- Did you always dream of becoming an author?
Like most authors, I read widely and wrote stories from a young age. The idea of publishing a novel came much later in life.
- What was your first job?
Aged sixteen, I went to sea in the British merchant navy where I trained and then worked as a ship’s navigating officer.
- How did you come about writing your book? Was that your intention or did you start writing for fun?
While at sea I wrote several manuscripts, all of which were discarded.
After leaving the merchant navy I worked ashore in UK, Hong Kong and New Zealand. Although I enjoyed my work, it left little time to write fiction. It wasn’t until few years before I retired that I made my first serious attempt to write a novel.
I have since completed six novels, four of which were published:
- A Very Fishy Business – National Pacific Press 2010
- The Bungalow at No 2 Riverside Road – Oceanbooks 2012
- Strange Company – Oceanbooks 2013
- Marjorie Harlington – Pegasus 2019
- What was your life like before you became an author?
I was in full time employment. I also spent much of my time off studying extramurally for a Master’s degree in Mathematics. On completion I decided to do something I’d been thinking about for a long time – write a novel set in India during the 1850s. This included a lot of research and was a fulfilling experience.
- Did you face any struggles before becoming an author? If so, how did you overcome them?
Writing novels gave me great satisfaction so I would hardly call it a struggle. Joining a writers’ group, going to book fairs, participating in workshops and meeting other writers has been most enjoyable.
- Now that you are a published author, how has your life changed, if at all?
It hasn’t changed my life but I am now more confident about my writing.
- Can you please describe a typical day in your life now?
My wife, Suzanne Singleton and I have retired from full-time work and live near the sea in a beautiful part of New Zealand. Suzanne is also a writer and her novel Hugo’s Gift was published by Pegasus.
A typical day could include a walk on the beach, swimming, various jobs around the house and garden, several hours on the computer and, of course, plenty of reading. We regularly visit Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city, which is a 50 minute ferry trip from home.
I’m editor of a newsletter for the Hibiscus Coast Branch of New Zealand Forest & Bird, which involves interviewing, reporting and writing short articles.
- What is your most memorable moment of your life as an author?
A very memorable experience was joining a group of fellow writers to form a publishing cooperative, Oceanbooks Ltd. There was a great feeling of mutual accomplishment. The cooperative broke up several years ago.
- In a few words, how would you review your experience with Pegasus Publishers?
Publishing with Pegasus was a very good experience. The process was clearly explained and most of my queries were dealt with promptly. The editing process was particularly good, especially considering my genre was historical fiction about seafaring, which involved using nautical terms.
- Why did you choose Pegasus Publishers?
I was impressed with the quality of Suzanne Singleton’s book published by Pegasus in 2017.