What do you think is the most frustrating and rewarding thing about writing?
For me, the most rewarding thing about writing is being able to express myself and write different characters from different backgrounds. Writing and reading the work of others makes me feel less alone, less weird and just a human with worries like lots of people, that other people are like me out there and I hope that people feel that when they read my work too.
The most frustrating things for me are editing and marketing. I find editing so tedious and marketing just isn’t my forte. I can’t wrap my head around it at all. I like chatting about my work and their work with people but as far as selling my work like it’s better than apple pie, I find that difficult to do a lot of the time. I just find it difficult to say ‘this is my book, it’s amazing, you should really read it, you’ll love it!’ because that sounds cocky about my own book. I probably should work a bit on sounding more confident in marketing because I do of course think my books are amazing. I wouldn’t have published them otherwise so yeah, definitely that is frustrating and I need to work on that. 🙂
Question from Lance Lumley at https://lancewrites.wordpress.com/
The rest of the questions are questions from articles about questions which writers are commonly asked. (Some slightly changed to fit the interview).
What Inspired You To Write Books?
I think there is numerous reasons why I was inspired to write. I wanted to express myself and give voices and representation to people from different backgrounds. I started very young writing stories and at that time I was being bullied in school and a lot of the reasoning behind why I started writing stayed as part of my reasons today to write. Anyone who knows me well knows I cannot stand people who make people uncomfortable for being in some way different in their background from themselves and that comes a lot from the years I was bullied and that was when I started writing so it fits naturally. And often in life a lot of incidents and attitudes are swept under the carpet or made out to be alright and I’m 30 so in the past they were even more so. It angered me, it hurt me and writing is, was and probably always will be my outlet to put those things out there in a different light because when you hardly ever read them in a different light, it can make you feel very alone. So that was the main reason.
Other than that great writers like Agatha Christie, Oscar Wilde, James Patterson and several more and counting like more recently James Baldwin and Aesop. I’m always inspired and learning from great writers and interested in finding more great writers and works to inspire me. And writing in general like from TV, film, etc is inspiring … and just life in general I find inspiring because after all, that’s what I’m writing about. 🙂
Can You Tell Us More About Your Books?
I have twenty-two of them. In those twenty-two books, I have two series. One is my One Step Closer series which is set in the reality TV world. I grew up watching reality singing competitions and I always find it flows when I’m writing it because of that. It’s a drama/comedy depending on what is happening in the book at any given time. My other series is my Rory Murphy Mysteries. It’s a murder mystery series (shocker, I know! :-)) where Rory and his boyfriend and their two friends who are dating each other too try to solve mysteries. All my long years of being a fan of Agatha Christie clearly have led me to this point. I have a good few standalone books too, a self-help book, some short story collections, a childrens book and some poetry books. What you will find in my books is a lot about issues, comedy, me basically trying to write about the world I see around me into fiction, mostly mysteries and romance but with drama and comedy too. It’s a mixed bag and different books will probably appeal more to different people.
What Did You Learn When Writing The Books?
I learned about a lot of things over the course of writing the books. I believe that if you are not going to do something authentically, don’t bother. To name a few, I have learned a lot about social issues, music, ballroom dancing, drag, horse racing, animal rights activism, psychology, true crime and more recently for some work French cuisine, food in general, diets, American politics and theatre. I’m lucky because I love learning. There is a lot of authors who may not like the research part so much but I’m the opposite. My struggles are more stop learning and researching and write the bloody book. I can be distracted very easily if I find topics interesting to be honest.
Over the course of writing the books, I learned a lot about myself too. I didn’t really expect that. But I learned by writing that I’m ok, that I’m not some troublemaker, that I’m a good person. Writing is like free therapy in a way. It helped me see other perspectives of things and they didn’t always add up so I realised I’m alright. It helped me believe more in myself at a time when that belief was shattering a bit and so, yeah I learned to believe in myself more and that it wasn’t selfish to believe in yourself instead of putting more value on negative things people would say both directly and indirectly.
What Surprised You The Most?
The fact I have written 22 books! Actually finished them and published them! 🙂
What Does Your Titles Mean?
My titles are pretty obvious to the themes in most of the books. A couple here and there might be a bit more imaginative but let’s be honest, I am useless when it comes to titles. That needs improvement. I swear my books are more imaginative than my titles! 🙂
Questions from the following link (the fiction section):
How long does it take you to write a book?
It depends really. My two WIPs (Works-in-progress) at the moment are taking so much longer than they were supposed to. It depends if there is a lot of research or not or on the length of the book or if other stuff in life takes more over at any given time. It depends on factors like that.
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
All over the place! I publish my books myself so there is no one waiting for them or waiting for a progress update so I don’t really have a schedule. But I do a lot say get this certain amount done a day but if I don’t, because I’m not writing for a publishing house, it’s not the end of the world. It can be done tomorrow. That doesn’t mean I’m happy I didn’t get it done but there’s plenty of time where some writers haven’t got that option due to their circumstances. When I really get into creating the stories, they tend to write themselves quite fast in general but that comes more from being hard-working and passionate about what I do more than being organised.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
That I’m incredibly, possibly too honest, in my work is one! 🙂 I think my humour in my writing is. My late father had a great sense of humour and I think at least a quarter of it rubbed off on me. Even in books which have quite emotional plots or plot moments, there does be quite a bit of humour.
How do your books get published?
Amazon and more recently a few on Payhip.
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
Everywhere! I think probably a lot of writers can relate to that. A conversation is overheard, you read an article, etc and unlike non-writers, one of the early thoughts is ‘God, that would be good for a book’.
When did you write your first book and how old were you?
I wrote my first book Blood when I was 26, nearly 27. It’s a murder mystery and the idea was in my head for a good few years.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I like doing a lot of things. Reading is one. I read all types of books but thrillers and romances are my favourites. I love watching drag. I love RuPaul’s Drag Race but I love a lot of drag outside of RuPaul’s Drag Race as well. Music is something I love. I am getting lost with the amount of Playlists, some of which are for some of my recent books, I have created on Spotify. I like to know about social issues especially listening to the human stories people tell. I love spending time with my family, make-up, fashion, looking at pictures of adorable dogs, theatre, lots of things.
What does your family think of your writing?
I don’t show a lot of it to my mother. It’s a little bit too modern for her, shall we say? But what she has seen, she has liked. My sister has read a lot of my work and is very often the first reader of my drafts and stuff. She is incredibly supportive and always advising me to go for it. She always says she sees the characters when she is reading, she likes the humour and she says that I write from my heart which is especially a lovely compliment because she knows me so well.
How many books have you written? Which is your favourite?
22. For a very long time, I was one of those writers who didn’t have a favourite. I loved them all but none more than another. Then I wrote After The Fishing Trip. I went through a dark moment prior to writing that book and it wouldn’t have existed without going through that and coming out the other side. There is four main characters whose perspectives the book is written from and one of those characters is my favourite character I have ever written Mitch. Mitch is a very passionate man and he isn’t afraid to openly say what he feels even if people around him are gaslighting him and sometimes I have not got his braveness to do that. Characters like Mitch are often written as troublemakers or attention-seekers or a whole host of other negative attributes, most likely by writers who haven’t his personality type and really don’t understand where he is coming from so yeah, I felt a responsibility as someone who does to write him positively and truthfully. He made that book for me really rewarding and I love him to bits.
Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?
I need tips myself but I’ll give it a go! Don’t overthink. A lot of books do not get finished because a writer is overthinking how people are going to receive it, their own ability, etc. Believe in what you are doing, try to remember why you started writing this book and don’t let the other thoughts cloud that. Write what you are passionate about because that will make it more authentic and you’ll want to write more each day as well. Don’t follow trends or try to do what someone else is doing because a reader can see through that and you’ll be bored stiff writing the book. Make it interesting and enjoyable as well as work.
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
To be honest, not really! I’m still trying to build that side of things up a bit. I once tried to get a mailing list together, me and technology! But the people who have posted reviews and ratings have being really nice about it and seemed to like my work so I think that’s a positive sign that if more people did read my work, they’d like it too.
Do you like to create books for adults?
Yeah, most of my books are created for adults. Nearly all of them actually.
What do you think makes a good story?
Characters. You could have a fantastic plot but if the character is as dull as dishwater, the book can be a drag to read. Dialogue makes a good story. The way the characters bounce off each other. If it’s natural, I think you are onto a winner. I think messages in stories are great too.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I wanted to be a make-up then I wanted to be a singer. Writing was always one of the things I wanted to do but it took over at 16 as the main one.
Questions from the following link:
What are you working on these days?
I have currently two WIPs on the go. I’m such a cheater! 🙂 One is a murder mystery called Hidden about a genderfluid drag queen Victor, or Esme in drag. Victor was in After The Fishing Trip and another book of mine Xmas With The Fam. He is Mitch’s best friend but he loves the spotlight so I had to give him his own book! In the book, he is investigating the murder of a Senator’s husband and the mystery surrounding the disappearance of some very expensive emeralds. My other WIP is called Spread The Love Around and is about a drag version of Sister Act in aid of a dog shelter which needs urgent funds or it will close down. Enter the man with a plan builder Jack, or Aoibhinn in drag. This little drag queen who hardly anyone knows is about to take the helm of the show. It’s a comedy and a drama.
Is there somewhere I can read your work?
You are here. 🙂
Can you be paid for writing tasks?
Sure and I have been. But I do a lot of free writing because I love it and I’m not established like you know really established writers. But yeah, of course, grand! 🙂
Can I pay you to come speak at my meeting/conference/class?
Sure, if I fit what you are looking for! 🙂
Can I pay you to judge my contest?
I don’t know if I’m qualified to do so but sure! 🙂
How should I send a speaking honorarium?
With a definition! 🙂
What’s the best book you’ve read recently?
I’ve read a lot of great books recently but I did really like Aesop’s Fables.
Questions from the following link:
How much money do you make?
Not really your business sweetie! How much money do you make?
What do you do all day?
Research, write and I’m a student as well. I just completed a course today in Print and Digital Media Publication using Adobe InDesign. I passed today actually, had the test from home, and I am also studying Visual Design using Adobe Photoshop. In addition, I market my books to my limited abilities and relax and enjoy my life too.
Will you handle ____ since you’re home all day anyway?
Yeah, will you handle all the outside stuff since you’re out all day anyway?
Have you had anything published that I might have read?
Obviously not because my work is unforgettable.
When is your book/s coming out?
I had a poetry collection Lockdown Poetry only out recently. The two WIPs, hell knows! 🙂
Have you considered getting a real job?
You and your ‘real job’, get you big shot! 🙂
Why do you write about what you write about?
I’m passionate about what I write. It feels right.
I hear (erotic comic books, YA novels, horse insemination manuals) are making lots of money right now; why don’t you write that instead?
If I think of a story, maybe but it’s not something on my writing agenda at the mo.
Questions from the following link: