Be sure and check out Stevie's guest post and excerpt on yesterday's post, you don't want to miss that :D
Hi Stevie, welcome to my Place. Thanks for coming to sit and chat with me, such a pleasure to have you here!
Thanks for hosting me!
So, let’s start at the beginning. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I'm a thirty-something professional writer of both fiction and non-fiction, although currently the non-fiction (in the form of educational materials) is what pays the majority of my bills. I'm a northerner, now living on the south coast of England, lorded over by two cats and about to give a home to a very small mule. Over the past two decades, I've lived in a fair number of places, including Edinburgh, Cambridge, and the wilds of Suffolk, so I have a lot of different settings to draw on from firsthand experiences when I write my stories. I'm far too interested in fast cars, old buildings, and landscape photography, and I'm at home talking to anyone: from Big Issue sellers to dukes and duchesses (actually, I don't think His Grace had much to say on our last encounter, but then his wife and mother have enough personality to fill the stately home twice over before the tourists arrive for the day).
Ha! Cool. So, you have a new book coming out. Congratulations. Tell me all about it :D
Thanks. A Series of Ordinary Adventures is a collection of short stories, including two novellas, about everyday Brits discovering that the world is more amazing and unusual that they had ever imagined. Some of the tales are gentle romantic fantasies, and others are much darker horror stories.
*whispers* It's fabulous too. *smiles*
Is this your first book?
Is this your first book?
This is the first book that's had just my name on the cover as author. I've previously been published in three anthologies (two e-only, one e- and print-published), and last century I wrote for various small press periodicals under a couple of other names.
What inspired this collection of awesome?
Anything and everything. I like to look beyond the obvious and spot the stories behind what appears to be going on. My stories are usually based on places I've been, and on exaggerations of adventures I've had, although I'll often combine several experiences and dreams into one tale. I also like to write about less standard protagonists than the straight, white, able-bodied twenty-to-forty-year-old men (and sometimes women) that populate a lot of fantasy still.
Which of the stories, or characters, was your favorite?
That's a tough one. I love all my stories, but “The Footballer's Mistress” is the one that still makes me sniffle at the end, possibly because it's set in a village very similar to the one I grew up in. My favourite character, though, is Jimmy in “Seven for the Devil.” He's not the main character, but how many Church of England vicars get to be the hero's sidekick? I had a lot of fun dropping hints about his life before he became a man of the cloth. Jimmy is a straight white guy, so I suppose I should also mention Mr Singh, the septuagenarian action hero, who gets a story named after him even though he's not the point of view character.
Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.
There's something in there for everyone: I cover the full LGBT+ rainbow, as well as writing about heterosexual romances with young and older couples, and I've tried to reflect the UK's racial and ethnic mix as much as I could in seven stories (plus the two bonus stories, available to Kickstarter backers at Wanderer level or above).
You sure do cover the spectrum in this. That rocks. So, do you have any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?
My next project is to try and write a short story for the anthology to go with this year's UK Meet for writers of LGBT fiction. After that, I have two or three novels I want to edit into submittable form and another couple I want to finish writing first drafts of this year.
*nods* Nice. What kind of research did you do for the book?
I did a lot of online research to remind myself about places I hadn't been to for a while, and I dug through old photo folders to find pictures from my previous visits. I also went back to some places and took new photographs so I could look at particular details as I wrote.
Do you have any special writing rituals, or special writing place?
I can write almost anywhere, but if I'm at home, I like to be able to look up from my computer and see an inspiring visual. The one in my living room is a photo I took some years ago of a ruined tower in Northumberland, and in my dining room, I have a set of framed posters and magazine covers covering Dad's motor racing exploits.
That sounds nice. Now, I'm curious... If you were an animal, which one would you be and...why?
Everyone agrees that I'd be a dormouse, because I can curl up and go to sleep almost anywhere. In fact, I've been known to abandon uncomfortable hotel beds in favour of building a nest on the floor out of duvets and blankets.
What TV show/movie/book do you watch/read that you'd be embarrassed to admit?
People that know me online know this, but I'm not sure I'd admit it to colleagues at my day job: I'm a huge fan of BBC daytime soaps, especially Doctors.
What was your favorite book when you were a child/teen?
Dogsbody by Diana Wynne Jones
*smiles* That was fun. Thanks for coming and chatting with me. I hope we get to do this again.