Friday 18 January 2013

Guest Author Interview - Keith Nixon

Today we welcome Keith Nixon to the guest author interview, rea what he has to say below:

Please introduce yourself, who are you and what do you do?
My name is Keith Nixon and I am a global sales manager for a technology firm in the UK, in my spare time I’m a father & husband. You can find me on Twitter (knntom) and Goodreads.

What first inspired you to start writing?
It’s difficult to remember as I’ve been writing since I was about 9 years old! However I’ve always loved words & I’m usually reading a couple of books at a time. So experiencing how well others communicate their characters and situations and the emotions they evoked in me made me want to do the same. I enjoy the challenge of building a story and then seeing others read it (& hopefully like it too).

And what was the first story you wrote?
The first book that I wrote was a WWII historical fiction. My grandfather-in-law had been a merchant seaman but was captured & interred in Italy. There was an anecdotal family story that he’d escaped the prison camp, then managed to steal a train and drive it into France before making it all the way home. It piqued my interest & I put some research into this period, the regions, the experiences of people in prison camps and at war. Other than a historical learning exercise it taught me a lot about the do’s and don’ts of writing.

Who is your favourite author and why?
Wow, it’s very difficult to pick one author, there are so many that I enjoy & my tastes have shifted over the years. In specific genres there are one or two I will always pick up when they publish a new book. To be specific:

- Historical fiction, Bernard Cornwell, Seven Saylor, Robert Harris (Roman books)
- Thriller, Lee Child
- Fantasy, Terry Pratchett, Philip Pullman
- Sci-fi, Isaac Asimov
- Crime, Ian Rankin

I pick these guys as they all write compelling narrative, their characters are really well rounded, the dialogue is strong. I’m always pleased when starting a new book of theirs and sad when I’ve finished it.

What do you enjoy most about writing?
The challenge of building a small idea into a finished article & it taking on a life of its own. Writing is, to me, the solving of a series of problems. What happens, why, who the characters are, bringing them out of dead ends. Great fun.

And the least?
Finding viable routes to readers. I’m only just starting out down the publishing route, I really want people to read my books. If they like them, great, if they don’t hey that’s life & I can learn something from their feedback. Trying to get the interest of agents & publishers is near impossible so being able to be an independent author is great.

What advice would you give new and aspiring authors?
Write, write & write some more. It’s a muscle that needs time & effort to develop. Usually what a new author first writes will be okay at best & filled with problems, dead ends and misbehaving characters but these are all opportunities for the re-draft and can spin out new ideas and ultimately a better story. The other key aspect for me is not to re-write until you’ve reached the end of your draft, I found it very easy to keep polishing a couple of pages or a chapter so I’d end up in an eddy and never complete the journey.

What are you working on at the moment?
Having put The Fix out on Amazon much of my time is currently on promotion. However I also have a series of historical fiction books in process. The first is written and the second is well into the first draft. It’s about Caradoc, an almost entirely forgotten character in British history. He spent years resisting the Roman invasion in 43AD, everybody remembers Boudica (also known as Boadicea). Caradoc was actually her inspiration, she only resisted because he did.

Tell us about your latest work and how we can find out more.
My latest work is The Fix. It’s a murder / mystery novel but with a very strong leaning towards humour. It’s about a guy who hates everything in his life – job (in an investment bank!), girlfriend, social life (he has none) & friends (none of these either). It’s about relationships & it’s about lies, how everyone will do something to get ahead – some more than others.

The Fix is available as an e-book on Amazon:

Here’s the blurb:

Murder. Theft. Sociopaths. And Margate. Just another day in banking then...

It’s pre crash 2007 and financial investment banker Josh Dedman’s life is unravelling fast. He’s fired after £20 million goes missing from the bank. His long-time girlfriend has cheats on him, then dumps him. His only friends are a Russian tramp who claims to be ex-KGB and a really irritating bloke he’s just met on the train. His waking hours are a nightmare and his dreams are haunted by a mystery blonde. And to cap it all, he lives in Margate…

Just when Josh thinks things can’t get any worse his sociopathic boss — Hershey Valentine — winds up dead and he finds himself the number one suspect. As the net closes in Josh discovers that no one is quite what they seem, including him, and that sometimes help comes from the most unlikely sources…
Part fiction, part lies (well, it is about banking) and excruciatingly funny, The Fix pulls no punches when revealing the naked truth of a man living a life he loathes.

Thanks to Keith for sharing his thoughts with us, on Tuesday Tom Abrahams takes his turn in the hot seat.

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