Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I’m a novelist and poet and have written many books, 5 of which are currently published. I love walking, especially beside the sea, and use fresh air and nature as inspiration for my writing.
I also enjoy baking bread and making meals from scratch. I love cooking up casseroles in the winter, and creating interesting quiches and pasties in the summer!
I exercise a lot to stay fit, and also to allow my mind to disengage from writing. Otherwise I overwork myself! Having had cancer in 2014, I know now to pace myself.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My latest novel is Vintrig’s Kingdom. I have always loved tales where light overcomes darkness and where summer overcomes winter. But when I started planning my Isu Magan series, I didn’t want the triumphs to be too easy. So a lot of plotting went into the series.
Vintrig’s Kingdom is the first in the series. It was published last year and the paperback has just been released.
The interaction of colours inspired many of the themes of this book, particularly the monochrome tones of winter; black, grey and white. I was interested in how the introduction of colour into a monochrome scene would change the picture and how it would change peoples’ attitudes.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Since having had cancer, I have trained myself to write anywhere at anytime. I can write in my journal whilst my soulmate is watching the TV without any loss of concentration. The minimum amount of writing I try to do each day is one haiku, one other short form poem and between 150-200 words of a first draft. Doesn’t matter what’s going on or how I feel, I write, whatever! (Having come face to face with death makes one appreciate being alive, whatever is happening!)
What authors, or books have influenced you?
The Lord of the Rings and The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe are perhaps the two most influential books from my childhood. In my teens Anne McCaffrey’s Dragons of Pern series fired my imagination and Tad William’s Sorrow, Memory & Thorn Trilogy taught me so much about writing and the structure of a novel. More recently I have branched out into Bernard Cornwall and Patrick O’Brian novels for the pure enjoyment of the testosterone and adventure and the detail of their research.
What are you working on now?
I am working on several things. I have two collections of short stories that I am finalising as well as the sequel to Vintrig’s Kingdom. I am also putting together two more poetry collections and writing the first draft of a new fantasy series!
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I use my blog at https://dragonscaleclippings.wordpress.com to promote my work and have just started using promotion sites to get the word out there. (Facebook, Twitter and G+ don’t really sell anything at all I’ve discovered). I’m waiting to find out how successful all these promotion sites are now!
Do you have any advice for new authors?
My advice to new authors would be to read as much as you can and if you like the books you read, leave reviews of them online. Always write from your heart. Don’t let anyone tell you what you can or can’t write. Hone your skill. Keep writing. Ask for feedback. Don’t be put off by negative feedback. Keep writing. Keep writing. Keep writing.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Life is what you make of it.
What are you reading now?
An omnibus collection of all the Sherlock Holmes stories by Arthur Conan Doyle.
What’s next for you as a writer?
My plan for 2017 is to continue promoting the books I have already published and to get more books out there!
What is your favorite book of all time?
The Lord of the Rings by J R R Tolkien. (Although the films are brilliant, the book is still the best way to travel through the story!)