about me and my writing

The Bridge to Magic is your debut novel. What made you begin writing?

I’ve always had stories swirling in my head, like colourful clouds of candy floss, waiting for me to give them shape and purpose. There is something notable and perhaps a little romantic about stories outliving their authors. From a very young age, as I read fairy
tales, legends, folk lore, and later classic literature written hundreds and even thousands of years ago, I began to dream of writing a book that would outlive me. But, as with everyone else, work and everyday life got in the way of dreams.

For a while, I enjoyed a career as a materials scientist, before deciding that fantasy and not science was my real passion. So I pursued my long-neglected dream of writing stories. I sat down and wrote my first manuscript: an epic fantasy, The Sprite Catcher. It was both an achievement and a terrible mistake as far as my author career—but that’s another story.

What is it that draws you to writing fantasy specifically?

I love the escapism, the possibility of endless worlds, strange beings, and wonderous places. With fantasy, there are no limits on the possible. Your imagination is the sole barrier to what can be. When I read a fantasy story, I find it hard to return to my own mundane world. In my teens, I began to write stories in earnest, mainly in the sci-fi genre, of which I was a fan at the time.

Who are your favourite authors to read?

Largely, my reading tastes are eclectic, spanning many genres which take me out of this world into another. On that list are classics, myths and legends, sci-fi and regency romance. Fantasy, however, remains my favourite genre, with J.R.R.Tolkien and Robin Hobb at the top of the long list of authors I love.

They are closely followed by Patrick Rothfuss, Raymond E Feist, Brandon Sanderson and G.R.R.Martin. I particularly enjoy dark and gothic tales and classic horror stories; Edgar Allan Poe is perhaps my favourite author in this genre.

I am also a fan of romance, especially when combined with fantasy, with C.L.Wilson and Amanda Bouchet amongst my favourites.

Who Inspires you in your writings?

All these authors inspire me to pursue not just writing, but the craft of storytelling, originality, and above all, characters with their own, unforgettable voices. My dream has always been to write stories that would outlive me. Time and readers will judge whether I realized that dream. For my part, I feel I am yet to learn much from those greats.

Above all else, I look up to Robin Hobb. She had the most profound effect on me as an author, and on what I wanted to achieve with my own writing.

Where do you live and do you have any pets?

Me and my family live in sunny Queensland, Australia, on a small acreage. We keep some chickens who terrorize pests in my veggie garden. We have an old cat who sleeps most of the day, and a young one who likes to play. We also have a resident carpet python who hangs around the house and keeps the mice population at bay. Though not strictly a pet, he’s been around so long it’s hard not to think of him as a member of our household. His name is Slithers Lowe.