Hi Sam! First of all, what would you say are your main interests and activities? What would you describe your creative “background” as?
Hello Richard! My main interests are reading, gaming, music, movies, and of course, writing. More specifically, I’m a big fan of sci-fi and fantasy, videogame RPGs, and electronic and metal music. I also enjoy playing electric and bass guitar.
My creative background is a mix of self-teaching and academic study. I began writing as a hobby in secondary school, starting various sprawling novel ideas which didn’t go anywhere. After heading to Portsmouth for uni, I found myself hating my course and spotted the creative writing degree – it was exactly what I wanted. I was challenged to try my hand at a range of different writing styles, and learnt a lot about what I enjoyed to write.
What sort of games do you like to play in your spare time? Do you find yourself inspired or affected by them at all?
I don’t play games nearly as much as I’d like to! I often find myself in a quandary as I really enjoy immersive videogames but don’t have the time to invest myself in them. Recently I’ve been playing Ni no Kuni, which is a JRPG created by Studio Ghibli – sickly sweet but beautiful to play. I’ve also been replaying Infamous, which is a great open-world action platformer. I also enjoy playing board games with friends – recently we’ve all been hooked on the DC Deck Building Game.
My writing has definitely been inspired by my passion for videogames. I love narrative twists, and the games from my fairly recent youth, such as Metal Gear Solid and Final Fantasy VII, gave me a thirst for big reveals and shocks. These games also instilled me with a desire to create worlds in which a reader can lose themselves. It may seem like a strange example, but the open-world format of Spyro the Dragon really showed me that how effective it can be to let the player/reader go where they want to go.