Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
Hi Fiona and thank you for inviting me to be interviewed. My name’s Paul Ian Cross and I’m a children’s author and scientist. I’m 36 years old.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I’m originally from Redditch, Worcestershire, UK, but I have been living in London for 13 years.
Fiona: A little about yourself (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I went to university in Nottingham to study biology and started a career in clinical research in 2004. I decided to return to studying in 2009 and started a Masters in Clinical Research at Cardiff University. This since led to me commencing my PhD there. I’m now in the final year of my PhD and need to finish my thesis next year. I live with my partner Adrian in a railway cottage in Forest Hill, South-East London.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I’m just about to leave my job of seven years to commence running my own business full-time. My business is split between my research career and my children’s books! I’m very excited to see what happens!Oh and I just launched my second picture book, Planet Scrabbage and the Vegerons!
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I loved creative writing and art at school; but I was also good at the sciences. I ended up doing a biology degree and went into a science career. I always loved writing but I didn’t think I would be good enough. I now understand that most writers feel that way!
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Probably only recently! I started calling myself an author once I published my first short story, Engella, in the summer of 2016. I have since published two picture books, Praxx and the Ringing Robot and Planet Scrabbage and the Vegerons and I’m working on my first full-length novel which continues Engella’s story.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I finally decided to give writing a go when my nephew Hayden was born. I wrote my first picture book with him in mind – Praxx and the Ringing Robot. It’s for younger children (ages 2-6) and is about an alien called Praxx and his best friend Zobott. That was about 18 months ago and it was the best decision I ever made!
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
I had the idea of a robot making lots of sounds and then decided upon ‘Ringing Robot’! I even wrote my own hashtag on twitter – #ringingrobot and it trended for a few days after the book launch;which was great!
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I guess I have a few styles as I write for different age groups. I think I naturally fall into the middle-grade age group. That’s when my writing seems to flow at its best, so I think I’ll do more of this kind of work in future.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I think there are definitely some real elements to my stories, but they’re mainly based around my real passions which are biology, physics and astronomy.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
Yes, most definitely, in fact I went to the Isle of Skye, Scotland, a couple of years ago and the location has ended up in Engella! We walked to the top of the Old Man of Storr which was stunning. We were there in time for sunrise and it was beautiful. Take a look at my picture I took from the summit!
Another time I wrote a story on a flight from Hong Kong to the Philippines. There was an in-flight magazine which had an article about Japanese culture in it. After reading it I had the idea for Ayami’s Origami. It’s a picture book and we’re working on it now! It will be illustrated by Alison Rasmussen, who also illustrated Engella, and will be released in 2018. The book has now inspired us to travel to Japan and we’re going in October 2017!
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Alison Rasmussen designed the cover for Engella and Planet Scrabbage and the Vegerons. Andy Green did the cover for Praxx and the Ringing Robot.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I don’t really know yet… my novel is still in development so we’ll see after it’s done! It’s the first novel of a brand new series, The Chronicles of Engella Rhys.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
K S Silkwood is incredible, his second book is coming out soon and I can’t wait. It’s called King of the Bored Frontier. My favourite author has always been Michael Crichton. I loved Jurassic Park when I was young and I still do.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
I’m very grateful to members of a Facebook group I joined last year: Indie Support and Discussion. They have given me confidence to follow my dreams as an author and they are incredible!
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes definitely, I hope to write full-time one day.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I have to say no, I’m really happy with howPlanet Scrabbage and the Vegeronsturned out! I gave it a lot of time and made sure I was completely happy before we published it. I learned that writing and publishing takes time and you mustn’t rush your work, which I did previously.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I learned so much about the writing and publishing process. I have learned so much in such a short time and although I still have a lot to learn, I love every second of it!
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
I would love Engella to be made into a film! I can imagine Maisie Williams from Game of Thrones in the lead role!
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
It sounds so cliché but it’s true… Keep writing, and write every day. My writing continues to improve the more I do it. I look back at my work from last year and I have already improved so much, and I know this will continue the more I write.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
A lot of the feedback I’ve received so far was about the ending of my short story Engella. Many were not happy it left with a cliff-hanger! The more I thought about it the more I realised that Engella’s story was only just beginning. I’m now writing a full-length novel, which will be launched later this year. I have also planned a series of sequels too. The series will be called The Chronicles of Engella Rhys.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I’m reading The Girl With All The Gifts by M. R. Carey. It’s incredible and I’m looking forward to watching the film once I have finished the book.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Around my 2nd or 3rd birthdaymy parents gave me a present: a copy of Zeeb and the Martians by John Webster and Ian McCullough. I loved this book. It had such an effect on me and it’s only now that I realise how strong an effect that was. Zeeb introduced me to science-fiction, and robots and aliens in particular. I’ve had a love of sci-fi ever since and it was these characters that sparked my imagination all those years ago.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I have a dry sense of humour so anything dry makes me laugh! Happy endings to movies make me cry!
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
I would love to meet Michelle Obama, I think she’s inspirational.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
I enjoy travelling and my partner Adrian and I try to go away at least three times a year. Adrian loves photography and so we make a lot of trips to Scotland. I’ve really started to enjoy photography too. We’re also currently planning our trip to Japan in October and I’m so excited! We’re going to Tokyo, Kyoto and Hiroshima.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I love Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, American Gods and all of the Star Treks. I can’t wait for Star Trek: Discovery to come out this year!
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
I really like Indian food, my favourite colour is purple and my favourite music is anything electronic – I love Anoraak and Cut Copy.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I can’t imagine that anymore, I want to write forever! But if I had to choose I’d sayphotography. I love travelling and taking photos of the locations we visit so maybe that!
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
I want my remains to be sent into space so I won’t have a headstone!
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
My books are listed on my website (http://www.pauliancross.com). I’m also on Facebook (Paul Ian Cross – Author), Twitter (@tyrannopaulus) and Instagram (@pauliancross.author). Please do get in touch!
OLD MAN OF STORR SLYE
Amazon Authors Pages USA https://www.amazon.com/Paul-Ian-Cross/e/B01J8PV22C/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1