)

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
In the process of writing THE DON CON, I did a lot of research into how con men operate. I found out how they sucker their victims into making foolish mistakes. How they convince their “marks” to believe things that aren’t true. How they get away with the money before their victims even know they’ve been conned.

In my research, I discovered a number of of tricks and techniques—44 of them to be exact—used by con men that you can use (legally!) whenever you need to convince anybody of anything.

Please go to www.thedoncon.com and download your FREE copy of How to Talk Anybody into Anything: Persuasion Secrets of the World’s Greatest Con Men now. It’s an instant free download.

Thanks for being here today, Richard.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Interview with dark fiction author Mark Kirkbride

Novelist Mark Kirkbride joins me today to chat about his post-apocalyptic horror novel, Game Changers of the Apocalypse.

Mark Kirkbride lives in Shepperton, England. He is the author of two novels, Game Changers of the Apocalypse and Satan’s Fan Club, published by Omnium Gatherum. His short stories can be found in Under the Bed, Sci Phi Journal, Disclaimer Magazine and Flash Fiction Magazine. His poetry has appeared in the Big Issue, the Morning Star, the Mirror and Horror Writers Association chapbooks.

Welcome, Mark. Please tell us about your current release.
My latest novel, just out in Kindle and print, is Game Changers of the Apocalypse. It’s a post-apocalyptic horror novel. The main characters, Greg and Polly, have survived the apocalypse, yet shouldn’t have. So the universe is about to be reset to correct for the anomaly that they represent. But Greg and Polly gain access to a printer that prints drafts of the future and have a brief window to try and sidestep their fates before a new draft is completed.

What inspired you to write this book?
I had the idea one night at university – a while ago now. I wanted to write a last-man-alive novel but updated to last man and woman. It’s very much about the main characters’ relationship. The whole fate of the human race rests on them getting their relationship to work. Unfortunately, they split up the day before the world ended, and there’s an outside entity acting against them. No pressure then!

Excerpt from Game Changers of the Apocalypse:
Standing on paper, he leaned into the printer’s invisible heat-field. The world’s ended and I’m still coming to work... But his hunch paid off. Another manuscript filled the tray.
He snatched it up, Draft 3.
He flicked through its warm pages. Come on, come on, come on... Polly going off had rendered Draft 2 obsolete. Where is she? Radical action on their part could nudge fate in a different direction. Tell me. While unstable over time, short term the manuscripts’ predictions proved accurate. A clue. Something. Anything… With the right information, he could use Draft 3 against itself.
Yes. It worked. He found out where she’d gone.
Oh, God, not there.
Not now...
For a moment he could see himself from the outside, clasping the manuscript – the story of their lives, written.
Rearranging his grip, he noticed he’d smudged the cover page.
His thumb came away with a black mark on it. The ink’s still wet. He left the manuscript on the side. There’s still time to change things, if I hurry.

What exciting story are you working on next?
At the moment I’m working on a novella about a man who goes to confront God after the death of his wife. The Devil exploits his grief and he gets caught up in the eternal war between heaven and hell.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I think it creeps up on you gradually. A poem here, a short story there. Probably the big milestone was getting my first novel published. But I think I’ve always been a writer by temperament.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
Sadly I don’t write full-time. I also work as a Subtitle Editor in London and do other little bits of freelance/commissioned work that crops up such as narrative design for a video game developer or writing quiz questions for an app developer. Everything tends to take priority over writing fiction but a lot of the best ideas arrive AFK in any case and I think I’m always writing in my head.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I’m not sure how quirky this is but I can’t write anything unless I have a title to begin with – even if I end up changing it.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
For a long time I wanted to be a pilot. I did end up doing some flying and did enough to go solo but not enough to get a license. I sometimes think that writing is a little like flying. You take off at full throttle and try and land on the shortest runway possible.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I haven’t mentioned this in public before but my grandmother died during the course of writing the book (she was 102) and, partly to stick two fingers up to death, I brought her back as a little girl at the end of it. Obviously I didn’t know her as a youngster but l like to think the character embodies a little of her spirt.

Thank you for listening.


Thank you for being here today!