Tell me, what inspired you to write about your latest book?

I originally wrote these stories over 20 years ago to entertain my children on wet holiday afternoons in our caravan. Over the years I occasionally wondered if they might be publishable, and as it turned out they are.

Do you try and read the online reviews you get on say Waterstones website?

This is my first book. I have not tried to look at these because I didn’t know such things were there, but I may well do.

Is there anything you wouldn’t write about?

I would only write about things I know about and am comfortable with, so I would not write about (for example) sci-fi or fantasy, because I know nothing about them. These stories are semi-biographical.

How hard do you find it to keep within an age category?

It never occurred to me! I wrote these to match the capabilities of my own children at the time, then aged about 7 and 4. Others I have written since I simply kept to the same style.

What did you do before becoming a writer?

I am a pharmacist by profession, and I run my own company as a Quality Assurance Consultant in the pharmaceutical industry. Writing these stories was a holiday activity, becoming a hobby. If it ever takes off and becomes full time – well, we will have to wait and see!

Which author inspires you?

In those days when Colin and Carrie were first dreamed up, it was Revd. Awdrey (Thomas the Tank Engine) who probably gave me the idea, with a bit of Rosie and Jim on top (not sure who wrote those stories)

Which genres do you read yourself?

All sorts! I like Jeffery Archer, John Grisham, Frederick Forsyth, Lee Child, Len Deighton, Bill Bryson, Mary Stewart, depending on how the mood takes me.

What is your biggest motivator?

Towards writing? These were to amuse 2 small children and to have a bit of fun myself in the process. Now it is a bit of escapism / reminiscence really.

What will always distract you?

One of the cats walking across my keyboard – which they do with amazing regularity!

How much say do you have in your book covers?

A lot. The publisher’s artist drew several outline ideas and sent me them to select one. They then coloured it in and sent it for approval. I asked if they could amend it a bit, which they did. I had to approve it before it went for printing.

As a child were you a great reader?

Yes. I cannot remember a time when I could not read words or music. To my mother’s delight I read everything I could lay my hands on.  I LOVED the Famous Five, the Secret Seven and the Chalet School books. Mother was a librarian, only giving up work when I was born. My father was a clergyman. Our house was full of books and they said I could read anything in the house outside the study (Dad’s books were all very theological). I read Robert Neill’s “Mist over Pendle” when I was about 12, and met him several times. He was a friend of my grandfather.  Mother had signed copies of all his books, which we now have.

Which book shop is your favourite?

Any which has real books! Kindles are all very well but it is not like a real book. My all-time favourite is either Waterstone’s on Trafalgar Square or Blackwell’s (I think it is) up somewhere around Gower St in London.

What can you not resist buying?

I LOVE second hand book stalls or shops! I am looking for the Mary Stewart adventure / romances at the moment, (not the Arthurian series, I don’t like those) but I think they are out of print so second hand book shops are my only hope. My mother had all of them but I think they must have got on the wrong heap accidently when we cleared her house out after she died.

Do you have any rituals on your writing days?

No. I don’t have specific writing days.

How many books in your own to be read pile?

About 11 I think.

What is your current read?

I have just finished Bill Bryson’s “Road to Little Dribbling” which was very funny, but I think not as good as “Notes from a Small Island.” Not sure what is next – it might be a John Grisham or a Mary Stewart – I found “Airs Above the Ground” in a local market recently.

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