How did you come up with the title of this book?
Each of the short stories is about a different subject but each has a twist towards the end, some even have a double twist to keep the reader guessing until the last page. I decided on ‘A Sting In The Tale’ because I wanted a front cover image that would grab a potential reader’s attention and the scorpion seemed the obvious choice!
Who designed the cover?
I found Melissa G Alvarez at bookcovers.us when I was looking for a front cover image for ‘The Final Straw’. She delivers excellent product at competitive prices and I’m not moving anywhere else for a cover image design anytime soon.
How do you work through self doubts and fear?
When I was a musician I learned very early on that no matter how hard you try, no matter how good you are at what you do, there will always be some people that dislike what you’re playing. If you’re lucky then there will be a lot of people that do like you and stay with you on your journey.
I never doubted myself or had a fear of failure because I knew that I had given it everything. I see no reason to think about my writing any differently. I know some people will hate what I write and that it’s entirely probable that I’ll never be wildly successful. Why worry? It’s the best I can do and that’s enough for me; if only a few readers come on this new journey with me then it will be worthwhile.
What motivates you to write?
These days it’s not what but who! Since my wife Lynne retired she keeps reminding me that work needs to be done. Ten minutes after she finished proof reading my second novel she was asking when I was starting the next one! Actually, I am looking forward to the next book, because I’ll find out what happens to the characters who survived the last one! I can’t wait to find out.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Most of what I write about is all too real; broken homes, gang warfare; sexual assault and exploitation; drugs; murder. Sadly I get my inspiration from watching the news on television and from the newspapers. Life in these troubled times is my inspiration.
Is your family supportive?
My family are 100% behind me. There’s no way I could have got as far as this without their encouragement and belief.
What does success in writing look like to you?
A friend of one of my daughters read ‘The Final Straw’ and wrote to me; she said it was the best book she had ever read. She had left school seventeen years before and had read nothing since. Now that’s what I call a success! If something I write can give someone back the love of reading that they had lost then would a ‘best seller’ selling 15000 books to people who read all the time be any more satisfying?
When you aren’t writing how do you like to relax?
I like to watch sport; I love to read a good crime thriller. I enjoy times with the family whether it’s just Lynne and I pottering about in the garden or with the children and the grandchildren. I like to listen to music; I prefer a live band to recorded material; it takes me too long to decide what to listen to – CD, cassette or vinyl!
What’s your favourite meal?
There are so many things to choose from these days! When we were growing up my mother had rationing and a lack of money to contend with yet we always ate well. We had meat and vegetables cooked without any fancy trimmings; I didn’t taste an Indian or Chinese meal until I was in my twenties. French and Italian cuisine was a mystery until I was in my thirties. Now I’ve sampled food from all over the world. I can’t pick one meal over another I’m afraid.
What is your least favourite quality about yourself?
I don’t suffer fools gladly and I can be a little too quick in letting people know it; I try to bite my tongue but a caustic comment slips out every now and then.
A collection of twelve short stories with an unexpected twist at the end. There are love stories, ghost stories and tales of revenge, all sprinkled with a touch of humour. In fact there’s something for everyone, young or old. There are characters and situations you will readily recognise, but will you identify ‘the sting in the tale’ before you turn the final page?
Genre - Short Story Collection
Rating – PG
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