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Michael (Mick) Sims

answers the Usual Questions

photograph, Michael (Mick) Sims and Len Maynard, courtesy of the authors; 219x111

Michael (Mick) Sims and Len Maynard

British author Mick Sims is half of the writing duo Maynard Sims (L. H. Maynard and M. P. N. Sims).

Of the work they are doing these days, the pair say, "We still write supernatural thrillers but are branching out into thrillers, mystery and suspense as well.

We are also writing screenplays. We have also diversified into freelance work, children's stories, romance, and other stuff."

Has your interaction with fans, for example, at conventions, affected your work?

It's always good to speak with readers at conventions, book signings and the like. Real feedback is rare and so word of mouth from someone who has actually read what you write is valuable. It's encouraging as well, makes me want to plough on, even when the going gets tough. It's fans (readers) who buy the books and that's part of why I write -- so that someone can get the enjoyment from reading that I do when I read books.

Is there any particular incident (a letter, a meeting, a comment that stands out?

The first acceptance -- London Mystery Magazine -- stands out as it was the first. Through the years we've had encouragement from fellow writers, readers, publishers and editors and it pays to listen to what everyone says -- so long as ultimately you make the best choice based on your instinct. Sometimes it works, often doesn't, but it feels good to be true to oneself. It was good to meet Don, the Samhain editor, in Chicago twelve years ago or so, as he has been a constant friend and supporter.

Do you have a favourite author or book (or writer or film or series) that has influenced you or that you return to?

The 87th Precinct series of Ed McBain features so many books over so many decades but it helped me with so many aspects of writing.

book cover, A Plague of Echoes by Maynard Sims; 107x160

Who is the person you would most like to be trapped in a lift with? or a spaceship?

My late father -- so that I could tell him all the things I missed out on telling him before he had a sudden fatal heart attack in 1983 aged 59. Leaving aside the emotional response I would say there is no one special person outside of family -- so I would say my wife so we can catch up on what's been happening in our busy lives.

Who is the person you would most DISlike to be trapped in a lift with? Or a spaceship?

I don't actually dislike many people. Some irritate me from time to time, as I am sure I do to them. A type of person would be easier to answer -- the type who talk at you but rarely listen to what you have to say. For hours on end? No thanks.

book cover, Let Death Begin, by Maynard Sims; 100x160

What would you pack for space? (Is there a food, beverage, book, teddy bear, etc that you couldn't do without?)

My smartphone so I could keep in touch with loved ones.

What is the most important thing you would like to get/achieve from your work?

I'd like more money. But aside from that base desire I would want people to read my books as entertainment and enjoy being lifted away from the everyday for a while and join me in the worlds I've created. If they can get as much enjoyment from my books as I do from the many authors I enjoy reading then I will be happy with the job done.

What is the special satisfaction of your work?

Firstly to feel a sense of satisfaction when I reach the end of a story / novel that tells me it isn't too bad. Too often the end is reached with a feeling of it could have been better. Secondly to please Len Maynard. He writes to please me and vice versa -- which is why we write together as Maynard Sims.

submitted by Michael (Mick) Sims

24 July 2014

For other answers to The Usual Questions Click here

Just the facts:
Born: Kings College Hospital South London on 7th December 1952 in one of the last pea-souper fogs that London endured. I was three days old before my father saw me as he couldn't get through to the hospital because of the weather.
Resides: Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire in England
Eleven novels published with another seven scheduled. Nine story collections, five novellas, and numerous appearances in magazines and anthologies. Edited over thirty anthologies and magazines, and written numerous essays and articles and blogs. My first screenplay won Best New Screenplay Award at British Horror Film festival last year. The website has all the fun details.

Web site:
Facebook And on LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, Tumblr and Twitter all as Maynard Sims.


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