As bad blood threatens the old order, a restless new generation rise from their fathers’ shadows, ready to stamp their own identity on the city streets…
Hi Stephen, thanks for taking time out of your busy launch period to tell us about your debut novel, ‘Pure Angst’. Can you tell us a little about what motivated you?
I always enjoyed writing and creating stories as a kid and in my early twenties completed a creative writing module as part of a course at Edinburgh's Telford College. Instantly, it rekindled something that had been lost, and better still, I was able to bring my imagination into the adult world, writing stories about dysfunctional families, revenge and greed.
Forming a band with my brother gave me the chance to put my hand to writing of a different kind. For years, song writing was my main focus, offering another world to get lost in.
How has the book changed from first draft to publication?
The advice and feedback of editors and beta readers has been invaluable in helping me mould the book into what it now is. The role of Billy’s girlfriend Lyndsay has increased as the moral compass of the story; lots of dialogue has been culled and streamlined. I have tightened the point of view as I was trying to give too many backstories before.
Any tips for someone contemplating writing their first book?
For anyone looking to write or publish their first book, there are so many tools out there now. I’d say invest time in your online profile, but don't spread yourself too thin. I have found over time that some platforms don't have the same traction for me as others. A tool I personally see good results from for growing a mailing list is Bookfunnel. I’ve also learnt a lot from other indie authors via the 20 books to 50 k Facebook group, where my cover designer Inspired Cover Design was recommended. Ultimately, though, you can only find out what works for you and your readership by trying the different platforms out, then doing more of what works and tweaking or culling the rest. A bit like the editing process!
Writing and publishing my first novel has made me a far more driven individual than I was before. Having to set and keep to my own deadlines, and take so much of the workload on myself has given me a sense of real pride and achievement.
Keep up with Stephen and sample his debut novel at: