Going behind the insanity that created Bert
How do you strike the balance between writing something you want to write and writing something that people want to read, in terms of the compromises you make, if any?
I’m afraid I don’t and write very much for my own entertainment. I can only write what I want to, otherwise I’d get bored and never finish anything. It’s probably one of the reasons (and there are many) I sell very few books.
What excites, attracts or appeals to you about the genre(s) you write in.
I don’t tend to stick to a genre; my first novel was Horror and the next is more of a fantasy, although some would say it too is horror. (Horrible fantasy?). Anyway, it’s because I can write anything I want. Imagination has no boundaries and the only constraint is the time it takes to write it down and my limited ability as a writer.
Do you have a box, drawer, folder etc where you keep thoughts and ideas for future stories? Such as names you have come across, bits of dialogue, ideas, characters - even if you have no idea when you might use them?
I have at least a dozen notebooks scattered around the house and random folders of ideas on each of the computers I own. Lots of ideas. Lines, paragraphs and a handful of rather detailed plots.
How do you manage plot bunnies (ideas that invade your mind that aren’t usually helpful to the story you’re writing but breed like...er...bunnies)?
If they’re persistent enough, I change the story. Sometimes though, I go with them for a little while to see where they’ll take me but then they just dally about and go nowhere so out comes the shotgun. I probably delete as many of these than end up in the finished story. For me, part of the fun of writing is seeing where the story will lead me so I have to explore them.
How much of you is in your characters? Which of your characters is the you that you’d most like to be? Or be with ?
I have no idea. My characters tend not to be very nice people, whereas apparently I am. I think writing is an outlet for my darker side. There are bound to be some traits there though, some thought processes which are similar maybe?
Do you become so wrapped up in your writing that your spouse wonders if they're married to you or one of your characters?
I don’t talk about the book I’m currently writing very much, although this infuriates my other half as I spend way too much time with my head buried in the lap-top. She’s also my editor though and I don’t want her to be bored of the story before she’s even begun.
What type of book do you like reading? Is it the same genre as you write?
I’m reading a lot of fantasy at the minute and grew up on horror so I guess I do. Although I do tend to read anything I can get my hands on without caring too much about genre. If I’m not ‘into it’ within five chapters I move onto something else. It probably means I miss out on a lot of quality fiction but I read too slowly to finish books I don’t like.
What lengths do you go to to convince us readers that your book has the X factor?
I don’t. It’s up to the reader to decide and hopefully, if they like it they’ll tell other people.
How do you feel when a reader points out the spelling mistake(s) you have made?
Embarrassed, although I’m not sure it’s happened yet. I have had my English criticized by non-native speakers though and that stung. I think it’s because I can sometimes write like I speak in conversation though, and that often makes little sense to anyone who’s not from a ten mile radius of my hometown.
What do you like most about visiting KUF/GR/forums?
Friendly and helpful. I spend so much time writing, I can drop in anytime, even after a gap of several weeks and still be made to feel welcome.
What is on your near horizon?
I’m just putting the finishing touches on my new novel, then going through it a couple of times before passing it to my editor (see above). Then I’ll be approaching a few select agents / publishers but I imagine it’ll be self-published sometime in the middle of the year. I’m thinking May. I also have another story well into the planning stages which I need to write and I also need to write some short stories. I have a spoken word event at the end of this month which I said I’d write something new for, and the deadline’s racing up fast.
Where can we find you for more information?
I’ve never managed to maintain a blog, so my facebook page is better.