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 Anthony Morgan-Clark to find out more about him...
Please tell us about yourself; when did you first become interested in writing?
Where to start? I’ve spent my professional life as a teacher, a trainer, and working in and managing children’s homes. I’ve had an interest in writing for as long gone as I can remember. I was always writing as a child, and it was a secret hobby during my teens. I sent a novella to a publisher in around 2005. I reworked the material, and it eventually became the second part of my novel The Tor.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
No, but I do remember some early ones. I remember being asked to rewrite a fairy tale in the style of Roald Dahl’s Dirty Beasts at school. I chose Goldilocks and the Three Bears, and had it read out in the school assembly. I also remember writing loads of Star Wars and Transformers stories using the various stationery sets I got for birthdays and Xmas.
What genre/genres do your books fall under?
My first release was a sci-fi with horror elements, but my releases since have been horror. The Tor is a spectral horror, whereas The Soul Bazaar covers broader types of horror; some psychological horror, some character-driven pieces, some physical horror. I like to experiment with different styles and genres in my short fiction – not just horror but literary styles, fantasy, thriller and sci-fi.
What is your latest book called, what is it about and what was the inspiration behind the book?
My latest release was The Soul Bazaar, a short story horror collection. Each story examines the idea of death and rebirth through a different theme and perspective. The inspiration to release a book of this type came partly from sitting at the desk in my office. I’d taken a career break and was stuck in a tedious desk job, feeling like my life was passing by. The office became a waiting room, which became a dialysis room, and by the end of lunch break the short story Wake was written. I entered it into a competition, and it placed. It was published in the anthology Collective Ramblings Volume One, from Rambunctious Ramblings Publishing in the US. Since I enjoy exploring ideas in different ways I decided to write more stories on the theme of death and rebirth.
Besides your current book, do you have any new projects coming up?
I’m working on my next novel, Swarm, a lost-in-the-woods horror with a twist. I’m also working on several short stories – some sci-fi stuff that ties in to Reformed, a thriller about a hit man who takes on a case that may not be what it seems, and a fantasy about a medieval baker’s apprentice who accidentally ensnared a fairy-type creature whilst out poaching for his master.
Where can people find your books?
All my books are available in electronic formats from all the major retailers. The Tor and The Soul Bazaar are also available in paperback from Amazon.
What has been the greatest moment in your writing career?
The advent of self-publishing. I write in so many styles and across short stories, novellas and novels that I’d be difficult to market for any traditional publisher. The removal of gatekeepers, whilst it has its drawbacks, means that many excellent but uncommercial writers can release their work on their own terms. On a more personal level, the release of my first novel and the great reviews it received has been a high point.
Besides writing, what hobbies or interests do you enjoy in your spare time?
I read across all genres, which is healthy for an author. I spend most of my time when I’m not working with my family. My children are seven and four, which keeps me busy. I play guitar when I can. I enjoy cooking too. I listen to music as much as I can – mostly rock and metal, but I have broad taste. I love live music, and was lucky enough to see Black Sabbath on their retirement tour in January.
Which novelists do you admire?
I devoured Roald Dahl, CS Lewis, and Enid Blyton as a child.
Alan Moore is someone whose work I loved, especially Watchmen and From Hell. Stephen King I read avidly. Terry Pratchett is an author I stumbled across when I was about twelve, and I can’t tell you how many of his books I’ve read. George Orwell and Aldous Huxley are another two authors I’ve enjoyed as an adult.
What has been the best piece of writing advice you’ve received?
The Internet is awash with received wisdom on the topics of writing, editing, publishing get and marketing. The best advice I’ve had was to read widely and critically, and find what works best for you.
Do you have any tips or advice for other indie authors?
It’s not a hobby! I’ve seen so many authors publish poorly edited novels that read like first drafts. Self-editing is incredibly hard to do well, but it can be done. But get feedback from as many people as possible before you do. You should put at least as much work into your editing as you did the first draft; and never stop reading about the craft.