We are working with sci-fi and fantasy writer Simon Morley at the moment, helping him get more exposure for his books. The Universe Wide Web: 1.Getting Started is the first in his series and it is a teenage / young adult sci-fi adventure.
The Universe Wide Web (or uniweb) differs from World Wide Web; it’s an actual place, somewhere out there in the ether that you enter for real. And you can also use it to click, and travel, instantaneously, to anywhere else in the universe. The uniweb has web-rooms, chat rooms, web-games, trading sites; it’s a huge, labyrinthine place full of alien creatures, and strange technologies and ideas. It has millions of users – creatures from all over the universe; though only one person from earth has ever logged on.
We had a Skype call with Simon this morning and talked to him about his book, his writing and his plans for the future…
Hi Simon, thanks for chatting to us today! Firstly, when did you first realise you wanted to be a writer?
I had inkling’s even as a teenager, and had my first foray in my twenties, but life, career etc took over, so it wasn’t until recently that I determined to make it happen.
How long does it take you to write a book?
I write in my spare-time, and find more of that in the winter than the summer. So I usually write over the winter, and manage 750-1000 words day. This means a book takes four months to draft, and then the refining and editing take another one or two perhaps.
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
As mentioned already, it’s a minimum of 750 words a day. I keep a close note of this…just get 750 words done a day, no if, no buts. Quality will come, but not if you write nothing! Sometime this can mean finding time at lunch to write a quick 250 words, or half an hour on a train journey; so using a handy writing tool (a smartphone!) helps
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I wrote my first two novel using an old Nokia phone which had a full QWERTY keyboard – probably 250,000 words written with my thumbs!
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
Just from everyday things – the newspapers, articles on technology, science, reading anything – all sorts of things really. And just from own experiences and watching others.
When did you write your first book and how old were you?
The Universe Wide Web 1 is my first book
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Well, a lot of the time is taken up by the day job; then there’s all the time needed with my two teenage boys. I wish I had more time!
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I’ve written three novels and a small book entitled What is Time – the answer to “the ultimate paradox” which sets out a comprehensive explanation of Time…which has never previously done before apparently. It’s a rather academic book!
Writing a science fiction adventure allows far more imaginative scope and freedom!
Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?
Write every day, set a word target and stick to it. Remember, writing a novel is a marathon, it takes a long time – to paraphrase Dory (Finding Nemo) “Just keep writing, just keep writing”. Have an outline for your novel from the start. You won’t keep to it (probably) but it serves as your guide for the journey. And enjoy what you write. If you don’t, why would anyone else
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
Sure. Readers are very complimentary. They want to know where the ideas come from, and what will come next.
What do you think makes a good story?
A good story needs to take the reader on a journey, whatever that journey is.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
Even now, I’m not sure what I want to be when I grow up!