My host author is Jane Dixon-Smith, check out her answers here: http://jdsmith-author.co.uk/blog.
1) What am I working on?
That’s actually a toughie. I am supposed to be working on What Alice Sees. This story had been in my head since 2005. It started as a poem, turned into a short story, and is now halfway to being a novel. The story premise is about Alice, a little girl who can see Death. She grows up seeing him, falls in love with him, but it is an impossible relationship. This is a story about consequences.
The book I am actually working on is a zombie book. Being ill and having far too much time in MRI and CT scanners I have developed a mild addiction to zombie books (honest, there is a link between scanners and zombies there…). Maybe calling it a ‘mild addiction’ is a bit weak… anyway, I decided it was time I tried my own hand at a zombie tome. As it is quite removed from my normal style of writing I have decided to publish it under a pseudonym. Whether I declare the name or keep it to myself is something I have yet to decide.
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
This is actually a very difficult question. I think the best way to answer it is that I never actually aim to pigeonhole my books in a specific genre. Except for the upcoming zombie book, that one will be as the genre dictates! Normally my books tell a story and I weave in the elements that need to be there, bringing in a little science-fiction, a little horror, the tension of a thriller, the gasp of suspense as needed. Maybe my books differ because of that. But I also try to make my books about the people. My novels are character driven. I want the reader to be part of the story, imagining themselves in that situation, I want the plot to become real and possible.
3) Why do I write what I do?
I write what I do because of an insatiable curiosity that forces me to ask, “What if…?” I read newspapers all the time, and I get so much inspiration from them. I take the ordinary, or even the slightly odd, and I delve deeper. I think a lot about the future, not my future, but that of England, Britain, even the entire world. What’s going to happen to us if we continue as we are, what if that new invention is misused in a specific way, what if the population keeps growing unchecked, what if… So many questions to answer and so little time!
4) How does my writing process work?
In terms of getting an idea, my writing process can be found in this post, The Aura Reader, from earlier in the month. But actually writing the book – mostly they tend to come out quickly. My bestselling books all took about three months to write the first draft. Then comes the editing which takes about another three months. I like to crack on with my wip (work in progress). But I do have a number of books which are suffering the fate of What Alice Sees. They are either half-finished or half-edited and are need of attention. They call to me, distract me when I should be having a productive moment. They I hit the indecisive wall, can’t decide what I should be working on… and wonder off to the dreaded Facebook, various news sites, checking for new reviews, and seeing if I’ve made any sales, and how have my rankings changed. Sometimes I’m amazed I get anything done. But when I hit that creative groove, all bets are off. It just works. To be honest, it’s probably right up there as one of the best feelings in the world.
I now pass the baton on to… well, in my chemo fog, I completely forgot to get someone for next week. I’m on it now, and will post up my successor when I can get a volunteer. Whoever-it-is will be answering the same four questions on the 7th of April. Hopefully.
I now pass the baton on to Richard Pierce for the 7th of April.
Richard Pierce was born in Doncaster in 1960. He has lived in 21 different places since, including London, Cambridge, Germany and Norway. He still prefers moving around to staying still.
Educated in England and Germany, he speaks English, German, and Norwegian, which can be confusing for those around him, but helps with research for his writing. He administers 3 grant-making charities.
Richard has lived in Suffolk since 2006, and has no immediate plans to leave. He is married, has four children, a cat, a rusty 1966 Triumph Spitfire, a collection of epees, and thousands of books in boxes.
He also writes poetry and paints.
His debut novel, Dead Men, was nominated for the Guardian First Book Award in 2012.