Tell us about yourself and what inspired you to start writing.
I reckon I’m one of those “school of hard knocks” sorts. I got my university degrees later in life, somehow finally ending up with a doctorate in music. But I came to that from the streets, playing music for a living much of my life. I’m a multi-instrumentalist, which means I get along by playing a wide variety of instruments like guitar, mandolin, accordion, banjo, Dobro, pedal steel, bass, piano, and a few other oddball things like mandocello, Theremin, and musical saw. I do a lot of recording on albums for various artists around the world.
I came to writing the same way, just doing it, and I guess I’ve actually learned the craft by reading a lot of other writers. I’m always stuck in a book at a cafe table somewhere. I’ve messed around with writing most of my life, though not any formal attempts at writing books. I’m a songwriter, so most of my writing is short form, like songs and poetry. “Man & Horse” is the first long form thing I’ve written, although I have written chapters in academic books, and conference papers for academic and industry events.
Tell us about your books.
For now, there’s just the one… “Man & Horse”. It’s a memoir of my time on the trail with my horse, Gizmo, in 1974. We crossed the United States together, ocean to ocean. Forty four hundred miles in seven months. It was a different time then, a different world, and the America that we saw no longer exists.
How did you go about getting published?
I did it myself. Fortunately for indie writers there are platforms like KDB and CreateSpace, that allow you to publish high quality, professional grade books. It’s a good time to be an indie writer.
What is your writing process? Do you have a time, day or place you like to write?
I’m not sure if I have a real “writing process”. It seems to be catch as catch can, for the most part. I do a lot of writing late at night, between midnight and three in the morning. I do try to write every single day, and for the most part I accomplish that. I think it’s important to keep your hands in whatever it is you do, whether it’s writing or something else. Just keep pushing the energy forward, little by little.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Full-time job, pets, hobbies?
I’m a senior lecturer at a major university here in New Zealand. I teach music, recording, studio production, songwriting, and various other things. I still play music and record for other artists on their records, too. Hobbies… hmmm, let’s see… flyfishing, astronomy, leatherwork (I was a saddlemaker for many years…), and a few other odds an ends.
Any advice for authors about book covers?
Well, you can’t go wrong having a picture of a good looking horse on the cover [laughs]
Any marketing tips you’d like to share with other authors?
I wish I had something to share. I just do everything by the seat of my pants and hope for the best. I’m probably a marketing guru’s worst nightmare.
What’s your favorite book?
I don’t have a favorite. Anything by a compelling, articulate, and interesting author is fine by me.
What are you reading now?
Just finished all the books in “The Dublin Trilogy”, by Caimh McDonnell.
What’s your next book project?
It’s a novel. A tale of buried treasure, wandering hippies, outlaws, and other wacky characters. It takes place along the Texas-Mexico border in 1968. The book is coming along, a bit more slowly than I’d like, but I’m getting there…