When did you first realise you wanted to be a writer
When I was about 13, when I handwrote stories. I was given a Remington portable typewriter for my birthday when I was 16 and wrote my first novel, A Man is Known by the Company He Kills. A short pithy title; its sequel wasn’t much better – Kill a Man while he’s Down. I should have been studying for GCEs, though…
How long does it take you to write a book?
It varies. A short novel of 50,000 words – that can be written in a month, that is 240 hours; it’s rare that those hours are concurrent, as life intrudes; longer work can take 3-4 months. And some have been known to gestate for years.
What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
I’m usually writing two novels at once, alternating maybe on a weekly or monthly basis, depending on the narrative flow. Of late, now I’m no longer editor in chief for Solstice Publishing, I find I have more time to get to grips with the ubiquitous social media; that takes time, too, though.
How many crime novels have you written?
Three. Pain Wears No Mask (which is out of print, looking for a publisher) and Blood of the Dragon Trees. Sudden Vengeance is due out from Crooked Cat in April. And they’ve recently published my crime anthology about Leon Casador, a half-English, half-Spanish private eye, Spanish Eye. It might not seem like many – because I write in other genres also.
Which is your favourite and why?
That’s difficult. They’re all favourites in their own way. Maybe Pain Wears No Mask because it was in the first person, the story being told by a nun who used to be a policewoman. And it won a Harry Bowling award. Reviews suggest that I captured her voice – and several readers were surprised to learn that the book wasn’t written by a woman!
Where do you get your ideas?
From the news, newspapers here in Spain, from wide reading, from research for articles and other books.
Who is your favourite character from your own work and why?
Another difficult question! I’m enamoured of Tana Standish, my psychic spy in the 1970s/80s; she features in two out of print thrillers, The Prague Manuscript and The Tehran Transmission. Of current available work, probably Leon Cazador; they’re written in the first person too and I feel I’ve captured his voice.
Which character from the work of others do you wish you’d invented and why?
It has to be an icon, I suspect, someone who became a household name, like Tarzan, Sharpe, or Philip Marlowe. Possibly Simon Templar, the Saint – and Leon Cazador is in fact the modern version, righting the wrongs of the ungodly.
If you could have been someone from history involved in crime (good or bad) who would that be and why?
Perhaps Professor Keith Simpson. I’ve had his book Forty Years of Murder (1978) since it came out in paperback in 1980. And of course now he’s in the public eye thanks to his assistant Molly Lefebure’s ‘adventures’ on TV. Because his intellect and persistence spared innocent people and condemned the guilty.
What are you working on now?
Catalyst, the first of a series for Crooked Cat Publishing. I’m trying to find a new home for Pain Wears No Mask, with a different title (The Bread of Tears) and some changes. On the crime scene, I’m working on the next two ‘Cat’ novels, plus researching for Bradbury & Hood, a Victorian crime series. Non-crime, I’m halfway through To Be King, a sequel to the co-written fantasy quest novel Wings of the Overlord, due out in June.
Nik served for over twenty years in the Royal Navy, appropriately as a Writer, then went into IT. He has sold many short stories and articles and edited several books and magazines. He now lives in Spain. From 2011 to 2013, he was hired as the editor-in-chief of the US publisher, Solstice Publishing. He has had 20 books published/accepted since 2007. He writes as Ross Morton, Robert Morton, and Robin Moreton, among other names.
Last year his book Write a Western in 30 Days was published; reviewers say it’s useful for writers of all genres, not only westerns.
Books in order of publication – Visit Nik’s Amazon Author Page for more information on the list below
Death at Bethesda Falls (2007), Pain Wears No Mask (2007), The Prague Manuscript (2008), Last Chance Saloon (2008), The $300 Man (2009), The Tehran Transmission (2009), A Fistful of Legends (2009/editor), Assignment Kilimanjaro (2010), Blind Justice at Wedlock (2010), Death is Another Life (2011), When the Flowers are in Bloom (2011), Old Guns (2012), Bullets for a Ballot (2012), and Odd Shoes and Medals (2013/ghost-writer), Blood of the Dragon Trees (2013), Spanish Eye (2013), Write a Western in 30 Days (2013), Sudden Vengeance (April, 2014), Wings of the Overlord (June, 2014), The Magnificent Mendozas (July, 2014).
Website - www.freewebs.com/nikmorton
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