Hi Mick and welcome. Can I start, as always, by asking you a little about yourself?
Firstly, may I say a big thank you for having me today and I’d like to wish you a pre-emptive Happy Christmas.
For the first half of my working life I was in the Royal Air Force when I travelled the world, remembering some of it, and had a pretty good time without actually doing that much, in all honesty.
I’ve been an unashamed Trekker (yes, not a Trekkie) for all my life and can still quote too much of any of the series. Thank god there are no pictures of me in fancy dress as an albino Horta!
I love watching movies and have a secret addiction for the Sharknado films, but don’t tell anyone! My other addiction is to Disney/Pixar films as I find good animation hard to better.
When did you decide you wanted to be a writer and what were the first steps you took towards this?
I don’t recall having had any aspirations on trying to write before I was persuaded to read a novel by Annie Sanders, The Xmas Factor. I’d never read a romance/woman’s fiction story before, but it was Christmas so I read it. Then I read it straight away again and the morning after, I got out my laptop and started to tap away, getting down an idea for a story about a lady in denial and her best friend from school who lived on a narrow boat with a psychotic cat. That story remains locked up, but it’s where I got the bug to write.
How important has the RNA New Writers’ Scheme been to your writing career?
Very. I can’t leave this as just being a one word answer, no matter how much that one word covers everything.
I believe I came across the NWS scheme whilst I was doing some online research, came across the RNA website and the information on this scheme. Once I was lucky enough to join, I found a group of like-minded people who were full of support for each other’s attempts. There was nothing anyone wouldn’t do for you if you asked, and there was, and still is, no back-stabbing.
Of course, the option to have a manuscript critiqued is an invaluable service too, though I would always come back to the support network the NWS scheme provides as its most valuable resource.
What inspired you to write your debut novel The Season for Love?
I woke up one morning and I had a ‘scene’ going round and round in my head that ended up being the last few paragraphs in my head. So, I wrote that down as quickly as I could and then sat there wondering if there was anything I could do with it. From there, I essentially story-boarded the story in reverse, which was quite interesting but frustrating, until I found myself writing what was going to be the first chapter. I find that a lot of my ideas for stories come from either dreams or from a song I hear on the radio.
What would your advice be to new writers?
I’ll get the obvious one out of the way first. Read, read and read some more, preferably in the genre in which you wish to write. Join a writer’s group if there’s one near you, but don’t go if you don’t get along with the people there. There’s no point in upsetting yourself, try something online instead. There are plenty on Facebook for example. Most importantly, develop a thick-skin as you’ll likely need one. Unless you’re utterly brilliant, you will get rejection emails. Don’t take them personally as you should be able to take something from most of them. If you do reply to them, be polite as you never know when you’ll run into that person again. Lastly, write for yourself, for the pure joy of the thing.
And finally, you’ve been invited to take part in I’m a Celebrity – Get Me Out of Here. Name four celebs you would like to be taking part with you and why.
Now here’s a strange one for me. I may be one of the few people who don’t watch any ‘celeb’ type programs (Strictly Come Dancing does not count please), as they annoy the hell out of me. So, can I pick four celebs actually people you may have heard of instead of the majority of non-entities you hear going on these shows? Here I go:
First, I’m going to group the whole cast of ‘Made in Chelsea’ just so I can pour buckets and buckets of scorpions over them and then leave them there. I don’t know if that’s something you can do in the program, but if it isn’t, then it should be, to at least one ‘celeb’.
Second and I’ll have three bods whom I really like for these last three, Brian Wilson who’s the main songwriter of The Beach Boys. He’s my musical god whose ear should be preserved when he dies. His harmonies are to die for and I love writing with his songs playing in the background.
Third. Terry Pratchett. Yes, I know he’s not alive, but this is my wish. I’m a he fan of his Discworld series and badly miss my yearly fix of his books. No writer can make me laugh out loud as consistently as he can. The world he created is simply magnificent.
Fourth. I’m pushing it here, but the actor James ‘Jimmy’ Stewart. I adore his movies and he’s one of the most underrated actors ever. I challenge you not to laugh at his comedy timing in ‘Harvey’ or not to hold your breath with the suspense of ‘Vertigo’. Wonderful stuff.
About the Author
Mick is a hopeless romantic who was born in England, and spent fifteen years roaming around the world in the pay of HM Queen Elizabeth II in the Royal Air Force, before putting down roots, and realising how much he missed the travel. This, he’s replaced somewhat with his writing, including reviewing books and writing a regular post at the http://www.NovelKicks.co.uk blog site.
He’s the proud keeper of a cat bent on world domination, is mad on the music of Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys, and enjoys the theatre and humouring his Manchester United supporting wife. Finally, and most importantly, Mick’s a member of the Romantic Novelists Association, with the publication of this, his debut novel, The Season for Love.
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