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07/07/2015

Why do you write? What motivates you to write?

Another stock question that raises its head in author interviews. But however the question is worded, it is all the more relevant to independent authors than it is to those who have sold their soul to a big publishing house. And whilst it is true that many of (myself included) hope to one day earn a living from our work, basically the odds are so stacked against it happening that we might as well spend the money we put into our books on lottery tickets. The likelihood of making it rich are certainly a lot better.

So, if money is not the motivation, then why?

Like me, the answer is a simple one, because I have stories to tell. I was a late started when it came to books and reading. I always found it a chore at school and could read page after page and still have no idea what was going on. To me, it was all just words on a page. If someone read to me or told me a story, it was different, my mind’s eye would kick in and I could picture what was going on. But reading was a different matter. I found it difficult to read and thus had to concentrate so hard on reading the words that I could not take in what was written. No, don’t bother reaching for the violin and start playing Hearts and Flowers. I’ve made up for it since.

When I was seventeen, I hit a patch of diesel on a wet road whilst riding my motorcycle to work and demolished a stone wall with my head and shoulder. Needless to say, I was off my feet and unable to ride for a few weeks. My mother, rather uncharacteristically, bought me a copy of the Hobbit. Though not a fan of books and reading, but in plaster and bandages, I read through it. I can’t say it hooked me, because it didn’t. It is, after all, pitched for a much younger audience. However, this was [no, no, put the violin down] in the days before daytime television and it had helped to pass the time. After a few days I was able to hobble around and visited the bookshop [remember them?] in the local town and bought a copy of Dragons of Autumn Twilight by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. And that was it, my mind’s eye awoke.

I had always been a sucker for fantasy stories, growing up with the Greek legends, the Norse myths and, of course, coming from the Southwest, the Arthurian tales. I had also started playing Dungeons and Dragons with friends [yes I am one of the original geeks], so that one book ticked an awful lot of boxes. I tried other genres, but nothing else drew me in the way fantasy did.

It wasn’t long before I stopped buying prewritten scenarios for AD&D and was writing them myself. I helped form a games club with a dozen or so members and I would take it in turns with someone else to run games that we had written ourselves. That drove both of us to write more and more elaborate games, with more complicated back stories, and it wasn’t long before one of the participants turned around and said the immortal words “this would make a really good book”.

And that, as they say, was that. I started writing. Yes, that was a long time ago now, and I have (hopefully) come on a long way since those early scribblings, but the passion to tell stories is stronger than ever. I have ideas literally popping out of my head. Just a word, a picture or even a sound or smell can trigger something and a picture forms. There have been times when I have been unable to write because of depression, bouts of the black dog, or when work has not permitted, but the seeds have always been there. I never suffer from writers block because if I get stuck on what I am writing, I leave it and write something else. The difficult bit is trying to get what I see in my mind’s eye down onto the page. And the best bit about writing is that I get to read the story first!

Newsflash

Today is a very exciting day! Quest in Time: A Beginning, will be released on Kindle on the 1st of September and is now available to pre-order

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Quest-Time-Beginning-Lyonnesse-Tales-ebook/dp/B013IGVLIW

The paper back will be out later in September!

Another 5 star review on http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00BNWH4KI

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