Michael is a Yorkshireman living in the rural green hills of Lancashire, and a man of huge beard. (this in no way swayed my choice of author this week) He has a penchant for good single-malts, inept football teams, big daft dogs and the diary of Mr. Samuel Pepys. He spends his time writing and pretending to take good photographs.
And so I quizzed him...
When did you start writing?
In the last century. Like so many others I wrote down the stories that I'd make up for the children about our pets, in our case rabbits and cats. I typed up a word document and promptly forgot about it. Twenty years later I was chatting with indie author Alex Brightsmith (do check her out, her writing is deft and enthralling). She encouraged me to dig out the old manuscript and self-publish it. Warren Peace came out in 2012 and I've not been able to stop since.
What 3 things (not including paper, computer, pens) would you like to facilitate a good days writing?
Is silence a thing? Then silence, mostly, or at most the "wandering through the countryside" tracks from the Skyrim soundtrack. At the moment I'm working on a novel set in 1322, so occasionally a bit of plainsong or medieval polyphony. Also coffee and a bottle of Laphroaig Quarter Cask please.
Do you write to a schedule, eg every day or three times a week, set times, etc or do you write as and when the mood strikes?
I can't write to a schedule at all, although I admire the work ethic of those (like Ed Kendrick) who do. Deadlines royally piss me off and I feel obliged to stick two fingers up at their temerity. I have to wait for the fancy to take me, and I don't always fancy the current WIP. That's where a quick flash comes in handy ;-)
Is writing your main source of income, I read lots of articles saying writers make no money, and my readers asked this question a lot! Can you survive on book writing alone? if not, what else do you do?
A world of no. I do this entirely for love, and although my books do sell, it's not in enough numbers to buy me, say, a remote Scottish island. I'm retired now, though I used to be a computer expert paid handsomely for my arcane knowledge. Even further back I was a forester, a far more interesting job entirely.
What are your favourite biscuits?
I like a ginger biscuit dunked in milk. Interestingly, when I ran my Biscuit World Cup, polling readers' opinions, the winner was shortbread. SHORTBREAD! I suspect foul play.
Tea or coffee?
Tea on waking, coffee for the rest of the day. I like to make a cafetiere from freshly ground beans that I buy from Bolton market. <
Where do you do most of your writing?
At the battered old laptop on my desk in the front room. If I'm out and about I write on my HUDL. "Swipe" typing makes this fast and easy. <
What book are you reading at the moment?
Michael Chabon's Kavalier and Clay, and Ian Mortimer's invaluable and engrossing The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England. Plus I'm always reading The Diaries of Samuel Pepys. He's my constant companion.
Do you use social media (facebook, twitter, instagram etc) to engage with your audience, do you think it helps sales and do you find it fun or a chore?
Hell yeah, it's immense fun! One of my favourite things to do is to put Twitter followers and Facebook friends in my books. At their request, of course - I don't just bung them in there. It's surprising how many people want to be a baddie. It's tremendously engaging, and I'm certain that it boosts sales.
Do you own an e-reader? and do you prefer to read digital or paper copy?
I have an old first-edition Kindle. I prefer the feel and smell of paper, but the convenience of an eReader makes owning one essential. <
If you could genetically cross and animal with a fruit or vegetable what would you choose and why? I'm currently keen on a cucumber ferret, for the nice colour and suspicious slinkiness...
Best question ever. (thank you kind sir) I've kind of done this already in Tooth and Claw, but at the moment I quite fancy a chilli dog. What do you mean, that's cheating? Oh alright, a Potato Spider, spinning webs of French Fries. <
If reading and writing were banned, what would you do instead?
Play my ukuleles all the livelong day.
Would you rather be naked in a room of clothed people or clothed in a room of naked people?
Thanks to Michael for taking part with Wordy Wednesday. Why not follow him on Twitter or Facebook?
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