The idea is to encourage readers (and other authors of course) to discover new books by British authors by visiting and supporting the websites of authors involved in the tour, and who are dedicated to turning out some of the finest books available in Britain today. Each author, named at the bottom of the page, has been asked the same questions, but their answers will obviously all be different. You merely click on the author’s name at the bottom of the page to see how they have answered the same questions.
Firstly, a note from Paul: “We British have certain conventions, traditions and procedures that are expected. There is a dress code in the reading of this British blog and you are expected to comply with it.
For example…Gentlemen will wear suits, white shirts and dark ties. (Military ties are expected wherever possible). Ladies will wear dresses (one inch above the knee, no higher, no lower) and floral summer hats. A break for tea and cucumber sandwiches is expected at some stage, and is permissible. The list at the bottom the page is not a queue. We British hate queues, and will accept them no longer. It is an invitation, and you are expected to accept that invitation and support the home-grown product. Now then, let us proceed in an orderly fashion. As you know, we are all very boring and staid in Britain, aren’t we?
Well, there’s a myth about the British and your starter for ten is – stuffy, class conscious, boring, staid! But is this still relevant in today’s world? Let’s find out from our wonderful writers what they feel about it.”
Q. Where were you born and where do you live at the moment? I was born in Savernake Hospital, Malborough, in Wiltshire. I currently live in Llantwit Major in The Vale of Glamorgan, Wales and love the country so much that I may be here for quite some time.
Q. Have you always lived and worked in Britain or are you based elsewhere at the moment? I have always lived and worked in Britain and despite the lure of warmer climes; I love it here and can think of no better place to live, or inspire me with my writing.
Q. Which is your favourite part of Britain? I grew up in Hungerford, Berkshire and stayed there deep into my thirties, so I have many fond memories of the places around there. But Wales has most certainly captured my heart and imagination. I would have to say the most special part of Britain would be the summit of Pen-Y-Fan, a beautiful Mountain in the Brecon Beacons. It’s where I proposed to my girlfriend Amy last May and where she made me the happiest I have ever been by allowing me to be her husband.
Q. Have you ‘highlighted’ or ‘showcased’ any particular part of Britain in your books? For example, a town or city; a county, a monument or some well-known place or event? The Four Vales that is the setting for Whispers of a Storm, my debut novel and part one of the Storm Trilogy is a fantasy setting. But, naturally, I have subconsciously taken influences from my surroundings and the life I have lived there. But, if I had to specifically name a place, it would be Coombe Gibbet on the Gallows Down, a place just outside Hungerford, where, many years ago, criminals would be hung from the hilltop. Dark, I know, but the thought of that warning to anyone else with a disposition for the unlawful has stayed with me and the gibbets outside Greywood Forest came from there.
Q. There is an illusion – or myth if you wish – about British people that I would like you to discuss. Many see the ‘Brits’ as ‘stiff upper lip’. Is that correct? I think initially, that’s probably true. That is until people truly get to know you and can appreciate the British sense of humour, its heritage and the history that has defined us. However, I would like to point out that I do not know Sharon from Reading, or drink English Breakfast tea from a cup with my little finger raised ;).
Q. Do any of the characters in your books carry the‘stiff upper lip’? Or are they all ‘British Bulldog’ and unique in their own way? A great many of my characters have some trace of the British spirit, be it the latter or former, but they are, of course all unique in their own right. Without giving too much away about my favourite character, I would say that Arillion would certainly have many British Traits. He has a devilish wit, laced with a stern and cold, calculating mind that will see things done, no matter the cost. Despite his chosen profession, he also has an underlying sense of honour, a personal code that he lives for and would die by.
Q. Tell us about one of your recent books? Whispers of a Storm is the first of three novels in the Storm Trilogy. My debut novel is a dark medieval-styled action adventure and it focuses on the struggle of survival for two individuals who become swept up in the shadows of an event that is brewing in their homeland. A conversation overheard, plunges a humble stonemason deep into the fires of this danger and Whispers of a Storm follows these two individuals on their personal journey of survival.
Q. What are you currently working on? I am currently finishing off the first draft of Shadows of a Storm, Book Two of the trilogy. The response to ‘Whispers’ has been truly humbling. I set out to write a fast-paced, enjoyable adventure that would hopefully appeal to anyone who simply enjoys a good story. Genre fans have enjoyed my tale, which is great, but what truly excites me is the quite common response from general fiction readers. “I would never normally read this type of book, but…” No pressure for the sequel then J
Q. How do you spend your leisure time? I’ve heard that mentioned from time to time, but am not really sure that I have any spare time these days. I am still working full-time, when I am not writingand I have the perfect job for me…working in a library (Barry Library). I try to write when I can and I dream of the day when I might be able to write for a living, but until that day, I must surround myself with books and book lovers. Poor me!
In between all of that, my fiancée and I love exploring and adventuring. Wales has so many amazing places to explore and we get out as often as we can, clambering around the multitude of castles, scrambling up mountains, delving trough deep valleys and majestic woods. We do venture forth into the other corners of Britain, as there are so many wonderful places still waiting for us to discover. We have walked the length of Hadrian’s Wall and will be adventuring in India soon, so the thirst for adventure, ever present in my writing, is also a huge part of my life, as well.
Q. Do you write for a local audience or a global audience? I write for myself first and foremost. If it sounds a bit selfish, please excuse me, but if I don’t like what I am writing, then nobody else will. That mantra must be working, as I have been blessed with many kind words from people all across the globe.
Q. Can you provide links to your work? Yes, click here.
If you’re a British author and would like to join in, please get in touch by clicking here.