What genre/s do you write:
I’m currently working on a series of short stories which I am self publishing. I would call them humorous, contemporary fiction, but I have some other story ideas which I guess would be speculative fiction and a couple of sci-fi story ideas. I also have an idea for a fantasy novel, so yeah – mixed genres is definitely where I’m at.
What part of your writing time do you devote to marketing your book?
I’d say it’s probably fifty-fifty. I made the mistake last year of allowing the marketing to distract me from my writing, but I was starting out and there was a lot to learn. I don’t want to let that happen this year. The writing needs to be the main focus, because the more books you have out there, the more leverage you have to build your audience. I’ve gone down to four days a week at work this year, and my plan is to write for an hour or so every morning, and then use that one day a week where I don’t have my children to look after to try and nail all the other marketing and admin stuff that I need to do to support my writing.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
That’s a ‘how long is a piece of string’ question. I don’t know if there is such a thing as an average, and if there is, it’s a meaningless statistic. But for me, I know it’s a log time. I’m writing short stories, and it still takes a long time, too long. Months. I’m working on getting it down, but it’s all a factor of how much time you can spend on it and still manage all the other responsibilities. Unlike Hermione Granger, I don’t have a time turner.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I was a real bookworm as a child. Going to the local library was a regular occurrence; I’d go with my mother every week or two to get a stack of books. The first books I remember reading were illustrated collections of Ancient Greek and Roman myths, but I can’t remember any of the stories. The first book I really remember having an impact on me was Michael Ende’s The Neverending Story. I can’t remember exactly how old I was, but I wasn’t very old—seven or eight, maybe a little older—and it was this great fat book, the longest by far that I’d ever read, and I stayed up late with a torch under my bedsheet reading it every night. I read the whole thing in a week—I was really proud of that. I guess I felt a little like the character in it, Bastian Balthazar Bux, who is reading the story and becoming a part of the story as he reads. It was a great book, much better than the movie. It was the book that got me into reading fantasy—and for a long time after, fantasy was pretty much the only thing I read.
So, what have you written? (*Include books, novellas, short stories, poems, blogs, awards or anything of interest, professional or hobby.)
Short stories. I’m writing a short story series called Crossing The Divide. The first two books in the series, The Golden Cockroach and Riding Shotgun, are available at the major ebook stores, and Book 3, Square Pegs, will be out in the next few weeks. I’ve got a blog on my author website, jbreynolds.net. My day job is high-school teaching, and so I write a LOT of instructional material for my students, but of course I never get any thanks for that. And I used to write film reviews for a local newspaper.
Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
I always wanted to have David Bowie round for dinner – he just seemed like a really cool guy. In fact, I think the sad trifecta from 2016—Bowie, Prince and Leonard Cohen—would make for a pretty interesting dinner party. I admire them all for their creative energy and awesome tunes. As far as writers go; I’d say William Burroughs and Hunter S. Thompson. I reckon they’d have some amazing stories to tell.
lives in rural Northland, New Zealand, where he raises children and chickens. He writes humorous short fiction, where tragedy meets comedy and character reigns supreme. His first short story was published while he was a university student, and in between that and a return to serious writing in 2016, he has worked as a graphic designer, landscaper, ski and snowboard technician, librarian, apple picker, and baker of muffins and teacakes.
Nowadays, when not writing, he’s a husband, father, and high school teacher (not necessarily in that order). He enjoys sailing, cycling, and playing music, really loud, when his wife and kids aren’t at home. He has a big garden, where he likes to get his fingernails dirty, and he loves to eat the things that grow in it.
He is currently working on his Crossing The Divide short story series. The stories in the series feature different characters and switch between locations in New Zealand and Australia, but they are all, in a way, coming of age stories and are linked through the theme of relationships.
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