What book should everybody read at least once?
On Liberty by John Stuart Mill. Mill wrote it together with his wife, Harriet Taylor Mill, and there’s probably of much of her in it as him. There isn’t one superfluous sentence in the entire book. It’s about what makes democracy and justice in society possible, and it’s entirely convincing.
Are there any books you really don’t enjoy?
Badly written ones. If something’s well written, and it’s internally plausible, it’s for me, I don’t care what it is.
What do you hope your obituary will day say about you?
“He meant well, poor fellow.”
Location and life experiences can really influence writing, tell us where you grew up and where you now live?
I grew up in Middlesbrough, an industrial town in the North of England. It’s the setting for one of my Kindle/ Smashwords novels – a romantic comedy called The Weird Problem of Good. The thing about Middlesbrough, though, is that although it’s got a lot of factory chimneys and cooling towers, it’s surrounded by some of the most beautiful countryside in the land. So I’m equally at home in the city and the country. I love Central London. I love the Lake District. I hope that comes through in my writing.
How did you develop your writing?
It really took off when I started to read style manuals, at about the age of forty-five. Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style, and Browne and King’s Self-Editing For Fiction Writers. If anyone wants to be a writer and they haven’t read these, they almost certainly should.
Genre – Espionage Thriller
Rating – PG
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