Image shows - Author Simon Gray and his wife Claire on holiday in the Czech Republic.

Creative Me – Simon Gray

Image shows - Author Simon Gray and his wife Claire on holiday in the Czech Republic.
Author Simon Gray and his wife Claire on holiday in the Czech Republic.

Under the Oak Tree is…

A meeting place for creative folk. Be inspired by their stories – and shelfies.

Simon M Gray is the author of five novels, including his latest ‘Ready to Serve’. When not writing international thrillers he runs Brooklands Barn, a luxury barn retreat, with his wife Claire.

He joins us  Under the Oak Tree to talk inspiration and night-time nudity…

1. What are you working on now?

My sixth novel, a sequel to my current release ‘Ready to Serve’. I am four chapters in and it’s going well.

Image shows - The book jacket of Simon Gray's current novel Ready to Serve.
The book jacket of Simon Gray's current novel 'Ready to Serve'.

2. Describe your desk or workspace?

You’ve seen the devastating pictures of Caribbean Islands hit by Hurricane Irma…

3. What’s the soundtrack to your work?

Tap, tap, tappity, tap tap…

Image shows - Author Simon Gray draws inspiration from his family
Author Simon Gray draws inspiration from his family

4. Who or what inspires you?

My 4-year-old son learning to ride his bike without stabilisers. He had no fear, no concern for what the future might hold. He simply had absolute belief that the hand guiding him – mine – would keep him safe. With belief like that we can achieve anything. 

5. What do you need to create?

Support and understanding from those who love me, which I most importantly receive from my beautiful wife.

Image shows - We all need someone who believes in us - especially when we are finding it hard to believe in ourselves...
We all need someone who believes in us - especially when we are finding it hard to believe in ourselves...

6. What time of day does your brain come alive?

Whenever it’s stimulated and that can be at any time – although more often would be really good!

7. What advice would you give to someone wanting to do what you do?

Writing is a cathartic, absorbing and wonderful experience, which should be done for that reason alone. Do not write to carve a career out of it or earn a fortune because sadly that’s when it starts to lose its shine. If you’re hell bent on making it then write two books first because everyone has a book in them, very few have two.

Image shows - Simon recharges his creative batteries in the South Downs near his West Sussex home.
Simon recharges his creative batteries in the South Downs near his West Sussex home.

8. What do you do when you lose sight of your inspiration?

Get moody, do some serious exercise and listen to my wife as she tells me to appreciate all I have.

9. Tell us one thing about yourself that no one would guess?

I sleep naked.

Image shows - Author Simon Gray wrote his first novel longhand in just three weeks...
Author Simon Gray wrote his first novel longhand in just three weeks...

10. What’s next for you?

Finishing the book that I am currently writing and fixing my bedroom blinds. Not necessarily in that order.

* Simon M Gray’s novel ‘Ready to Serve’ is available to buy on Amazon.