Hello, Daniel! I'm so pleased we could meet up today. What a splendid photograph of you, looking very bookish and authorly!
But now please put your books down, help yourself to cookies and make yourself comfortable, then we can have a good natter.
Hi Margaret, thank you so much for inviting me. I am super chuffed to be here.
I loved your book The Secret Diary of a Naughty Cat. As a cat slave myself, I could identify with the naughty cat and also with the cat’s own slaves. I hope you won’t mind answering a few questions for me?
You can ask whatever you would like!
Okay! So - what inspired you to write your book?
I’ve always wanted to write and have tried my hand at writing different things. I made the mistake of looking at publisher callouts/submission calls and trying to write something to fit what they wanted. But I learned that it is always best to write for yourself first. I want to write Fantasy and Paranormal Romance at some point, but I have had a few ideas for children’s books swirling around my head for ages. Plus I have two naughty cats of my own who have given me plenty of inspiration over the years.
Please tell us a little about The Secret Diary of a Naughty Cat?
The Secret Diary of a Naughty Cat is literally about a naughty cat. The idea came from watching my cats do some very naughty things and I wondered if there was a thought process behind it. Haha. Were they just daft or being calculating? This is the first book of a planned series and it focuses on some of the naughty things Naughty Cat thinks up and acts out on her poor unsuspecting humans.
It’s a fun little book that has had a couple of lovely reviews so far, and I will be writing further books.
How long did it take you to write the book?
In all honesty, not really that long. As a starting book it is only a short one, and I had so much fun writing it so the actual writing of it happened quite quickly and smoothly. I did plenty of planning beforehand to work out what I was going to write about and what further books could entail. I have tried just writing without plans before but I have a short attention span and can end up writing myself down the wrong road and off a cliff. So a little bit of planning and note-making helps me keep on track. Well, sometimes.
Your Naughty Cat clearly despises dogs! Any chance of you writing a companion volume to the cat’s diary and letting a dog put its own point of view?
That certainly is something I have thought about for sure, it’s a known fact that cats look down on dogs as lesser creatures. Haha. I do have plans for a number of ‘Diary’ inspired books, as well as more animal based stories.
I have two cats myself so will be introducing a second cat in a later book of the ‘Naughty Cat’ series for sure. I still have plenty of inspiration from my two little trouble makers.
How do you plan a typical writing day – that’s if you ever have such a thing? Do you ever have days off from writing on which you don’t write anything at all and don’t even think about your work-in-progress? How do you fit writing into your life?
I don’t really have a typical writing day in the official sense, I have more of an accidental routine. I either head to my desk in the morning with the intention to write, but I then have a faff about on social media, checking emails etc. I give myself plenty of chances to wake up as I am not a morning person at all.
I have found recently it is best for me to plan a little bit just to keep me on track and keep focused. I have to write down any idea I get that looks shiny and exciting, otherwise I forget the one I am currently meant to be writing.
At the moment, because I’m excited about writing this series and publishing my first book, it seems to be taking up the majority of my thoughts. In quite an obsessive manner. I’m quite lucky in that I currently work in Waterstones in Liverpool which is only part time which works out really well. It gives me plenty of time to write when not working, and I’m lucky that I love my job in a fabulous bookstore.
Who are your favourite/inspirational writers?
When I was growing up I loved Enid Blyton, in particular The Magic Faraway Tree series, and Naughty Amelia Jane. For Fantasy books I love V.E. Schwab and Sarah J Maas. For Paranormal Romance I am obsessed with J.R. Ward.
Please give me some contact details so readers can get in touch with you?
On Facebook my official page is Daniel Riding Writer
To buy my book you can find it on Amazon:
Amazon eBook: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B072JD2C83
Amazon Paperback: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1521382778