The lovely Joanna Penn over at The Creative Penn website tagged me with this meme. You can find Jo’s answers here. You can find the original meme (with rules, no less!) here.

So, on to the questions then.

Which words do you use too much in your writing?

An editor once told me, ‘Try not to have all your characters say “Indeed” all the time.’ It’s a bit harsh, but I think there’s some validity in that. It does seem that any character over 40 in my work does have a propensity to say ‘Indeed’. I’ve been working on avoiding that. Apparently I also overuse the word ‘chuckle’. I did chuckle when a reader told me that. Oh, wait…

What’s your favourite piece of writing by you?

I’m really not sure about that. I’m so proud of everything I’ve written that it’s hard to pick something specific. RealmShift is always going to be very close to my heart as it was my first full length (completed) novel. I’m also very proud of a lot of my short fiction. I’m so pleased that I managed a second novel that most people have declared better than the first. Basically, I don’t have a favourite. Isn’t it wrong for parents to have favourite children?

What blog post do you wish you’d written?

This is really weird. I have no idea. In fact, I’d like to have written the blog post that caught the attention of major publishers and film makers that subsequently resulted in a multi-book, multi-million dollar publishing contract with associated film options and full merchandising. Or would that just be selling out? Screw it, though – if we’re dreaming about the ultimate blog post, let’s aim high.

Regrets, do you have a few? Is there anything you wish you hadn’t written?

I wish I hadn’t written “Mr Linnel is a beardy cunt” on the toilet wall in high school. But I only regret that because I was caught and fairly severely punished. He did have a mighty beard, though. Otherwise I’ve yet to write anything that I really regret and I hope I can keep it that way.

How has your writing made a difference? What do you consider your most important piece of writing?

I hope that some of my writing has made people stop and think. I don’t necessarily want to change anyone’s mind, just challenge them to question why they have the mind they do. Make them pause to decide if they really feel that way or if they’re just blundering blindly on. As it says on the About page here at The Word, “Above all, I try to tell a good yarn with my fiction but I would also like to make people think. Not enough people actually stop to think these days, to make informed decisions for themselves about everything from the brand of soap they buy to the version of deity they choose to believe in.”

Name three favourite words:

Love, adrenaline, art.

…And three words you’re not so keen on:

Arrogance, selfishness, vaginoplasty.

Do you have a writing mentor, role model or inspiration?

I have been extremely lucky to have had the advice and assistance of the wonderful Dr Van Ikin over the years, to whom I’m incredibly grateful. Otherwise my inspiration is through those other writers out there whose stories move me and make me think, ‘I want to write stories this good!’

What’s your writing ambition?

To keep writing and to gain more and more readers as the years roll by. Not much to ask, is it?

Plug alert! List any work you would like to tell your readers about:

I’m sure you’re all more than well aware of this already, but you can find all about my work right here. The novels are here, the short stories are here.

In the spirit of the meme, I tag:

David B Coe

Zoe Winters

R J Keller

Avery Tingle

Joan De La Haye

Chuck Norris

(Seriously, I know Chuck Norris isn’t a writer, but imagine if he responded. He’d probably just give my blog a roundhouse kick to the face. Besides, I just wanted an excuse to link to the excellent Chuck Norris Facts website. Click it, you know you want to.)