“It’s a feel-good book at its heart and core, and should leave a big smile on the face of even the most cynical of readers. I’ve tried to take the reader on a new journey, adding a little bit of mystery and spicy, banterous Irish dialogue along the way.”
-Sean-Paul Thomas on The Old Man and the Princess
Q: What inspired you write this book?
The novel was inspired by a lot of things. For example the old man in the book is loosely based on the brilliant Irish actor, Brendan Gleeson, and some of the more darkly humorous characters he has played throughout his career; in the likes of In Bruge, The Guard and The Calvary. I just love his dark, brooding, cynical “Irishness” and wanted to put that into a book, mixed with my own style of writing and humor.
The other main, and most influential inspiration for the book, is actually another old classic sci-fi tale, but I can’t really discuss it without ruining the story, main plot of my own novel, and the important role this old classic tale has throughout the narrative.
Q: What challenges did you have while writing it?
Since the main characters are both Irish, I had to get a lot of advice from my mum and grandmother (who are both, luckily, Irish) about dialogue, and certain words and pronunciations. I also watched a lot of Irish movies and TV shows.
The challenges for writing in general–the first ten minutes of just sitting down and concentrating on the blank screen in front of you in the morning, is always gonna be the hardest. There are so many distractions, from Facebook, e-mails, internet surfing to catching up on TV shows/books/movies. And before you know it, it’s a nearly 6 pm. To combat that, I like to turn my fuse box off for a few hours, (make sure your fridge is empty first lol 🙂 ) and trying to write then.
Q: What do you want readers to take away from reading your book(s)?
It’s a little bit different and unique, I think, especially in the diversity of the two main characters ( I mean they could not be more opposite from each other, in both age, personality and mannerism), and the direction the book goes and some of the themes it deals with. It’s a feel-good book at its heart and core, and should leave a big smile on the face of even the most cynical of readers. I’ve tried to take the reader on a new journey, adding a little bit of mystery and spicy, banterous Irish dialogue along the way.
Q: If you could live in the story of a book, which one would you live in?
Would have to go for Lord of the Rings, just for the action and adventure side.
Q: When you’re not writing what do you do?
I’m a plumber right now, which is where I make most of my income. But when I’m not working in general, then I love traveling, reading, cinema and watching Scottish football. I enjoy cooking too, yoga, meditation and playing tennis twice a week.
Q: What else have you written? What else do you write?
So far The Old Man and The Princess is my eighth book. My other books are:
- The Universe Doesn’t Do Second Chances–a kind of time traveling romance story.
- Cafe Independence–a black comedy satire set inside a Scottish cafe during the day of the Scottish referendum back in 2014.
- Alone is a lost in space, ghost story, chiller.
- Ugly/beautiful is a mix of genres, crime, thriller, horror, mystery and romance, and is mostly set in a hide out cottage in amongst gorgeous Scottish Highlands.
- Sarah Smiles is a young adult, adventure/drama, loosely based on my childhood growing up on an army base in Cyprus.
- Lust for Life is a kind of modern day action thriller. Think Taxi Driver meets the Bucket List. It’s my biggest selling book to date.
- My last novel was my first venture into Young Adult, Fantasy adventure: The Fairy Boy of Calton Hill. The book will hopefully be a continuing series. I have almost finished the 2nd book too.
- And last but not least–my most recent novel–THE OLD MAN AND THE PRINCESS
Q: What’s your “writer studio” like or where do you feel inspired to write?
Mostly I write at my city centre flat in Edinburgh’s Toll Cross. To me, Edinburgh is the most beautiful, Gothic, magical, inspirational and just plain awesome “wee” city on Earth. But back to my flat, it has a great view out onto one of the busy main streets, just off Lothian Road. So with my ear plugs in and a hot cup of the black stuff, I am able to sit back, chill out, put some light classical music on, enjoy the view and just let go and write.
Q: Of all the character’s you have written, do you have a favorite?
Without naming names, I have a few, but most of the ones I favour turn out to be absolute monsters, yet they never even realise it (lol).
If I had to choose one though, Sarah, from my third book Sarah Smiles. She is one feisty, kick ass, adventurous tomboy, who, if she isn’t already your friend, then defiantly shouldn’t be messed with. Every young teenage boy should get to hang out with a Sarah for at least one day in their lives. She is one street-wise, tough son of a gun. With a come back and smart answer for everything. She pretty much does whatever she likes to. Although she does have a very soft core, if you can indeed find it.
Q: When did you know that you wanted to be a writer and how long have you been writing professionally?
When I was 13. I watched the movie Bram Stokers Dracula, and became so obsessed with it that I decided to write a sequel to the movie, but as a novel. From that day on, I have been writing on and off, for the past 20 or so years.
Q: Where do you think book publishing will be in 10 years from now?
Possibly dead in the water. More and more authors these days are becoming more and more digital savy. They are able to write their books, get them proofread and edited for a reasonable fee, create and prepare their own cool and unique book covers, and convert their files to epub or mobi with just a few clicks. They can do their own promotion and book tours, print-on-demand paperback copies.
Slowly but surely the middle man, agents and publishers, are being cut out of the loop. It’s not great for the people who work in these publishing houses, but it is good for serious authors in general whose writing isn’t half-bad, but never great enough to get that lucrative publishing contract. Now, through self-publishing, they can get away with making a respectable living and continue doing something they love without the constant, soul destroying, rejection letters.
Anyone else wish they had a bestie like Sarah after that? Me, too.