I’m not sure about the genre of Ruin. I’d say it’s just contemporary fiction, although it’s intended as a darkly comic fable, so maybe it hovers around humour…
What made you choose that genre?
I don’t think the genre comes first – I think I write first, generally, and then try and find a genre that will more or less fit!
How long does it take you to write a book?
Ages. I’ll fiddle round with things for years. But, as I get older, I’m getting a bit more fast and focused. I think I realise I have less time to mess around. I’m seriously hoping to have completed a first draft of my next book in four months. That will be a world record for me!
What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
When I’m working on a book, I try to do 1,000 words a day. I find it encouraging, because in ONLY 80 days the whole thing can be finished!
Where do you get your ideas for your books?
In the words of Bob Dylan, I have a head full of ideas. I’m never not thinking about a possible story…
When did you write your first book and how old were you?
I was seven. It was a complex tale involving a princess, an island, and a helicopter. I put a lot of work into it.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
When I’m not writing, I’m a keen traveller, walker, swimmer, and friend. I really love cooking for friends. And I plan one day to have an allotment and a dog…
That you can write when tired, miserable, unwell, or any combination of these. And it will generally make you feel better.
How many books have you written?
I’ve written several, but Ruin is the first one which has been published.
Which is your favourite and why?
My favourite is my next one…
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I think I wanted to rescue princesses in helicopters. I hadn’t quite grasped gender politics.
What are you working on now?
I’m working on a ghost story set in 19th Century Liverpool. I’m loving it.
I was born, quite a long time ago, in Liverpool, and I’m currently living there. I graduated in English, moved over to law, and have taught both. Most recently, I’ve been teaching English in Rome. I’ve written short stories and non-fiction, and hope to write a lot more…
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