Neal James' interview with Victoria Watson, Elementary Watson Blog.
The freedom that it gives to my imagination. As Neal James, I can step into another personality and write the kinds of things that Philip Neale, the accountant, could never even contemplate.
The challenge of doing something completely outside of my normal routine. It’s like being on holiday without ever leaving the comfort of your familiar surroundings.
Reading is another one of the major sources of inspiration. Just seeing what other writers are doing is a massive pointer as to where I could be. I never copy what I write, but the ideas which come out of reading, say, another crime novel always set me thinking. I’m reading ‘A Place of Execution’ by Val McDermid; it’s a crime novel set in Derbyshire where I live.
Crime – James Patterson, Jeffrey Deaver, Val McDermid.
Science Fiction – Isaac Asimov, Frank Herbert.
Fantasy – Terry Pratchett.
Humour – Jasper Fforde, Deric Longden.
Horror – James Herbert, Stephen King, Dean R. Koontz.
I am actually a CIMA qualified accountant, and have been doing the job for over 30 years. It puts bread on the table and gives me the flexibility to indulge in writing as a passion, and not something on which I need to rely for an income.
Strengths? Writing in a variety of genres; I never seem to get ‘Writer’s Block’. Each style has its own stories to tell, and that’s the beauty of it – I never chase down a story; I let them tell themselves to me as and when they are ready. Time is another factor – my publisher never pressurises me and this gives me a relaxed atmosphere in which to get things down on paper.
See book reading video of Neal James' forthcoming publication, Full Marks - Chapter One
Neal James is the author of four books: 'A Ticket to Tewkesbury', 'Short Stories - Volume One', 'Two Little Dicky Birds' and 'Threads of Deceit'.