Thank you to John for agreeing to feature on the author chat stand of my blog.
I asked John a few questions and here is what he said!
Who was your favourite childhood author or book and why were they a favourite?
Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Books – and Kenneth Graham’s The Wind in the Willows. I still have my copies – and still read them.
Both of the authors pulled me into their worlds – I walked through the jungle with Mowgli, and boated on the river with Ratty and Mole. I suspect an awful lot of other children of my generation did much the same.
When did you start writing and when and what was your first publication?
I started writing animal stories for my daughters when they were very small. I was away on board ship for many months at a time. They were very much sub-Beatrix Potter and Alison Uttley. Unfortunately, they are now lost.
My first book was published in October this year (2017), it is a historical novel, albeit one with a strong romantic thread. Heart of Stone is about my 5 x Gt. Grandparents, Robert Rochfort and Mary Molesworth.
Which authors do you currently enjoy?
Historical authors – Bernard Cornwell, Simon Scarrow and Harry Sidebotham.
Contemporary authors – Liz Fenwick, Sue Moorcroft, Liz Harris, and an increasing number of others.
Do you have a ‘usual’ writing timetable and a special place that you write in? What is on your desk or what is around you as you write? Perhaps you enjoy the view from your writing window?
I always write on a trolley table. When the going is good, I can write when the TV is on, when people are talking.
What are you working on at the moment?
The WiP is another historical, and the main characters are my 4 x Gt Grandmother, and her lover (and eventual 2nd husband) They were larger-than-life characters in London and on the continent in the late 1700s.
What are your usual methods of research when planning a new book?
I write historical novels, so previously published works, museums, stately homes, and the Public Record Office. Just last week I was looking up the records for the Fleet Prison. Amazing to sit looking at a bundle of old papers that may not have been looked at for 200 years. (they were absolutely FILTHY! I ended up covered in black dust)
When it comes to the Plot, I am a Plotter rather than a Panster. I have a background in Safety Management – so planning is very much part of me.
….and finally any tips for aspiring writers?
There is only one! Don’t give up! Believe in yourself and what you are doing. It is difficult, challenging and very wearing at times, but keep at it, keep the faith and DON’T GIVE UP!