Tell us about how you began your journey as an author - Where did it all start?

I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. I have some very clear memories of being read stories by my mum, things like The Chronicles of Narnia and The Famous Five, and my dad is a natural storyteller. Maybe I was always destined to pick up a pen (these days a keyboard) and try to make my way in the world by making things up.

The journey has been a long one though! I wrote short stories, comics and graphic novels, murder mystery plays, a TV show pilot, and an independent feature film before I settled down to writing novels and the Welcome to Neverbury collection.

You write such a wide range of stories and genres; how do you switch between all of them?

Over the years, I feel like I’ve found my writing voice. I’m comfortable sitting squarely in the hinterland between science fiction, horror, and fantasy. I enjoy dark humour and employ that regardless of the genre I’m writing! Switching back and forth between writing for children and adults is a little tougher, I have to remember not to scare them too much. (But I still scare them)

What was it like writing a collection of short stories all taking place within the same town?

This happened completely by accident. I was taking part in an online writing challenge and I needed a setting for my first story. “Neverbury” was a throw-away name for a fictional town. When the second story was due, I thought I’d take a shortcut and use the same town. That was when the place started to come to life for me and I thought, “What if I set them all in the same town?”. Neverbury had forced its way into existence, and I’ve been trapped there ever since. You should never take a shortcut in an unfamiliar town.

If you could give some advice to a new writer in the indie community, what would it be?

Community is the keyword here! Seek out good groups to join (Facebook has quite a few) and spend some time there. Don’t trick yourself into believing that hanging out on social media and talking about writing is the same as writing. Writing is writing. Everything else is not writing.

Christmas Pipes

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