R M Skillen – The Ghost of Gogoroc Grange

What is your most recent book? Tell us a bit about it.

My new book is called The Ghost of Gogoroc Grange which will be the first in a series known as The Great Mouse Mysteries.

My aim with writing this book was to create and old fashioned adventure story with lots of twists, turns, ghosts and criminals. Then give it an ending that would surprise everybody, and I think I achieved it. Well my kids love it anyway.

Tell us something about yourself.

I am 29 and originally from Liverpool England, but I now live in Melbourne Australia with my beautiful wife and two kids. I came to Aus to go back packing in 2005 and after about a week I met the woman that would end up being my wife and I never left Melbourne. It is because of her that I write. I had always been drawn towards it, was always full of ideas but never had the confidence to go on and do it, but she has given me that. She made me believe it was possible.

What inspired you to write this book?

I was sick of reading cutsie books to my kids, and was struggling to find one that kept us on the edge of our seats. So my wife said “why don’t you write one yourself?” So I did. I would read new bits my kids each night and change it if need be depending on their reactions.

How did you choose the title?

The title chose itself really. After I had finished it it was the only very obvious choice.

What obstacles did you encounter in getting this book published? How did you overcome them?

It is only published on Kindle at the moment, but I do have a couple of more traditional publishers looking at which is very exciting. I has taken two years to drum up the interest, but I always believed in the story and never gave in.

How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?

I was always coming up with ideas and making starts on books but just never carried it through. It was only when my wife asked me one what I would love to do with my life that finally decided that this was it, this was the only thing I could ever see myself doing.

Do you have any writing rituals?

I tend to write in short bursts. Moments of inspiration that may only last for fifteen minutes before I need to put the kettle on. I drink lots and lots of tea.

How do you come up with the names for your characters?

The names are inspired by real life people. People from movies. Anyone that I feel fits the character I am writing.

Did you learn anything from writing and publishing this book? What?

Just believing. Believe in yourself, your story and don’t take knock backs too hard. Remember even Harry Potter was turned down by a lot of different publishers

If you were doing it all over again, what would you do differently?

I can’t say I would change anything. I just hope that my next project goes just as smoothly.

What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors?

I am currently working my through Conn Iggulden’s books. AMAZING AMAZING WRITER. I have also re discovered Roald Dahl, which has led me on to C.S. Lewis for the very first time.

Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?

I am actually going to give writing a screenplay a go. I just feel that my new idea would be better suited to the TV screen

What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?

Just write from your heart and all will be good.

Who is the perfect reader for your book?

Children from the age of about 10 will love it. But hopefully their parents will enjoy it to.