Stuart Yates - Author and Teacher at The British School of Malaga.
I'm something of a late developer when it comes to education. I left school with a GCE in England and Art and not much else. It took me a long time to get my act together and I went back to night school at 29, took more GCSEs and then day college for my A levels. I then went to Liverpool University to train to be a teacher. I've never looked back! All the time, however, I wrote.
I've always been an avid reader and I still am. My tastes have hardly changed since I was a little boy, but Westerns, thrillers, Fantasy (I've read LOTRs three times) have all found their way into my heart. I wrote my first full-length novel when I was still at school. I had so many stories buzzing around in my head I just had to get them down on paper. Of course, in those days, I had to use a typewriter, masses of paper and oceans of Tippex to churn out my stories. I submitted my first novel back in 1979 but it wasn't until 2009 that I managed to acquire a publisher. I'm actually selling books regularly now! My first Western, Unflinching got to number one in Canada and my Young Adult horror, The Pawnbroker, made it to the Number one spot in the US AND UK!
I write most days, especially weekends and holidays. This summer I have written another book and as soon as I finish one, I embark on another. So far, I have 34 works published.
My influences, I suppose, are varied. Agatha Christie was a great favourite of mine when I was younger. I devoured her books! I love Henning Mankell and Harlen Coben, but my absolute favourite is Elmore Leonard. He has that amazing ability to grab your attention and immerse you into the story almost immediately. CS Taylor, another favourite of mine, has the same knack of pulling you in on the very first page.
I have written perhaps half a dozen books suitable for young people like The Pawnbroker, Interlopers from Hell, Lament for Darley Dene, The Tide of Terror, The Sandman Cometh, and The Story of Don Luis.
Amid the danger and death of a decaying 19th century city, the Pawnbroker plies his trade. A man of evil temper, he craves the one thing that will bring him the fulfillment he covets.
In the present day, two teenage boys explore an abandoned Tudor-style house. An eerie atmosphere fills the boys with a sense of dread, and they realize that something sinister is in the air.