Love Romances Chat Room Qs – 10 Dec 2008

Why not start off telling the readers about the person behind the author
name? Tell us something readers would be surprised to know about you.

Well, the man behind the nym isn’t actually a man! Kidding, I’m kidding. I am a bloke. Really. I’d post pictures to prove it but I’d get arrested. Seriously, what’s to say that isn’t on my website already? I’m married with one son (who is at the tender age where smacking Daddy every couple of minutes is ‘fun’) and I
spend my days counting other people’s money.

I guess it would surprise a few people to find out that I studied Physics and Maths in my youth – not English Lit. Now, how’d have thought that of a Romance author?

Now that we have settled in, why not discuss your latest

“Kissed by a Rose” will be released by Phaze next June. It’s with my editor right now and we’ve still got some work to do on it, but, at 90000 words, it’s the biggest project I’ve ever undertaken. I can’t wait for you all to be able to read it.

I have a ‘teaser trailer’ on YouTube.

It’s the story of a young man, Adam Smith, who discovers that he’s on the same university course as Britain’s latest movie star – Chloe Goodman – who’s taking some time off to study. Now, it wouldn’t be a romance novel if they didn’t fall for each other, and it’s wouldn’t be very interesting of there weren’t a few ups and downs along the way. And, of course, I write “erotic” romance, so that means plenty of hot, hot sex.

But you’ll find yourself constantly asking if you, or rather if Adam, can trust Chloe. After all, she is an actress, and pparently, a bloody good one.

What is the biggest misconception about being an author?

That it’s easy. Some people think it’s just a case of sitting at a keyboardand bashing out a few thousand words every now and then. But it is so much mor ehard work than that. You’ve always got things like plots and characterization and grammar and overuse of words and a hundred other things going through your head before you even get near a keyboard.

How do you know what to name your books or the characters?

See, now that’s a struggle. “Kissed by a Rose” is the fourth or fifth title this book has had. I think I finally got it right, but I went through all sorts of problems getting there. Character names are different. I just pick them at random, but I know pretty quickly if the name ‘fits’ the character. If it doesn’t, I normally, by that stage, have a good idea of a name that does.

Do you have any bad writing habits?

Loads, but I’m not telling anyone what they are. Some things are best kept secret.

Of all the individuals you have created, do you have a particular favorite? What appeals to you the most about this character?

Right now, my fave is still “The Colonel” from “Lost & Found”. People who read the book tell me that he’s an idiot, or that he’s a pig. But I think he’s misunderstood. He’s just a man trying to protect that which is important to him – his family. He’s proud and he’s stubborn, but he’s got a good heart. He was great to write.

You find yourself stranded on a desert island, what things could you not survive without?

My laptop. And an electricity supply to run it. And an internet connection. God, I’d be a jabbering wreck without it.

Has being published changed you at all?

It’s probably given me more confidence. But I’d say that’s all.

What do you do to relax?

I write. I know, sounds silly coming from an author, but I only write part time. I have a full time job to contend with, as well as being a Dad and a husband. Writing is my escape, my way to wind down and get my sanity back.

What makes a great book to you?

The words “by Terry Pratchett” on the cover.

Do you have any indulgent behaviors one might find surprising?

Wouldn’t you like to know.

For Fun: Soothing bubble baths or hot showers?

Ah, now, that depends on who you’re taking said bath/shower with. And how long you’ve got.

Please share with us your path to being published. (How long did you write before your first book was published?

I really started to take writing seriously in 2004. Up until then I’d dabbled but not really been very good. In 2004 I joined a writing group to learn my craft. The group was run by the same people that run the erotic story website “Ruthie’s Club” and many of the members had been published there. I was encouraged by some friends to submit some pieces and was fortunate enough to have them accepted. That was in late 2005/early 2006.

I wrote exclusively for the website for a year or so. The stories they publish are considered ‘exclusive’ for six months. After that time they can be sold elsewhere. I took one of the stories, “Charlotte’s Secret” and subbed it to Phaze for inclusion in the “Coming Together” series. It was deemed to be too long, at 15000 words, but was accepted for regular publication instead. It came out in April 2008.

So, I suppose it’s been a four year journey. Although, in reality it’s been a lot longer than that if you take into account my ‘dabbling’ days.

How many books did you write before the first was published?

I think I had about 20 or so short stories on the free story website, StorieOnline, before Ruthie’s accepted my first story.

Most of them are now available for free on my website.

Have you ever finaled or won in a writing contest? If so, which contest(s), which book(s), and which year(s)? Do you feel contests are a good use of your energy and time? Would you recommend that writers enter them? Why or why not?

I tend not to enter contents. I’m a terrible loser and an even worse winner.

What is your favorite animal, real or mythical and why?

I’m a dog person. Always have been.

If you decided to no longer write, what would you do instead?

I’d enter the X-Factor and become Simon Cowell’s “Next Big Thing”

Where do you get your ideas for your stories?

That is the question that every writer dreads. And I don’t think I’m any closer to answering it than I’ve been. I don’t know, is the truth. They just sort of… I don’t know.

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