Rinn: When did you start writing, and what got you into it?
Stuart: I was always into fantasy – Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Star Trek – I grew up on it and used to write little stories and fanfic. The great thing about writing for me was that it doesn’t cost anything to do. This one time in my teens all my friends went on a holiday I couldn’t afford so I just hunkered down into my first book. It was abysmal, but after that I was hooked and never looked back. Thankfully I improved!
Rinn: Your book is a science fiction novel. What science fiction authors particularly inspired you?
Stuart: Actually I was always into fantasy, Tolkien, Terry Pratchett, that sort of thing. I wanted to create a modern-day Harry Potter – a book with the same fun feeling that anyone could get lost in, but one that people can really connect with today. It had to be fantastical and mysterious, but at the same time up to date in terms of the internet and social networking. That’s why the science fiction slant came in. I look at my iPhone sometimes and think, damn, we’re IN the future!
Rinn: You’re stuck on a desert island. What five books would you have to have with you?
Stuart: A survival guide of some sort, Bear Grylls maybe. The Stand by Stephen King, coz it’s long and would keep me occupied. Any Terry Pratchett book to keep me smiling. The Bible to sort out my soul, and an edit of the sequel to Cyberfreak Debt so I had something to work on myself!
Rinn: Which of your characters is your favourite?
Stuart: There’s a Japanese character in my story called Ahn. I have friends with Japanese heritage and it’s a really interesting culture from my point of view so I wanted to play with some of this in the story. Although I never intended him as a main character, he already seems very popular and I’m glad about that because he deserves it.
Rinn: Are any of your characters similar to you, or based on people you know?
Stuart: The main character Kyle goes through problems I’ve faced myself… No, I’ve not fought off killer robots, the other problems! So I poured a bit of myself in there… as to the other characters, can’t you get sued if you base them on real people?! I’ve definitely not done that!!!
Rinn: What would you say about your book to encourage someone who isn’t a particular fan of the genre to read it?
Stuart: Well for me the genre is secondary to the story. People who’ve read it so far said they were hooked by the story. If you want to be entertained, if you want your mind blown, then this story is for you!
Rinn: Is there anything you find challenging when writing, and how do you overcome it?
Stuart: It takes such a long time to produce a real quality piece of work – Cyberfreak Debt for example took two years of writing pretty much every day. It’s normally hard to hold the vision of the end product long enough to stay motivated, but in this case that was never a problem so I was lucky. It’s been a slog in the past but with this one I was pretty much flying over the keyboard. I think that enjoyment is evident in the story.
Rinn: Do you have a work schedule for writing? Do you have any particular routines?
Stuart: Usually it’s write until my brain stops working, then hit the coffee and diet coke and write some more!
Rinn: What do you do when you are not writing?
Stuart: When I’m not writing I’m usually thinking about it. I go to the cinema a lot – which is of course important research on storytelling and not for fun 🙂
Rinn: What will you be working on next?
Stuart: I’ve a lot of promotional work to do for Cyberfreak Debt – I want to make sure as many people hear about it as possible so no one misses out! I’ve got tonnes of notes for the sequel and stoked about writing it. I hope readers will see the main character Kyle’s journey came to a comfortable conclusion in Cyberfreak Debt. He’s got himself together and can really choose what happens now. Leila however has all sorts of beef, loose ends and vendettas to take care of. She’s the one to watch and the one I’m most excited to write about next!
Rinn: Any words for your readers, or anything you want them to know?
Stuart: As an author I want people to know I will never let them down when they read my books. I’ll never cut corners, sell out or write drivel just to get paid. For me the art is paramount so that’s my personal guarantee, for this book and all the others to follow.
Rinn: How can a reader contact you, or buy your books?
Stuart: My Twitter handle is @wonderboywriter and Cyberfreak Debt is available on Amazon where you can download apps to read it on any device!