Stephen Ainley Guest Post

Hi everyone and welcome today to a special guest post from author Stephen Ainley to talk about his book Dennis Bisskit and The Man From Paris With the Very Large Head!!  Don’t you just love that title!

Dennis Bisskit and the Man From Paris with the Very Large Head

by, Stephen Ainley

Hi, from sunny Western Australia. This book is a sequel to, The Dennis Bisskit Adventures, and I am just finishing a third and possibly last in the series (but who knows.) Funnily enough, although I have lived in Australia for 40 years, just about everything I write seems to be set in England, in the ‘50s, ’60s and ‘70s. My first novel, the Dennis Bisskit Adventures was released in the U.K. in 2017 and told the story of a young lad growing up in Dudley (west midlands) My main aim in writing is primarily to make people laugh. In the first book, this is achieved through a series of adventures that happen to Dennis between the ages of ten to twenty years old. School-life, holidays, the Scouts, first jobs at a department store and then a hotel and ending with Dennis and best mate, Stinky joining the army in the ‘60s.

Dennis Bisskit and the Man From Paris with the Very Large Head was published recently. It follows on from the first book and tells how the boys leave the army and become Dudley’s finest (and only) Private Investigators, in the late 1960s. This book is still mainly humourous but also develops into an exciting crime story. It always helps if you have read the first in a series, but it’s not essential in this case.

My Website/Blog is all things Dennis, plus other silliness.

https://theworldofdennis.com/

Purchase books

Amazon

Book 1 getbook.at/1952

Book 2 getbook.at/1969

Synopsis

Dennis Bisskit and The Man From Paris With the Very Large Head

1969 – Man is about to set foot upon the moon. Meanwhile, momentous events are also taking place in the West Midlands. Weddings, funerals, hereditary hair loss, M. J. K. Smith’s cricket bat, a missing masterpiece; dastardly deeds are taking place, above and below the streets of Birmingham. The police are baffled. This looks like a job for Dudley’s finest, Bisskit and Blackshaw – private investigators. Yes, the boys are back. Older, but none the wiser in Dennis Bisskit and the Man from Paris with the Very Large Head.

All About Stephen

Stephen was born at a very young age, in Birmingham, U.K. As a youth his hobbies were; knocking on people’s front doors and running away, tying girls’ shoelaces together while they weren’t looking, and playing conkers. Strangely enough, they remain his hobbies till this day. Stephen served in the British Airborne in the ‘70s and has the aches and pains to prove it. He moved to Australia in the late ‘70s in search of sunshine and is now sick of the sight of it.

***

Sometimes people ask me what the most challenging thing about writing humor is.

What’s funny? Everyone has a different opinion. You just have to write what you find funny and hope for the best. I test my stories out on two age groups, my wife and my Rockstar grandson. If they both laugh, that’s good enough for me. I think Australia, New Zealand and the U.K. have a similar sense of humour but wasn’t sure what the rest of the world would make of Dennis, so was delighted to get this review, from Canadian, Book blogger, Leanard Tillerman.

5 Star Reviews

The Dennis Bisskit Adventures

There can be little doubt that we live in an age of rapid technological advancements. The world seems smaller and more connected than ever before. In such an environment, there is an ongoing battle to gain the often fleeting interest of the people within this society. This can be a difficult task in a world which is frequently characterized by the need for instant gratification. Television, video games, social media and the Internet have become constant staples and sources of entertainment in this culture. Not that there is anything particularly wrong with that mind you. As the saying goes…”it is what it is.”

However, when something comes along that transports us back into an age which is characterized by different priorities and needs, it is like a breath of fresh air. That is exactly what Stephen Ainley does in his novel, The Dennis Bisskit Adventures. If you love a wholesome and heartwarming story which is saturated with humor, then this novel needs to be put on your “To Be Read” list “tout suite!” The novel follows the life and escapades of the loveable, albeit very accident prone Dennis Bisskit. Born just after the Second World War ended, we are able to see young Dennis grow up in the 1950’s and 60’s and transform from an innocent and bungling boy, to a young man in his own right. In order to show this progression, the author puts together a series of Dennis’s significant life events, from the painful awkwardness of early school life to joining the Staffordshire Regiment and fighting in Uganda. In between the reader is treated to a number of hilarious adventures. From Dennis trying to set a new world record for running the mile (my personal favorite), to the tribulations at his first real job in a department store. The very humorous escapades clearly reveal a young boy’s unique and poignant journey into manhood. Did I mention that this book is thoroughly funny? The various scenarios which Dennis finds himself in are truly gut splitting. However, it is not just the actual incidents which are comical. Indeed, it is a mixture of the well laid out story scenes, perfectly described setting and solid character development by the author which makes it all work. If Dennis was not such a likable, optimistic and good natured character, the humor would fall flat as a pancake.

As readers we find ourselves constantly laughing with Dennis, not actually at him. The ability to pull this off is no easy feat and the author manages it masterfully. In regards to character development, there are a number of very interesting and well developed characters in the novel. Aside from Dennis, the supporting characters such as his family, Stinky, Mrs. Ricketts and Sergeant Plunkett are developed with intricate care. They are all colorful, comical and entertaining in their own right. The reader cannot help but engage with and relate to the characters in the book. Also, they all solidly support the overall theme which is “the coming of age.” This serious theme is frequently presented in the story in a unique and comical manner. The setting for this story takes place in a different era, over 70 years ago. Life was much different then. Having recently seen the end of World War 2, it was a society focused upon simply living and rebuilding lives. Modern day technology and luxuries were not part of this world. However, that is not to say that things were unpleasant or tedious. They were just different. Many people would say it was a more wholesome time consisting of far less distraction. Stephen Ainley aptly captures such an atmosphere in his novel. It is like we virtually travel back in time to a different age and experience these adventures with Dennis. For those of us in the mature stage of our lives, such as myself, it is a very welcome trip and is fondly embraced.

Overall I would recommend this book for almost any age from Teen and up. There is something in it for everyone. Nevertheless, I would also say it holds something quite special for those readers who are a bit older. If you are looking for a story which is extremely well written, then The Dennis Bisskit Adventures is a perfect choice. It is hilarious, poignant, and at times, a bit sad. The writing has a beautiful flow to it and ties everything together in an exceptional and descriptive manner.

Dennis Bisskit and the Man from Paris with the Very Large Head

Having read Stephen Ainsley’s debut novel ‘Dennis Bisskit’ I was very much looking forward to his second novel, Dennis Bisskit and the Man from Paris with the Very Large Head.’ The amusing title, although long, gives insight into the amusing rhetoric within this book. The characters of Dennis and Stinky are so loveable; I was rooting for their success throughout the story. Without giving away any spoilers, I can say ‘The boys are back in Dudley.’ This hilarious story is a real page turner, full of amusing incidents that made me chuckle until the very end. I look forward to reading more tales of Dennis Bisskit in the future.

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Chris Donlan’s Debut Novel – Visionaries!

Today I’m really excited to showcase the debut novel Visionaries by Chris Donlan! As well as having a look at the book I have a bit about Chris as well as some of the already awesome 5 Star Reviews!

Visionaries is not your typical SciFi adventure, like star wars or some other kind of ‘alien shoot em up’. It blends action, history, intrigue, conspiracy and above all a hope for humanity in the present day. It has very strong female characters and will appeal to adult readers of a wide range of genres. 

This is a book that is currently available on Amazon (paperback and ebook) as well as being free on Kindle Unlimited. (I am really loving my Kindle Unlimited at the moment)

Interested readers can also visit Chris’s website and order a signed/dedicated copy. They can also read the opening 10 chapters, get an insight into how the novel came to be created and get a glimpse into the work in progress on the sequel, called Planetary Union. A third novel currently entitled The Magdalene Years will complete the trilogy.

https://www.visionariesthenovel.com/

Purchase Here

I have to say that I really love the cover for this and it sounds like a really interesting SciFi book, with the added bonus of being the first in a trilogy!

Synopsis

An immortal race of people called the Xethanti are plagued by an evil criminal underclass known as the PiruNostram.

The civilisations of neighbouring galaxies live in fear for their lives. Janithillon can put an end to it all, but he has to overcome Nemesis, the PiruNostram’s fiercest gang leader.

​His incredible journey will eventually bring him to our world in the present day, where he will meet Magdalene, who has been living and roaming amongst humanity for 2000 years. Together they will change everything we ever knew about ourselves just so they can bring a change to the way of life on their home world. This amazing story is fraught with hidden dangers and conspiracies from each side of the universe.

If you’ve ever asked yourself ‘What would an alien race make of what we have achieved here on Earth’ or ‘Are we alone in the universe’ then immerse yourself into Visionaries to discover some answers.    

Visionaries is part of a planned trilogy of gripping, thought provoking and ingenious novels which invite the reader to explore amazing civilisations which have influenced humanity’s development  as well as reflecting on our failings and weaknesses, affording us all with hope in the face of despair.

5 Star Reviews

Image result for five out of five stars

The book is written in an excellent way with perfectly balanced action keeping readers in unceasing tension. It is apparent that the writer put immense effort into preparing the background information for the book since it demonstrates the detailed knowledge of our civilisation’s history. What is more, it reflects weaknesses and strong points of people as the inhabitants of the blue planet.  My take on the book is that it sends a deeper message than an ordinary interplanetary story, but I will leave it for you to decide yourselves.

Fantastic work from Chris! I would definitely recommend the book to read.   

Just excellent!! A masterful combination of no-nonsense science and a well-paced narrative, which while keeping the reader turning the pages at a furious pace, also explores some deep historical and cultural themes.  The author has managed to create and introduce the reader to a complete intergalactic society equipped with some of the very contemporary issues which we find mirrored in our own. The detailed descriptions, a story line which strays elegantly into historical and in some cases philosophical themes and the twists and turns in the plot leading to an ending that I wasn’t expecting make for a very good read.

The only bad thing about this is that the sequels aren’t out yet. Get this and read it, you won’t regret it.

I attended a function where Chris read a few passages from this book, and before he had finished reading I had jumped on the amazon website and purchased the kindle version of this book. As an avid sci-fi and fantasy book reader (Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett etc.) I found it difficult to put my kindle down until I had read the complete book. Chris has obviously put a great deal of effort into making the plot seem as plausible as possible, and the way it ties in with current and past events is great. If I have one criticism it is that the story hooked me so much and then it was over. Hurry up and get those two more books published Chris, as soon as they are available for pre-order I will purchase.

Absolutely brilliant, couldn’t put it down can’t wait for next book, the whole book is explained in a way everyone can understand I normally won’t read sy fi but this is quite believable. A must read.

All About Chris

I originally hand wrote the essence of my first novel back in 1976, as you would back then when desktops, laptops or notepads weren’t even invented and frankly that’s as far as I got with it at the time.

It was going to be another 40 years before I finally got around to scratching back through my memory of the story and began to type it using Word on my laptop. The first 10 chapters emerged quite quickly, but it was sometime before the other 18 were formulated to the standard I was striving for.
With the hindsight of life’s experiences and the amazing research capacity with the Internet, I was able to hone and polish the raw story into something much more appealing and readable – well I hope I have anyway!

It took me around 2 years to completely finish the novel and finally bring it to fruition as the published article you can see today; which is not surprising when you consider that I was and still am, holding down a full-time job as a consultant for a software house.

I’m very grateful to my partner, Jane as a much needed and helpful adviser and critic and to several friends who read the inaugural drafts and provided me with useful feedback which enabled me to refine and craft the story as I went along.

One of the most inspiring things for me to have come out of the process of writing Visionaries was the realisation that I could develop the story into a trilogy, by inventing a prequel as a means of exploring more about one of the key characters, as well as developing a sequel so that the readers can get a chance to see what happens next.

I hope to have both of these novels ready over the course of 2018/19 so please keep an eye on my profile for more details. You can also follow developments by visiting my website www.visionariesthenovel.com

If SciFi is your thing definitely have a look and check it out!

Author Showcase – Holly Willow!

Happy Tuesday to all you awesome people! Today I am really excited to bring you an author showcase with Holly Willow and her book ‘Love by Chance’! This looks like a really great book just in time for Valentine’s day and I just love the simplicity of the cover!

What happens on a Greek island, stays on a Greek island…

Having just ended a long-term relationship with a man who was perfect on paper but not right for her, Emily isn’t eager to start a new one. She’s on vacation on a Greek island. All she wants to do is relax and have some fun. And she wouldn’t mind having a summer fling with the gorgeous Englishman she bumps into. The only problem is that he wants more than a vacation romance. Now Emily has to decide if she’s ready to take a chance on love again.

Purchase Link: https://books2read.com/LoveByChance Love By Chance will be available at a “Valentine Special” discount price for $/£ 0.99 on most online vendor sites, including Amazon, B&N, Apple, and Kobo. 

All about the Five Star Reviews

This is one of the most delightfully charming books I have read. I lost myself in the story from the start. I believe readers will fall in love with Emily and Liam, as I did, along with all the other characters who are so real you feel you want to invite them to your dinner table. Emily’s honesty about herself as she grows and explores her new world are particularly refreshing and Liam melts your heart.

Love By Chance falls in between the categories of women’s fiction and chick lit. It’s also a great beach read. If you want to take a vacation but can’t get away, run away to an island in the Mediterranean with Emily. I highly recommend it!

All about the Author

First things first: Emma, thank you so much for welcoming me to your corner of the world wide web. As a fairly new and self-published writer, I need all the help I can get spreading the word about my books.

As a child, I loved books. Escaping into magical worlds far from reality was my favorite pastime. That didn’t change when I grew up. Books and the characters in them have been some of my best friends for as long as I can remember. And I’ve been writing stories since I was nine years old. But I didn’t publish any of them until last year.

I have two passions in life: writing and traveling. Thanks to my parents, I grew up on the move, bouncing from one country to the next. I’ve lived in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and the West Indies. Now, as an adult, I still have an insatiable wanderlust, a deep desire to see more of the world and experience all it has to offer.

I tend to write stories that are set in locations I have visited or would like to visit one day. Last year, I self-published three books simultaneously. Postcard From Paris was the first full-length novel I wrote. Soon after I finished it, I started working on Love By Chance and One Little Lie. They’re all complete stand-alone stories but they share a theme: finding out what you want in life and working up the courage to try and make it happen. Oh, and there’s romance too of course.

I write in bed, wearing my most comfortable pajamas, with the laptop parked on a pillow in front of me. Typically, I write two hours per night. On good nights, I get a lot of writing done during those two hours. On bad nights, I manage merely a few paragraphs. Bad (writing) nights happen. The most important thing is to start over the next night and give it my best shot again.

Links

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/hollywillow

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/hollywillow

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HWAuthor

Postcard From Paris: http://viewbook.at/PFP

Love By Chance: http://viewbook.at/LBC

Holly Willow has lived her life on the move since her early childhood. She grew up in stables in the Middle East and South East Asia, surrounded by horses, philandering polo players, and wonderfully oversharing expatriate housewives. Currently, she’s bouncing around Europe. Growing up, if she wasn’t on horseback, she had her nose in a book. Characters in novels were her best friends. And ultimately she started creating her own. 

 

 

Author Showcase – Poulomi Sanyal

author showcase

Today I am really excited to be bringing you an author showcase for Author Poulomi Sanyal and her book ‘Colour Me Confounded’!

All about the book

Author Poulomi Sanyal draws upon her own experiences as a woman in the modern Colour Me Confoundedprofessional world to tell the stories of two women struggling with finding balance in their lives.

In the first of two stories, teenagers Rupa and Minerva think they will be friends forever. The two high school girls are virtually inseparable, despite their many differences. Years later, Rupa looks back on that relationship and the dramatic incident that ended their friendship. While she writes her memoir and travels the world, she comes to a realization about her connection with Minerva and the experiences they shared.

The second story centers on Ariana, a Canadian Iranian engineer. She is happy with her work in Toronto, but a friend’s surprise career move brings back old memories of a previous job in Montreal. She hated that job and felt isolated and unappreciated. There was one person, however, who made it worthwhile.

As both Ariana and Rupa look back on their pasts, they come to startling discoveries about their current lives. Will these insights lead the two to choose different paths—or just fill them with more regret?

All about the Author

Many years ago, there was a little girl who had prose and verse and dreams to share with the world around her. But something was missing; a platform. At age 12, she published her own children’s magazine, “Hello Kids”, featuring articles and poetry, jokes and puzzles, all created by herself and her contemporaries. Alas, her hard work had only found a meager audience amongst friends and family.

Who on earth wanted to invest in literature created by a bunch of children?

​Today she is an Engineering Professional with a Master’s Degree from a reputed Canadian University but her childhood voice, once restrained, still yearns for expression. To give this voice an expression, at long last come Poulomi’s poetry, short stories, and novels. They come in search of and providing fulfillment to her true personality; that of a poet, artist, and author.

‘I am a multi-genre writer (or you could say, genrefluid), focusing mostly on hard science-fiction, thrillers, contemporary/romance, short-fiction and poetry and I like to write diverse castes of characters with strong female leads. My writing is a little unconventional in the sense that I don’t use popular themes and tropes in my works. As an example, my upcoming science-fiction is a mash-up of scientific theories, archaeological elements, and ancient myths.’

‘My second novel, a sci-fi, action/adventure treasure hunt steeped in ancient myth is due for publication shortly (in a month or two). It’s based in some of my original research ideas when I was doing a Ph.D. in Engineering at McGill University in Montreal. I’m really excited about this book’

All about the 5 Star Reviews

 

Colour me confounded: A painting of confounded relationships nowadays
This book tells two stories. I liked both. The writer could rightly express the feelings of a good friend after a sudden shock from the unexpected break up from a very close friend, whom she had believed to be very close but later on to discover how wrong was she. This is true for both the stories. Although in the second one it’s not between two friends but between two colleagues instead, who happened to come very close during their duties together.

Colour Me Confounded literally left me dumbfounded. I could sense the emergence of an extremely talented new writer: Poulomi Sanyal. In her first book, how deftly Poulomi has painted the various aspects of human relationships and emotions through the two short novellas, is simply astounding.

Basically, both the stories hover around the main theme of two modern day women facing the challenges of the contemporary world and struggling to strike a balance between their dreams, aspirations and professional challenges on the one hand and love and friendship on the other. Her book keeps us riveted to the strolyline, following the joys and upheavals in the lives of Rupa and Ariana, the protagonists. As the stories progress, we marvel at the lucid language, often mingled with humorous undertones, with which the tumultuous personal relationships, professional struggles and emotional turbulences of Rupa and Ariana are depicted. The book reminds us of our own struggles and aspirations and keep us glued to the end. A very pleasurable and mesmerising read, indeed. Best wishes for the young writer and awaiting many more works of different flavors from her.

While reading this book, I envisioned myself sitting across a table from the author in a restaurant somewhere while she regaled me with a thinly veiled story from her life. Waiters and waitresses buzzed here and there as she spun a tale of relationships, work, travel and education. When she finished the first story, she had to go but handed me a written account of a second story written in third person. I remained at the restaurant and read the whole thing before paying the bill and going home.
The stories are written well, with no spelling or grammatical errors. I found it enjoyable, but wish the tales were a bit longer. There seemed to be more to the stories. Regardless, it made my bus rides to and from work go by quickly. A very nice first effort from a promising author.

 

Guest Post – Elizabeth Orr

 

guest post - elizabeth orrToday I am excited to be able to bring you a guest post from Author Elizabeth Orr and her emotional account of her journey as she learns to become a carer for her brother Norman. 

Elizabeth Orr is the first to admit that she had no knowledge of the realities of caring for someone desperately ill in the UK.

That was until she found her brother, Norman, collapsed on the bathroom floor.

Overnight, Elizabeth was catapulted into the medical and care worlds as she battled to support her brother. The learning curve was vertical, as Elizabeth struggled with the litany of paperwork, red tape, finance issues, and working with myriad NHS departments and resources required to keep her brother alive.

Who Can Care For Me Now? charts Elizabeth and Norman’s emotional journey through this complex care system — in hospital, at a neurological nursing home, and receiving care at home — from his initial collapse to his untimely death, just twenty months later.

Elizabeth hopes to raise awareness, not just of the daily sacrifices made by carers everywhere, but also of the devastating affects of brain disease — and to stimulate much-needed conversation about how we provide care, and how we must improve it.

 

FIVE PIECES OF ADVICE I WOULD GIVE SOMEONE IN MY POSITION

When taking on the responsibility of caring for someone, every individual case and their set of circumstances is different and so I feel far from qualified to give advice but am more than happy to share the following which is based on my own experience of caring for Norman:-

Legalities – Will, Lasting Powers of Attorney for Finance and Health & Welfare

I would encourage people to pluck up courage and have the difficult conversation with their family member(s) and plan for critical illness and/or accident before the crisis happens. This will enable you to seek professional legal and financial advice at a time when you are not stressed and tired from looking after a loved one. Caring for someone is exhausting and stressful enough without the additional worry of legal and financial issues. For Norman and I, not having Lasting Power of Attorney for Health & Welfare was a big issue and made the caring of him far more difficult than it should have been. Sadly, the only person to really suffer was Norman as he was subjected to Mental Capacity test after Mental Capacity test despite continuously expressing his wish for me to take care of him.

Your Health is Paramount

Once you become a carer; be strong and look after yourself as your health is now more important than ever. Stay focused on achieving the best quality of life and psychological wellbeing for everyone involved. Be sure not to neglect your own health.

NHS Continuing Healthcare

If you believe that the care needs of the person you are caring for are “healthcare” as opposed to “social”, be skeptical at what you are told. The difference is that if the patient is eligible for Healthcare, their care will be fully funded but if they are not eligible and have funds over the limit, they will be required to pay for their own care. Carry out your own research into NHS Continuing Healthcare and take advice from a third party if need be. Make your own decisions based on your research and stay strong and focused on your goal.

Care Plan

Most definitely, if I could turn the clock back, I would not have waited 9 months before taking control of Norman’s care plan and employing carers direct.

For me, writing Norman’s care plan myself was the only way to include all of his specific care needs. My experience has been that Care Companies’ plans tend to be “generic” rather than “specific”.

Taking full control of Norman’s care plan enabled me to only employ fully-trained carers and it was much easier to ensure that they adhered to the plan as they reported directly to me and not to a third party.

Advice & Services Available

I am still stunned at how many services and how much information is available but am also bemused as to how difficult it can be to obtain this information and help in a timely manner. Don’t give up, eventually the door will open and you will obtain the help/information you need.

Caring is challenging and not for the faint-hearted but it can also be the most rewarding job ever.

5 Star Amazon Review

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Since I had faced a similar struggle, although with a better outcome, with the American hospital system when my husband was ill, I was interested to see what happens in the UK. May of the incidents in Orr’s book sound all too familiar. Endless waits for bureaucracy to perform the simplest of duties, inability to speak to a doctor in a reasonable time frame, conflicting information. Her ordeal was made even worse because the patient was not her spouse, but her brother. This tale should serve as a warning. Get your medical proxies in order and be prepared to be as demanding as you need to be. Don’t expect the so-called experts to have the right answers. Orr’s brother was fortunate in one respect. He had a sister willing to stand up for him. Brava to her for her courage in writing this account. Medical personnel should be forced to read it to see how their actions or inactions affect the patients entrusted to their care.

Author Showcase: R.J Furness

Hi everyone, today I am really excited to share with you a bit of a showcase for author R.J Furness as well as an interview that he has very kindly provided and allowed me to share today!

All about the Author

R. J. Furness has been passionate about great stories since he was able to read. At an early age, he would frequently create new characters, worlds, and creatures, then write crazy tales all about them. However, until now, he has always kept those ideas completely secret. After having a lifelong interest in animals, music, and anything spawned from pure imagination, R.J.’s first love are now his wife and children. Over time, he has also developed an overwhelming desire for mugs of tea and good biscuits to dunk. He lives in Southport, England, with his family, a dog and several fish, chickens and quails.

dissent: RENEGADESOrgo Runners: The First RunOrgo Runners Glider AttackOrgo Runners: Legend Of The OrgoORGO RUNNERS: Skull Cavern (a spooky mini-adventure)Orgo Runners: SeacrawlerMorrigan: a dissent story

Check him out on:

Goodreads  Instagram   Amazon   Twitter  Facebook  Website

Author Interview

Are you a full-time or part-time writer?

The answer to this isn’t as straight-forward as the question. I’d argue that I’m a full-time writer, in the sense that I don’t have a full-time paid job. However, I’m a stay-at-home-parent, and our three children have complex special needs. By that, I mean they all have a few conditions that create a variety of challenges in their lives. As a result, they have many, many hospital appointments. Likewise, there are regular meetings at schools, and other such commitments, which we need to attend. It became evident a long time ago, that someone would need to give up work to facilitate the needs of our children. At the time, my wife Emma was at the start of a great career, so common sense told us that it should be me to remain at home full-time.

Having said all that, there are days when the children are all at school and there are fewer appointments to attend. I decided to use these irregular moments to start writing, because it’s always been something I wanted to do.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

In the most literal sense, this happened before I can remember. I can recall many occasions, at very young ages, where I thought about how much I wanted to write.

What books have influenced you?

Where do I begin? Books have influenced me throughout my life. When I was younger, I first remember reading C.S Lewis’ Narnia books, and I adored the Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling too. The Weirdstone of Brisingamen by Alan Garner was also something that captured my imagination. I was introduced to that one through school. Other books carved into my childhood memories, include Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons, and Tolkien’s Lord of The Rings.

As I got older, I read a variety of books, comics and graphic novels. At the time, I was more of a Marvel fan, and a huge lover of anything X-Men. Novels I enjoyed, included many different genres, from S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders to science fiction epics like Dune. I also became quite the horror fan too—reading many books by Stephen King and James Herbert, amongst others.

More recently, I relish any opportunity to explore the work of new authors through my Kindle. Indie authors are some of my favourites too. There is something about them telling the stories they want to tell—exactly how they want to tell them. Most indie authors really listen to their readers in my experience as well. L.L. Mcneil’s Moroda is a particular favourite of mine, and I adore The Changing Tide by K.A. Dowling. Likewise, I’ve read many books by Lacey London and Bella Forrest. I’m currently reading and loving Room 119 by T.F. Lince too.

I could go on (and on), but my point is, I have read so many books, from many different genres. All those books will have influenced me in some way. I think it is fair to say, that the writers of those books have also influenced me more than I could ever explain.

What inspired you to write your book?

So. Many. Things!

I have to say, that primarily—my family inspire me more than anything else in the world. My wife (Emma), and our children, have been so supportive. The feelings I get when they read my books can’t be explained either. I love sitting down with my children and talking about the “dissent” world, or the adventures of the “Orgo Runners”. They are such special moments. Also, I ask my children to give me ideas for “Orgo Runners”. My family are so involved and continue to inspire me.

However, I find inspiration everywhere. Where the “dissent” story is concerned, I found myself drawing a lot of inspiration from the world around me. There are many things that concern me about our world, and some of those things influenced different parts of the story. As there is more of this story yet to tell, I will leave that there for now though.

Other inspiration generally comes from great storytelling. I have already outlined many book influences, but great storytelling comes in many different forms. T.V. shows and movies are obviously included in the things that feed my imagination, but music and dance are also important.

Sticking with T.V. and movies though, there are so many that have inspired me over time. Star Wars and Jurassic Park are the biggest two for me. Needless to say, I will always be a huge admirer of both George Lucas and Steven Spielberg. I have blogged in the past about my reasons for this, but overall movies like these make imaginary worlds and creatures come to life. How great is that? Last year alone, there were so many amazing movies that I saw with my family too. Wonder Woman and The Greatest Showman top the list though for me—they were both mind-blowingly great!

In fact, there are so many T.V. shows, movies, and even theatre shows that have inspired me over the years. I could waffle on forever. To keep it simple, I love to escape into new worlds and get to know new characters. I always have done! One of my guilty pleasures is when characters capture my attention, at the same time as there being a plot that makes me curious. In the beginning, the T.V. show Lost did this splendidly for me.

All of that, and so much more, makes me want to inspire others through my own stories too.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Unexpected interruptions. I’m quite busy with my day-to-day commitments, and although appointments are planned, other things occur without warning. On several occasions, I’ve found myself in a wonderful writing flow, and then received an urgent call or email. I’m then thrown into ‘real-life’ issues that suck me out of my story. The bigger the challenge, the longer it can take me to centre myself and get absorbed back into a flow. To resolve this, I find that music helps me to reconnect with characters.

How do you feel about ebooks vs. print books and alternative vs. conventional publishing?

I don’t see them as a versus at all.

If you know that you have a story to tell—tell it.

If you like the work of certain authors—read their books.

Perhaps you just like to read—then do so.

All these things can be done in whatever way works for you!

That’s my opinion anyway.

Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?

I haven’t yet, but who knows whether that may seem like a good idea in the future. Recently, I read an interview with J.K. Rowling where she explained her reasons for doing this. As I read it, those reasons made sense.

Any advice for others who have started on their own book writing journey?

**Thinks carefully about this answer**

I am only at the start of my own book writing in journey in many ways. By that, I mean I am only just beginning to publish my work. Having said that, recently I have read so many blog posts, tweets and articles about authors ‘running their ideas passed publishers and agents,’ to see if they are good ideas. In my mind, if you have a story to tell—tell it! There will be people out there who want to read what you’ve written. They’re could be lots of those people too. At this stage, I’m still working on ways to find those people who may enjoy the “dissent” stories. But I know they exist, and I’ve already met a fair few in one way or another.

In short…

Write your story, and get it published in whatever way works for you.