Tell us about yourself and what inspired you to start writing.
I have always been an avid reader and I found when I had time to sit and just think I had stories bouncing around in my mind. I had one particular idea which eventually turned into my first novel, ‘The Shack by the Bay’ and I decided to just start typing the story up on my rather old laptop. I found that the words flowed easily and I continued to write every night after work. Writing then filled every spare second and I always say that if you think reading can be addictive, it is nothing compared to writing. The idea for the second book, ‘Silkworm Secrets’ was also in my mind, so once the first one was finished I wrote the second one. It may just be a small idea that triggers the story, but once I started, the words just poured out onto the page and ideas that came from both my own memories and from stories I had heard from others, soon found their way into the storyline.
Tell us about your books.
My first book ‘The Shack by the Bay’ is an Australian romance novel that includes historical events and references from World War II. It follows the story of Luke, a young man, who after a series of sad events in his childhood finds peace and solace at a shack in a beautiful remote area of the Whitsundays. Eclectic characters and fishing expeditions that are so typical of the area the book is set in, make up the background to what becomes an interesting and beautiful romance.
My second book, ‘Silkworm Secrets’ is contemporary fiction and takes the reader from the typical Australian backyard of the 1960s, through to the present day. The story is about the secrets that children keep and has been praised for delving into sensitive issues, with readers associating many of the events with similar ones of their own childhood. It follows the paths of two best friends who share their childhood days high up in a treehouse where they can witness the events in the yards that adjoin. Not only does it involve the negative factors of families’ lives but also focusses on the wonderful relationship that exist between so many children and their families.
How did you go about getting published?
After completing both of the books I decided to self-publish and enlisted the help of a professional editor and typeset company. A segment of a photo I had taken on a recent holiday became the front cover for ‘The Shack by the Bay’ and a friend who is an artist took great pleasure in painting the artwork for ‘Silkworm Secrets’.
What is your writing process? Do you have a time, day or place you like to write?
Any spare time I get is spent on writing. If it is only a short amount of time I will use it to edit and re-edit, however if I can get a solid amount of time I will write for as long as possible. Most of the first book was written while on holidays in the Whitsundays while sitting under a shady tree on the beach, looking at the ocean, which works well, particularly when describing the setting.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Full-time job, pets, hobbies?
My full-time job is as a high school History teacher and other hobbies include fishing. gardening and of course reading.
Any advice for authors about book covers?
Best advice for book covers is to have a go at it yourself. I spent a lot of time looking at different covers and then asking a couple of people for their opinion on what looked the best.
Any marketing tips you’d like to share with other authors?
Marketing has been the hardest part of the entire process and something which I was very unfamiliar with, to begin with. The most difficult part is gettting the book noticed and into the hands of readers. So many people tell me they love both of my books and I always encourage them to leave reviews when they can.
What’s your favorite book?
I have so many! I would have to say though my all-time favourite is the Australian classic ‘A Fortunate Life’ by A B Facey. For modern books I would have to pick ‘The Garden of Evening Mists’ by Tan Twan Eng.
What are you reading now?
‘A Good Muslim Boy’ by Osamah Sami
What’s your next book project?
I have completed rough drafts for my next two books – both Australian Contemporary romance novels. Like my first book however, they are both more than just a romance and involve different themes and characters that fall into contemporary fiction. I hope to release them both by the end of this year.