1. Tell me a little bit about your most recent publication…
My most recent publication is the novella London Calling (and other stories), published by Cultured Llama last year. The book contains short stories and flash fiction in addition to the novella itself.
2. How would you best describe the genre that you write in?
I’m not sure I have an identifiable genre, and almost hope I haven’t. The pieces in London Calling were written over a very long period – the earliest dates from the mid 80s – and I’d like to think they’re quite varied in subject, style and tone.
3. What type of research (if any) do you do before sitting down to write a first draft?
I did very little research before writing the first draft of London Calling but it’s set very specifically in 1981 so I needed to check quite a lot of detail subsequently (for example, how much it cost to make a local phone call). I tried to be rigorous about this, but one ‘fact’ that I didn’t check turned out not to be a fact after all, which was frustrating. (Thanks to the reader who spotted this and was kind enough to tell me…)
4. What do you think is the hardest thing about writing?
For me it’s about finding not just the time, but the right time. I have a day job and always have had, so writing has to fit into the interstices. It’s annoying when a ‘free’ afternoon turns out not to be the right afternoon for putting pen to paper.
5. What is the best part about writing?
The most fascinating part of the process is when the writing acquires a life of its own and you find yourself writing things that appear to have materialised from no place you can identify: the words as a magical product of the process itself.
6. What are you working on at the moment?
About 25 years ago I wrote a crime novel of a fairly conventional variety. It was never published and I think I can see why, but I’ve convinced myself that it could be recast for the 21st century and the bizarre times we’re living through. It’s proving to be a real challenge, but it’s a fascinating task and I’m not giving up yet.