Tuesday, June 5, 2012



Hello Steve, thank you so much for agreeing to do this interview. It is a pleasure to have the chance to get to know more about you and your writing. First tell us about your newest novel and why you decided to write it.

Hello again Kitty. Thank you again for the opportunity.
Typically doing things the wrong way around, Playing Havoc is actually my debut novel following two short story collections. Most people have a go at short stories after a few novels. I was tempted to carry on with the new set of short stories but needed for many reasons to produce Playing Havoc.

Playing Havoc is a Sci-fi thriller that examines the personal relationships within a mis-match of community stranded in the wake of a failure of all modern technology. The "black-comedy" story evaluates each and every one of our real skills and their values in a world where we are forced to survive without a keyboard.

By looking at cross section of modern society, it considers just who is best prepared to look after themselves in 2012.

Tell us about some of your hobbies, things you like to do in your spare time. 

Well, I'm a country boy. We all seem to spend too much time these days either driving or hammering on keyboards. I am guilty of this so I like to get outside in the fresh air whenever British weather allows. I like to do practical things like woodwork, electrical maintenance, tinkering with my car engine and growing plants. I also collect antiquarian books. I'd love to learn how to bind them properly. How can a Kindle file compare with the work that goes into a hand-stitched calf Morocco leather binding?

What is the one most rewarding thing in your life right now?

That is easy to answer.

The lambs romping around in the fields outside. Finches and Woodpeckers feeding in my garden. Each daybreak is precious in every way. We should be thankful for them and never take them for granted. I never curse the cockerels when they kick off at 4:00AM. Sunsets are beautiful where I live but they signify the end of a day so I prefer sunrise.

In my day job, I work with a lot of sick children and teach them while they can't get to school. That can often be rewarding. 

When reading for pleasure do you tend to stick to the same genre you write or do you like to read other genres as well?

In the same way as music, I've been stubborn and have stuck to my narrow tastes for many years. I've always concentrated on Victorian novels. However communities such as GMTA have opened my eyes to so many new brilliant authors that I can see now what I've been missing all these years.

When was it that you realized writing was what you wanted to do with your life?

I was apparently talking at a "spooky" early stage and my parents taught me to read before school. Perhaps I was a Midwich Cuckoo. A thirst for stories and a vivid imagination made teachers suggest writing from day one. Obedient as ever, I pursued a career in mathematics and science! Perhaps I was frightened of failure and divided my life as Numbers for dough, Words for pleasure. 

When can we expect your next book out and can you give us a sneak peek?

I'm hoping that it will be out any day now. Here is a link to the publisher's page:

And here is a promo trailer made by Ami Blackwelder:

I do think her voice sounds good on this.

Back in your high school career, who was the one teacher you would say made a profound difference in your life, if any?

As a teacher I've asked myself this question many times. I remember one great math teacher, who started teaching in his fifties. He already had a big pension and was doing it for the pleasure rather than money. He really cared. 

Other than that, I came from quite a modest area where many teachers were substitute teachers.

What dreams do you have for future generations that you'd like to share with others?

That genuinely worries me as I often work with the young victims of the present.

All the knowledge and technology that we now have at our disposal and paradoxically I feel that life is becoming more demanding for us all.

One off the board question I like to ask, is what are your views as far as 2012, and do you believe in the Mayan Calendar? 

There are quite a few references to this in Playing Havoc and that is no coincidence. Without giving anything away, I am from a science background!

Finally, do you have any advice you'd like to give to other aspring authors, also please leave us your links where we can find out more about you.

Having discovered very many new brilliant books and writers in communities such as GMTA, often who are far better than those same-old established names from big publishers, I feel that there is a large element of luck in a book being successful. 

My first book, In All Probability does better in the UK but I'd love to share it with more American friends:

And the publisher's page:

I would love some company on Facebook:

Thank you again Steve for the ability to do this interview with you. Perhaps we can do more together in the near future. 

Brilliant. Thank you Kitty. You've been a great help from day one.

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