What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My latest novel, released on May 16th 2017, is 'Gerald and the amulet of Zonrach' which is the story of a less than able wizard who causes mayhem with a spell he used to create a nice shiny new village landmark.
The inspiration came when I was in the shower, funnily enough. I love Terry Pratchett and his discworld series and also fantasy in general. I wanted to write a novel that I would love to read and suddenly the concept of promotion by height popped into my head. If a wizard successfully casts a spell he has a chance of promotion in inches, but if he makes a mistake, which Gerald would be known for, he loses inches. The tallest wizards in the land are the most powerful. I could foresee a lot of fun writing this, especially as I wanted the protagonist to be a bit of a klutz.
I've also released a prequel short story entitled 'Gerald becomes a wizard'. This is available free and the link is on my books page.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Not really, unless you count not being able to get away from my chair because of the eight rescue dogs wrapped around it.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
As I said earlier, Terry Pratchett has a big influence on my writing, but other writers such as Tolkien, Brandon Sanderson, Andrew Buckley have helped shape the voice in my writing.
Terry and Andrew because of the humor, Tolkien, because, well, heís Tolkien and the father of fantasy. Brandon because I like the way he is constantly coming up with fresh approaches to the genre of fantasy.
What are you working on now?
I am working on two novels at the moment. 'Gerald and the pot of gold' is the third in the Gerald series and he lands himself in trouble immediately, although this time it is not all his fault.
The other is called Wilfrid and is about a twelve year old boy living in Anglo Saxon, England. His world falls apart shortly after his rite of manhood and if he doesnít succeed in his quest to kill a mythical wolf then his father and best friend will be trapped between midgard and Waelheall, the Anglo Saxon Valhalla.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I use the normal social media pages such as facebook and twitter. I also have a goodreads author page and my Amazon author page. Apart from that Iím pretty much a marketing novice.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
My only advice is to not give up on your dream. Rejections are a part of the process and everyone gets them. Donít let them get you down, although it is disheartening sometimes, and keep tweaking and submitting. Make friends with other writers and industry professionals, you can learn a lot from them and it helps to stop you feeling isolated when another rejection slip appears in your inbox. Eventually it will happen.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Donít stop writing until the first draft is completed. Usually the worst thing you can do is start editing what you have just written. I puts in this endless cycle and you never finish the draft. Get the book written then go back and edit.
What are you reading now?
Iím reading a lot of Bernard Cornwell and other historical novels such as viking, anglo saxon, roman and Napoleonic wars stories as I love those times.
Whatís next for you as a writer?
I have 2 novels with a publisher at the moment. One is the second in the Gerald series, 'Gerald and the three princesses', and the other is entitled 'Jaguar' which is the story of how a pregnant female jaguar escapes from an illegal zoo and has to survive and raise her cubs in a foreign land.
I done a few school visits, an amazing experience which no author should pass up if they get the chance. I'm always available for Skype visits and interviews.
Iím going to finish the two books Iím writing at the moment and should have them both done before the end of the year.
Hopefully I will obtain representation by an agent in the future, that is my next goal. To me having someone in your corner to help build your career is very important.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
Lord of the rings, Elantris, Color of Magic, Stiltskin