What inspires you to write?
Nothing really. I just need to get the stories out of my head, and as I like to think I’m pretty good at writing, it’s the best way for me to do it. The stories can spring up out of literally anywhere. Sometimes a single line of dialogue in a film has spawned a whole book!
Is it true that anyone can be a writer?
No. I know it’s not fashionable to say it, but no. Writing is a skill like any other, and some people don’t have it. And some people cannot learn certain skills no matter how much you try to teach them. Just ask my mate who’s been trying to teach me how to change my light fittings for the past year! I’m useless! Writing is no different. Some people can, some people can’t, and that’s all there is to it.
Do you pen down revelations and ideas as you get them, right then and there?
Yep! My desk is littered with notes on receipts, and my email account has a lot of three-line emails sent from my phone. The back of my hand has seen some ink abuse in meetings, too.
Do you need to be in a specific place or room to write, or you can just sit in the middle of a café full of people and write?
The middle of the cafe is my specific place! I can’t write at home at all. I just end up playing with my cat, or doing endless rounds of Candy Crush Saga. But if I sit down in my local Costa, I can do a book in three weeks. My record word count was 14,000 in a single Saturday.
Had any of your literary teachers ever tell you growing up that you were going to become a published writer one day?
Several of my English teachers, yes. Pretty sure they didn’t envisage queer romance being the core of it, though!
Have you ever left any of your books stew for months on end or even a year?
Yep. Hell, a lot longer than a year! A pair of books I’m working on right now, Tea and Coffee, are five years old. They’ve been rewritten to death. I have a five-part series that’s been on the shelf for two years, and a steampunk story that was originally written in around 2015. I have so many ideas (242 in the folder, last I checked!) that I don’t waste time trying to force a book that isn’t working. I put it aside and do something else. And as Tea and Coffee prove, I’ll eventually get back to them! Continue reading →