This page is intended to give a more general view of my work and the values or principles that I try to reflect in my stories.
So, to begin with, let me talk about what I don’t like, and therefore what you won’t find in my writing.
- I’m not a fan of graphic violence.
I know this is currently all the rage in crime and suspense writing, but for the life of me I just can’t see the appeal.
This doesn’t mean my books won’t include danger, violence or threats of these, it just means my writing won’t revel in the gruesome detail, it will just include as much as is necessary for the plot, character development or story.
- Likewise with overly sexualized content.
I appreciate this is the be-all and end-all of some genre’s of fiction, and if that’s the kind of thing you like to read, then that’s fine. But, I also know that sexualised content is also routinely used to ‘spice-up’ otherwise dull stories.
So, while it will be clear that many of my characters have had, or do have romantic or sexual aspects to their natures, this isn’t going to be the focus in my stories, its something that will be mentioned where its relevant to the plot only.
- Relentlessly dark or pessimistic content
I might expand on this another time, but in a nutshell, I firmly believe that ‘you are what you eat’, so I don’t like to read too much dark or pessimistic stuff.
This is probably putting things too simply, but its a topic that I could spend pages explaining, so better too short than too long.
Now, having outlined some of the things I don’t like, here are a few things that I do like:
I like stories that make me think. This can be new concepts and ideas, or old favorites revisited in a fresh and interesting way. As a consequence I like to include some slightly more challenging ideas in my own fiction.
This also means that I lean more toward the kind of fiction that explains things, even if the explanation is fantastical, rather than the kind of fiction that asks you to simply accept things on faith.
In practice this means I lean more toward sci-fi than fantasy, but there are exceptions in both camps.
- Originality over tropes
I appreciate that a lot of fiction these days is heavily inspired by the great works of fiction from decades ago, and that for some readers there are now revered tropes that they love to see in their fiction.
This isn’t a bad thing, its just not the kind of story that I personally like, as such it isn’t what I like to write.
This is big point, I really like first person narratives, Stories that seem as though they are being told by one of the characters that were there, involved in the story.
I know a lot of folks prefer the more modern ‘omniscient’ narrative style, in which you get to spend some time in the heads of all the different characters, but I often find this distracting, with questions like: Who is telling this story? often bringing me out of it.
Now, this doesn’t mean I won’t be writing stories from a multi-character, or omniscient perspective, in fact the second trilogy in my Flames of Time series will probably be written from this perspective. But when I do write from that perspective, I’ll take the trouble to explain who the narrator is, as part of the story… even if its at the end!
I think that’s all now.
If you’ve read any of my writing and would like to know a bit more about why I write the way I write, then join my mailing list or get in touch.