ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sutton, a town in
Surrey, England, was where I was first seen. After five vaguely memorable years
there, my family relocated to the charming village of Chawton in Hampshire –
unremarkable with its one school, one shop, one pub, one church and one phone
box, but famous as the location where Jane Austen spent eight years and
published her best-known novels.
I was generally
oblivious to the buses delivering consignments of tourists to Jane Austen's
house, as my interests at the time tended less towards the romantic
entanglements of English middle-class socialites at the turn of the 19th
century, and more towards growling deep-pile rugs with flashing red eyes chasing
a young space family around the rugged, rocky surface of an uncharted film set,
or modified wheelie-bins spinning around, wiggling their appendages and croaking,
This early fascination
with science fiction and fantasy was fuelled further as, while adapting to the
reality of life in London during my teens, I frequently escaped to the imaginary
worlds of H.G. Wells, John Wyndham and Jules Verne. I read Wyndham's 'The
Chrysalids' six times in my third year at high school – mostly during Latin
lessons – and 'The Time Machine' was always on stand-by.
And so it was that I developed a passion for speculative fiction. What if the impossible were possible? Is what seems to be real really reality? In my stories I invite readers to join me on a journey into the realms of improbability, where they are challenged to explore ideas beyond our conscious world. My tales are often baffling, bewildering and bizarre – but then, aren't the best stories the ones that make you think?
See what you think.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, your hobbies and interests.
Besides creative writing, I'm a keen photographer of wildlife and landscapes. Scrabble is another favourite pastime, and I also enjoy observing and photographing the night sky.
When and why did you start writing books?
My first book was never intended to be a book. I wrote short stories for my own pleasure – some based on recurring childhood dreams (or nightmares), and others drawn from ideas that came out of the blue. I had no thoughts of publication until 2008, when I decided that my manuscript of thirty stories could do more than just gather dust.
What made you decide to tackle writing as a career?
I still think of writing as a hobby rather than a career.
Which one of your books or characters is your favourite?
'Disarrhoea' is my favourite book, as the six stories are so diverse in content and style – and they've been particularly well received by reviewers and relatives.
Which one of your books was the hardest to write and stretched you the most as a writer?
'The Uncertain Past of Malachi Trendle' challenged me the most. I enjoy experimenting with language and wanted to write a novel unlike anything that I'd read before. The creation of a character with memories only of the future enabled me to incorporate future tense narratives into the story, as well as present and past tense narratives, depending on the characters' perspectives. For example, instead of recalling, 'Buzz jumped out, I locked the car and we filed back into the house', Malachi recalls, 'Buzz will jump out, I'll lock the car and we'll file back into the house.'
Who is your favourite author and book?
H.G. Wells has been my favourite author since I read 'The Time Machine' as a teenager. My favourite book, though, must be John Wyndham's 'The Chrysalids', which I read six times in my third year of high school. There was something about post-apocalyptic worlds that appealed to me back then.
What book are you reading right now?
Right now I'm reading 'Das Tagebuch der Anne Frank' … Yes, in German.
Where do you get your inspiration for your books?
I'm constantly inspired by speculative fiction books, TV series and movies, old and new, combined with scientific advances in the real world.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Aside from astronomy, photography and Scrabble, I enjoy travelling, locally and abroad.
Do you have any new books in the works?
As I've recently published my third book, 'Disarrhoea', I'm directing my energy towards marketing for a while. My next project might be a sequel to the novel, 'The Uncertain Past of Malachi Trendle' … or perhaps some more short stories.