Saturday, 14 May 2011

Featured Author: Stuart Neild - horror and thriller mastermind

MY NEXT FEATURED AUTHOR IS SOMEONE WHO CAN STIR OUR IMAGINATION. Stuart Neild loves to write stories that go behind our wildest dreams. Unfortunately, I havent finished one of his ebooks, but Im sure it entice my appetite for horror, suspense and thriller plots.
I met Stuart online thru Amazon Kindle Facebook fanpage whom Im the administrator and he signed-up to become a member of the group. Without any hesitation, he accepted by invitation to be featured in my blog. I asked him some questions to get to know him better as a writer, and so here are his answers!

1. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? I was very young. I can’t put an exact age on it, but I must have been about eight or nine.

2. How long does it take you to write a book? It all depends. My first published book was 100k words and took a year. A shorter book like the 40k worded Giant Killer Eels took three months

3. What is your work schedule like when you're writing? Once again it depends. I could be working away quite nicely on a novel, only to be yanked off it to do some screenplay work. Up to now, I’ve come pretty close to have certain works of mine filmed. My first novel A Haunted Man was in development in Hollywood for quite a while. And only last year a promo was shot for a British TV series I was co- writing with the very talented British director, WJ Davies.

4. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk? That while I’m writing my books I have a bowl of healthy food to my left side, salad etc and to my right a plate of unhealthy food, burgers, fries. If everything is going to plan I eat from the left side, if it’s not, I comfort eat from the right. I’ve put on a couple of stones in the last few years.

5. What do you like to do when you're not writing? I’m really into reading on the kindle, it’s opened up whole new works to me that just wouldn’t have been available before. Some of them are great, some of them should never have been available, but I still want to peek anyway.

6. What does your family think of your writing? My Mother and Father have been very supportive, so have my children. My wife stands there watching and waiting like a hawk for any money that comes in. She’s still waiting now, in the corner over there with her hand outstretched. Doesn’t miss a trick that one.

7. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books? The fact that I’m still fired up and hungry to do more work after all these years, after all the disappointments and few victories, it still seems fresh, enjoyable and worth doing.

8. How many books have you written? Which is your favorite? I’ve written seven books so far and I have to say I like Gnomes the best. It’s full of very dark humor going close to the line of bad taste (and sometimes straying over the line.) It was a guilty pleasure writing it, but it seems to have won an audience as it’s my second most popular book.

9. Do you have any suggestions to help someone become a better writer? If so, what are they? Just practice. It’s the same in any art or sport, the more you do it, the more you learn and the more(in theory), you should improve.

10. Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say? Yes, I do hear from readers and there’s nothing better than hearing that they’ve enjoyed what you’ve written. The buzz from that is amazing.

11. What do you think makes a good story? Something that’s interesting. I think for the past two decades we’ve been bogged down in books full of wordy prose and padding that was only there to make the page count bigger. Somewhere along the way, snappy, interesting story telling that kept you entertained and hooked got a little lost. I think that’s coming back now with the Indie e-book market.

12. As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up? My first thought was to be older, but on second thoughts, it was a toss-up between being a writer and a superhero. I didn’t fancy the wearing of ones underpants on the outside that goes with being a superhero, so I choose to be a writer instead.

13. Who is your favourite author (s)? Guy N Smith has always been a writing hero of mine. Guy’s works were massive in the UK in the seventies and eighties. One of the first horror novels I ever read was Night of the Crabs by Guy. It’s a cult classic and still a favorite. It went on to spawn another five crab books and sell hundreds of thousands. I know they say you shouldn’t meet your idols but I met mine and I have to say, Guy is one of the most down to earth, nicest people you could meet. So nice in fact that myself and another writer, Dave Jeffery (check his work out now, he’s a genius) are writing the seventh crab novel for charity with Guy’s blessing.

14. If you are recommending one of your latest book to a friend - how would you describe it? The First Ghost Town, it will change your life forever, but will it be for the better or the worse, do you have the guts to find out?

INDEED I'M PLEASED THAT STUART AGREED TO BE PART OF MY blogsite and it seems that he really enjoying his craft as a writer. Stuart, thank you again for giving me free copies of your ebooks. Surely, I will post my review very soon! All his ebooks are available for download from both Amazon and Smashwords at very reasonal prices...

Monday, 9 May 2011

A close encounter with Candy Gourlay (Tall Story's author)

(L-R: Myself, Lou Ramos, Candy G. and Mark W.). Im honoured to meet Candy Gourlay, the author of Tall Story in London last week prior to my departure to Manila. She even shared her latest vacation escapade in Manila especially when she and friends did a nature-trek to Mt. Pinatubo! It was really entertaining and hilarious story...

Tall Story grabbed the Crystal Kite Prize and shortlisted for this year's Primary Children's Book Prize of Warwickshire Library Service (UK).

I also extend my thanks to Ms Lou Ramos (of Philippine Embassy, London) for being the host of this meet-up, and nice knowing Mark (one of the founders of One Filipino).

To find more about Candy Gourlay, CLICK HERE.