About by on

This is the place to come if you want to learn about some of my hobbies and interests.

By profession, I trained as a teacher so I’m interested in everything. Learning is an on-going experience for me. My writing has taken me down many an interesting thoroughfare and alley of research. My main interests are in paleontology, ancient civilizations, particularly the Minoans and Ancient Egyptians, and the history of the Old testament times, which I studied at college.

At college, when we did a survey on our leisure time, I was accused of cheating. The tutor concluded I was one of the few lucky, or unlucky ones, depending on your view point, for whom my work was leisure! 🙂

I used to read a minimum of 8 books a week plus do my day job. Now I read when I can, but it’s so easy now to be influenced while I’m writing that I don’t read nearly as much as before. It’s mostly SF I read. Genetics, the workings of the human mind, how memories are stored and accessed, how religions evolve to fulfill the needs of the community to which they belong, and of course, the care, developmental stages and behavior of Cats, both large and small are just some of the on-going interests I study in writing my current series for DAW Books.

I have 2 cats, both females. Bast, a silver gray little queen, and Ripley, (after Ripley in the Alien movies – she hunts bugs too!) a large tabby with I think Siberian in her – she is a floofy explosion and pretty large too! Ripley sits in a fleece donut on my desk and keeps me company while watching the hummingbirds at the feeder beside my window. Bast keeps me company by often squeezing in behind me and sharing the seat with me.

TV watching

I ration the TV I watch but always try to catch new series to keep abreast of what’s happening in the genre.
Not a lot of SF on TV right now, but I watch what I can. FALLING SKIES, and AGENTS of S.H.I.E.L.D, and DEFIANCE. Then there’s GAME of THRONES, not many folk don’t love it, I’m sure, and GRIMM, and SUPERNATURAL. Then I love crime shows like BONES, NCIS, and CRIMINAL MINDS.
I watch these on my PC as I don’t have them on TV here, and doing it that way lets me set my own viewing schedule to suit what I am doing.

Computer Games

Yes, I still play them – it helps put me in the mood for my writing, or gives me experiences I cannot get in real life for my writing. I remember being asked by the Inland Revenue folk in the UK how I could justify this and replying that I could play the THIEF games to find out what it is like to sneak about as a thief, but I couldn’t get dressed in a striped jersey, don an eye mask and take a bag with SWAG written on it and head out onto the streets to find out for myself what being a thief was like. I mean, let’s get real here. 🙂

Currently I have DRAGON AGE INQUISITION which is a huge game, open to all styles of play, and DIABLO 3. I still go back to the SF MASS EFFECT games every now and then, even though I was one of those not happy with the ending to ME 3.

Apart from that, I soak up the sun when I can. We do have a pool here where I live so I make use of that through the hot months.

There is a fan forum where you can meet other readers of the books at The Brotherhood of Vartra. They really are a nice group of folks. There is even a Chat Room there that people head to on Wednesdays.