If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
Wellington, NZ is totally cool. I choose to live here even with it's earthquake risk. On the other hand, if I could, I'd move the city to Europe so I could reach the ski fields and get home to see my brothers and sisters without being stuffed in a small seat, too close to a tv screen, on a plane for far too long.
How much sleep do you need to be your best?
Ha-ha! Great question, but I think we need to define best. Sometimes when I'm grumpy and irritated I get my most inspirational self-analysis because I'm usually so caught up in the turmoil of my own thoughts. I can be grumpy and introspective like this if I get less than 6 hours. On the other hand, a run of 7 or 8 hour nights can make me generous, thoughtful, sociable and funny – frankly, I need both.
Every writer has their own idea of what a successful career in writing is, what does success in writing look like to you?
Success is multi-faceted. First completing a first draft is a success, then getting to the next and subsequent drafts (I happen to know that for some writers this is enough and I myself have two manuscripts that I've not yet invested the time in to make them publishable). But you did ask about a writing career. For me that would mean making a good living from my words. I have written for many prestigious publications, published a novel, sold non-fiction and fiction, yet the knock-out blow of giving up the day job eludes me.
Tell us about your family?
I have two fab kids, one blonde one brown, a beautiful wife and a house overlooking the sea. My son practices on the trampoline when he's not on a skateboard, and my daughter has just discovered jigsaws. We live just twenty minutes walk from just about anything you could want!
How do you write – lap top, pen, paper, in bed, at a desk?
My laptop is my writing station and it comes with me to the library. I used to have an office, but I got too lonely, and when I work at home I get distracted by daily chores, the internet, email, coffee, small bugs on the window, smudges on the carpet etc – you get the picture? So now I take my ultrabook (which I chose because it is so light) and spend hours at a time in the public library where the distractions of other people, weirdly, are not distracting but act as a judgmental motivator. I get much more done.
Where do you get support from? Do you have friends in the industry?
Over the years I've had various excellent mentors contacted through writers' groups. They help me keep motivated and act as sounding boards for ideas and story structure (which is something I have to work hard on). I also have online relationships with groups such as Awesome Indies and they provide connections to industry experts, editors, proof readers and publicists which are invaluable.
It is vital to get exposure and target the right readers for your writing, tell us about your marketing campaign?
I know that the work of authors has dramatically changed in the last decade, and we're supposed to be business people, PR machines, expert marketers and digital evangelists. But really! I find it all so tedious and depressing. I love people to read my work, of course, but I sometimes wish it would all go away leaving me to concentrate on what I do best. Write. Now the job of writer is actually the job of online promoter. It's like signing up to be a doctor and getting office administrator instead. (Does all this sound a bit bitter? lol)
If you could have a dinner party and invite anyone dead or alive, who would you ask?
George Monbiot, the Guardian columnist and environmentalist could be classed as one of my heroes. He's dedicated, rational, a brilliant analyst and does as much to further the cause of Climate protection and maintenance as anybody. I'd love to meet him (but I'd probably come over all simpering and worshipful)
How often do you write? And when do you write?
I can't write every day, it’s never worked for despite the chorus of well-meaning writers and writing books that proclaim a daily schedule is the road to success. I have to write an entire draft in fast order, nine hours a day for as many days as it takes. This means I have to take sabbaticals of from the day job, or organise my work to give me a clear month in which to write. This has become increasingly difficult and so to compromise, I give myself two afternoons a week to keep ticking over, then some blocks of time as I get close to process milestones (such as finishing a draft or final edits.)
Tell us about your new book? What’s it about and why did you write it?
The risk of eternal life is that it's forever! The book explores our relationship with death and life through the eyes of a drug company's guinea pigs. What starts as the promise of recovery after illness – through miraculous science – turns into a never-ending prison sentence. It's a science-based thriller with a vein of terror, and I wrote it because I had the idea and it seemed like a good one. The idea came from reading Nature – I think – about the regenerative possibilities of genetic therapy.
A man emerges from the sodden undergrowth, lost, lonely and starving he is mown down by a speeding car on the edge of a remote forest.
Rumours of ghostly apparitions haunt a rural Northumberland community.
A renowned forensic research establishment is troubled by impossible results and unprecedented interference from an influential drug company.
Hendrix 'Aitch' Harrison is a tech-phobic journalist who must link these events together.
Normally side-lined to investigate UFOs and big-beast myths, but thrust into world of cynical corporate motivations, Hendrix is aided by a determined and ambitious entomologist. Together they delve into a grisly world of clinical trials and a viral treatment beyond imagining.
In a chase of escalating dangers, Aitch must battle more than his fear of technology to expose the macabre fate of the drugged victims donated to scientific research.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Crime, Thriller, Horror
Rating – R-16
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