I’ve been tagged with one of these chain-blog thingies by a fellow British writer, Maria Savva (not to be trusted, this is the second of these she’s lobbed my way – although you should try her books). Here’s a link to her blog where you can read her answers, and find the list of her other victims:
The idea behind the tour is to introduce readers to British writers.
Here are my answers:
Q. Where were you born and where do you live at the moment?
A. South Wales & South Wales. That’s as much detail as you need. Move along.
Q. Have you always lived and worked in Britain or are you based elsewhere at the moment?
A. I have always lived in Britain, but I did work abroad in England for six years. (I’m Welsh. England is a foreign country. Didn’t used to be, of course. But we invited them across for the weekend, and over a millennia later they’ve taken over the half the house. The English, eh. Bloody immigrants.)
Q. Which is your favourite part of Britain?
A. Wales (for more detail, see the previous answer).
Q. Have you ‘highlighted’ or ‘showcased’ any particular part of Britain in your books? For example, a town or city; a county, a monument or some well-known place or event?
A. No. Most of my stuff is fantasy, and even those set in the real world (or a close approximation) the places are often made up or not identified. The only one set somewhere I (kind of) know is Allegiances. It’s based in Athens, Greece, although it’s been going on a couple of decades since I was there for a six week work exchange thingy from college. The internet is useful for nudging the memory and looking at far away places.
I don’t know that I have a particular desire to set any stories in local places I’m familiar with, but I’ve probably used a few with the names filed off in different settings.
Q. There is an illusion – or myth if you wish – about British people that I would like you to discuss. Many see the ‘Brits’ as ‘stiff upper lip’. Is that correct?
A. It’s probably correct for a certain class of the English during a certain period. I think that time’s probably over by now, although there’s plenty of popular fiction (some quite old) which identifies this as a primary trait of Britishness. I certainly don’t know many people I’d describe in this way.
Q. Do any of the characters in your books carry the ‘stiff upper lip’? Or are they all ‘British Bulldog’ and unique in their own way?
A. I’ve probably used elements of both, but I don’t really think of it in those terms. And I haven’t written many British characters anyway.
Q. Tell us about one of your recent books
A. The Sin of Hope is my attempt at a pulp detective story, the kind of first person narrative wise guy I think of when I think of them. Not that a lot of them actually had the feel I had in mind, and it’s possibly ended up nothing like them, but I’m happy with the result.
It’s set in modern times, in an unnamed US city, has fights, gangsters, beautiful women, and as much cracking wise as I could justifiably shove in.
Of course, being a British writer, writing a first person narrative with an American character runs the risk of sounding wrong. So I hired an American editor, Susan Helene Gottfried at West of Mars (http://westofmars.com/susans-editing-services/), to make sure it sounds authentic. I can highly recommend her to anyone in search of a good editor.
Q. What are you currently working on?
A. The formatting and tidying up of my next novel, Glyphpunk, which will probably be out in the next few days.
When that’s done I’ll start revisions of the third short story of the Tales of the Thief-City series, Cage of Thoughts. Hopefully that’ll be ready in the next couple of months.
And I’m in between revisions of Shadows of the Heavens, a series of 15 novellettes which form a larger story. That’ll hopefully be done later in the year. I was originally thinking of releasing them one a month, but since I’m doing the revisions together as one whole story, I may release them on a weekly basis.
Q. How do you spend your leisure time?
A. Leisure time? I think I recall the concept. When not writing or doing other work I generally read (fiction [fantasy science fiction, and thrillers] and comics). Being a writer, this can be classed as market research, so is technically work.
Q. Do you write for a local audience or a global audience?
A. I am my target audience. If I don’t enjoy it then it’s unlikely anyone else will. Ideally I’d like a global audience (because there’re more of them) and my work is available internationally, but I don’t actually write with a target audience in mind. I’m not entirely sure I’d know how to write for a particular audience.
Q. Can you provide links to your work?
A. They can be found in all formats at Smashwords, on Amazon.com (and it’s subsidiaries), and you can find a full list of where they’re available on my website.
I’ve no intention of inflicting this on anyone else (partly due to not knowing many other British writers), but if anyone actually wants to do it then let me know and I’ll add a link.