Introducing Paul Ian Cross
Hi Paul, tell us about your books, genre, stand-alone or series.
Hi Theresa, thanks for having me! I’m Paul Ian Cross and I’m a children’s author and scientist from London, UK. I work in clinical research (developing new medicines). I very much enjoy my science career but I also have a real passion for writing stories!
How long have you been writing?
I loved creative writing and art at school; but I was also good at the sciences. I ended up doing a biology degree and went into a science career. I always loved writing but I didn’t think I would be good enough. I now understand that most writers feel that way! I have been writing fiction on and off for around five years, but I’ve been doing it part-time for two years now.
Are you traditionally published, or self published?
My first books have been self-published but I’m hoping to move into traditional publishing as well.
If self-published when/why did you take that route.
Breaking into children’s traditional publishing is so difficult that I decided to build a profile first. The best way to do that was to publish my own stories, gain feedback from readers and develop my writing. I hope to submit a manuscript to traditional publishers later this year, but I’ll also continue to self-publish some of my work as well. I feel that a ‘hybrid’ approach will become a much more popular method in future, as you get the best of both worlds.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
I’d say it’s a combination of both. I think plotting and developing a story really energises me, but the writing process through to editing and polishing the manuscript can become exhausting. Yet, I still love it and I can’t imagine doing anything else anymore.
How many hours a day do you write?
I aim to do at least one or two hours a day. I realised that I make a lot more progress by building writing into my day rather than trying to doing everything in large bursts.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
I do read reviews as I feel that the readers’ perspective is so important to help you develop as an author. There are always some reviews that don’t add any value but more often than not, reviewers will help show you areas where you need to develop your writing. This can only be a good thing in my opinion.
What was your hardest scene to write?
I found it very hard to finish my first novel, The Lights of Time. As a time travel story I wanted the time travel elements to fit together and this was very challenging to do!
What is your favorite childhood book?
One book that comes to mind is my first picture book, Zeeb and the Martians, by John Webster and Ian McCullough. This was the book that started off my love of science fiction, so I probably wouldn’t be writing today if it wasn’t for this book!
What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?
I find there are always excuses not to write and you must actively make it part of your day. The creative process needs time and a lot of effort.
Who is your favorite author and have you ever tried to emulate them?
I have so many favourite authors. I love Kelly Barnhill and Abi Elphinstone. I would love to follow them in their footsteps and have an award-winning novel!
What book changed your life?
A eureka moment came for me at the age of twelve, when I saw a photograph in the newspaper of a Tyrannosaurus rex chasing Jeff Goldblum. A movie with real dinosaurs! Well, they looked real enough to me. My interest sparked instantly. As an avid dinosaur fan, I looked forward to it with great delight. After some careful research, I discovered the upcoming movie was actually based on a book. I couldn’t wait for the summer release, so my Mum bought me a copy of the book instead: Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton. Using a combination of scientific theory and well-crafted storytelling, the book fascinated me. I read it from cover to cover in a matter of days. Me, a reluctant reader, who couldn’t usually get passed the first chapter.
Is there anything you want us to know about you or your books?
I’m really excited to launch my first upper middle grade novel, The Lights of Time in July. I’m currently looking for beta readers so if anyone is interested, please do get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org!
Thank you for having me! 😊