How did Ged become a Writer?
Ged reckons he was ‘born writing’. “I remember as a kid reading out my gruesome thrillers to my parents and wondering why they weren’t more impressed”. (Apparently they are now huge fans of both his mystery novels and his kids’ books). Ged has written previously about how he believes a writer has to have writing ‘in your bones’ otherwise the sheer amount of work involved will prevent you ever wanting to complete a book.
What is Ged short for?
It’s not! Ged (pronounced ‘jed’) is his full name. Although he does get called Ged (pronounced ged) a lot.
Where do his story ideas come from?
Ged interviews a wide array of criminals from across the ‘industry’, from criminals to judges to police officers. They are always full of true stories that Ged then has to rein in to make them more believable. Real life, he believes, is always the best inspiration for fiction. ‘Fiction,’ he says, ‘only moves us when we recognise it as realistic.’
He also recommends aspiring storytellers to keep their ears open, be it in a cafe, an airport lounge, commuting on a train… Some of the most riveting, thrilling, edge-of-seat stories have a strong foundation in real-life occurrences. Even a quirky expression overheard in a changing-room might help flesh out a secondary character and make them more believable. Be observant, and make a note of any ideas as soon as they pop up – otherwise you might miss out on capturing some potential gold for a New York Times bestseller!
Which authors does Ged admire most?
John le Carré, Peter Temple, Alan Furst, Ian McEwan, Margaret Atwood, Sarah Waters, Ian McGuire.
What is Ged’s writing process? Does he have a daily writing habit?
Ged says he tries to write three hours a day, no matter where he is or what else is going on. But ‘tries’ is the operative word here.
Does Ged have any advice for aspiring writers?
‘I was inspired by a teacher who said “A writer is a person who writes.” In other words, as long as you are working away at a novel, no one can take away from you the fact that you are a writer. On the other hand, you might have twenty books already published, and if you’re sitting around watching television all day, you are no longer a writer. So just stop doing anything else – reading this for example – and go and write your book.’
Ged also recommends writers to be a passionate readers too. To read widely and often. To be inspired by voices in one’s genre, but also be open to dipping one’s toes into other genres sometimes. This can bring about some unexpected creative opportunities.
Also, any newbie writers have an absolute wealth of information available in the modern age – often for free. There are so many experienced writers out there who are generously sharing tips on essentials such as: the importance of professional editing, how to market your book series, professional book cover design, working with other authors, beta readers, Amazon marketing services, Facebook Ads, social media for authors…you name it. The list is endless. Ged would highly recommend aspiring writers to look at the regular blogs of industry experts such as Joanna Penn, Kristen Lamb, Derek Murphy, Jane Friedman, Hugh Howey, Nick Stephenson and Mark Dawson, as well as checking out weekly podcasts such as The Sell More Books Show. There are also plenty of Facebook Groups for writers. The challenge is to find the time – Ged thinks it’s best to subscribe to two or three newsletters a week to keep up to date with industry trends and for inspiration, but then don’t get distracted from the business of writing itself! 🙂