Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I’ve so far written four books. Two thrillers, titled Raw Nerve and Delphian, and one drama titled WTF. I have also written a memoir that was published by The History Press in 2013.
I consider myself a novelist and I like writing thrillers and always included a romantic subplot or storyline. Writing WTF started out as an experiment for me. I want to let characters loose within a scenario and allow them to explore the subject matter that they chose. It was fascinating. Because the main protagonist, James, is only twenty-one, sex very quickly became an important factor and, as a writer, I either wrote the sex in detail or closed the door. I went for the detail because, first it was a massive challenge for me, but it was also integral to the story James was telling. Wtf is a story with many layers…
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My latest book is WTF, but I have recently republished a novel I wrote in the 90’s. The reason Raw Nerve is now my latest book is because I have just completed a comprehensive redraft where I set the story firmly in 1997.
Perhaps I should explain: Raw Nerve is a novel I wrote in the 90’s that was highly acclaimed throughout the publishing industry – I had agents fighting to represent the novel and flew to New York to sign a deal with HarperCollins. The presidents and vice-presidents of all the major publishers pulled the plug on publication because it was considered too controversial. I published on Kindle in 2012, but quickly unpublished as I wasn’t happy with the formatting. As I said, recently I’ve republished the novel permanently. The reason it was considered too controversial at the time is in the novel Janice Mathias is about to be elected President of the United States and she also happens to be black. One vice-president of a very prestigious publishing house in New York wrote to me personally and accused me of stretching credulity to breaking point and beyond. Since Obama has been elected twice and, considering racism is still a huge issue in the United States, I think now is a good time to republish as a more historical piece. The reason I wrote Raw Nerve is I asked myself the question: what prevented Colin Powell from running for the White House? Raw Nerve is a scenario my imagination came up with…
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I don’t think so. I treat writing a novel like crafting a tapestry; it is a constant process of going back and threading through motives for characters actions. It is like sweeping a floor and having to keep brushing through the debris of words as I rearrange sentences… I love the process. There’s a purity to it that I have to to keep contaminating to keep it real and believable for the reader…
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Loads. In my youth I would cite Enid Blyton first and foremost. Then, as I grew into a teen Edgar Rice Burroughs character Tarzan had a very significant influence. Later on I became a fan of John Grisham, Tom Clancy, James A. Michener, Nicholas Evans and Lee Child… The list goes on.
What are you working on now?
Another thriller that again has a moral core.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Facebook I think. Goodreads I think is good for connecting with readers and Twitter is great. But really, I suppose, it is a mixture of all three plus many more…
Do you have any advice for new authors?
I would ask all authors to remember that Vincent Van Gogh only sold one painting in his life time.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Finish the book first.
What are you reading now?
Life Or Death by Michael Robotham.
What’s next for you as a writer?
I have adapted both Delphian and WTF to the big screen. I would love to see the scripts find a producer.
What is your favorite book of all time?
Centennial by James A. Michener