When did you know you wanted to be a writer? Forever is actually the honest answer, I can remember being very small, no more than four years old and writing my very first masterpiece in crayon on the side of a cardboard box. No, I can’t remember what that story was but I’m sure it was very profound.
Have you always known what genre you want to write it? No, I’m not sure that it’s that easy to figure out initially especially as you mature and your skill set changes. When I was young I wrote short stories mostly about magic and I think that was provoked by the fact I really wanted magical powers. Then there was a long stretch of poetry followed by fantasy. These were all during my younger years and helped me develop my character building and my understanding of myself as an author. The there was a serious crack at children’s writing and now crime where I feel completely at home and in retrospec genuinely surprised I didn’t figure this out sooner.
Do I have a favourite author? No not really, there are so many wonderful writers out there that it would be impossible to pick just one. I’ve always loved crime books and read all the Agatha Christie I could get my hands on when I was a teenager but I also read a lot of different genres too, if a story appeals to me I’ll read it.
Where do you get your ideas? I don’t know they just pop into my head and usually not fully formed either, just a whisper of a thought of an idea to begin with. Good & Guilty (the book I currently have out on submission) began with just an opening line and nothing else, just a character presenting herself to me and suggesting that I figure out her story. I was driving to work and there it was in my brain. A while ago I read Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert and she talks about ideas being living things that will go and find somewhere else to live if you don’t give them the time of day, I don’t subscribe to that in it’s purity but I do think that when you allow your brain to be open to the idea of ideas and being creative then. you are more likely to have ideas.
Do you have any advice for any other writers starting on their journey? Sure if you want it, not that I think that I’m an expert but for what it’s worth; don’t wait to do it just start, the worst thing that can happen is that you regret never having tried. Writing a book is hard and it’s not enough to have good ideas and good intentions. You have to be prepared to put in the work, when you’re tired, busy, not in the mood to or any of the other excuses that we’ve all used. The first draft is never the finished draft, there’s a huge amount of work that comes after. Where at all possible surround yourself with people who respect and support you ambitions. Good Luck!
How do you feel when you get a rejection letter? How does anyone feel when they get rejected - it sucks. You worked on this book baby for months, maybe even years, you put your heart and soul into it and someone doesn’t like it. You may even have a cry, kick some furniture, go for a long reflective walk - whatever works for you. No one wants to be rejected, but if you’re going to be a writer it comes with the territory and you need to understand that no one is saying that you should give up or that you’re never going to be good enough. My first offering got a full house of rejections and I didn’t enjoy it but I did learn from it. I learnt that I needed to be better at writing a synopsis and covering letter. Also looking back they were right that book wasn’t good enough to publish, I should have walked away from it for longer because it could have been better, but it really helped me develop my skills.
Traditional or Self Publishing? I’m really open to both. Right now my focus is on being traditionally published because that has always been the goal for me but that’s not to say I wouldn’t consider self-publishing if I thought it was right for the project I was working on.
Do I need to be part of a writing group? If I you want to be, I’m not, I don’t really have the time, I know people who enjoy going and getting a lot out of it. I do think that finding a community of like minded people is important. I found that on Twitter and I will be forever grateful.
Do you have a day job as well? Yes, I have financial commitments. I get up every morning just after six am I have an hour commute each way and work every fourth Saturday and in between I graft at my writing with the belief that one day I will be privileged enough to have my dream job.
Pet hate? People who scoff at others dreams and say things like ‘it’s not realistic to think you could have a book published’ - have these people been to a book store or a library? Just because something is hard doesn’t mean you should be discouraged.
Well that’s my FAQ’s I hope they give you a little bit of insight into me and my writers life.
I haven’t answer your question you say! Well let me know what it is in the comments and I’ll be glad to give you a response