When did you first start writing? Was being a writer something you always aspired to be?
The first thing I remember writing was at school, when English lessons consisted of taking a red book, the top half plain and the bottom lined, and writing whatever came into your head. My time was spent penning terrible cliché riddled pony stories complete with equally bad illustrations (I am no artist!).
I didn’t think I was good enough to be an actual writer, as in it paying the bills. Anything artistic wasn’t a proper job, or so I was led to believe.
What genre do you write?
I like paranormal fantasy but I like to base it in the modern world, so urban, dark fantasy might fit the bill. But I like to add a twist of horror too. To be honest I don’t like fitting a story into a neat little genre box. It will be what it wants to be.
Can you tell us a little about your current work in progress? When did you start working on this project?
My current work in progress is the sequel to my first book, The Making of Gabriel Davenport. It tells the story of what happened after *that* night at The Manor, when Gabriel’s world was torn apart. I started it about 5 months ago when I was waiting for beta reader feedback on the first one, and it has become a thing with a mind of its own. I have a couple of smaller projects lined up as soon as it is done, a novella length dystopian tale which will be written in a dual narrative with another writer (excited about our collaboration!) and a short story, hopefully for an anthology, set in the Middle Ages, which has a paranormal twist.
What was your first piece that you can remember writing? What was it about?
See cliché riddled pony stories above. I distinctly remember one about a police horse called Nathan. My apologies for any embarrassment caused to modern day police horses with that name 😉
What’s the best part about writing?
Creating a character who suddenly takes over in your head and leads the story. They become a living, emotion filled being , in charge of the words flowing from your fingers. That high is golden.
What’s the worst part about writing?
The days when the words stick like treacle and everything sounds stilted. The editing phase where there is SO MUCH TO DO and you think that it will never make sense.
What’s the name of your favourite character and why?
Oh, that’s hard. I’d have to go with Anne Rice’s infamous Lestat de Lioncourt, the incorrigible brat prince of the vampire world . I love his strength and will and refusal to give up. He does what he wants to do and to hell with any consequences. But please don’t mention Memnoch. That was a bad cheese nightmare…
How much time a day/week do you get to write? When is the best time for you to write (morning or night)?
It depends on the week. Some days I’m lucky to grab an hour or a minimum word count, but it’s rare that I don’t do something. Other days I have a completely free day. I usually write in the afternoon but I don’t think I have a time that is best.
Did you go to college for writing?
No. Does having a writing qualification make you a better writer? I’m not sure. It might make you a better technical writer but I believe that your voice is something you have to discover for yourself.
What bothers you more: spelling errors, punctuation errors or grammar errors?
Spelling *and* grammar. Your and you’re grate at me like nothing else!
What is the best writing advice that anyone has given you?
Just write the damn story.
What advice would you give to another writer?
- You can’t edit a blank page.
- Any amount of words is progress. Don’t think you have to churn out a thousand a day to be a ‘proper’ writer.
- Have a sense of humour.
What are your favourite writing sites or blogs that you turn to for help, tips or encouragement?
I don’t have any specific sites. I have a huge amount of bookmarks and Google is a writer’s best friend, but some of the ones I do use are Emma Darwin’s ‘This itch of Writing’, Writeability, Sara Whitford and Sydney Strand. The best supportive group on the internet are the people of the Monthly Writing Challenge. Without them I’d still be manuscript-less and wallowing in my own ineptitude.
Besides writing, what else do you enjoy doing? What are your hobbies?
I like to read obviously, although I don’t do it enough. I walk a lot, it’s when I iron out any plot holes or plan the next few scenes. Once a week I go to a Pilates class to smooth out the kinks spent from sitting too much. I love movies and box sets – Breaking Bad and Dexter being two of my favourites.
What’s the best book you’ve read this year?
Let’s see. That would either be the brilliant The Death House by Sarah Pinborough or Tantalus by Jane Jazz.
What is the best movie you’ve seen this year?
The Fault in Our Stars. Because it made me cry.
What is your favourite book or series of all time?
The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice. George R R Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire.
Who is your favourite author?
I don’t have a favourite. Those above. Stephen King, of course. Neil Gaiman. Hilary Mantel.
What are your plans for the rest of the year in terms of your writing?
I’m querying The Making of Gabriel Davenport at the moment. The editing on Book 2, (The Bloodvyne), will start after I’ve let it sit for a while, but I’ll do a note taking draft to keep it in my mind.