Neil was born in St. Helens, Lancashire, England, in September 1940.
He enjoys listening to classical music or country and western when not writing (or walking his dog), but also likes to keep his hand in with occasional software development
Although now retired from the "day job", for most of his working life Neil was involved in the IT industry, having first learned to program on IBM computers back in the heady days of the early 1960s when machines had virtually no memory, were painfully slow, and one with the power of today's PC would require a massive room the size of a football pitch to accommodate it. Well, OK, a slight exaggeration on the last point, but modern day programmers have it easy! As a software designer and developer, he undertook numerous consultancy projects until retiring in 2002.
Neil Mavrick is actually a pseudonym, being an anagram of his real name - a fact that will explain why there is no 'e' in Mavrick? He'd used the only one in Neil !
Neil's novels are based around a particular theme that runs though the story, hopefully without imposing itself on the reader. In the case of Connecting Lives (in the pipe-line but not yet published) the theme is the attitude of people and nations to one another; in Connecting Obsessions it is based around ecology and the environment, though ambition also plays its part. The stories are not about such themes, and his intention is not to lecture or impose ideas, but to encourage the readers to think more about such issues and whether or not they are playing their part, and doing enough.
Having decided upon this underlying theme he then builds a story line that can accommodate it, and one that contains unexpected and original ideas. Above all he attempts to develop characters that the reader will either love or hate but, more importantly, believe in and a story line that is both engrossing and believable, even when elements of fantasy are involved - and they usually are!
As with most writers, the ideas for a story can come from anywhere. In the case of Connecting Obsessions two events occurring within days of each other triggered the idea. First, Neil happened to see the movie Notting Hill one weekend. As most of you will know, this is based around a famous actress (Anna Scott - played by Julia Roberts). Shortly after that, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas married. The combination of "famous actress" and the difference in the ages of Catherine and Michael just happened to trigger one of those "what if . . . ?" thoughts that we all get from time to time. The result? Connecting Obsessions
After writing his novels, Neil originally worked closely with an excellent editor, Jenny Hewitt of the Jacqui Bennett Writers Bureau and her life/business partner Doug (see the link to the left to visit their site)
Sadly, Jenny passed away in March 2011. She will be missed.
Both she and Doug helped immensely to edit and review Neil's manuscripts.. They were hard task masters but their advice and encouragement have been invaluable, and without that, it is doubtful that these novels would have seen the light of day.
The Writing Experience.
The actual task of writing the story, as all authors will be only too aware, can be daunting at times. Creating a storyboard, developing characters, noting those thoughts that pop into the head and that you need to remember for later, ensuring consistency, doing research, and on and on . . .
But all of this can be simplified.
Neil uses a software package developed specifically for creative writing (although it can just as easily be used for technical reports and most other written material). WriteItNow, from Ravenshead Services is an excellent and, more importantly, reliable system that helps you to do all of the above, and more. Click on their logo to the left to find out more.