He has the power to control Wikipedia articles. Read on and find out more…
According to Wikipedia, ‘a superhero is a type of heroic character possessing extraordinary talents, supernatural phenomena, or superhuman powers and is dedicated to a moral goal or protecting the public.’ Sounds like a writer to me!
Join me as another one of these unsung superheroes invites into their personal ‘batcave’.
If you were to write the ‘origin’s episode’ of your writing what would be the most important scenes?
Scene 1: The year is 1995 and the letter from the national magazine arrives. I tear it open, expecting another rejection. Instead the terse message is one of thanks – and a cheque (remember those?). I had become a paid writer and began thinking about my next article.
Scene 2: Fast-forward to 2012 when I self-publish my first ebook an Amazon, ‘AGILE Project Management for Busy Managers’. I watch in amazement as it reaches the top of the Amazon Project Management ebooks in the US. I decide it’s time to learn to become an author.
Scene 3: After three novels I’ve made progress at learning the craft and discovered my genre. My next novel is the first in The Tudor Trilogy, the true story of the life of Owen Tudor, the Welsh servant who married the Queen of England and begins the Tudor dynasty. In its first year OWEN becomes a best-seller, reaching #1 on Amazon UK and Amazon Australia, and top ten Amazon US Historical Fiction.
All super heroes have their mild-mannered secret identity, what is yours?
2001 saw the launch of Wikipedia. Excited at the potential of the idea of all the world’s knowledge freely shared on the Internet, I wanted to help improve the quality of the writing – and the factual content. I assumed my secret identity and became an accredited Wikipedia Reviewer, with an amazing range of super powers to control Wikipedia articles.
Who are your partners in crime? What are their superpowers?
Wikipedia is perhaps the ultimate ‘team effort’ of writing, with many thousands of people like me secretly correcting typo’s, checking ‘facts’ and creating new articles wherever we see red links. We share the superpowers of knowing how to reference our sources, working in several languages and a relentless determination to document the truth.
Where is your secret lair and what does it look like?
I always wished for my own ‘study’, with a proper writing desk, a printer permanently set up and a whole wall of shelves for my books. Now, thanks to my readers, I have all of these, but sadly my ‘secret lair’ is not where I do my writing, as now I use a laptop which I take wherever I go.
What kind of training do you do to keep your superpowers in world saving form?
I read every day and learn from the masters. I’m currently reading Lamentation, the latest book in the ‘Shardlake’ series, by C. J. Sansom, about the Tudor Queen, Catherine Parr. I also pay close attention to advice from my editor!
Granted, you probably don’t’ get to wear your superhero costume a lot, but if you did, what would it look like?
As my genre of choice is historical fiction, set in fifteenth century England during the Wars of the Roses, my superhero costume would be a full suit of shining armour, complete with a fine sword and a sharp dagger at my belt.
If you did this again what would you do differently and what would you not change?
If I had my time over again I would have started writing YA novels as a teenager, while all those experiences were fresh in my mind. I would not want to change the ‘learning curve’ I went through, just in case the magic vanished as a consequence.
What is the best (writing or otherwise) advice you have ever had and why?
I read once that it takes at least three novels before an author learns the craft. I remember wondering about writers who have the patience to make such a journey. The best advice for people who feel they would never have the time to write a book is to remember – if you only write one page a day, that’s a book a year!
Tell us about you new book and why we need to drop everything and get it now
My new novel, due to be published at Easter, is JASPER, the second book in The Tudor Trilogy, about the true adventures of Owen Tudor’s son, who escapes execution by King Edward IV and flees to Brittany with his young nephew, Henry Tudor. When Richard III crowns himself king, Jasper and Henry return with an impossibly small army to defeat Richard at Bosworth and make Henry the King of England. (It would make a GREAT movie, if there are any producers reading this.)
What’s in store for you in the future? Do you have any other big projects on the horizon?
I am now writing my next non-fiction book, about Tudor myths and legends, and making plans to travel to Brittany to research the final book in The Tudor Trilogy, HENRY, about Henry Tudor, father of King Henry VIII and grandfather of Queen Elizabeth I.
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