Terrie Leigh Relf: What types – and forms – of writing do you do? What is your niche?
Neil Weston: Horror, Science Fiction, Adult Fiction, Young Adult & Children’s fiction – plus speculative poetry.
Relf: What is your area of subject matter expertise? How did you discover this niche? What intrigues you about it?
Weston: Horror. Through facing childhood nightmares after certain events, this year allowed me to combat and control the memories of a stressful adolescence. My family grew up in a house which had plenty of creeping shadows, and writing very dark fiction and horror allows me to drift back into those haunted shadows and drag out its occupants.
Relf: How do you balance your creative and work time?
Weston: With difficulty. I live in a very busy and full house, so I just grab moments when and where I can – and hope I’m not seen hiding with a laptop on my knees!
Relf: What tips do you have for other writers?
Weston: Take up writing courses. Always believe in your tales. Practice. Learn the craft. Observe the people and the world around you. Always carry something to write with and a scrap or two of paper – ideas come when you least expect them! Be humble and listen to your peers, both in writing and life. I never truly got a grip on writing until my late forties, early fifties, so hang in there; it will happen!
Relf: What are your thoughts on the creative process in general and your creative process in particular?
Weston: The creative writing process is one of joy and hard work, which offers limitless fun! Mine is spent trying to capture an explosion of ideas and making sure I hang in there for the ride! I now have my own fictional world, and am enjoying the devices and desires of events and individuals who populate that space.
Relf: Where do your ideas come from?
Weston: My inner fears and work, as I’m lucky to spend each week with surgeons.
Relf: Where have you been published? Upcoming publications? Awards and other accolades?
Weston: In numerous online and paperback publications. Nothing upcoming yet. No awards or accolades. Yet.
Relf: What are you working on now?
Weston: A novel and numerous short stories set in that novel’s universe.
Relf: What challenges have you faced as a writer and/or with a particular project? How did you meet them? What did you learn from these challenges and how did they make you a better writer?
Weston: Rejection. Understand negative comments can be used as positive learning tools. Just finding time to sit and write. It helps that I now have several Beta readers and an editor who makes sure my work is of a professional standard.
Relf: Are you currently a writing mentor? If so, what are your thoughts on mentoring?
Weston: No, I’m not a mentor. I’d say go find a mentor, somebody who understands writing and how best to cope with its demands.
Relf: As a fiction writer, who are your favorite characters? How did they come into being, and what do you love – or loathe – about them?
Weston: I have a pair of characters who are in the same family, but generations apart, and I can feed off their histories. Most of my characters are named after friends with an essence of that individual’s real character (e.g., a speech pattern, dress sense, hair color, etc.) in their fictional counterparts. I love them all. Some are loathsome, but this is part of their story trait and I wouldn’t dismiss a single quirk or outburst.
Relf: Are you currently, or have you ever, been in a writing group? Your thoughts?
Weston: Once, about three decades ago. It was a good experience and I learned much about how other writers approach writing in general.
Relf: What type of networking do you do?
Weston: I used to shy away from places like Facebook, but since joining, I am now meeting people who experience the highs and lows of writing and can offer sage advice.
Relf: Your thoughts on having an agent?
Weston: I’d like to have an agent. The more successful I become, I’ll need someone with a business head.
Relf: Your thoughts on self-publishing?
Weston: Go for it! I’m planning to release all my adult fiction via this route. Amazon springs to mind.
Relf: Where do you see yourself in the next year? The next five years?
Weston: Hopefully, having completed the novel and being more consistent with my stories at a standard that I, my family, and friends can feel proud of me reaching. Writing has been a very long-held ambition, and I love getting published.
Relf: Thank you, Neil, for creating the time for this interview. Be sure to read his bio below, visit Amazon and Facebook page to learn more about him.
And yes. . .BUY – AND READ – his work.