Where do you live?
A little village in south eastern England called Snodland
Tell us a little about yourself (your education, family life, etc.)
I’m a father of four and married to a woman who was mad enough to put up with me. I’ve studied international relations, law and politics but have always wanted to write.
What is your genre?
I write children’s fiction for 4-8yr olds but am also working on a novel.
When and why did you begin writing? (What inspired you to write your first book?)
I’ve been writing for years. I used to make up stories for my step-kids in my first marriage. “Liam and the Grump” was written with my 6yr old son as we walked to and from school.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Finding the right mix of crazy scary and silly. My book deals with controlling your temper and “the grump” is Liam’s temper actually brought to life. It’s not a terribly attractive creature and so I had to work to keep the story light as it could have easily crossed the line and scared some kids.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I think I first considered myself a writer when one of the kids who have read the story asked for a sequel. That was a good feeling.
Do you have to travel much to market your book(s)?
I market a lot on social media so I haven’t traveled much. I am doing a tour of local schools at the moment so we will see how things go.
Who designs your book covers?
Sarah, who illustrated Liam and the Grump, did the cover for this one.
What is your current project?
I have another book on the go with Sarah called Naomi and the Lost Smile. I am also working on another book at the same time with another illustrator called Captain Pegleg and the Greatest Treasure. In addition I am writing my fantasy novel. That and having three kids under 7 makes for a busy house!
What, if anything, are you reading now?
I read constantly. I just reread Patrick Rothfuss books and I’m looking for something new now.
What books and/or authors have influenced your life most?
Wow this could be a long list… Tolkien and C.S Lewis for opening the doors to my imagination. William Horwood for making me realize how easy it is to stereotype.. Robert Munsch for teaching me children’s books are for the parents too.
Would you be kind enough to share a little of your current work with us?
It’s a bit hard to show my books without the pictures but a tiny snippet of my fantasy novel:
Devin leaned back against the broad trunk of the oak tree and sighed contentedly. The woods were still, with just the faintest hint of breeze rustling the leaves and gently caressing his face as the sunlight danced and weaved through the ever changing gaps in the canopy. It was the beginning of Autumn when Summer has not yet truly given in and there are still more warm days than crisp, and Devin was hiding. It wasn’t so much that he was avoiding the work itself, more that he was avoiding the boredom and drudgery of it. It helped alleviate his guilt somewhat if he justified it in those terms. That said, the guilt was not strong enough to stir him from the woods and bring him back to the village in time to help with the harvesting. Crops were for girls and men too old to hunt Devin had decided. The numerous young farm-hands in the village not being evidence to the contrary.
He ought to be hunting. He would catch an earful regardless but he had more chance of avoiding the worst if he came back with a deer or a brace of pheasant. Sighing wearily he hauled himself to his feet and took up his hunting bow. It wasn’t the greatest weapon by any means but it was one of the few things that Devin truly owned and he loved it with a fierce pride. Checking his pack to make sure all was still in order he set off at a light pace deeper into the woods.
He cut a slight figure. At less than five feet and slender he could, and had, been mistaken for a young girl on more than one occasion. His fair features did little to help this and Devin longed for the day when his beard would finally begin to sprout in earnest. He was dressed simply in homespun and a sturdy travelling cloak, hardly the ideal clothing for trying to find a deer but at least they were a few days on him and wouldn’t carry the scent of soap.
Devin had always been at home in the woods. Indeed the woods felt more like home to him than the Widdengate. The village had taken he and his mother in when they had stumbled in out of the dark one night. They had been travelling with a caravan of wagons into Saravel when they had been attacked by bandits. The caravan guards had been no match for the bandits whose hunger was more of an incentive than the paltry pay of the guards and those who hadn’t been slain in the fight had quickly thrown down their weapons and probably joined up with the bandits. Devin remembered that night clearly. The face of Garrit the grizzled old wagoneer as he crouched down low behind the rear of the wagon whispering urgently to Devin’s mother. He had only been six or seven at the time but the memory was etched into him as clear as if it had happened yesterday. Most of that wild night was a blur, running away from the wagons and the screaming and clash of steel. Stumbling through the dark for what seemed like hours before finally collapsing with his sobbing mother under the trees. They had been lost in the woods for three days before they broke out and spotted the village.
Devin shook his head as if to shake the memory loose and stepped lightly over the small stream and further into the woods. He had been alone for some years now. His mother had fallen to a fever that struck villages in the district and for the last three years Devin had been alone. The village looked after him in a fashion, he always had food and a bed in which to sleep but nobody actually cared for him. Devin frequently felt that he could vanish and no-one would truly care and it was that reason, more than any other, that drew him to the woods – to solitude. It was in the depth of the woods that Devin could allow himself to be a child. In these woods he had been the greatest hunter. He had fought off ravaging Bjornmen. He had fought dragons and barrow revenants. He was not a child though, no longer. That child had died shortly after his mother.
Do you have anything else you would like to share with my readers?
1) my book on Amazon and it is currently 50% off.
2) I am having a free download day around July 22nd so check the blog for details.
3) Captain Pegleg should be out at the end of July.
4) Follow me on facebook follow me on facebook and follow me here also