I’ve been writing since I was 13. I’d recite tales of Conan the Stamp Collector in the schoolyard and have my friends in stitches. I saw my first story published in a newsletter back in 1992 for the Creative Writers’ Sig. They weren’t very good, but I certainly had a passion for it. My time in the Army has been rich with characters and events from various dangerous parts of the world. I began to think seriously about publishing short stories a few years ago after I completed a tour of Afghanistan. I churned out many stories; some science fiction, horror, comedy and some disturbing. To my surprise I found I hardly wrote fantasy, something I thought I’d do since leaving school.
I found success in a short story I wrote in 1999 and it saw itself as part of an anthology published in March 2009, some ten years later. I began to contribute fully to the Bykerbooks webpage and two more short stories saw print. By December of 2010 I had a large collection of short stories and had just read an article on Can Write Will Write. A Mensan had published an E-book and after a year this was on the market. I decided to give this a go and sent in a sample of my work. A lady called Sherry began to mentor me through the process and edited most of my work. She helped shape the stories and together we came up with a sizeable collection of short stories amounting up to 73,000 words.
Most of my work in ‘A Scattering of Ashes, Tales from the Frontline, Afghanistan to England’ is drawn from personal experience. Many of the characters in the stories are real people, taken from my experiences in both the Army and my childhood.
I find the time to write only in the mornings prior to my family greeting the day. As my Army career draws to a close, I’m finding it easier to find the time. On previous tours this was a challenge, but I found the time. Sometimes at 3 in the morning while on duty or during the day whilst waiting for the inevitable call for fire.
Perhaps the most difficult part of publishing this book is getting the word out there. Social networks are good, but I've had to search for support through the tabloids.
The work will be available to buy online from 1 November 2011. Copies of the book can be purchased at; Apple, Barnes & Noble, Sony, Kobo and the Diesel eBook Store. You can also purchase them from mobile applications such as ScrollMotion, Aldiko and Stanza. Borders Australia and Angus & Robertson Australia (both powered by Kobo), Whitcoulls (New Zealand, powered by Kobo), the Diesel eBook Store and other distribution outlets. It will be available on these operating systems: Apple, Android, Windows Phone 7 and HP's WebOS.
I’d like to reiterate that this is an e-book and would only be available in a physical medium if the work sells relatively well. I’m an unknown in the world of publishing, but hoping to change this in time.