Can you tell us about your debut novel, The Radio?
The Radio centres around the decline of the lovable, yet hapless George Poppleton, a middle-aged, henpecked father and husband who stumbles across an old transistor radio in his loft. His obsession with listening to the radio drives him on an unexpected journey, fuelled by the painful memories of the suicide of his only son many years before. It ends with an unimaginable twist and is the first part of a trilogy.
Do you plan?
I begin with an idea. Maybe one or two sentences with the overall story and where I want to go with the story. The characters are then designed to fit the story. I usually pick two main characters, and summarise their three main traits. I then begin writing.
How do you approach editing?
My style of writing is simply to write and write and write. My mood takes me to which chapter I write and I don’t write particularly in any order. I write the entire manuscript and then when I feel I have the whole story down I begin to edit. It is quite usual to have the same chapter written two or three times and then I begin to move the story around to get it in order and into shape.
Do you get writers block? If so, how do you deal with it?
Rarely. Because I block chunks of time in my diary to write, I am usually always really eager to sit down and actually write. There are times where I don’t feel its flowing, but then I simply stop that chapter and write say some dialogue, or an entirely different part of the novel.
If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
I already have them all. But seriously, it would probably have to be the power of making time stand still. There is just not enough hours in the day…
Which three books have made the most impact on you? Do you think being a big reader is important for a writer?
The Folk of the Faraway Tree – Enid Blyton. Completely Unexpected Tales – Roald Dahl. The Life of Pi – Yann Martell. I absolutely think that reading is intrinsically linked to writing.
Is there a character from fiction you’d like to meet?
The mouse from the Gruffalo. An extremely cheeky and talented rodent.
You’re currently working on your second novel. Can you tell us a bit about The Page?
I am currently working on The Page, a story of a tragic car accident and about how one seemingly random piece of paper can change everybody’s lives forever. And yes, it’s another story with a twist!
Do you cast your characters?
Usually just the main two characters. I know my hero and villain and their traits. The other cast of characters builds as the story develops.
What three things would you take with you to a desert island?
Notebook. Pen. Teleport machine.
Who would your ideal dinner guests be?
Stephen Fry. Sean Lock. My girlfriend, Nikky. Frank Turner. Eddie Vedder. Damien Echols. Noel Fielding.
What’s your favourite word?
Bubble. Snuggle, Cuddle. For some reason I love the sound of these words.
Your five tips for new writers?
Er, felt tip… Block out specific periods of time to write. Ensure that you stick to it, however you feel. Empty your mind onto the page. Don’t worry about the quality until the end . Get the story down.
Novel Kicks is a blog for story tellers and book lovers.