More about my Writing
The advantage of making my books available directly to the public, rather than through traditional publishing channels, is the interaction and feedback that allows between author and reader. Unless I become too popular or so unpopular that no-one cares, I can communicate on a personal level every day with my readers. Those who enjoy my work and those who don’t but have something constructive to offer. It means that, while you can’t write my books for me, you may have an influence on my writing in some way. Some authors may not enjoy reader contact, but I do.
I’m not so good at fantasy, so most of my stories are grounded in the reality of my own experiences. They deal with cultural, social and prejudicial issues in the places where I have lived and know well. And much of what happens in my stories has happened in real life.
I make a big effort to convey locations, in a way that renders them alive and realistic, because I want to transport readers to the places I'm writing about. If it works, great. If it doesn’t, someone is sure to tell me, and I can fix it. I have either lived in or am familiar with most of the places I write about. For example, I have lived in Thailand permanently since 2011, so it wasn’t hard to put Alfie into situations that happened in places I know, in the series Alfie Goes to Thailand, and then write about them.
In my second series, The Kenright Chronicles, Jack Kenright comes from my birthplace in England, finds himself in the Mediterranean, where I spent many months, and South Africa where I lived for almost twenty years, post-apartheid. It was an ideal opportunity to set some of the series in the midst of a thrilling, euphoric and often scary time. A time of freedom, in which organised crime flourished during South Africa’s political transition between the late 1980’s and the early 2000’s. Little understood it makes for compelling and suspenseful thrillers.
These aren’t situations or places a writer can easily conjure up on a location scouting trip. I’m lucky I don’t have to rely on journalism, blogs and other studies, except for facts. I have more than enough material to last a lifetime. The hard part is layering it within evocative narrative that is not too obvious but comes with practice. I am always working to pull it off, so readers will be happy.