1. How did you get started writing?
I joined the local writers club and started writing novels. I did not finish any of the early ones, but it was fun. Although the characters morphed all over the place to start with, after sevral false starts I eventually finished the first of the Death On The Clyde novels: Shallow Water.
2. What drew you to write a crime novel.
After attending a weekend seminar the writers club organised on crime writing, I began to look seriously at the genre. I started by reading a lot of crime novels and sorted the books into those that worked well and those that didn’t and I tried to find what made the successful ones work.
3. Which writers past or present have influenced your style of writing?
I read all of the novels of: Ian Rankin, Stuart McBride, Jo Nesbo, Andrea Camilleri and I still rate Ian Rankin the best.
4. When you first started writing did you find it hard to get publisher interest?
It is hard for a first time novelist to get their work published in traditional print so I went the ebook route and started my own micro-publishing business. Although I do have another crime series in mind for which I’ll see if I can get a traditional publisher interested.
5. There are many interesting characters in your Novels, do you have a particular favourite one?
Norman the armourer: he has a geeky interest in technical things, like tanks and pistols, and all things mechanical and electronic.
6. What kind of research have you had to undertake for your Novels?
I read a lot of history, novels, newspapers and I watch obscure TV channels. Plus, I was fortunate to travel all over the world during half a lifetime working in industry.
7. Are the characters in your books based on any real life?
All the characters I create have elements of people I have met and read about, but I don’t use real people in my crime novels.
8. What do you think makes your novels stand out from all the other Scottish Crime Fiction Novels out there
Despite my best efforts the spooks (Intelligence and Security Servies) lurk around the edges of the action and sometimes take centre stage. Also I started the narrative of my principal character, Douglas Ashburner, with him as a detective constable in the Glasgow police major crime unit.This gives me a chance to have fun with the him before he has to become serious as he climbs further up the promotion ladder to detective inspector and (possibly) beyond.
9. Do you see any of your characters personality in yourself and vice versa?
Inevitably some of the author’s character traits appear in the characters, but writing in the third person with multiple characters means you can be the villians as well as the heroes.
10. If you can, would you give us a sneaky peak into any future novels you have planned.
I have the next Douglas Ashburner novel The Useless Assassin ready to go and it will be published on Amazon at the beginning of April. In this, Douglas is recommended by a taxi driver as the solution to a problem a Russian banker has: he thinks someone is following him with lethal intent.
The fifth and sixth novels in the series are in preparation and will be out later this year.
11. Out of all the Novels you have written do you have a favourite one that stands out to you?
The fifth one in the Death On The Clyde series: Exile In Elgin, which will be published in June, was fun to write and didn’t drag on. Some novels take forever to finish.
12. As an up and coming crime writer do you have words of advice you can share
Read widely and write as much as you can and your own style will emerge eventually – it may take a while, possibly years. Also follow your own instinicts are far as possible and ignore the pedants and naysayers.
DEATH ON THE CYLDE BOOKS
1. Sallow Water
2. A Crack in the Dark
3. Exciting Lives
4. The Usless Assassin
Just Another Murder (Short Story)
Amazon Author page