The book’s main character is a man thrown out
of his comfort zone, forced to make sense of a new set of truths. Have
you ever faced such a dilemma in your own life, and do you think that
helped you build the rity of this story?
not sure I have ever had a stable comfort zone, certainly not since
childhood. I joined the Navy at fifteen and learnt at a very early age
just how diverse humankind could be.
I experienced the joy of living in extremely close proximity with
people from very different backgrounds to my own. I had to grow up very
After that I spent over twenty-five years wandering the world working
for the Oil industry helping to solve logistical problems. I was never
faced with the same problem twice. I had good teachers, I learnt from
the best how to think fast and on my feet. However I’m not
sure I ever had to face a dilemma such as the ones I create for my
characters where everything you ever held to be true is suddenly
challenged in such a brutal way. The reality I create is based upon an
Oil Industry philosophy of ’Failure is never an
This story deals with a lot of parapsychology and police
procedural. Do you have first-hand experience in these fields? If not,
how did you go about researching these areas?
experience whatsoever, I once thought I’d make an excellent
detective because of my love of solving problems. However to be a
detective meant joining the police force and I was told I would fail
the eye test. Apparently they are too close to the ground.
I’m only five foot seven. I live in a small town and the
local police officers are used to me wandering in off the streets and
asking dumb questions.
I never planned the story to be about the police in particular, I chose
to make my main character a policeman because I thought it would help
the storyline for him to have access to resources not available to
members of the public. Even Private Eyes have got a tame cop in their
Parapsychology has always fascinated me, ever since I read that we can
only control about ten percent of our brains abilities. Another twenty
percent is given over to the automatic things required like remembering
to breathe, heart beats, and things like that. I remember wondering
what the other seventy percent was up to most of the time.
What about the subconscious over which we have no control at all? I
started to think that there must be some purpose for such an unused
capacity and wondered if it was linked in some way to powers we may
As my name implies, Merlin is a hero of mine. His mystical powers led
me to research back further into our past to look more closely at
Shaman, Witchdoctors, North American Indian and Aboriginal spirit
guides with the power to leave their body to go and search for game for
I have read many accounts of ‘Out of Body
Experiences’ or as they are some times called ‘Near
Death Experiences.’ Since writing the book, or because of it,
I have been in contact with many people who have shared their
experiences with me. I’ve talked to some of them who told me
they couldn’t believe I had no first-hand experience. One
woman said as she read the book it made the hairs stand up on the back
of her head and brought the memories back. She didn’t seem
too happy about it.
Colin Murray is a particularly warped villain,
particularly terrifying as not only do we learn of his limitless power,
but we can also see why he is the way he is. How did his character come
the first draft of a plotline I was going to base the entire story
around Out of Body experiences. A good guy and the bad guy. Only the
bad guy had all the powers and the good guy could only watch and chase.
As you see Colin didn’t start out bad, circumstances put him
where he is and took away his life. He was forced to live entirely in
his mind where he developed his powers and then used them to track down
and punish the people who paralysed him.
I have thought about retelling the story but in the first person from
Colin’s point of view. I may still do that one day.
The book ends with a new beginning. Do you plan to write
a sequel / series? What can we look forward to in book two?
clue is on the cover, Inner Space Book One. This was always the plan
there are two more to come, same main characters.
Number two is nearly ready to go to the printers It is also called
‘Inner Space,’ with the sub heading ‘The
Reluctant Nemesis.’ Within the storyline I explore the world
of Regression to past lives. Again taking ordinary people and turning
their lives upside down. As you can see I’m not a very nice
person. The main plot sees a series of murders with only one common
link, question is, is the link a suspect or victim?
Book three, ‘Inner Space,’ ‘The all
Seeing Eye’ Is the darkest one of the three. All Nick
Burton’s fears and warnings from Book One come to fruition
when it seems that a paranormal solution is the only explanation when a
series of near perfect murders are committed.
Now it seems that only he and his small team have the power to stop
them. The story is finished but now it needs polishing, proof-reading
and correcting. Hopefully it should be ready by the end of the year. I
use lots of real and existing conspiracy theories involving the
Illuminati and the world of Freemasonry, watch out Dan Brown, here I
Who are your writing heroes? How have they affected your
writing style and narrative choices?
Too tough a question, can I have one on Sport or Pop music instead?
Whatever I answer I’m bound to miss someone important.
Again going back to the Navy and Oil Industry I spent a lot of time
being bored. Remote locations, lots of hotel rooms, long flights,
endless waiting in airports. I read anything and everything I could lay
my hands on. I love the great mystery writers, Agatha Christie, Collin
Dexter, Ruth Rendall and many more. From them I learnt to steer clear
of trying to write ‘Who Dun It’s,’ you
can’t beat the masters, at least I couldn’t.
I love Douglas Adams and P.G. Wodehouse for their humour, Jean Auel for
her Earth Children series which opened my eyes to the spirit world that
pre dates religion. I loved Richard Bach’s Jonathan
Livingston Seagull, the power to imagine life in another plan of
I hope I’ve learnt something from all of these great writers
but I hope the style of my writing is my own. I’m sure in
time someone will tell me if I made it.
Each character has its own motivations, weaknesses and
reality. Which character do you feel closest to, and why?
suppose all of my characters are based in part on people I know. Jill,
the girl with the impossible green eyes is real, although she
isn’t called Jill and she isn’t a scientist. Plus
unlike Nick I never found a decent excuse to pursue her.
I suppose I would have to say Nick Burton. First of all he’s
nobody’s idea of a super hero, he’s human, down to
earth, vulnerable and just like the rest of us he screws up from time
to time. But above all he’s honest, decent and tries hard. I
would hope that people who know me might say the same things about me.
Although I sometimes wonder what I would do if I had Colin
Is this your first book, or have you always been a
writer? What was your first excursion, and what did you learn from it?
one published. I first thought about writing about ten years ago,
watching something on TV and thinking what a lot of rubbish it was. I
suppose like a lot of people I thought I can do better than that. But
of course I couldn’t. I didn’t know the first thing
about writing for the screen, still don’t, but I was
determined not to let the story I had in my head escape. The story was
a magical romantic fantasy involving a young girl growing up in the
1950’s when she discovers Merlin the magician. Needless to
say her life and her beliefs are turned upside down, seems to be a
theme of mine, and off they go on a series of adventures as her real
life develops. The story is called Nelly’s Secret and
it’s still sitting here on a memory stick.
What did I learn from it….. You have to have a target
audience in mind before embarking on writing a story. Nelly’s
Secret fell between two stools….. part of the story might
appeal to a female readership….. but the magical bits would
put them off. It is a bit like Harry Potter meets the Archers. Or
should I say Harriet Potter.
I haven’t given up on Nelly yet. One day I will return to her
story and rewrite it but for now I need to concentrate on the
adventures of Nick Burton and Inner Space. Who knows it might make a TV
series or, dare I hope, a movie…….
Those who have read both Nelly and the Inner Space stories
can’t believe they came from the same pen. I’ve
never been sure if that was a compliment or not.