Writer Fiona Skye asks me some questions. This interview is also on her website Her website is at fiona-skye.com. It's jam-packed with all things writer-ish, including her novel, Faerie Tales, Revelation Trilogy: Book One.
1. Tell us a little about yourself.
I was born in Valetta, Malta, of English parents. We moved around a lot when I was young. I finally settled in Southsea, Hampshire. It's such a beautiful place, especially in the summer.
2. Give us a five word synopsis about your latest work.
1963. Train station. Dr Who. Murder. Love! ( Is that more than five words? )
3. When you're finished with a piece, do you find that it tends to differ from your original idea, or does the original idea remain more or less intact?
I don't write ideas down. I don't outline, either. I see points in a story, like a dot-to-dot book. The moment I can join all the dots up in my head, then I'm happy to write. So mostly, yes, it turns out the way I imagine it to. For me, there has to be some point that I can't wait to get to. In Marsha's Bag, it was Marsha using an old dictaphone to communicate with an imprisoned girl. In As The Flies Crow, it was a telephone-box scene. In Flowers From A Different Summer, it was when one of the main character's finds his whole life wiped out in the snow. In Luvya Getcha, it was when the protagonist, Richard Beckett, told the ghosts to cheer up and get a life! That turned out better than I could ever have hoped for.
4. If your book was made into a movie, who would you cast as the main characters?
Just put Cameron Diaz in it. I'll be happy.
5. What's the best thing about being an author? Worst thing?
The worst thing is that I work in a full-time job. I like my job, but I'd prefer to be writing. A best thing? Not sure there is one. Writing is a very lonely business. Apart from other writers, no one's really interested, are they? Not in my experience they're not, anyway. I don't say that with any bitterness, though. It's just the way things are. I'm sure if someone talked to me about knitting, I'd show some interest, but at some point I'd switch off, the way I've seen people do that on the subject of writing. For me, writing is simply something that I can't imagine not doing. I went to a writers circle once. Never again. ( For a full, foul-mouthed explanation on that, please email me ).
6. What writer's blogs make your Top Three list? Why do they stand out above the other flobbity-jillion out there?
I'm negligent in this area. I will try in 2014 to be more pro-active about blogs. Maybe you'd like to do a piece on my blog.
7. What is your writing-time beverage and snack of choice?
Easy this: beer. I love beer. I'm not ashamed to admit it. I even drink beer in the bath!
8. Do you have any useful marketing tips for other authors?
None. I'm hopeless. When I joined Twitter last July, I twittered my books. I felt a bit embarrassed by it, though. It just didn't feel right, not for me, anyhow. So now I don't do it. I prefer to just have a chat with someone. It doesn't have to be about books, either. In fact, I'd rather it wasn't. After all, if you want writing-information overload, just go on Twitter.
9. What changes do you see taking place in the publishing industry over the next couple of years?
I'm sure indie authors will continue to flourish. I hope so, anyway. There are some excellent indie authors out there. I won't name names. I may miss someone out and be duly mortified. As for changes, I think most of those have taken place. Traditional publishers will continue to favour people who have a high-profile, even if they're not writers, as such, but their name will of course sell a book. But that's no different how it was twenty years ago. You have to go all the way back to the 70's to see new writers who were given a chance, in any numbers, anyhow. I strongly believe, though, that the quality of indie books will continue to improve.
10. What's your next project?
I have a few projects. That way, if I get stuck on one, I always have something else to turn to. I wouldn't want just one book on the go. If it didn't work out, I'd be up the river without a paddle. In the early part of last year, I published As The Flies Crow, then decided to just write for the rest of 2013. It's put me in a good position. I completed two full-length novels, both over a 100.000 words. Hopefully I'll publish those this year, one around May, the other around September. I don't have the titles yet. Titles are difficult, don't you think? I'm sure I'll come up with something. I'm currently updating all the covers to my books to give them a more universal feel. I hope to have this done before I publish the new ones. I'm also going to put out Marsha's Bag & As The Flies Crow in one book. After all, Marsha Dunbar appears in both, so it makes sense to do that.
11. Who would win in a fight—a ninja-pirate robot or a zombie werewolf? Why?
I want the Zombie-Werewolf to win. I suspect the Ninja-Pirate Robot would, though. He sounds like he'd be far better equipped than something that would just stagger about, howling and groaning. You've made this a lopsided contest, I think.
N.B. I played around with 3 titles for my upcoming science-fiction thriller. Green Mist ( hmmm ). Lost Property ( more hmmm ). Finally I went with Steam, which I think suits the story best.
A scene from my novel Steam, coming in May 2014