And now catch up with his latest news below:
What has changed in your life since we last spoke?
Well, firstly, thanks for inviting me back! I find it difficult to believe that nearly a year has passed since you interviewed me for your blog. It was a month or two after I had written my first book, ‘ECLECTIC: Ten Very Different Tales’, and I didn’t really see myself as an author.
Now, I have four self-published books under my belt and have contributed stories to several anthologies. I feel I have become an active member of several forums and have made some very good friends there. I am immensely proud to be part of a supportive and friendly network of indie authors.
What else? Hmmm, I’ve read a heap of great books, most written by fellow indie authors. I’m still working hard in the day-job. A certain special lady has taken over my life. No, not a girlfriend or wife, but a fictional character by the name of Maureen.
To summarise, my life has been enriched immeasurably by becoming an author. I love it!
Have you learnt any new wisdom?
Oh I’ve learnt soooo much in the last year. Writing and everything that goes with it is a huge learning curve. So what have I discovered?
- Indie fiction is in no way inferior to traditionally published books. Over the last year I have read some brilliant books by indie authors. If you look in the right places, the quality of the writing is outstanding.
- Not every reader will enjoy what you write. This doesn’t mean you are a bad writer.
- Coffee rings to do not look good on a freshly-painted window sill.
- Writing 200 words and spending the rest of the day chatting on forums does not constitute a good day’s writing.
- Giving your fictional character a Twitter account just inflates their ego.
- Registering a Twitter account in the name of your fictional character just confuses you when you start receiving emails addressed to ‘Maureen’.
- There are some wonderful people to meet over the Internet. Other authors and readers are invaluable in giving you good honest feedback, and without their support, I’m not sure whether I’d still write.
- Checking book sales every ten minutes does not increase book sales.
- Everybody loves a good joke, especially if it involves famous Bond bird, Roger Moorhen.
- If you check your writer forums, Twitter account and emails on a loop, you can easily spend several hours going from one to the other and then be too tired to write anything.
- Hearing something positive about your writing is one of the best feelings in the world.
Have you become a better writer? If so, how?
I hope so! I recently revisited my first short stories and thought to myself that I would write them differently now, so I guess that shows my writing has evolved, and if it’s not evolved for the better, I better shout: I’m a writer, get me out of here!
I have had feedback saying my writing has matured and become more relaxed, which is pleasing. I think you do have to write quite a bit and only after that do you hit your stride and find your own writing style.
One of the challenges in writing ‘A Letter for Maureen’ was to combine comedy, which often borders on farce, with real human emotion. Could I have done this a year ago? I’m not so sure, but from reviews and feedback, I seem to have been successful in my efforts.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m answering questions for a blog interview.
I currently have two projects on the go. The next Maureen novella, which picks up after ‘A Letter’. Can Maureen recover from the devastating secret she discovered?
Secondly, I am working on a much longer piece of fiction. Details are under wraps at the moment, so I can change my mind without looking silly!
Tell us about your latest release and how we can find out more.
‘Beyond Eclectic’ is a stand-alone book of short stories. Several characters from my first book ‘ECLECTIC’ show up in this book, but it doesn’t matter which way round you read them. The stories are dark in nature. So there’s a sinister lollipop man, a man who sees disturbing images in paintings, a teacher bullied by his pupils... I was quite keen to ensure it wasn’t all dark though. There are chinks of light to be found, glimmers of hope amidst the shade. Maureen pops up too in true disastrous fashion! The feedback so far to the stories has been unanimously positive, so I am delighted!
To view the blurb and purchase links:
To view a review of the book on Ignite’s five star review blog: