What were your influences getting started and how have they changed?
Tolkien when I was young, Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon all through my life. Henry Miller was a great influence to me in my teens and twenties. He epitomised the writer to me. I read and reread J Fennimore Cooper’s Last of the Mohicans which still seems the perfect story to me. Now, I feel I have formed my own style my influences are taken from anywhere and everywhere, films, books and life.
What is your process when writing?
I have to work within a tight timeframe so I will get the outline down and try not to edit too much before I work through to the end of the first draft. I have to submerge myself inside the story and go a bit mad for a while. I am a plot led person so my outline is very important to me. I can’t bear not having a good ending and I need to plan for that all along the way. I get up early and answer emails first, just to give myself time to wake up a bit, then I start writing by seven. I write until something interrupts me, such as a gym class or the dog needs walking or my son needs me. I write most of my pacy stuff and get actual words down in the morning. I get wordier stuff done later on in the day and evening. I have an office that i work in but I do my editing either on the kitchen table or in my bed.
Who do you admire?
In my own genre:John Burdett,George Pelecanocos. I love Jeffery Deaver‘s attention to detail, Elmore Leonard’s quirky voice, Lee Child’s consistent high standard, James Patterson in the Alex Cross mode, Raymond Chandler for the exquisite one liner - she was as playful as a kitten in a house that didn’t much care for cats.....
Out of genre: The classics - Dickens, Hardy, DH Lawrence especially. Alexander Trocchi for pure brilliance, Albert Camus for breathtaking description and Gabriel Garcia Marquez for being simply perfect.