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

Since I could hold a pencil, really! I used to fold A4 paper in half and write my own wee books, from ever I can remember. I’d read them out in class, though that stopped when I started writing people I didn’t like into the stories where they get fired into space or something. That flame kept going with daft wee stories; I wrote a thirteen page story in Word that was literally just The Matrix/Dragonball Z and Lord of the Rings.

I wrote my first serious attempt at a novel at about eighteen, and to this day my friend will send me snippets of it for a laugh. The cringe is unbearable, but you’ve gotta start somewhere. Finally wrote something kind of worth reading when I was 20. It was a single 250k word story with no formatting and no chapters. That and three more of my first ever books have since been unpublished because upon reflection, they were kind of terrible.

What was it like writing and finishing a series before releasing the first novel? Would you recommend it?

Yeah, so I didn’t know it was so unusual to release the entire trilogy at one time. Upon becoming part of the writing community, I learned that this wasn’t how it was usually done, but in truth I just wanted all the books out. I also hate waiting for answers to big plot questions, and cliff-hangers, so I wanted the entire trilogy available at once.

It means I missed out on the experience of building up to and releasing a sequel, which is what I’m doing right now. However, it also allowed me the chance to structure the entire trilogy really well, so that everything carries through properly from book one to book two, to the conclusion.

How has your writing evolved with each novel you've self-published?

I think every author has a voice they develop. I’ve always been a bit unusual in that I write in present tense, third person. It suits the style of stories that I like to write – that being relentlessly paced thrillers with a sci-fi/fantasy twist. A bunch of other things have become apparent though. I use shorter sentences for effect a lot, I love a line-break to make an impact. I put the “camera” of description up very close to the action, and to the characters. Also, once I learned to use formatting, I’ve started using it for effect. I love to take techniques from other art forms, like messing with perspective, and try to apply them partly in my writing.

It’s an ever-evolving process, but since Icebreaker I feel like I’ve found my voice.

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

Community is the operative word. The community has its dramas, but if you avoid them and focus on meeting other writers, you’ll find a wealth of help and support that is indispensable. I’ve got four authors whose work I love that are currently reading my next release to help sharpen it up, and I would (and do) do the same for them. Having people like that who want to talk about your books is a huge advantage. You really get out what you put in, but don’t be shy! You’ve already got a passion in common with almost every writer in the world, it’s easy to make friends.


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