I’m the author of The Killing Season, the first book in a thriller series starring Carter Blake. Blake is a man with a mysterious past and a talent for locating people who don't want to be found.
I was born in Glasgow in 1979, and I’ve been writing stories for as long as I can remember. I studied English at the University of Stirling, and then completed a postgrad in Information Technology. These experiences taught me that I'm a lot better with words than I am with computers.
I’ve written a lot of short crime stories, some of which have been published in magazines including Ellery Queen, Scribble and First Edition. One of my stories, ‘A Living’, was shortlisted for the Quick Reads ‘Get Britain Reading’ Award, and published in the Sun Book of Short Stories.
My short fiction brought me to the attention of the LBA Agency in London. They encouraged me to start work on a novel. A while later, following some great advice on the manuscript from my agent, we were ready to go out to publishers with The Killing Season.
When Orion expressed an interest in meeting with me, I was cautiously optimistic. They were at the top of my wishlist: a great publisher that works with many of my favourite contemporary thriller authors, including Michael Connelly, Ian Rankin, Harlan Coben and Denise Mina. I got the train down to London to meet the team, and was thrilled to discover how enthusiastic they were about the book and the prospective series. A couple of days later, I took a call from my agent to say they’d made an offer for the first two books in the series.
To say I was happy would be an understatement. I was particularly pleased that Orion had had enough faith in me and the character to want to publish not just The Killing Season, but also its (then unwritten) sequel, too.
I’m currently working hard on the second Carter Blake novel, while in the background, The Killing Season winds its way towards publication in April 2014.
What else do you need to know about me? Not much. I love books, movies and comics. Music-wise, I have a preference for rock, blues, classic soul and country. I have a wife, three kids, and no pets. I hate mornings, and I need at least two strong cups of coffee before I can function. I write whenever and wherever I can: on trains, in coffee shops, on park benches, and even sometimes at home on my PC.
Cross Purposes is a blog about my experiences in the run-up to publication and beyond. It’s about being a rookie novelist; about all of the wonderful little details of watching an idea I had years ago become a physical thing that people can walk into a bookshop and pick off the shelf. It’s about writing and editing and covers and working with agents and publishers and doing PR and whatever else comes along to surprise me. I’m excited to find out what happens next. I hope you will be too.