Please tell us a bit about yourself:
I'm a professional scientist and live in the south-west of England with my wife, our two horses, two dogs, and three guinea pigs. We’d like to keep chickens, too, but it might be a bit tricky in a small urban garden with two hyperactive terriers
My education was obviously science-based. I've always been a keen reader - thrillers, science fiction, fantasy, horror, a few classics, and even some romances. But I'll admit not much of it was "literature".
I've written way too many scientific papers and technical reports, and even a couple of dissertations. I wanted to do something different and started writing general interest factual articles and giving public talks, which are always interesting.
I put off writing fiction for years, convinced I “couldn’t do dialogue”, but feedback from my critiquing group convinced me I could. Having four short stories published in anthologies was a confidence booster, and now I’ve written a whole book, all on my own!
Tell us about Knights Errant:
The story in a nutshell is that Paul, still getting over his wife’s death, is approached by two women looking for a jousting team to work on a TV show. The women are best friends, and he’s attracted to both of them. And they’re both attracted to him. He’s a nice guy and doesn’t want to damage their friendship, but he’d like to have a relationship with one of them. The women don’t make things easy for him, and lead him well beyond his comfort zone.
In terms of the usual genres, it’s a romance with some erotic scenes. I hope my readers will just think of it as an entertaining story.
What inspired you to write this particular story?:
Knights Errant developed from an idea I first wrote as a 200-word piece of flash fiction and the characters stayed in my mind. A number of ideas merged in my imagination and the story grew from these. I’ve seen a few jousting displays and even spent a day being taught the basics, real-life experience which was useful as well as fun.
Which comes first for you – a character's looks, personality or name?:
That’s a good question, and I honestly don’t know. The characters seem to form themselves as the story settles in my imagination and they tell me what they’re like. I typically settle on their names quite quickly.
Any tips for aspiring authors?:
Find a constructive critiquing group which works for you, participate as much as you can and pay attention to their comments on your work. Or find a number of other aspiring writers and form your own critiquing group.
By all means attend creative writing workshops if you like the sound of them. I’ve been to a few which were fun, but didn’t really help me.
When you find a book you really enjoy, read it again to figure out how the author has written it and try to adapt some of these things in your own work.
What super-power would you choose?:
Ability to read minds when I chose to, and influence other’s thoughts and feelings
Which fictional spacecraft/mythical creature/mode of transport/unusual pet (delete as applicable) would you like to own, and why?:
I’d love to have a werewolf as a good friend, simply because it’d be totally amazing.
Your weapon/instrument/gadget of choice?:
An old-fashioned English longbow or a traditional Mongol horsebow.
Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster, Butterbeer or Romulan ale?:
Who needs neurons? Gargle me, gargle me...
Coffee, tea or wine?:
Yes please. Black without sugar, white with one sugar, and red.
What is your favourite book? (aside from one of your own!):
Tough one... Two really. Dracula, for the great story and the fascinating way of telling it. Len Deighton’s “The Ipcress File”, which combines a great story with a well-paced, light-touch storytelling style.
Favourite genre and why?:
No specific genre. I find I enjoy stories from different genres, and some which would be hard to describe with any single label.
Upcoming news and plans for the future?:
Well on the way through book 2 in the series, which carries the story on. I’ve solid ideas for four more with the same characters, and for a short spin-off series for two characters I’ll introduce in the second book. And there are ideas for two other series rattling around in my head and sketched out to some extent.
I’m very grateful for having a hyperactive muse... If only I had the free time to work on all these ideas
Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us!
Lonely widower Paul knows he's ready to move on and start a new relationship, but doesn't expect to meet two attractive and interesting women at the same time. They want to recruit his jousting display team to feature in a TV show.
Becky and Hayley are best friends, as different as chalk and cheese, and both clearly fancy Paul. A decent guy at heart, he hopes to win one without harming their friendship. But the women don't make it any easier when they turn up the heat and leave him wondering what's going on.
A fantastic prize is within his reach. He just has to overcome his deepest fears, self-doubts, and fragile self-confidence. And be Hayley's leading man in the TV show she hopes will make her name. So no pressure. Just take a deep breath and let these two intriguing women lead him way outside his comfort zone.
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