…this ol’ Jurassic keeps getting blessed with involvement in this wunnerful WURLD of quill-scraping… here’s a piece I was delighted to contribute to the upcoming prestigious Festival of Literature in Dubai… they’ve even hinted they’d p’raps like me to do some more ! Yee Haw! :)) … now where did I put the telephone number for that Oprah Winfrey lassie ?… I’m really looking forward to involvement as a Moderator and a panelled Author at the Festival… see yeez there …
In this section, we give readers the chance to get to know the authors attending the 6th Emirates Airline Festival of Literature
What are you looking forward to when you visit Dubai and the LitFest?
I enjoy the immersion in the whole nine yards of the writer/reader/self-publishing sphere. The excitement generated is relentless for the entirety of the programme. Everywhere you look, you see your writing heroes/heroines, favourite authors, and most of all the joy of interaction with people who actually buy and read your work. Brilliant!
What got you interested in writing?
I’d spent an entire career in the financial world, and ‘escaped’ from that just over five years ago. The desire to write ‘that book’ we all allegedly have inside of us came to the fore. I dipped my toe in the literary waters and before long, the entire leg was drawn in, then me completely. The pleasure derived from creating characters, and plotting their stories is unequalled in any other activity I’ve indulged. The onset of the Internet makes it possible to get published painlessly on the eBook channels such as Amazon Kindle, without the angst and agonies attendant on the older traditional publishing route of acquiring an Agent and then a Publisher if you’re fortunate. The wait to see your work in the public arena is shortened dramatically. I also do an almost daily blog, which gets me more relationships from within the industry. The strength of these interactions is amazingly supportive. LUVVIN IT!
Can you tell us about your experience getting published? How did it feel to hold your first book in your hand?
Well, at first I tried the traditional route, but after forty query letters to prospective Agents, I received exactly forty rejection slips. I now know that to be par for the course, and thankfully didn’t give up at that stage. I switched to the eBook route and have enjoyed astonishing (to me) success with more than 70,000 downloads for the first two crime thrillers. The sensation and emotion when I completed typing the last sentence on the first novel can only be understood by other authors. I was floating on a pink cloud for days afterwards. I had printed copies done in Abu Dhabi, and it was also neat to see the cover pages and the books in the shop stores. (My wee babies! Mine! My precious!)
Who are your favourite authors?
There are so many excellent writers past and present, I could name you a dozen, and then tomorrow a different dozen, all in different genres. As for influence on my own writing, I still enjoy anything written by Sir Winston Churchill, Charles Dickens, Robert Ruark, John Steinbeck, Alexsandr Solzhenitsen, Robert Louis Stevenson… the list goes on and on.
What would you have been if you weren’t an author?
Having come lately to the joys of authorship, I’ve already had a lifetime in the financial and banking world, and spent many years as a corporate trouble-shooter in some ‘interesting’ environments, all of which took me early to foreign parts. Much of the people and characters and places in my novels are subliminally amalgams of all of these. I still don’t know what I’m gonna be when I grow up!
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