Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Getting to know … Nik Morton

What genre would you say your novels fall into, or do they defy classification?
I suspect one reason why I don’t have an agent is that I don’t specialise in any particular genre. While I’ve sold more westerns than other genres, my published books are also in the crime, fantasy, espionage and thriller categories. I have a sci-fi apocalyptic/dystopian book seeking a publisher, and a pirate novel is in progress, plus a humorous illustrated book and a non-fiction book about dates…

What made you choose those genres?
I believe a writer should read widely and not stick to any particular genre. Good stories come from all genres.

How long does it take you to write a book?
A western takes about a month, while a complex crime or fantasy book will take maybe six months. I can recommend Write a Western in 30 Days which provides considerable insight into the writing process and is not solely about writing westerns.

What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
As I reach the end of the plot outline, the word-count per writing day increases. I don’t write exclusively for my own work, so the time has to be rationed as appropriate, to allow for paid work and private life and commitments.

Where do you get your ideas for your books?
Let me quote from Write a Western in 30 Days: Plots are relatively easy to think up, it seems. They must be. More than once I’ve been accosted by a would-be writer saying, ‘I’ve got this great plot for a novel. Will you write it for me?’ Well, no, thanks, I’ve got more than enough of my own to work on.

I get ideas from newspapers, magazines, research I’m doing for something else – even from letters to the editor or an agony column!
When did you write your first book and how old were you?
I think I was about 12 when I started to write stories in longhand. I wrote my first novel on my Remington portable when I was about 16.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Read, watch films, swim, see family…

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
It’s a long time back now, but when I realised that my characters spoke to me even when I wasn’t at the keyboard, then I knew they were ‘real’.

How many books have you written?
Twenty-two. Nineteen published.

Which is your favourite and why?
Pain Wears No Mask because it was in the first person, written by a nun who used to be a policewoman, and several readers found it surprising to learn it wasn’t written by a woman!

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
It went in phases – cowboy (Roy Rogers), spaceman (Dan Dare), Tarzan… then James Bond entered my consciousness so I wanted to be a spy, until I read Le Carré and realised it wasn’t glamorous… Oh, I also wanted to join the navy – I did that, and stayed for over 20 years.

What are you working on now?
Blimey. To Be King, a sequel to Wings of the Overlord, a joint venture with Gordon Faulkner; a western; Catalyst, a book about a female cat-burglar; Sneeze on a Thursday, the first in a series about a PI in Los Angeles, Bradbury & Hood, a Victorian crime series and maybe the third Tana Standish psychic spy thriller, The Khyber Document – sequel to The Prague Manuscript and The Tehran Transmission, both of which are out of print and seeking a new publisher!

Nik served for over twenty years in the Royal Navy, appropriately as a Writer, then went into IT. He has sold many short stories and articles and edited several books and magazines. He now lives in Spain. In February 2011 he was hired as the editor-in-chief of the US publisher, Solstice Publishing. Blood of the Dragon Trees is Nik’s 18th book to be published – since 2007. He writes as Ross Morton, Robert Morton, and Robin Moreton, among other names.

Also, this year his books Write a Western in 30 Days and Wings of the Overlord, a fantasy quest jointly written with Gordon Faulkner, will be published.

Published books in order of publication
Death at Bethesda Falls (2007), Pain Wears No Mask (2007), The Prague Manuscript (2008), Last Chance Saloon (2008), The $300 Man (2009), The Tehran Transmission (2009), A Fistful of Legends (2009/editor), Assignment Kilimanjaro (2010), Blind Justice at Wedlock (2010), Spanish Eye (2010), A Sudden Vengeance Waits (2010), Death is Another Life (2011), When the Flowers are in Bloom (2011), Old Guns (2012), Bullets for a Ballot (2012), and Odd Shoes and Medals (2013/ghost-writer).

Twitter - @nik_morton

Critique Service for Writers
Flash 500 Flash Fiction Competition
Flash 500 Humour Verse Competition

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