Musings on Writing – Part 3

This is the final part of a lengthy set of interview questions I completed to be featured on a fellow writer’s blog in January 2019. More than four years ago… where has that time gone?

As usual with these reproduced interviews, I’ve changed the wording of the questions for copyright reasons, but without changing the questions’ meaning. The answers I haven’t touched except that, where relevant, I’ve added the occasional update in square brackets after my original answer.

Which actors would you like to play the main characters if your books were made into films?

Quite honestly, if any of my books were made into films, I’d be thrilled regardless of who was cast in the lead roles.

[I do a lot of walking, especially in spring and summer. When I’m approaching a forbidding hill, I often try to distract myself by mentally playing out fantasies about becoming a famous author and suchlike. A favourite is deciding who would play the characters from The Cleansing in a film. Not only is it good fun, it can get me up a hill without noticing how steep it was.]

Name one person you’d love to meet.

It’s difficult to choose only one, but I’ll plump for Stephen King. I grew up with his books and would love to chat with him about writing, over a beer or coffee.

Do you have any hobbies?

I’m a member of a pub quiz team and I watch a lot of rugby and football—I’m past the age where I can play without endangering my joints. Does drinking beer count as a hobby?

Are there any TV shows or films you enjoy watching?

I never seem to find the time to watch a great deal of television. My go-to shows are The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones. I’ll always make time to watch films—although my preference is for science fiction, fantasy and horror, I’ll give almost anything a go.

[Both TV shows mentioned have now finished. I recently enjoyed The OA and Manifest. I’m watching the Star Wars spin-offs and making my way through Stranger Things. I still watch a variety of films.]

What are your favourite foods?

Ribeye steak, curry, pizza, though not all at the same time.

Starsign and lucky number?

Scorpio—a typical one, says my wife, whatever that means. I don’t have a lucky number.

What is your favourite colour?

Since it’s the colour two of my favourite sports teams play in and the colour of the dragon on the Welsh flag, I’d have to say red.

What sort of music would accompany your latest book?

My work in progress is edging towards dark fantasy. As such, I imagine it to be Celtic music similar to that in the Lord of the Rings trilogy meets the soundtrack of Halloween.

If you could no longer write, what would you do?

That’s a scary question. I have recently started a part-time proofreading/copyediting business so I guess I’d concentrate more on that.

[I no longer offer the proofreading service. To edit someone else’s work thoroughly is a time-consuming process, one that doesn’t sit easily alongside my own writing and audiobook production. Something had to give.]

If you only had twenty-four hours to live how would you spend it?

That’s an even scarier question. I’d spend it with my family, making sure they know how I feel about them. There would probably also be beer.

What would you write on your head stone?

Here lies he who never gave less than his best.

Did you make any mistakes with your first book?

Probably, but it was a long time ago now and it’s published (The Village of Lost Souls) so I try not to think about it. But since you’ve asked… damn it.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

Read extensively, inside and outside the genres in which you want to be published. And, of course, write as often and as much as you can. Prepare yourself for disappointments—almost everyone gets rejected somewhere along the way—and, above all, persevere.

Who do you turn to for help?

In a writing sense? I’ll always seek out my brother’s opinion. But, ultimately, I follow my own instincts.


Wow—that really was a long interview.

Till next time, whenever that might be…