Myth has suddenly become a swathe of death and destruction and now only one man has the knowledge to track it down…
Q.When and why did you start writing?
A. Shortly after dinosaurs stopped roaming the planet, whilst I was still at school. I guess I’ve always loved the way that words translate into pictures in my mind when I’m reading, and I wanted to try to do that too…
Q. Is anyone else in your family musical/artistic/writers? Describe your family members’ artistic interests and abilities.
A. Interestingly many of them are artistic: mainly painting and drawing though. None are particularly successful, but I suspect you can say that about most artists! My eldest daughter is turning into an incredible painter. Her art tutors spotted her natural talent from the day she walked into secondary school (I think it’s called High School in the US?) and have nurtured her for the last few years. It’s a real blessing and source of huge pride for me whenever I see her at work on one of her pieces.
Q.What advice would you give to beginners who are nervous?
A. Just do it. We’re all beginners and I think that even the most seasoned and popular writers would say the same. The day we stop learning our craft, is the day to stop. A great way to test and sharpen skills is to join in one of the many amateur writing contests that are run by bloggers, or to start your own blog site. Writing for a public audience helps you to learn what grabs attention and interest, and really makes you concentrate on the detail necessary to pull together longer pieces.
Q What is the best part about writing?
A. The immense feeling of satisfaction you get when you know you’ve just completed the first draft of a major manuscript. Followed immediately by a feeling of immense dread that now you’ve got to go and edit it, possibly several times, before it’ll be anywhere near ready for anyone to read!
Q. What is the hardest thing about writing?
A. Reading the cutting and heartless words sometimes penned by internet trolls and/or so-called fellow authors (who seem unfathomably compelled to post scathing critique just because they disagree with one or other personal style or method of punctuation). Criticism is useful and it has certainly helped me to develop and push myself, but it still hurts a lot…
Q How do ideas come to you?
A. In any number of ways and, sometimes infuriatingly, at any given moment: night or day. I’m not clever enough to come up with an entire novel-length premise in one go, so my stories are made up of an amalgam of several idea-threads, mixed and matched, hopefully harmoniously, to create a bigger whole than any one concept would have been on their own. I have lots and lots of ideas: most of them are rubbish…
Q.Which authors do you admire? Why?
A. Michael Crichton, Ian M. Banks, Ian Rankin, Thomas Hardy, Terry Pratchett, Anthony Beevor, Stephen Pressfield, Dan Simmons, Douglas Reeman… The list goes on and on and grows all the time. I admire them for making their stories happen and am eternally grateful to them for sharing their precious imaginations with me.
Thank you, Anthony, for taking the time to participate in Featured Artist Friday!