I think that as I approach that milestone that is fifty, I must be one of the oldest gamers on the face of this earth. Many a day you will find me lashed to my PS4 enjoying a good session of Skyrim. Who doesn’t love a good session of Skyrim?
I love writing—I have done it since I was a child when I would happily write about the latest episode of Doctor Who (Tom Baker in those days) in my schoolbooks. Growing up and becoming a business owner with my friend Jayne left little time to pursue my dream of publication, but of late the desire and the compulsion to put words onto paper have once again dominated my life so that now, my laptop has become surgically fused to my fingertips.
There is something desperately satisfying about telling a story. My fascination with History, Religion and Conspiracy theories have, in this instance, gone hand-in-hand with my love of all things vampire, fantasy, sci-fi and horror. I drove my parents nuts when I was young because that was all I would read about in books, all I would watch on television, but they have held me in good stead, and long may my obsession with the subjects continue, at least, that is, until the day they put me in my own wooden box. And imagination is such a wonderful thing. I once had a rather vivid dream about David Tennant and the Tardis console, but I could not possibly go into details about that here. Let’s just say that my polarity was well and truly reversed.
Dead Camp is just the beginning. I have to check my knickers every day at the thought that this book is now in the public domain. My first book, and I hope the first of many. And to those out there who love to write, who love to transport us to new worlds, or old worlds with a twisted perspective, I say to you keep going. I never thought I would ever see my work available to download, and thanks to eXtasy Books, the dream that I always thought unobtainable has finally come true. So thank you all at eXtasy, I am one happy homosexual thanks to you, and thank you the reader for taking the time to read this strange tale and allowing Eli and the incomparable Malachi into your lives. And now I really need Skyrim.
I love to create stories and characters, it’s a fantastic escape from every- day living. I love to take an idea and start developing a story and characters around it, and I love to see where it takes me! If I am lucky enough that an audience likes it and reads it, then that really is the ultimate thrill!
When did you decide to become a writer?
It was not a conscious decision. I have written since I was a child, and I am now 46! But when I decided to write Dead Camp, when the idea became so powerful and would not let me sleep, I decided that I would do everything in my power to get a publisher and get the work into as good a situation as possible. And it worked! Extasy books have been fabulous.
What genre are your books?
Supernatural, paranormal, horror, gay, a general sprinkling of erotica, conspiracy, history. Have I left anything out?
What draws you to this genre?
I have always loved supernatural/paranormal books, LOVED Twilight, LOVED the True Blood books, and that sent me off wanting to do my own spin on that genre. Plus I have always wanted to write a Vampire story, but one that changed the conventions, and hopefully does something a bit different with the genre.
What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?
I had an idea and it would not let me sleep. The idea grew and grew and I knew it would take a number of books to see it through, so I had to write it. I started Dead Camp to see where it would lead me, and now I know exactly where it is going and how the very last page of the series will look. I’m so excited about it that it stops me from sleeping because I keep seeing bits of it in my head. It’s an obsession, as is writing in general I think.
Do you write full-time or part-time?
Part time. I have an Interior Design business in Cardiff called Home Zone Design, with my fabulous business partner Jayne, so that takes up all my working days sadly. If I could walk away from that and write all day I would, but sadly we cannot afford to hire anyone so that isn’t going to happen lol!
Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
I try to do a couple of hours a night and I try to do as much as I can on days off. However, my debut novel Dead Camp has just gone live on extasy books and Amazon and all my time has been spent doing social media stuff and trying to get the book out there, so I have been a bit lack of late!
How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
Not sure about that. I do think my writing has improved dramatically over this process, my editors at extasy have been fantastic! I’ve always had a pretty active imagination, and this series is pushing that to the limits and I love it. The one thing that does happen when you write it that the more you do it, the better you become, and the more ideas you have!
What have you written?
Dead Camp is my first published work. I have written loads over the years, lots of bad stuff, lots of screen plays. I have a file full of half-finished things and ideas that I am looking forward to getting back to once the Dead Camp series is finished. While to go there yet though lol.
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just seeing where an idea takes you?
I start from a rough outline, and before I start writing I always know where I need each character to go and where the story needs to go. Dead Camp is going to be a big series, possibly 6 books, and I know exactly where each one will be, start, end, and how each one affects the next, and I know exactly how it ends.
How do you market your books?
Facebook, twitter, Goodreads, yahoo groups. That is my main thrust at the moment and believe me it all takes a lot of doing. How effective it is I don’t know yet, I am a very small fish in a very, very large sea.
Is there any marketing technique you used that had an immediate impact on your sales figures?
Facebook. As soon as I announced the publication of the book, people were buying it. Also, because I am lucky enough to have a fantastic publisher in extasy books, they also sell it from their website, and they have a huge following, so hopefully at some point that will kick in.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Never give up. Keep writing, even if it’s bad, because you will improve. If you have an idea, go with it. Don’t get sidetracked either, as I am now lol. You have to write all the time, to develop your style and your skills. Never take ‘NO’ as the final answer. I was refused by every agent in the Readers & Writers Handbook, but just when I thought there was no point in going on, I approached six publishers directly and within three weeks I had three offers.
Sadly, no-one is going to do it for you, so you have to do it for yourself!
Give us an insight into your main character. What does he do that is so special?
Eli is so arrogant and so self-assured, that you can’t help but love him. It’s not so much what he does that is special, it’s the horror he has been through. He has been through so much that you would think it could not get any worse. But as Dead Camp begins, it does get worse, and his history unfolds through the books to the point where you really need something good to happen to him. He thinks his arrogance and his sexy attitude can get him through it all, but he discovers that nothing is further from the truth.
Where do your ideas come from?
The strangest of places. Dead Camp came to me while watching a World War two film. Documentaries on the Discovery channel also fuel my imagination. Also, there are a couple of future books I would like to write inspired by some terrible nightmare I had as a child that have always stayed with me.
What is the hardest thing about writing?
Getting the time to write!
What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?
Finding someone to take it seriously and publish it. Agents didn’t want to know. Three publishers did straight away.
Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
Eli, because he is so naughty and I would love to be him!
Who is your least favorite character and why?
Melek. He is so bad that you can’t help but love him. Not all evil is as dark as you think.
What is your next project?
Dead Camp book two out so I am trying to get the third one written as we speak!
Who is your favorite fictional character and why?
Count Dracula. I have read that book so many times I can almost recite it! He is not strictly evil, and I think in the end he just wants to be loved. That feels as relevant today as it did when it was first written.
What one person from history would you like to meet and why?
Judy Garland. I’m gay, need I say more?
If there was one thing you could do to change the world, what would it be?
Who is your favorite author?
What is one thing you hate about being a writer?
That I have to work in a shop in order to survive instead of writing all day lol.
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