FAQs

If you have any questions, please ask me on my Contact link.

 

Do you believe in aliens?

I think it is highly likely. The Universe is so big (GINORMOUS in fact) that there is probably life out there somewhere (possibly a lot of it!). Comparing Earth to the Universe, if you were to take all the sand on all the beaches in the world, we would be just one grain of sand.

 

Do you think aliens have ever come to Earth?

I'm not sure about that. The Universe is so big, and the distances you would have to travel are so huge, that it would take some amazing technology to cross that distance.

 

Why do you like space so much?

It's so big and mysterious. There is so much we still don't know. And you can float in space.

 

Where do you write your books?

Mostly in my study/den, sometimes on the couch in my living room, and sometimes on my bed. 

 

Is it true you are actually Rule of Four?

That's very flattering, but they are all much better looking than me - except for DJ Horse face (I hope). I do, however, write a lot of the songs.

 

Do you ever get recognised in public?

Sometimes when I'm at my local shops on the weekend. A lot of the kids from the local school know me as I've given talks there and also help out with their reading program. 

 

What do you do when you are not writing?

I have a part-time job managing a research centre. I worked in research related fields for over 10 years before becoming an author. Apart from that, I try and do a little regular exercise and, being a music lover, I'm learning to play the didgeridoo. I've also picked up my guitar again and am spending more time than ever in my quest to finish some of my half completed songs.

 

How long have you been writing for?

I remember doing my first comic strip in 8th Grade. But in regard to professional writing - about 20 years. I started out writing/publishing cartoons and greeting cards, then short films and even (tried) feature films, before moving into books. You could say I've gone from the shortest type of story (cartoon) to the longest (books). Some of my future books will come from ideas I had when I was writing for film.

 

Why do you write children's books?

I enjoy it. It allows me to be silly. The adult world is a bit too serious most of the time.

 

What music do you like?

I like most modern music: rock, hip hop, pop, dub step, etc ... even some types of heavy metal. I also like classical, but I've never been into  jazz.

 

Who is your favourite character?

Trevor.

 

What is something that you really want to do, that you've never done before?

Record an album/CD - but now I've done that; sky diving; take a ride in a formula one car or fly in a fighter jet; go into space.

 

What is your favourite colour?

It used to be yellow, but now it's blue ... I think. Grey is my least favourite colour.

 

What inspires you as a writer?

Space, obviously. Mostly though, it's emotion and learning to understand emotions and realise that it's okay to have them!

 

Where do you live?

Perth, Western Australian. It's warm, close to the ocean, and reasonably quiet.

 

How do you make up your stories?

Sometimes ideas flash through my head. Other times I have to spend time specifically thinking about ideas. In any case, I make sure I write them down. No matter how good an idea is, if you don't write it down, there is a good chance you will forget it! I have a big list of ideas, so when it comes to writing my next book I flick through those ideas and pick the ones I think are best.

 

How do you write your songs?

There are so many different ways. Sometimes just from strumming my guitar, or playing the top string of a bass guitar. Some songs are totally different once I've finished them - the more work I do on a song the better it usually gets and sometimes a chorus or verse I thought was okay gets thrown out and started again (and again) until I'm happy with it.

 

Has anyone influenced your writing?

I love Roald Dahl. Dr Seuss, J.K. Rowling, Douglas Adams, Blake Snyder and the cartoonists Gary Larson and Bill Watterson have also had an influence on me.

 

Who are your favourite authors?

I've mostly answered that above. I also like Morris Gleitzman, Emily Rodda and Dav Pilkey.

 

Favourite musicians?

There are so many. David Bowie, Jeff Buckley, Pink Floyd, Nine Inch Nails, Korn are five that leap to mind, but there are many more. Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Foo Fighters, Radio Head. See, that's 10 I've thought of in 30 seconds.

 

Are your stories based on your own life?

Yes, I am an alien ... okay, that's not true. Um, some things are true or sort of true. Other things are plucked out of my brain somehow.

 

How long does it take to write your books?

Super Ninja Alien Robot Monsters took about 2 years, maybe longer. Trevor took 8 months. Now I've set up the worlds and the style of the stories, the second Super Ninja took about 6 months. Trevor 2 still took about 8 months because the drawing takes a lot of time. 

 

How many drafts do you do?

Too many to count. I liken writing to peeling an onion. There are lots of layers, and hopefully each layer (draft) gets smaller as I go. 

 

How do you know when you've finished a book?

When nothing in the story is bothering me anymore.

 

Why did you start writing?

I think it was a way of expressing myself, and trying to understand the world I lived in. My first proper cartoons were called "Eric the Elephant". Eric was basically me. Same with music.

 

Why do you write now?

It's still for the same reasons I began, but it's more about others now - like my kids. I want them to learn some of lessons and skills I didn't learn until I was much, much older. In particular, things to do with emotions. Lots of adults are terrible with emotions because they never learnt about them when they were kids, and don't realise how important they are. Emotions affect everything.