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Ask the author

A little while ago, I was asked a few questions on my writing process and took the chance to share them on my Goodreads page. I’ll soon be talking about about finishing book 3, but in the meantime, here’s some news on the hows, whys and wheres of how my books come into being. Stay tuned for more updates and the meantime, you can sign up for my newsletter here.

What’s your advice for aspiring writers?

Don’t give up. Writing is a solitary business with little reward until you get published, and it’s incredibly easy to throw in the towel. That said, a real writer needs guts, determination and an ability to recover from rejection quickly. You will make it – assuming you have talent, that is – but it can be a very long game. So keep at it. Keep strong. But above all, enjoy what you’re doing.

What’s the best thing about being a writer?

Telling lies for fun and profit! I think Lawrence Block said that, so don’t credit that line to me! Seriously, the best thing about being a writer is that I’m autonomous and in control of what I do when. That said, it’s the research that really rings my bell. I have met more interesting people since I became a writer than I’ve had cups of tea (and I drink a lot). I’ve met Alaskan troopers, Macedonian anti-human trafficking forces, police officers, the Royal Military Police, the SAS, SIS. I’ve also met dog-sled champions, hawkers, crocodile & shark hunters. All incredible people and a fantastic resource for a thriller writer.

How do you deal with writer’s block?

Over time, I’ve learned that getting stuck is part of the process. It’s not so much my writer’s block as a short spell of writing inactivity where I need a break to let my subconscious chew the creative fat undisturbed. So I don’t sit glaring at my computer screen, I get busy. I tuck myself into the library or a busy cafe, and people watch. Or I go for a drive – there’s something about movement against the eye that kicks in the right side of the brain (the creative side). If I’m only briefly stuck, like mid-way through a chapter, I might have my next paragraph reveal an unexpected turn. This can work wonders, but above all, if I get stuck, the most important thing is not to panic!

How do you get inspired to write?

Spare-me-the-truth.350There usually has to be something that I truly care about or want to learn about, or explore, before inspiration strikes. For example, the memory-erasing drug that scientists are working on at the moment got me really fired up. I find the idea of tampering with memory terrifying, and the moral implications huge, and these issues are at the core of my latest, Spare Me the Truth.


For more of my answers to Ask the Author, follow me on GoodReads here, and if you enjoyed my books, you could even leave a review!