Getting to know the Author behind the book ...

Describe yourself and how you came to be a writer in brief?
I like piƱa coladas and getting caught in the rain. I'm not much into health food, I am into champagne. I’ve been writing since I was nine years old; selling poems and tomes to my love-stricken classmates. I’ve never looked back. To be honest, writing is the only thing I’ve ever been any good at.


How would you describe your style of writing?

I write simple ‘campfire’ stories which, hopefully, appeal to a wide and diverse audience. I write what I believe are ‘emotional thrillers’ – fast paced stories with heart.

How many books have you published to date?

Five so far with another one on the way in March 2015. Three million copies sold to date. I’m tremendously grateful to my readers who enable me to do what I do for a living.

If you could share one piece of advice with budding writers what would it be?

Having talent as a writer is nothing compared to being persistent and never giving up, no matter how constant the rejection.

  
Who do you see as your inspiration and why?

What initially inspired me to become a storyteller was the film Rocky. As a young lad it made an indelible mark on me. It made me feel something I had never felt before. I knew from then on that I wanted to be a writer.


How has writing changed your life?

Writing has opened some rather remarkable doors for me. From my early days as a journalist and columnist, I’ve been able to publish novels, write and direct films and, most recently, write and produce a television show. It’s been wonderful. I hope it lasts.


What has been the biggest ‘aha’ moment for you in writing?
To realise that you need to write for yourself and to stop caring about what the critics may or may not think of your work. Take risks and write from the heart.

What has been the biggest challenge for you as a writer?

Overcoming rejection. Before breaking through I received enough rejection slips from publishers and agents to wallpaper my entire house. Probably my neighbour’s house as well…

What are your dreams and goals as far as writing goes?
To win the Man Booker. Kidding … I just want to keep writing stories that people feel inspired by. There is no better feeling as a writer when you receive a note from a reader saying that your novel is among the best books they have ever read. In short, I just want to move people; to touch their lives in some small way.

You have recently released a new book, please share a little about your latest release?

My latest novel is King. It tells the story of Elijah Rolene, a man who has lost his way. Following the death of his wife, he quits his job as a police pilot and turns to prescription painkillers for comfort. Not content to watch him destroy his life, his veterinarian sister convinces him to help out at her animal shelter where he helps to rescue a rare white lion cub. Soon the lion is brought to live with them in their Detroit home and instantly connects with Elijah's autistic niece, Harper. And as Harper is brought out of her shell, so Elijah begins to heal as well. But then, something happens that threatens to tear their world apart. Something that puts their entire family at risk and Elijah is faced with a question that will define the rest of his life. How far would you go if you had nothing left to lose?

In March, my new novel – The Last Road Trip – will be released. Here’s a brief synopsis:

Following the poignant death of a man they barely knew, four friends decide to make the most of what’s left of their lives. Abandoning the humdrum routine of privileged life at their exclusive retirement estate, they embark on a thousand-mile road trip that will take them from the deep bush of Crook’s Corner to the blazing stars of Sutherland. The biggest adventure of their lives and one last hurrah together. Along the way, they rediscover things about themselves that they thought had long since been lost. They return to the places in their lives that they never truly left. And, above all, they discover that it’s never too late to start living. The end of your life doesn't have to mean the end of your journey.


Please share with us a short list of your favourite reads?

Rita Hayworth and The Shawshank Redemption – Stephen King
The Stars’ Tennis Balls – Stephen Fry
Open – Andre Agassi’s biography



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