It's my pleasure to have Stephen A North on my blog today. Stephen was an absolute gentleman when I first started out, giving me some great advice. He's been my friend ever since, and someone I can honestly say it's a pleasure to call him friend and colleague.
Ado, without, further (as Yoda might say): Stephen A North.
Stephen, let's ease into this...and talk games. You spent years developing a game - do you still find the time to play games, and what are your favourite games?
Thank you, Craig. My pleasure to be your friend. I did spend roughly four years of my 'creative' time (outside of real world work) helping to develop a computer game. I value what I learned from that experience, and am grateful for how much inspiration I drew from it. I do spend an hour or so, here and there, playing a game. The only two I've played recently have been Skyrim and Civilization 5. The Fallout series is my overall favourite.
OK, now, easy question out of the way...tougher question coming up...you were an MP for a good few years...are you, or have you ever been, a badass!? (tongue in cheek, honest!)
"I can hear them say...Bad Company, and I won't deny..." ha ha
I've had the pleasure of reading three of your novels, Drifter, Dead Tide, and Dead Tide Rising...can you tell us a little about these stories?
Dead Tide and Dead Tide Rising are part of an ongoing series of zombie novels that are being re-published next year. I'm under contract for a third book and am working on it now. Drifter is a sci-fi/thriller that one reviewer described as 'The Man With No Name In Space.' The earth is over-populated, and there is a serious need for off-planet colonists, soldiers and workers. Rampant crime is dealt with through the use of mind wipes, and work release sentencing.
Just how stoked are you that Dead Tide and Dead Tide Rising are being re-released? I ask, because I'm a little jealous!
I am thrilled! This is a major step forward in my career! Nothing to be jealous of, though. I admire you too, and am looking forward to checking out your fantasy stories soon!
Do you have any martial arts training from your time in the military? Does this help with action in your books?
We did receive some unarmed self defense training in Military Police school, but most of what I know I learned in Tae Kwon Do and MMA. I do think it has helped me when I write a fight scene. There are a few friends that I consult with to make sure I get it right. One thing in MP school that seems a bit bizarre is that we had to learn how to land safely if someone flipped us. I'd rather learn how to avoid being flipped! I actually broke my big toe during this training. :( Wasn't very happy.
Can you tell us what you're working on at the moment?
The third book in the Dead Tide series. Thank you for asking! Pretty fired up about the direction it is taking!
Who, within the genre, inspires you?
Zombie stories? Hmmm. Can't say that any book or author inspired me to write a zombie book. The only experience with zombies I'd had at that point were the movies Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead and Night of the Living Dead. I didn't read any zombie novels until later. Some of the books I enjoyed were written by Rhiannon Frater, Timothy Long, J.L. Bourne, Suzanne Robb, Patrick D'Orazio, Susan Edgerly, D.L. Snell, Dr. Kim Paffenroth, Travis Adkins, Scott Baker, Eric S. Brown, D.A. Chaney, Z.A. Recht, Sheri Gambino, Eric Shelman, Franklin Wales, Bowie Ibarra, and is it okay to mention, Craig Saunders? (I'm sure I'm forgetting some people.)
Could you pick your three favourite books, please?
This is tough, but here goes: The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien; Worlds of the Imperium by Keith Laumer; and The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury.
Self-promotion - fun, or evil necessity?
How does the saying go...You have to love yourself first? Depends on your approach. For me, I try to make it fun. Certainly necessary to me to make self-promoting fun. Thank you so much for this opportunity, Craig. Hope to have you on my blog soon!
That was Stephen A North. Thank you!
And, to you - love you x