Today out guest is Stuart Handley, author of yesterday’s post LOL#1. Here is a link to my book review http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-5wr
Let’s find out more about Stuart.
1) Where is your home town?
I live in Auckland, New Zealand, in one of the outlying northern suburbs. I consider myself to be lucky to live in a country with beautiful scenery and a rich diversity of life. Five minutes from my house is the Hauraki Gulf which offers some amazing boating and fishing and on a beautiful calm day the water and the small islands within the gulf look stunning. I was born in a town called Taupo which lies on the shores of the largest fresh water lake in New Zealand bearing the same name. Taupo is the place I really call my home town.
2) How long have you been writing?
Full time now around eighteen months. Before that I used to get up in the wee hours of the morning and write before going off to paid employment. I do recall when I was a young boy writing my first book called ‘Danger Man.’ It must have been at least a couple of pages long, hand written in pencil and bound in a stiff piece of cardboard bent double. The binding was a piece of string.
3) Do you have a preferred genre for writing?
I have a feeling I could write in most genres but I like writing where strong characters can be placed in difficult situations that bring out their emotions, much like as would happen in real life. I have known some very courageous men and women who have been in very trying situations and when you do know them personally, you realize that they are just human; they have emotions just like the rest of us. I have also seen the underbelly of some in society, those whom have scant regard for others. Mix the two together and you get a clash of good over evil, those who deserve and those who do not. My time as a soldier and probably my own personality led me into the genre of thrillers and action combined with underlined themes which I will tell you more about later.
4) Tell us what inspired your collection of short stories for LOL#1
Well, I wrote these short stories in the time when I used to get up in the wee hours. One of the stories about the molluscs was inspired while taking a lunch time walk along the beach at low tide. The story about the dog is due to my love of animals and the antics I have seen them get up to. Life experiences has a lot to do with some of my writing. I used to be a shepherd with a small team of dogs and some of the things they got up to…I also worked as an inspector with the RSPCA in Australia so I have a natural affinity with animals. As I write this my cocker spaniel is sleeping in his bed next to me. Now the bees! I keep a couple of hives myself and yes, I have had the odd bee or two end up on the wrong side of the veil I wear. Let me tell you, you go cross-eyed very very quickly and when they get caught in your chest hairs, oh the pain…
5) I loved some of the animal voices which narrated several of these stories, how easy was it to get these right?
Animal have very real personalities, I recall being on horseback riding along with my dogs next to a small bank above a creek, one of my dogs must have been day dreaming and fell off the edge, I laughed myself silly at him. When he scrambled back up you should have seen the look he gave me; if only he could have talked!
6) Give us a quick insight into your book TanDrex, entice the readers in.
My novels have an underlying them, with TanDrex it is what happens when science goes a bit too far and there are consequences. In real life, nanotechnology will one day be able to replicate anything we can think of, scientists believe that day is not that far off. Okay, say they can replicate gold, good and bad could come of that but say they replicate carbon eating organisms and these organisms grow and grow (they replicate.) Our world needs carbon to survive. If that technology gets into the wrong hands then quite literally we are all in deep trouble. In TanDrex the technology has been devised, the code for replication has been discovered and one of the companies’ owners wants to sell it — to the highest bidder, the Chinese Triads. Someone needs to step in and stop it.
7) Last week we featured another of your books BioKill with a book team review by Susan, what’s the main theme of this book? Here is a link to Susan’s Review http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-5vB
Terrorism is a fact of life be it a bomb or something else. In BioKill it is that something else. This is a fact from the CIA; there is a virus, which does not affect humans, that can cause an estimated 50 to 60 billion dollars in lost revenue to America alone. That virus is not something you would normally think about. How easy is it to transfer between countries? Very easy, too easy. Worldwide, governments are aware of this — particular problem and most try to prevent it from happening but terrorists are terrorists. I had reservations about writing this book but the more I researched, the more I found that the answers to certain technical problems are already in the public domain. If I could find them out so could others. When reading BioKill it is too easy to just see this as a novel, a make believe piece of fiction.
8) Susan commented that she liked many of the genuine sounding voice accents, how do you decide what is too much or too little of a local accent/ dialect to use?
This is when you need your work to be professionally edited. Writing a book is a team effort. As a writer you need to be flexible enough to take constructive criticism and alter things if they need altering. Don’t get me wrong, at the end of the day the authors own voice is what counts, that gives the style to the book. The author has the final say as to either accept or reject advice. Susan gave me some constructive criticism that I will be taking in, she did an excellent job of the review. It’s all part of the journey.
9) What are you working on at the moment?
I have nearly completed my latest work, which of course, also has a theme. The book takes one to America, South America, Afghanistan, Australia and New Zealand. Again I have done research, so for example, while reading part of the story of a bike gang (Road Kill) in New Zealand, you should find the way they speak and interact pretty comparable to real life. As for the theme, let me ask you this; is it possible to make a human being do something that they would never dream of actually doing, make them commit something that was totally outside their own nature. The answer is yes, it can and has been done. Think about the School of America and what happened back in the 60’s and 70’s. Both in TanDrex and BioKill as well as in my upcoming book, Matt Lilburn, the series central figure, figuratively rolls up his sleeves and gets stuck in.
10)Where can readers find out more about you and your books?
My books can be found at Amazon http://amzn.to/1pxyt3K
and Smashwords http://bit.ly/1jSmUqd and the retailers of Smashwords e.g Barnes & Noble, ibooks, Kobo etc.