Q: When did you start writing?
I started writing stories using my sister’s clunky old typewriter around the age of ten. I was obsessed with horror movies at that time, so my entire creative output was rather gruesome in nature. I was convinced I’d follow in the hallowed footsteps of Stephen King - one Christmas I received King’s Salem’s Lot and Blatty’s The Exorcist from my brother, which saw me disappear for the rest of the holiday period, in rapture, reading both fantastically dark tales – much to my parents’ dismay. In fact the first manuscript I wrote, whilst working at a maximum-security prison, was in the horror genre (the atmosphere clearly lent itself well to writing a dark tome). I did not however try to get it published. Frankly, it wasn’t written very well – and I promptly realized that I best leave the scary stuff to the masters.
Q: What inspired you to write The Burning Chronicles?
I had the pleasure of visiting Prague a little while back. As I was roaming around the ancient town on foot, I was enamored with the gothic architecture that was naturally lending itself to dark, romantic leanings. Having always wanted to write a paranormal thriller with a central romantic element, I was wondering what I could bring to the genre that was fresh and unique?
And then I saw it… A tower constructed in black stone, almost looking like it was encased in graphite. All the stonework, plasterwork and figurines on the numerous parapets were all sculpted from the same matte black stone. All except for their golden, gilded wings jutting out from each figure.
Right then I thought, what if phoenixes were not mythical birds, but humanoid figures that were the epitome of unbridled desire and temptation? And what if for some unknown reason they were no longer reincarnating out of the ashes? Add a strong female and very human heroine who falls in love with the very phoenix who is hunting her (for her latent ability to save his race), and I had the beginnings of a trilogy.
Q: What do you do when you’re not writing?
Currently I work for a major airline as an instructor – I train pilots and cabin crew in Emergency Procedures. So apart from teaching theory in a classroom, you'll find me sliding down a B747 slide and throwing myself into a pool and onto a raft, all in an effort to keep our skies safe.
It’s a rather intense yet gratifying role, and one where I get an inordinate amount of experience as a public speaker, which should stand me in good stead for my writing career. Oh, and I get to fly quite a bit for my job, which I really enjoy.
Q: What do you like to do for fun?
Nothing groundbreaking here, but some of the things that bring a smile to my face include: spending time with my loved ones (family, friends and pets), usually around food; reading (all sorts of books); watching films and the occasional television show; playing and watching tennis – it’s the only sport I am remotely decent at; reading or watching anything involving astronomy/astrophysics/quantum mechanics (we’re part of an amazing universe – horrible shame that mathematics seems to be the language of the cosmos!); music and dancing (I can’t help myself once the beat starts); traveling, and eating! I LOVE food…perhaps a bit too much. And I love good quality chocolate. I must have a piece (or more) every single day or bad, destructive things happen.