What was it that got you into writing?
I was one of those kids who was always either reading or scribbling stories. I wrote my first 'novel' when I was in my teens - it was unpublishable rubbish, of course (a lot of mary-sue mayhem involving a girl rock star who gets kidnapped and loses her memory, and her boyfriend, who thinks she's dead, goes nuts and embarks on a revenge mission...)
What was your first piece of published work?
An interview with Screaming Lord Sutch (he was a former rock star who got into politics. Nice chap.) I talked my way into a job (unpaid, or so it turned out) on a local music fanzine when I was 18 and that was the first assignment they gave me.
Has the genre you write in had an impact on your everyday life and relationships?
I worked for a publisher of 'top shelf' magazines for many years, and it did lead to some interesting conversations (and some very careful ones with new acquaintances when we got to 'And what do you do for a living). The one good thing I would say about EL James is that it's made people more open about discussing erotic fiction and less likely to pass out if they realise that they are in the company of an actual erotic writer. It does even seem to have gone some way to stopping people asking you if you've done all those naughty things yourself...
What was the first thing you did this morning?
Went to the loo. Doesn't everyone?
What are you working on now?
Stories for a Kinky Brits anthology, polishing up some very old short stories I wrote for magazines and putting them together into an anthology of my own, and fiddling around with the concept of a steampunk erotic novel featuring some of the characters from the story I had in Valves and Vixens 1.
What's the most valuable piece of advice you've been given about writing?
Have something to say, a point to make. Even when you're writing something that's a bit of fun, it needs a bit of a spark to it.
What's the worst?
It's not so much specific advice but I do read some of the writers' magazines, and when I look at how bloody awful most of their competition winners' work is, it makes me think their advice on writing probably isn't up to much.
Where can readers find you and your books?
(and Valves and Vixens too)
Thanks so much to Zak for popping along to answer my questions! Don't forget if you would like to be interview please do get in touch.