Feel free to ask your own questions in the comments section below.
What is the Artisan-Sorcerer Series about?
A group of artists and crafts-workers share a house near Sefton Park in Liverpool, and together they create paintings, pottery, masks and other beautiful works of art. Most of them hold down conventional jobs too, which is usual for many creative people these-days. A lot of the challenges they face reflect of the realities of modern life for ordinary people.However, they are also members of a secretive international magical order, and come into conflict with River Dee selkies and the notorious Caldy fae.
The ruler over all the ancient magical races is Mel ap Tewdwr, who lives in the affluent Wirral area of Caldy. The local selkies resent his hold over them, and our Artisan-Sorcerers slowly discover that they're ensnared in an invisible war between these two competing sides. Mel ap Twdwr plays a long game, though....
Do the books have to be read in a particular sequence?
There are some published short stories featuring the Caldy fae and Dee selkies, such as Spanish Jones and A Wirral Otherkin Trilogy. These loosely link to the series, as both the fae and selkies have roles in the stories; and these short ebooks can be read in any sequence.
There are also some traditionally published short stories which link to the novels. Seagull Inn, (pbs. Hadley Rille Books in their anthology, Ruins Terra), introduces Rowan and Lydia in a ghost story set on Hilbre Island. The Club, (pbs. by Dark Moon Press in Dark of the Night: An Anthology of Shadows), introduces Jason and offers a glimpse into his life not long before he met Rowan. The Caldy fae feature in Old World Magic, (pbs. Hadley Rille Books in their Ruins Metropolis anthology).
Tell me more....
Fabian was published on the 9th September, 2016. There's a lot more magic in this book, for all that Fabian is forced to deal with real-world situations such as vandalism and harassment. Readers will also learn much more about everyday domestic life in the Artisan-Sorcerer's household. The sub-theme of Morgan's and Bethany Rose's decades-long romance continues, and will be viewed in a new light - but I'm not going to give away too many hints.
The fifth and final novel in the Artisan-Sorcerer series is The Artisan-Sorcerer, which I'm currently writing.
You also write short stories?
There are also two anthologies which I edited, City Stories and Seaside Stories, which feature contributions from a number of other writers plus my own work, and which are available as free ebooks.
Two of my very short stories were published by Flash Fiction Magazine in 2019. These were Whatsername, a light-hearted piece about psychic twins, and Make Do and Mend, a horror story which is currently being made into an animated film by Michael Pillitiere.
And then there's The Grumpets...
Yes; currently my only experiment into childrens books. It's about a young grumpet named Chip. You don't know what grumpets are? They're small, shy creatures who mostly live in compost heaps and do their utmost to avoid adventure. Chip, however, has other ideas.
What advice would you give to new writers?
Read a lot, write a lot, edit mercilessly and persevere.
Write the story that you'd like to read; write to satisfy your own aesthetics. Ignore fashions in literature. Experiment.
How do you feel about fanfiction and fanart?
I really enjoy seeing fanart based on my books.
I simply don't have time to read fanfiction. Please don't send it to me as I'll only delete it unread.
However, if people wish to post fanfic or fanart online that is 100% fine with me as long as it's non-profit making and I'm acknowledged as the creator of the original ideas.
Tell me about your paintings.
I'm a member of a life drawing group, which I joined towards the end of 2017, and which is a lot of fun. I began painting in oils when at art school, back in the very late 1980s, but for a long time after that period I hardly painted anything at all, being totally wrapped up in creative writing. After moving to Oxton, Wirral in 2015 I suddenly had much more space - and there was this back room which had excellent light for art so I turned it into a little art studio thinking my husband might use it, only he hardly ever has. Instead, it's become one of my favourite rooms, and I spend a lot of time in there.
My enthusiasm and fascination for art has blossomed, and painting has become a major part of my life. Painting is as important to me as writing.
What do you do when you're not writing or painting?
My dogs give me the perfect excuse to go for long walks in the park, woods or along the beach, and I usually do a bit of sketching en route - I can't resist, and so nearly always carry a sketch book with me.
I also do a bit of photography, potter around my garden, enjoy Italian and French cuisine, read almost non-stop and love browsing around antiques shops and flea markets.