What inspired you to write?
A long-time work colleague and friend suggested I write a novel. This was in 2011 when we were on the brink of retiring. While I wrote numerous technical reports over a number of years, I had never thought of writing fiction.
How did you tell your story? Did you use an outline, or just write your story from start to finish?
Using an outline was already second nature to me from my expository writing so I used a similar approach to writing my first novel.
Did you receive any encouragement from family and friends, or did you work on your book alone?
I received encouragement from friends and family but after writing about 200 pages, I didn’t like story. It was too clinical, more like a technical report, so I put it aside. In June 2015, while doing some research for my wife, I stumbled across an article mentioning several subscription writing sites. I joined thenextbigwriter.com and later scribophile.com
What was the most difficult part of writing your book?
Creating characters, scenes, and realistic dialogue all required a big learning curve. My wife purchased several ‘how-to’ books for me and I added a few more.
What was the most enjoyable aspect of writing your book?
I think the entire process from creating/modifying the outline, writing/editing the chapters and seeing the story grow from an idea to a finished work was well worth the journey.
Are you working on a new book at the moment?
Yes. I’m working on three books. Dangerous Alliance is the sequel to my debut novel, so that’s my priority and I plan to have it ready by the end of this year. I’m also working on one called A Cartel’s Revenge, based on three sentences someone sent me to see if I could create a story from them. I’m also trying my hand at an historical thriller, set primarily in Boston during the Revolutionary War, called New World Revolution.
What’s something that gets in the way of your creativity?
Lack of time. There are too many things requiring my attention. I do try to write first thing in the morning for an hour or so and again towards the end of the evening.
What strategies do you use to deal with criticism?
Since I became used to criticism when I was doing technical writing, it hasn’t been too difficult to deal with. Whenever I receive a critique of my work through the writing sites, I read through it and put it aside until I’m ready to edit. If there are questions/negative comments I will contact the contributor to determine how a given aspect can be improved.
I like most action thrillers but don’t have any specific favorite
I don’t have a favorite book but I have several favorite authors, including: Tom Clancy, Robert Ludlum, Clive Cussler, Jack Du Brul, Brad Thor, and David L. Golemon, to name a few.
Tell me more about your photos...in one of them you are dressed as a clown, in the next you look like a soldier.
I was a member of Harmony Barbershop Chorus. The chorus (60 Brits and 3 Americans) performed a variety of concerts around northern England and the Midlands. Each year we participated in the annual barbershop convention. The photo of me as a clown was for the 2006 convention (each chorus sings two songs and are judged by a panel of nine). Out of 38 competing choruses, we came in 3rd. We also went to Holland and opened their annual convention (weren't allowed to compete as it was for Dutch-only groups) plus provided half of the entertainment for a show they put on. The following year (2007), the theme for the chorus was WWI songs and subsequently so were our outfits. We came in fourth.