1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?
I was born in Australia and moved to the US after university for what was intended to be a 2-year working holiday. I never made it home. My mother was a prolific letter writer when I was young, and I started writing letters when I moved here to my family and friends. They were essentially just long stories of my life here and I developed a following amongst my friends when I started doing it on email. I was told over and over to put my stories into a book format, so I started writing my first series of books, the TORN trilogy, about a depressing time in my life to get over my sadness. Loved doing it. I mean it was the best bloody medicine I could have asked for. So that is what got me into the effort required to sit at a desk for 5 hours after a ten-hour work day. Of course, being bat shit crazy helped as well.
2) What inspired you to write your book series?
The need to fill up the hours of isolation and I was experiencing at the time 5 years ago. It just starts as a very serious note to my family after one of the most depressing nights of my life. I had a choice, keep writing or jump off my balcony. Thankfully the bloody computer didn’t crash on me (although bugs in Word sometimes does push me to have suicidal thoughts on occasions) I have a very compulsive personality. Once I start something I get my teeth into it and won’t stop till I am finished. So, I wrote for three straight years to finish the series.
3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your books?
Don’t give up. Never give up. No matter how f’ing bad life may seem, you could be 2 minutes away from the news that will lift your spirits. You could be a minute away, you could be 30 seconds away. This is the basic tenet of life. If you are a writer, or a runner, or a student, or a patient. The moment you give up, everything you have worked towards is over. Even if it takes 20 years to succeed, suck it up and keep working for 20 years. It is worth it.
4) What drew you into telling your story as a series rather than one book?
Because I when I started the first book I had a hope that the HUGE problem in my life would be resolved by the end of it, and it wasn’t. So, I wrote a second book with the same hope. It finally got sorted out as I was writing the 3rd book. Otherwise I would still be writing that series now. I didn’t really set out with a plan. It was just something I fell into without thinking and then was continually swept along.
5) If you could sit down with anyone you talked about in your book, what would you ask them and why?
I would sit down with the main villain in the series and ask them, what the f@ck were you thinking?
6) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?
I used Facebook with good success until they banned me from advertising my book for some reason that 10 emails later they still wouldn’t explain. So, I have been using Goodreads website for my promotions lately. But it is a hard slog. I am spending a lot of time working on my next series of books so once they are finished I will be able to have a greater library of work to promote and more time to promote.
7) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?
Go back and read Question 3 and the answer over and over until you are sick of reading it. Nothing is going to come easy. Not the writing, not the promoting, not the complaints from your spouse that you want to write on your anniversary and the kid’s birthdays. But don’t stop. If you love doing it and believe in yourself, never give in.
8) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?
A 4 or 5 book series on my stories of travelling for 25 years from Africa, to India, Nepal, the USA, Japan and Brazil. Stories of my near misses with police, gangs, injury, death, and girls. All told with a good dose of self-effacing humor.
Following that I have a book planned on how the USA Healthcare system is a piece of crap and what to look out for when you go to hospital. If could save your life. That book probably isn’t going to be that funny.