1. How did you get started writing?
I’m not sure of the spur that actually started me, it was so long ago, but once I had started it became an essential part of my life when I was younger, around late teens. I started writing songs, so lyrics came first, then some poetry, and from there I moved on to short stories and now I mostly concentrate on novels.
2. What drew you to write a crime novel?
I suppose I came upon crime late, my first novel, which is unpublished and pretty terrible, was a humourous science fiction farce. Then I began some, what I would call, light hearted real life dramas, though there was always a little bit of crime in there somewhere. My last two novels, Silhouettes and Punisher, are pretty steep in the murderous crime department, and they were just so much fun to write. So, in the end, it seems to be what I enjoy writing most that goes down on the page, and to date that is the crime novel.
3. Which writers past or present have influenced your style of writing?
I read a wide range of genres and have an even longer list of writers I admire. I can’t be sure who actually influences my style, I would suggest that would be down to others to dictate, but other writers do inspire me to continue to write. Reading something by Bukowski or Vonnegut gets me thinking, after lifting the latest by Rankin or McBride, I want to switch on the computer. An empty page on the screen gets my idea processes going and it isn’t long before I cover it with text.
4. When you first started writing did you find it hard to get publisher interest?
Probably around thirty years ago I began sending stuff out to publishers which mainly resulted in a multitude of standard rejection letters, though some did contain constructive criticism and encouragement. After a while though I gave up sending to publishers, and by way of needful employment, and the distractions of everyday life, I stopped writing for around twenty years. When I began writing again the internet was out there, and I decided to create my website and publish for myself. It is so easy now, with a few clicks, and no cost at all, a book can be on sale.
5. There are many interesting characters in your Novel, do you have a particular favourite one?
My favourite characters are always the bad guys, it can be so exhilarating to write what a person can do without the normal constraints of law and order, of everyday moral responsibilities. Nothing need be taboo, everything is possible. The conscienceless mind can open up a wealth of possibilities for a character.
6. What kind of research have you had to undertake for your Novels?
Research is mainly through the internet, or in relevant publications, to add an extra touch of realism through some specialist knowledge of a matter or subject.
7. Are the characters in your books based on any real life?
No, everyone really is the concoction of my own warped mind. I suppose some traits you notice on certain individuals may be bundled in there somewhere, in how certain characters come across. I never though base any fictitious character on any real person. I would find that too limiting, and distracting.
8. What do you think makes your novels stand out from all the other Scottish Crime Fiction Novels out there?
The fact that they’re mine, I suppose. I try to be quite original in ideas and storylines, so perhaps they are not the normal mainstream provender. There is such a wealth of good Scottish Crime Fiction around though, it is hard to compare when the talent is so plentiful. If I’m put in the same bracket as some, it is an honour and a thrill.
9. Do you see any of your characters personality in yourself and vice versa?
It is not a conscious effort, but I suppose much of my characters must contain a little of my own personality, after all, I created them. There is no one character that I could say was me, though, or had enough of me in the portrayal of their traits and attributes that anyone could compare to me. The characters all come into being in their own way and develop as they go.
10. If you can, would you give us a sneaky peak into any future novels you have planned?
All I can say at the moment is that the next book is underway, and it is developing nicely. I may publish a chapter on my website as a taster, early in the new year. You will be welcome to a copy if you desire!
11. What was your favourite scene to write in your Novel and why?
In the novel Punisher, probably the police discovery of the second head. Scottish humour tends to come to the fore to allay traumatic events. This can seem cruel and unfeeling at times, but it is also a coping mechanism for some. And sometimes something funny comes across that is just too good to bypass, no matter how horrific the moment.
12. As an up and coming crime writer do you have words of advice you can share?
Just keep going, don’t worry so much about the publication of anything you write, don’t stress about the future, and critics, and just enjoy what you do.
Fractured in this Killing Scene
Stories of Joe
Rat Race Nights
New Light for the Soul
Amazon Author Page