When did you first start writing?
I’ve always been scribbling away. English was my favourite subject at school, so I loved the essays where we had to make up stories. At home, I used to start writing little shorts, but never finish anything! During my twenties I stopped writing - distracted by other things, and then 10 years ago, I decided to do my English Degree, enrolling on lots of creative writing papers, and that kick-started my writing again. However, my first book was a slow process. It took 5 years! Fortunately I now write a lot quicker...
Tell us about your book(s) and the genres you write in.
I love magic and mystery, faery tales, myths and legends, and the things we can’t explain. I decided to write a “Once upon a time” story, and that turned into the short story which started off Tom’s Inheritance, my first book. I love King Arthur, and the magic and myth that filled his stories, so Tom’s Inheritance was a revisiting of the King Arthur legend. King Arthur is the Once and Future King who is destined to return, and he was laid to rest on Avalon, the mystical isle that straddles worlds. But what if he woke there, and the Lady of the Lake needed his help?
That idea set the tone for Tom’s Inheritance, the first book in the series Tom’s Arthurian Legacy. Tom is summoned to the Other to wake King Arthur and this sets off a chain of adventures. I weave the old stories and characters into new tales. The next two stories continue their adventures in the Other, with old friends and new enemies, and some of the great characters from the Arthurian legends. All the characters grow and change, and their own stories develop.
In my latest book, Galatine’s Curse, Tom is stronger and more independent, and the stakes are higher. He owns Galatine, the sword that used to belong to Gawain, but it has a dark history no-one knew about, and someone wants it back.
Who’s your favourite character (or least favourite) and why?
I haven’t got a least favourite! I love them all. Nimue is always a favourite - a powerful witch who’s headstrong and volatile - she’s very cool. But one of my new favourites is Bloodmoon. He’s a fey with a mysterious background. Lots of fun and he loves breaking the rules. I loved writing about him, he took the story in new directions!
How much time do you spend writing?
Not as much as I would like. I like to write at least 4 days a week (around work), but sometimes that doesn’t happen, or I try and write for an hour a night if I can’t spare big chunks of time. It’s surprising how much you can achieve if you just get your head down. Unfortunately marketing sucks up my time!
Where is your favourite place to write?
Either in the garden, on the covered deck if the weather’s good, or in my study - a haven of books and solitude.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve had to research?
At the moment I’m planning my new series about witches - urban fantasy I guess - so I Google odd stuff about magic, as well as download lots of magic books!
Who’s your favourite author and/or favourite books.
My favourite author is Lawrence Durrell, who doesn’t write magic or mystery, but he’s a fantastic writer! He wrote the Alexandria Quartet amongst many others, and that’s my favourite. I have a slight Lawrence addiction.
What are you working on now?
I have a rough idea for book 4 of my Tom series (YA), and am planning to start that later this year, but I’m also working on my witch urban fantasy (adult). It will probably be a trilogy, but it currently has no title. That’s something I’ll be working on over the next couple of months, and the first book should be finished by June.
When you’re not writing, what do you get up to?
I love reading - obviously - anything from mysteries, detective series, fantasy, and adventures. I also love gardening, yoga, watching films, and catching up with friends. And wine.
Any fun facts about yourself that you’d like to share?
Many millions of years ago I used to be in a band called Ned’s Atomic Dustbin, and I also used to be in a theatre group in Birmingham. One summer we toured to small venues performing a French farce, and even entered the Ludlow Arts Festival. That was fun! For the last few years me and a few friends have entered the 48 hour film festival in NZ, also madness. Write, shoot, edit a film in 48 hours!
Where can readers go to find out more about you and your writing?