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Does writing energise or exhaust you?
It is usually a bit of both. Some days it's a struggle to finish a chapter and takes far too long, but other times the words just flow naturally and it feels like I've barely started when I come to the end of a chapter. It really just depends on what I'm writing at that particular time.
What other authors do you look up to?
My favourite author and someone I definitely look up to is Catherine Fisher. Her writing style is so immersive and inspires so many great ideas. Her way of fusing celtic myths in modern times is exciting.
Favourite under appreciated novel?
I have a few favourite novels, but one that I think deserves a lot more appreciation would be Eirelan by Liam O'Shiel. Its an amazingly rich novel, that rivals some of the more overhyped novels around these days.
Where did you come up with the idea for the Time trilogy?
This would be a very long answer, and one that I'll most likely dedicate a section of this site to. But in short, I was inspired by a lot things from Star Wars, to X-Men even to more obscure graphic novels from 2000 AD.
Which character (from your own books) are you most like?
Not an easy question to answer. I think I've put myself (or sides of myself) in many of my characters. For sure if I had to choose one I'd say Brogan. I'm very impatient and have little time for fools, and tend to just get on with something rather than obsessing over it. But I can also see myself in the likes of Kia and Adi too.
What is one thing about you that not many people know?
Ah, well if there's something not many people know about me, there's probably a good reason for that. Something that people find most surprising about me would be that I'm a huge (like, gigantic) fan of Janet Jackson, and any disagreement on the matter will see you blocked from all aspects of my life, it's that serious.
Are you currently working on a new book and can you tell us anything about it?
I am currently about halfway through the 4th novel set in the same universe as the Time trilogy. I can tell you the title is Rebel Accord and it's a prequel that takes place 10 years before the events of A New Republic. Anyone who's read the trilogy will no doubt be able to guess what this book is about. Also this will be the first book in a series that will eventually bridge the 10 year gap between Rebel Accord and A New Republic.
If you could've been the author of any book what would it have been and why?
That's an easy one - Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. Purely because I'm poor and need the money.
What would your pseudonym be?
A good question! And one I've never thought too much about. One of the hardest parts of writing in my opinion is coming up with names, whether it be for characters or planets, so I can't say I'd willingly create a pseudonym unless I had to...
Describe your writing set up. (e.g. desk, candle, tea, special pen)
My laptop and a very quiet place!
Do you read your book reviews?
I don't get any! But if I ever do I will be sure to let you know if I've read them.
Who's your favourite character (from your own books) and why?
I would say my favourite character would be Brogan. I always tend to like the supporting characters in books/films/TV. But I loved writing her character and coming up with her wit and later showing her character development.
Have any books ever made you cry?
I think the only one that possibly made me cry was Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince when Dumbledore is killed. I think I had been binge reading it all night so my emotions were probably running high. I'd use my age as an excuse also but unfortunately I was 17. I wouldn't be a fan of romantic novels so the likes of those Nicholas Sparks novels (which tend to make everyone cry from what I hear) would be completely lost on me.
Is this the last we'll hear from the "Time" universe?
Definitely not. When I was nearing the end of Queen of Ash I subconsciously made the decision that this wouldn't be the last time you heard from Adi and the gang.
Are your characters based on real people or are they purely from your imagination?
Definitely a bit of both. For the most part the characters are from my imagination, but as I've said before I've most likely put some of myself (however unwittingly) into a few of them. Also I did deliberately base the character of Becta (from Queen of Ash) on my best friend and editor Rebecca which was fun!
Pen and paper or computer? Music or silence? Alone or in public? Fact or fiction? Paperback or eBook?
Computer (my brain works too fast for my hands and my writing is terrible). Silence when writing, music when making art. Alone. Fiction. eBook.
Have any celebs ever liked or shared your work? Who?
I like to create posters for different TV shows I enjoy such as Penny Dreadful and Black Sails and a number of actors from those shows have liked and shared my work. West end star Gina Beck (Phantom of the Opera, Wicked, Les Mis) also shared my Wicked fan art, I also met her and gave her copies of them. Singer Lucie Silvas (Breathe In, Letters to Ghosts) also commented on my work. Still waiting for my big break though!
Did you do the artwork for your own books?
Yes. This is one of the reasons that spurred me into self publishing in the first place. The majority of books published in the mainstream would have little to no interaction between author and designer. Once a manuscript is ready to be published they would then source the artwork, it would be rare for the publishers to allow the author to solely design the cover. They would perhaps have a small amount of input, but because I am as much an artist as an author I could never agree to that. Contrary to what people say, you do judge a book by it's cover, and as it's my book and my ideas it is only fair that I present them as best I can which would include the cover art. And being able to create my own book covers saves me a lot of money.
The majority of your artwork seems to portray strong women, is that a deliberate choice? Why?
I would say it is deliberate. In most aspects of my life I am drawn to women, whether it be in music, favourite characters in a book or on TV, even friends in real life; the one connection they all have is that they're women. Even when it comes to my own books, the main characters and my favourite characters to write are women. The reason is because I find women a lot more powerful than men. They have a lot more depth and I'm honoured to pay tribute to them throughout all of my work.
Do you feel you can be more creative via art or writing?
That's a tricky question! It's hard to answer because they're so different. In a way with writing I'm more restricted, but only by my own choice. I have decided to continue within the Time universe and as such my ideas and creativity are linked to those characters and their possible adventures. Also because writing a novel takes a lot more dedication it's not as simple as thinking "after I finish this book I'm going to write a crime thriller" - because that 'crime thriller' could take a year or two to fully complete and that's a long time, especially since I've dedicated myself to continuing the stories of Adi and her team*. Whereas when creating art it can take anything from a few days up to a week to finish, so I have a lot more freedom if I want to try something different, and if it doesn't pan out then I have only lost a few days, although I generally know after a few hours if a piece of art is going to work or not.
* I will eventually write a book outside of the Time universe, but not just yet.
In your art what themes do you pursue?
I usually tend to stick with Classic fantasy and/or Gothic/victorian art.
If you could be the graphic designer for any TV show, what would it be?
Sadly my favourite TV shows are cancelled, but if they came back in some way shape or form I would love to create the graphics for Penny Dreadful and Black Sails.
Where do you look for inspiration for your artwork?
I find inspiration in almost any place. It can be anything from music, books, film or from the stock images I use.
Are you solely a digital artist or are you a good illustrator? Ever think about illustrating in your books?
The short answer is that I'm no illustrator. I'm a terrible drawer, at least not up to any standard that I would want to show people. As such I have never considered illustrating my books, if that was ever something I wanted to do I would be more than happy to let someone else do it.
When you create art, is how you feel at the time portrayed in your piece?
I wouldn't say so. Perhaps in hindsight on a more general level there might be something that connects my own emotions to the piece, but generally my work stems from an idea, an idea that has been inspired by something outside of my self (like a piece of music, a book etc.)
Is your mind more free when you do artwork or do you plan it as vigorously as you would a novel?
My mind is definitely more free when I do art. When writing a novel I plan everything out before I begin, I know the basic narrative of each chapter. But when I'm creating art I, of course, have a vision in my mind, but it can change very quickly, because most times my art depends on stock imagery, so I may have to adapt an idea to fit what photos are available to use or on the other end of that when scouring stock images to use a certain piece may change my idea and give me a new spark of creativity.
Questions may have been edited for clarification.