Join me for a profile with author Graham C. Jones
1 - When did you first start writing?
In the early 80’s when I realised I was an alcoholic. I spent many months putting some thoughts, whatever I could remember, from my time with the bikers in Buckingham, onto paper. I was extremely proud of my 63,000 words of twaddle which meant absolutely nothing to anyone other than me. But it did start my interests wandering on another path. If I could produce that, what else could I do if I put my mind to it?
2 - Do you read much? If yes, have you always loved reading?
No. Some of course, but not a great deal. Whatever writing style I have developed, has come from me. It does go to show that you don’t need to be a huge reader to be able to write. If it within you, let it out. I also have a substantial DVD collection, as I can watch these over and over and see them in a slightly different light each time. Because of this, I have an interest in writing scripts. Seven have been penned so far but remain in the drawer.
3 - Who’s your favorite author? What’s your favorite book?
My favourite author is Colin Dexter who created the Inspector Morse novels. I was lucky enough to meet him at an evening he gave in Buckingham some years ago. Characters are strong, the story draws you in with suspicion, mystery and twists.
H.E. Bates Darling Buds Of May – I find it so easy to be sucked into the soft, gentle romance of life on their farm
4 - What writers have influenced you the most?
As previously mentioned, Colin Dexter with clever educated wit and short chapters. Every story is subject to Morse and his individual manner and intelligent deductions.
J. K. Rowling has a simplicity about her writing which endears the reader to her characters and a fantasy backdrop so interesting, it is impossible to ignore.
H.E. Bates, again with strong yet loveable characters the reader can associate with. A family life which many would wish they could have, but by reading The Darling Buds Chronicles, they can.
5 - Do you have a favorite fictional character? Either from a book or movie or a tv show?
Without a doubt it would be Pop Larkin from H. E. Bates, Darling Buds Of May. A huge family man who loves having them and other people around him to perform to. A bit of a rascal, looking out for number one, trying to get the best deal and a profit from it. A man who could sell igloos to the Eskimo’s, as they say. Once a friend, a friend for life. He thinks the world of his farm and works very hard on it. Encourages all the children to join in and do their bit. And at a time when a good many had not a lot, Pop pulled a Rolls Royce out of the hat. ‘Perfic’. My kind of guy.
6 - What are you working on right now? Can you tell us something about it?
Yes. Half romance and half gangster story called Violin Strings and Piano Chords. A dubious Casino owner’s niece has run off with one of his barmen. That is not so much of a problem as the stock pile of cash that went missing from his safe the same night. Putting two and two together, he assumes the barman has kidnapped the girl and stole the money. Is there anywhere they can run without being found?
7 - Is there anything in particular that you do to get in the mood to write, or to get in the ‘zone’? Any particular pre-writing routines?
I normally have to read through at least the last chapter of what I am working on, in order to put myself back into characters, era and plot. Doing this helps to make the story flow a little smoother and much less segmented.
8 - Where do you do your writing?
Once the outline has been formulated, I write at the computer. I used to write everything by hand, in rough first and then again in my neatest. However, if I made a mistake, it couldn’t just be tipexed or a line through it, I would have to rewrite the entire page. What a glutton for punishment. However, It is nice to sit out in the sun to develop stories though.
9 - How do you approach your writing? i.e. - Do you do outlines? Character bios? Etc.?
What works for me is when an idea comes to you, is to jot everything down even if it doesn’t make sense at the time, or double up – write it down, it may never come again. If it does, it is likely to be different. Keep going back to it to see if it can be enhanced. Each section I want to add I call, a one liner. Once a lot of these one liners have been strung together, it forms a story. It may not be the story I want, so I jiggle them about, add some more in, take some out until I have something I am happy to work with. Then, I work on the characters which have presented themselves to give them body and depth. They will also develop themselves as the story moves forward. I find this is a task that cannot be practiced enough. So yes, I formulate an outline to my writing.
10 - Do you have any advice for other writers?
Write, write and write some more. Almost everyone starts by writing about what they know, themselves. If it comes naturally, then that is very fortunate. If not, a lot of effort need be applied if it is to become complete. Never give in or take rejection slips as gospel. They are only some people’s opinions. Also, never lose your self belief. Only you can do it.
11 - Are you a morning person or evening person? Day or night?
Writing is a very solitary process and can be done anytime. If I can’t sleep, I write. Equally, I am up early in the mornings with our dogs, so some can be done then.
12 - Do you have any pets?
Yes, two Labrador bitches. One yellow (well almost white) call Phoebe and a slightly younger chocolate one called, Briar. Whatever has happened to me during the past six years or so, their unconditional loyalty and closeness has proved invaluable.
13 - What’s your favorite ‘I need a break from writing’ activity?
Walking my dogs. Clears the mind, is inspirational and I get a little exercise.
14 - How do you approach writing sex scenes? They can range from mild to wild. Where are you on the mild to wild meter?
I have been fortunate to have been able to avoid these so far but I would rather keep to romance than sex.
15 - Do you write in one genre? Or more than one?
More than one. I think it is good to be able to stretch the abilities that already exist. The Shadowed Tricorn is an historic feature set in the 1700’s. Runes Of The Wiccan Rede touches on the periphery of Witchcraft set in the 1990’s.
Robbery 4 All is as it sounds, a clumsy humorous attempt at multi robbery, the last big one of the 20th century.
I have a duology of short stories based around older people which are up to date, as is Violins Strings And Piano Chords.
16 - Are you self-published or with a publishing house?
I am self published on Amazon eBooks at the moment and depending on the interest shown there, will decide if paper books are produced.
17 - What are your thoughts on getting a literary agent?
I have attempted a number of times in the past, when trying for traditional publishing, but it seemed to me unless you are presenting them with either something that can easily be placed, or what they are looking for, you don’t stand much of a chance. I do not doubt that if you can capture one, they would be worth having if the cost is worth it.
18 - What about marketing? How do you approach that area?
That is an area I am not too good at, I have to confess. I do have a Facebook page which is under development, besides that, selling myself is something I need to learn in this industry.
19 - What about beta readers? Do you use them? How many do you have? Where do you find them?
I had never heard of the phrase until recently. I do, however, give them to several independent readers for their opinion. I will take their views and constructive criticism and amend where necessary before publishing.
20 - What’s your favorite food?
Chicken, sticky toffee pudding, chicken, banoffee pie, chicken, steak and kidney pudding - but not all at the same time.
21 - What’s your favorite color?
That has to be green because of the hundreds of different shades there are. I enjoy watercolour painting and that is something which fascinates me when trying to create a country vista. Springtime is a great opportunity for this.
22 - Is there a particular website or facebook page or blog that you, as a writer, find very helpful?
This one, so far. http://mikewellsblog.blogspot.com is well worth checking out. As is www.writingforchildrenandteens.com/for-writers
23 - What’s your favorite time of the year?
Autumn is wonderful for the colours and leaf kicking. Winter is great for walking in the crisp fresh air. Spring is encouraging with so much new life being born, animal and plant life. And summer is warm and the sunshine makes everything look so much better. That said, I do like being warm in summer.
24 - What’s your most recent book about? And where can people buy it?
I published three e books with Amazon kindle on the 18 August 2013. Robbery 4 All focuses on small time crooks who have the opportunity of robbing a bank inflicted upon them. They have no idea what they are doing and the more people who become involved, the more complicated it becomes. These problems multiply with the help of the gang leader’s father, who was a sixties villain but wants to help out now too. The inspector in charge of the case is near retirement and is looking forward to building his house extension. In effect, he has retired already.
The Shadowed Tricorn follows the misfortunes of a young Milton Keynes photographer after a minor car crash. He is convinced that he somehow went back in time to the 1700’s and had a wild adventure with a famous Highwayman of that period. Broken down into all the things he dislikes, in order to just survive, so many events happened to him – or did they? Was it that he just banged his head on the steering wheel and it was all a dream?
Runes Of The Wiccan Reede is a story surrounding a family, with two young teenage girls, who move into a remote cottage once owned by a locate estate. These adventurous youths unwittingly release an evil spirit which causes havoc on the neighboring area. Their mother and aunt have a secret, one which leads the girls into witchcraft and mysticism.
25 - As a writer, what do you feel is your strongest gift or talent or skill that you have, that helps you the most as a writer?
I find a creative mind is an invaluable asset. The ability to listen and observe helps to provide characters and plots. Providing detail gives the story a life of its own and makes characters more realistic. Most of all, the desire to want to write. While that is with you, use it.
26 - Please share some of your links with us - facebook author page, website, where people can find your books –
Amazon Kindle eBooks:
Robbery 4 All
The Shadowed Tricorn
Runes of the Wiccan Rede
grahamcjones.com is my own web address where I can be contacted at the moment with any question regarding my writing.
Graham C Jones will be my face book page very soon.