On Wednesdays on social media, people use the hashtag #WriterWednesday to chat about all things author, book and writing, including authors promoting their own work. As we love to support self-published authors, we thought we’d join in and we will be featuring a UK self-published author every Wednesday on the website. This week, we met George Mahood to find out more...
Please tell us about yourself; when did you first become interested in writing?
I have always been interested in writing, but never thought I would become an author because I never had anything to write about. Then I went on a penniless adventure the length of Great Britain, and I realised I had experienced something I wanted to share with others.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I don’t remember the first story, but I remember writing a poem called ‘The Shower Lout’ when I was at primary school. I think I was about nine. It was about how I liked to spend as long as possible in the shower before school and my teacher found it very funny. It was the first time I had made someone laugh with something I wrote. I’ve never forgot that feeling.
What genre/genres do your books fall under?
My books cover a variety of non-fiction genres – travel, sport, parenting, challenges… all with plenty of humour thrown in.
What is your latest book called, what is it about and what was the inspiration behind the book?
My latest book is called Operation Ironman. In April 2015 I had surgery to remove a spinal cord tumour. I wanted to set myself a challenge to aid my recovery so signed up for an Ironman… 4 months after the surgery. The book details my training and the event itself. It is nowhere near as boring as it sounds. I’ve published four books now and Operation Ironman is my personal favourite.
Besides your current book, do you have any new projects coming up?
I am almost finished writing my fifth book. It is a good old-fashioned road trip travelogue, set in the United States. It will be out later this year.
Where can people find your books?
My books are available at all good book shops (as long as its Amazon).
What has been the greatest moment in your writing career?
The greatest moment of my writing career was when I ended my work as a wedding photographer and realised that I was technically a full-time author. It still feels a bit weird writing that, even though I’ve been full-time for almost two years now.
Besides writing, what hobbies or interests do you enjoy in your spare time?
I have two very different sides to my personality in my spare time. One part loves being active, so I play football, run, cycle, swim and do many other sports. The other part of me likes to do absolutely nothing. I watch a lot of television (box-sets, mostly) and try to read lots too. I also like to cook, and I play the guitar badly. I also get to spend a lot of time with my three young children. I’m not sure that counts as my spare time, though.
Which novelists do you admire?
I loved Bill Bryson when I was growing up. It was his books that first made me realise it was possible to write funny books about relatively normal everyday events. I read mostly non-fiction but I also love many fiction authors such as Ian McEwan, who make me aspire to write more betterer.
What has been the best piece of writing advice you’ve received?
The best piece of writing advice is to focus on getting the words down on the page. Don’t worry about spelling, punctuation or even the sentence structure too much. Just write! It’s much easier to improve words once they are down on the page, rather than as you write them.
Do you have any tips or advice for other indie authors?
It’s a cliché to say it, but writing the book is often the easy part. Getting people to buy your books can be even more of a challenge. Once you publish a book, don’t get complacent. Try different promotional techniques (some will work, others won’t), try to build a social media presence, stay up-to-date with the what’s happening in the world of indie publishing, and get writing that second book. Good luck.