It’s hard to say. Everything about the festival looks great, so I’m not really sure what is it that I’m looking forward to the most. Also, I have never been to Dubai, so that should be an experience in itself.
When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
The truth is, I never really had any ambitions of becoming a writer. I never spent time dreaming up stories, or imagining characters, or anything of the sort. Before writing my first novel, I had never even written a short story. What happened was, (and this is the short version) I woke up one day with a story in my head and decided to put it to paper. That story in my head wasThe Crucifix Killer, which became my first novel.
What book do you find yourself re-reading most often?
Actually, none. I have never read a book more than once. I know this will come as a surprise to many, but I don’t read very much. I usually read about three to four books a year, if that. It sounds crazy for an author, doesn’t it?
If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?
I would probably still be doing something to do with music. Not sure if I would still be playing, but it would probably be music-related. I would have loved to have been a tattoo artist, but I cannot draw to save my life.
And finally, we have a number of aspiring writers attending the Festival. What one piece of advice would you give them?
I guess the best advice I can give is – Trust your gut. Forget about rules, or creative writing classes, or anything that will put you in a “box”. Just tell the story in the way that YOU think it should be told. Remember – it’s your story. Create your characters the way YOU think they should be. Make them act in the way YOU think they should act. Tell your story in the same way that you would like a story to be told to you. Seriously, TRUST YOUR GUT. When you finish it, read it back. If YOU think the story excites you then chances are it will excite others as well. That’s exactly what I did. I had no experience. I had never even written a short story before. I never took a single creative writing class. I simply sat down one day and started writing The Crucifix Killer.