author of Alex Caine series
Ten Terrifying Questions
1. To begin with why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself – where were you born? Raised? Schooled?
Born on the mean streets of the border city, raised in the fighting arenas of the Fifth Conglomerate and schooled by the courtesan ladies of the western reaches.
Oh, you mean really? Born and raised (and schooled) in Britain, but I didn’t really learn anything until I travelled the world.
2. What did you want to be when you were twelve, eighteen and thirty? And why?
At 12 I wanted to be a marine biologist. At 18 I wanted to be a martial arts instructor. At 30 I wanted to be (and was) a martial arts instructor and a writer. Still doing those things and trying to get better at them all the time.
3. What strongly held belief did you have at eighteen that you do not have now?
That we would all be travelling in flying cars by the time I was 30. Stupid science. Also, replicants.
4. What were three big events – in the family circle or on the world stage or in your reading life, for example – you can now say, had a great effect on you and influenced you in your career path?
The death of my brother when I was 16. Discovering amazing comic books like Sandman and Hellblazer in my teens. Realising a huge majority of the human population are pretty f*cked up individuals.
5. Considering the innumerable electronic media avenues open to you – blogs, online newspapers, TV, radio, etc – why have you chosen to write a book? aren’t they obsolete?
Absolutely not. There has never been a better and more exciting time to write great stories. All those things you mentioned above only enhance the spread of excellent books. People will always want to read good stories – the vessel or medium by which they’re delivered is not the relevant part.
It’s the story of Alex Caine, a fighter by trade, is drawn into a world he never knew existed — a world he wishes he’d never found.
Alex is a martial artist fighting in illegal cage matches. His powerful secret weapon is an unnatural vision that allows him to see his opponents’ moves before they know their intentions themselves.
An enigmatic Englishman, Patrick Welby, approaches Alex after a fight and reveals, ‘I know your secret.’ Welby shows Alex how to unleash a breathtaking realm of magic and power, drawing him into a mind-bending adventure beyond his control. And control is something Alex values above all else.
A cursed grimoire binds Alex to Uthentia, a chaotic Fey godling, who leads him towards destruction and murder, an urge Alex finds harder and harder to resist. Befriended by Silhouette, a monstrous Kin beauty, Alex sets out to recover the only things that will free him – the shards of the Darak. But that powerful stone also has the potential to unleash a catastrophe which could mean the end of the world as we know it.
7. What do you hope people take away with them after reading your work?
First and foremost, I want them to be entertained by a ripping yarn. That’s really all I can ask for (especially if they recommend it to family and friends!) Beyond that, if people get to thinking about the world, how they perceive it and how other people see it, that would be cool.
8. Whom do you most admire in the realm of writing and why?
Anyone who does what they want to do, without hurting others. Anyone who strives and works hard for their dreams, and who are kind and considerate about it, not treading on other people to get their way. Those are the people who change the world for the better.
9. Many artists set themselves very ambitious goals. What are yours?
Oh, I have a huge list! I want to win a Hugo and a Nebula and an Aurealis award. I want to be on the New York Times bestseller list, lots of times. I want to be Guest of Honour at a Worldcon. I want to sell millions of books. Honestly, if you don’t aim for the highest goals, you’re cheating yourself. But along the way, I want to keep writing and hopefully people will keep reading.
10. What advice do you give aspiring writers?
Write. Don’t think about writing, don’t aspire to write, don’t tell everyone how you want or plan to be a writer. WRITE! And then, don’t give up. Determination is a large part of the battle. Keep writing, keep submitting, keep working all the time to get better. Write and never give up.
Alan, thank you for playing.