What inspired you to become a writer?
My partner prodded me towards this salvation. My blog on www.MHSnowy.com contains numerous anecdotes around the difficulty I have finding stories I like. So I wrote some myself. And surprise, surprise! But thinking of a story does not, in of itself, a writer make. I found a pursuit I relished, but soon discovered the enormous gulf between the what and the how. The how is the craft of writing, and, given my secret-identity, has taken years of hard but enjoyable work sans weekends. I continue to learn and improve, but reader’s feedback recount that my craft is ready for the world.
Is there a genre you could never write? Which and why?
My stories combine many genres. The 12 Nights of Jeremy Sunson combines science fiction, action, a bit of coming of age drama, tragedy and thriller elements. Being a short story, We Three Laws of Robotics Are, mixes only science fiction (well, it is about robots) and detection. My first novella In Harm’s Way, described as epic fantasy meets the Truman Show, amalgamates fantasy, myth, action, and a few other genres that I can’t mention until I release more episodes.
Phew, so many! But I avoid the grittiness of life and can’t be serious to help myself. So pure drama is out. I also would find crime stories difficult, just due to the nature of the subject: a heist story I could do (and probably will), but anything more realistic would be too much.
Give us a fun or interesting fact you learned researching this book.
The universe is not as we know it. I learnt a lot about Dark Energy and Dark Matter. Did you know that the universe is just plain wrong? There’s not enough (as well as) too much matter in the universe. Does that sound like a contradiction to you?
And editing. I intended to release Jeremy’s story a while ago. Then I had the story appraised. The feedback explained the difference between copy editing and line editing. Copy editing ensures the writing has no grammatical errors. Tick. I’d already done that. But line editing is another aspect of the how, one to which I could focus further.
Words can be written may ways, and mine, while interesting, could have more immediacy and punch: the story could be so much better if… So I swallowed my hurt and focused on the positives: Jeremy’s story had value, but would look much better polished in a different way! Several books of instruction and frustrating months later I’d honed my craft in a new way. And the outcome? The extracts and the previews on Amazon and Goodreads will give you an idea, but I’m quite pleased.
Which of your characters would you go out for drinks and pizza with?
Jeremy – why? He’s so innocent. And tries to do the right thing, though he usually doesn’t know what that is. No doubt he’d end up dropping the pizza on the floor because he thought he’d best eat, and the cheese burnt his fingers.
And he’s so clueless. Just like me.
What do you enjoy reading in your free time?
I struggle to find new stories that I like, so I often re-read my favourites. I’ve written about this on my blog. I avoid the grittiness of life with a ten foot pole; not to mention offensive characters or subversive themes. But above all, stories must be fun!
Like the stories I write, those I read need to be full of laughter. Yes, the hero will suffer and struggle to survive, but I get the most out of predicaments that make me giggle or even scream out loud.
I read books that remind me why I want to write: to bring joy to a reader. And the first reader is always me.
Because of this, while I may not write for myself, I always write what I enjoy. Jeremy, in The 12 Nights of Jeremy Sunson, the most unlikely hero, struggles with life itself, not to mention assassins and Armageddon. Montague the magician-trickster might be a tad sarcastic, but can’t help having fun in his search for the truth that is In Harm’s Way.
If you could visit your book’s world for a day, what one thing would you do?
Everyday, Jeremy Sunson has to prevent Armageddon. All while stalked by an assassin from the future. And the assassin’s … they have a habit of resetting time; erasing events from reality. Which can have interesting side effects. Ever wondered what you would do if you knew it will never have happened? As long as I knew time would reset, I’d …
Go to the best restaurant, order the entire menu, and stuff myself silly.
Of course, I would no doubt mistake the timing and be left suffering massive indigestion. Not to mention the bill:)