The hardest thing about being an author is finding the time to write consistently. In a busy life, slotting in time between work, travel, family and friends can be a challenge that makes going to the gym regularly seem a piece of cake. I've manage to figure out that i have time each day on my commute that I can use to write - so I do.
The second hardest thing is believing that what I've written is any good. So often you love the story that you've written but then I find it so hard to accept that other people might like the writing too. That's a difficult path - accepting that you write for yourself first and take what people think as it comes.
Can you give us a short synopsis of A Family War?
A Family War is about Helena Woolf, a diplomat from a powerful family. She's blessed with all the advantages technology can by - long life, resistance to illnesses and internal AIs that act as butler, physician and teacher. At the start of the story she witnesses the failure of negotiations attempting to stop a new holocaust. As a result she finds herself in the middle of the war, trying to understand the real motivations of the players and stop them if she can.
What inspired you to write this book? How many hours a day do you spend writing?
I spend about an hour a day writing - every day. I can't do much more without burning out (or having the time) and find that this is about perfect for getting enough down to make progress but also allow me to maintain quality.
I read a book on the Holocaust by Martin Gilbert. It was devastating and forced me to think through the circumstances around it. I wanted to explore how a society could approach such an event, what could lead to it happening again.
Name your top 5 books.
Top 5 books
Master & Margarita by Bulgakov
Red Earth and Pouring Rain by Vikram Chandra
Fury by Salman Rushdie
The Malazan Book of the Fallen by Steven Erikson
Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson
What are you working on now?
I am currently working on the sequel to A Family War, called A Corporate War and an entirely unrelated novel about a man who can't be hurt who discovers a daughter he never knew he had only after she's kidnapped. It's about what he is prepared to do to find her and keep her safe.
Title: A Family War
Author: Stewart Hotston
Genre: Science Fiction
Helena is one of the Oligarchs, genetically-enhanced, centuries old families who rule the world. As a new world war begins, she is ordered to find a boy who could save the human race from genocide. Yet all is not as it seems; Helena’s finds enemies on all sides, intent on bringing about the war with all its horrific consequences. To make matters worse, Helena’s own integral AI, accidentally freed from its constraints, challenges both her motives and her identity, yet she has no choice but to accept its treacherous aid if she is to have any hope of surviving those who need her dead.
Stewart works in the city but was once a quantum physicist who always liked his science fiction to have actual science in it as well as the thrills and characters that make great stories. Oh, and he likes fighting with actual steel swords.