First off, tell us a little bit about you, Neil...
Well I'm 34 this year I think. I stopped counting at 30. I live in UK near Birmingham with my wife and two children. I work as a senior manager for a hospitality company and in my spare time when I'm not writing I climb.
Tell us about your books/What genre do you consider your books?
I have three books that are either completed or works in progress. The first is due to be published later this month in April which is a collection of short short stories and flash fiction which will be released by a new label The Penguins Head publishing.
Then I have a young adult Sci Fi / Fantasy fusion novel based on the adventures of a boy who falls into a hadron collider that is currently undergoing the editing process and a trilogy of Fantasy books that I am currently working on based Finnish mythology. This series I'm really excited about as I'm looking to twist a 14th century tale into a modern fantasy trilogy.
When did you start writing?
I've always written on and off but I seriously started writing 16 months ago. Tired of hearing me moan about wanting to be an author, my wife enrolled me onto an all night writing workshop. I really enjoyed it and wanted to carry on writing.
Why do you write?
For me its a release, I am forever day dreaming and creating new worlds in my head but when I write them down the stories just seem to flow. Writing has no limitations on what you can create it's freedom personified.
What would be your choice for a superpower?
Tough question. If I had to pick just one I would have to pick supersonic speed.
Who is your favorite author?
Robert Jordan without a shadow of a doubt. I loved the world he created and I loved how his characters created an instant connection with the reader. Plus taking on an 10 plus book series takes serious guts.
What are you reading now?
I'm reading Kafka on the Beach by Hiroshima Murikamyi
Who is your favorite character to write?
My favorite character is my main protagonist in my trilogy Kullervi. He has the right mix of darkness and light in his persona which makes for an interesting character. Kullervo is one of many in my series of what I call grey characters. These types of characters are complex creatures lile all people and arw capable of heroic deeds and acts of pure selfishness. Everyone has an agenda just like the real world.
Do you have a writing process?
Yes I tend to quite thorough in my preparation creating a world building bible or reference book. In this I will try and write down everything I think will be relevant, factions, politics, trade, conflicts, currencies, character profiles and plot time lines. It's an evolving document but once it's down then I juust write and story unfolds. From experience I have learnt to finish the story and then edit as to reduce any continuity errors
What advice would you give to an aspiring author?
Always be prepared to learn, write everyday and don't be afraid to ask for critique. If you really want to write and produced decent work then you need to be prepared for people's opinions and understand that you're only as good as your last piece.
What inspired you to pursue writing?
I've always been a voracious reader especially Sci Fi / Fantasy. There's only so much 9-5 work you can do before you want to get lost in another world. If I wrote I have an opportunity to share my world's and my tales.
What are your favorite TV shows/Movies to watch in between writing?
My son and I are huge comic book fans so anything Marvel and DC. We are addicted to Agents of Shield at the moment but equally I love The Walking Dead, abd Falling Skies. Oh and of course Game of Thrones.
What are your current projects?
Currently I am working on a dark and humorous zombie novella, my fantasy series Sunder and a standalone fantasy novel called Hidden Skies.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to readers?
Everyone is busy nowadays so make use of technology to blog, write and post articles on the road or whenever you have a spare half an hour. If you set yourself goals and targets for writing and then allow yourself mini rewards you will find it easier to keep a firm discipline. Work ethic is key. Oh and watch out for my books and short stories being released this year and please Google me to see some of my work already out there.
Quick Fire:Cats or dogs? Dogs
Coffee or tea? Coffee
Favorite food? Pasta Carbonara
Vanilla or chocolate ice-cream? Errrm Chocolate
What are 3 things you never leave home without? My keys, my phone and a pen
Laptop or desktop? Laptop
Who are 3 famous people you would to hang out with? Stephen Hawkings, Robert Downey Jr and Morgan Freeman
TV or Movies? Movies