(1961-02-04) 4 February 1961 (age 55)
2000 – present
When you reach the editing stage, it is often the case that you can get too involved with the story to detect errors. You can see words in your head that aren't actually there on the page, sentences blur together and errors escape you, and you follow plot threads and see only the images in your skull.
I've been an engineer, barman, skip lorry driver, coalman, boat window manufacturer, contract grass cutter and builder.
It wasn't until I had been writing on and off for maybe ten years that I started to establish any kind of routine, thought I couldn't put a finger on an exact date, and this routine relates simply to the aphorism 'How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.'
My favourite place to write is at my desk in my house in the mountains of Crete. I produce more there because one big distraction is missing: the Internet.
When I get started each day, I read through and correct the previous day's 2,000 words, then start on the next. As I reach that figure, I try to simply stop and not go on until reaching a natural break. If you just stop while you know what you're going to write next, it's easier to get going again the next day.
Moorcock's interlinked 'Eternal Champion' series is a constant source of enjoyment. Of its tragic hero incarnations, my favourite is 'Elric of Melnibone,' and the best book has to be 'Stormbringer.' And as for that other sword, Excalibur? Pah! Use it to spread your butter.
I've been reading Tanith Lee since I was a teenager, beginning with 'The Birthgrave' and 'The Storm Lord.' Only recently did I discover, to my delight, how many more of her books I've yet to read.
With fantasy, one often has to think of a well-loved series before narrowing the selection to a favourite book. So it is with Zelazny. I've read his 'Princes in Amber' books so often, I know them almost verbatim, so much so that I am now trying to forget them so I can return to them with renewed pleasure.
If I could time travel into the future, my first port of call would be the point where medical technology is at its best because, like most people on this planet, I have this aversion to dying.
I have had periods when I've overused a word, 'candent' being one example, but I'm trying not to do that any more.
Gemmell's name guarantees a satisfying story and a thumping good read. I recommend all his heroic creations - 'Druss the axeman,' 'the Jerusalem man,' among others - but my favourite has to be 'Waylander': Clint Eastwood with a crossbow and the same 'Make my day, punk' attitude.
The end of the mid finger on my left hand is wider than normal, the nail distorted and a scar in the end. This was from when I managed to shove it in the path of a mower blade.
For me, the writing process is the same as the reading process. I want to know what happens next.