Where did the inspiration for your story ‘The Blasted Broccoli’ come from?
The idea came at the supermarket queue. I wondered whether people bought specific food products with the sole intention of making a statement about themselves (which I admit was not a great discovery. Of course we do! Some more than others, though.) So, I came up with this pompous person who buys food simply to impress the till lady.
Which character, created by you, do you consider as your masterpiece?
Well, not sure if he is a masterpiece but in my book, Surfer Pirates, the god Prometheus plays a crucial role, disguised as an old seaman. Although the other Olympians are vain and egocentric, Prometheus recognises human ingenuity and imagination for the superpowers they are. And as the book’s narrator he is hilarious (I hope!)
Are you a plotter or a pantser when it comes to writing, or somewhere in between?
I haven’t learned how to plot yet! I’m working on it, though, because not plotting has created a lot of rework in the past.
How do you find the editing process once you’ve finished writing?
I enjoy it when I find pieces of writing that are good (a rare phenomenon, admittedly) and get very disappointed when I come across sections that suck!
How did you celebrate your first story acceptance/publication?
I took the family out for dinner (any excuse, really!)
Do you find writing is energising or exhausting?
Definitely energising. Writing has also helped me combat stress and put things in perspective.
Do you think someone has to feel emotions strongly or be highly empathic to be a writer?
I’m not sure about that. I think a writer must be a keen observer of human personalities. If not, the character he or she creates, will feel “fake”.
What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?
That was when I read the poem Thermopylae by the Greek poet CP Cavafy, who, in a few lines, whilst talking about the ancient battle, gives us a profound lesson of how we should lead our life.
How many unfinished stories do you have?
None! I tend to finish relatively quickly, once I sit down.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
Yes, but not as big as it is usually presented. I might get stuck on a paragraph or chapter but only for a day. When I start fresh tomorrow I always get unstuck.
Which book(s) inspired you to begin writing?
It was A Perfect Spy by John le Carré.
Are there any books that you are currently reading and why?
The Artemis Fowl series. I am in awe by Eoin Colfer’s craft.