When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
It’s not a question of wanting or not wanting. I’ve BEEN a writer since scribbling my first stories in blue marker in a little notebook with a padded gold brocade cover at the age of five! I’m still writing like a demented thing after all these years and planning to keep it up for a long time to come!
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I write the books I want to read, which no one else has written yet. Fortunately I have fairly mainstream tastes, so it turns out other people want to read them, too!
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
When not writing I am extremely boring. I work full-time at a large company which shall remain nameless. I’m married with a small daughter. I have no hobbies.
In one sentence, tell us all about the Interstellar Railroad series.
An Irishman of rather low character tries to get rich by seeking alien technological relics on unexplored planets, but his efforts are hampered by pirates, sheer bad luck, and his hapless friends.
What inspired you to write the series?
Usually about a month to a month and a half, depending on length.
What have you learned about writing now that you have fourteen books out?
There’s so much more to learn with every book! That’s the amazing part! It’s so much fun, I never get tired of improving and taking feedback on board and responding. It delights me to think about how much there is still to learn, because that means I’ll never get bored.
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
The whole point of the enterprise is to communicate with people and I consider my readers friends. Nothing makes me happier (short of actually writing) than hearing from readers and exchanging ideas with them! I am blessed that this happens a lot. We talk about all sorts of stuff.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in the Interstellar Railroad series? What about Sol System Renegades?
I love the Interstellar Railroad series just the way it is and wouldn’t change a thing. However I wish I could go back and write a different Book 1 for the Sol System Renegades series. The Galapagos Incident was my first published sci-fi book and it shows a bit. So I worry that some people may not make it to Book 2, which is where the series hits its stride! I still might go back and write an alternate entry point, if I can ever tear myself away from my new projects.
Tell us about future writing projects.
I’m about to launch a new series. The Earth’s Last Gambit trilogy is a series of first contact technothrillers set in the present day. I wrote this one for fans of hard science fiction thrillers like The Martian. Here’s the blurb for the first book, Freefall …
An alien ship is orbiting Europa. A handful of astronauts must confront the threat, alone.
Despite NASA budget cuts threating to put a sharp end to his career as an astronaut, British-born space shuttle pilot Jack Kildare knows without a doubt that his life will never be the same. Photographs snapped from the International Space Station reveal an alien spaceship in orbit around Europa, opening a terrifying new chapter in human history, and Jack finds himself in the center of a gigantic international effort to respond to the alien threat.
But when he is dismissed from NASA over a trumped-up security gaffe, Jack and his close friend Oliver Meeks combine their skills in an attempt to generate an innovative new development: a spaceship drive based on their observations of the alien craft’s technology.
With the unknown threat driving international competition and the entire planet’s spaceflight resources thrown into the fray, the focus of attention turns toward one single goal… a ship capable of traveling to Jupiter to confront the alien menace… the Spirit of Destiny. Amid unknown entities pushing to destroy the project from the inside out, and enemies baying for blood, Jack finds himself submerged in a world of secrets, sabotage attempts and cold-blooded murder.
Can Jack decode the secrets surrounding the arrival of the alien spaceship in our solar system? Or will his dreams of the ultimate space adventure be taken into the ashes with the Spirit of Destiny?