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Potentially Asked Questions

No-one asked, but I'm telling anyway. Here's a ream of questions and answers for anyone who wants to know anything about me.

I’ve provided the questions and answered them. What you do next is up to you.

What part of writing is the most fun?

The research and the planning of stories. I have so many ideas all the time. I can sit there for hours just working out the specifics of certain mythical creatures or defining a certain plot element.

What character do you have the most fun writing?

Sarcastic ones. I keep a list of all the witty turns of phrases I come across to include somewhere in my writing. Sarcastic characters remind me of myself. I am a sarcastic, cynical person who realised the world was terrible at a young age. This allows me to ask questions and explore topics not a lot of people would dare to discuss.

What character you’re writing do you identify most with?

I identify, on some level, to all my characters. It’s like a little piece of my soul has gone into them and expanded into someone new entirely. The character I identify with the most, though, is Valerian Bone (from the unpublished That Way Madness Lies). We’re both cynical and see the world as we want to see it, which leads us to be absolutely clueless in some parts of life and geniuses in others.

Would you say your writing has changed over time?

It’s gotten darker and wordier over the years. I’ve matured a lot, and considering I started writing stories when I was twelve, I’d be surprised if it hadn’t.

What other medium do you think your story would work well as?

I often say I imagine my books are films playing out in my head as I write them. I’m waiting for the day someone wants a script of one of my books. I’m also asking questions about the likelihood of this happening.

How would you describe your writing process?

Manic. I spend a bit of time mulling over an idea, and only if I can stick with the story long enough to draft it does it become a book. The outlining process is mad and I ask myself a lot of questions about it. The actual writing takes place in the morning, I aim to write three scenes a day every day and try to make that word count over 1,000 if I can. I’ve used NaNoWriMo to help me either finish or get a good half of my books written.

What do you think are the characteristics of your writing style? Would others agree?

Cynical, sarcastic, morbid. I know people would call my writing cynical. I also have a habit of doing nasty things to innocent characters (Precious Vile Things), I don’t do fluffy romantic comedies unless I can criticise them. It links back to my cynical nature.

At what point in writing do you come up with a title?

Most of the time it happens before I write the first draft. I’ll come across a phrase or quote I like and think, “That’s it, that’s the title.”

That Way Madness Lies, These Kind of Knaves, Out of the Grave, and Precious Vile Things are all quotes from various Shakespeare plays.

What do you envy in other writers?

Their ability to manage everything and produce a fantastic story. I read stories with complex characters in detailed, made-up worlds, who develop throughout the novel. I aspire to create stories like that, but I can barely manage to create a character arc for one character.

Share a sentence or paragraph from your writing that you’re proud of. (Explain why, if you like.)

I saw a phrase on Tumblr and knew I had to use it in some way. The version which made its way into That Way Madness Lies was:

I had to remind myself that repeatedly acquainting his face with a rigidly edged object commonly used in the construction of walls wasn’t a good idea while on public premises.

I’m a sucker for a witty line, I’m always writing down things I hear. I have a list of things I want to include that’s about as long as my arm, but this is the first time I’ve managed to work in a phrase without it becoming awkward.

Tell us the meta about your writing that you really want to ramble to people about. (Symbolism you’ve included, character or relationship development that you love, hidden references, call-backs or clues for future scenes.)

I hide a lot of references in my stories, so much so I can barely remember half of them, and they were obscure at the time of writing. I also reference and/or mention mythology quite a bit, tie it into the mythos of my own worlds and get as close to the myths as I can.

The Valerian Bone Quartet is, if it isn’t obvious, my shout-out to Harry Potter. I love the rich world-building and have often wondered what the series would be like if told from the perspective of a teacher. It evolved from there.

I’m also a research buff, quite a few of my stories are as accurate as possible, even if I never get around to writing them. I go down quite a few rabbit holes to find the things I need for my story, such as the age limits for Medieval Knights, who wore what when in the year 1507, and how to create a course syllabus from scratch.

Many people ask many questions about my sanity.

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