Who’s your favorite author?
John Le Carre. I’ve had his books since I was a teenager. I’ve always loved the way he has given a human face to the intelligence world. I recently read his memoirs on a flight from London to the USA. I don’t remember much about the plane journey I was so engrossed in his stories about how and why he had written his books.
Which book or books have most informed you as a writer?
I think I take a piece of everything I read and I let it sink in. It’s a learning curve. From a practical point of view the one book that has given me the best advice about being a writer was Stephen King’s “On Writing.” It’s a fantastic little book full of the writers experience and thoughts on the book business. It was my bible for a long time.
When did you realize you wanted to write?
Oh…easy. When I was at school and I won a book certificate for a super hero short story I wrote. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. I count myself lucky that I was fortunate enough to be able to do it in my adult years.
What was your last completed project?
My last project was my second Gorilla Grant novel – "Sentinel Five". It’s a spy thriller set in Asia that features our anti-hero working undercover to stop a worldwide terrorist threat. Of course this is Gorilla Grant, so there are usually a few dead bodies littered along the way.
What are you working on now?
I was working on book 3 in the Gorilla Grant series – Rogue Wolves. But due to work and life commitments I am deferring that until the summer. However….not wanting to leave the writing alone completely, I am working on a novella that should run to about 70-80 pages. The publisher seems very enthusiastic about it. It is entitled "Gorilla Warfare" and is set in the late 1970’s over one specific night…….
What is your writing “process” typically like?
Oh mines a nightmare. It’s haphazard. It will come out like machine gun fire for a while…constantly writing every day, then all of a sudden it will stop for a week or two and then the process will repeat itself. It’s not perfect but it has worked so far.
How do you combat writer’s block?
I just leave the writing alone and go and do other things. I never try to force ideas. It either flows naturally or it doesn’t flow at all. If the latter happens I will go for a walk, throw myself at work, train, go and shoot….anything to take my mind away from it until my brain is naturally ready with ideas.
Where do your ideas come from?
They are normally influenced by the news or things that I have seen in a movie. Even a piece of music can inspire you to create a character or a story. That’s what makes writing so great; it’s the eclectic mix of the world around you that can provide you with ideas.
What’s your greatest challenge as a writer?
Putting in the hours and getting the details right. Fortunately there is a great team at Creativia to help me with that.
And what has been your greatest triumph (so far)?
Oh I think having your first book published is definitely up there for most people. Although when I got my first 5 star reviews for A Game for Assassins from someone I didn’t even know was pretty special too.