Tuesday, April 21, 2015

My Interview With Featured Author John Day

Hello Everyone,

I just love this Oregon weather this year; it just can't make up its mind which is why it is a good thing that Oregonians are Ducks and Beavers. Add to that the fact that I love a good conversation and you have the makings of a great weekend. I have spent the last few days in a Q &

A and the best part is instead of my answering twenty questions I am asking and the man answering is non-other than John Day who happens to very good at conversation and that just makes this interview that much more fun. At the end of this interview there is a form so that you can ask John questions as well, I will be sending him all the questions and have the answers posted later in the week.

 (LL) Hello John, how are you enjoying your time at home before your next adventure?

(JD) Yes Laura, my wife Carole and I have just come back from a 2 week break in Venice. We took a lot of photos there, a keen hobby of ours.

Since I have been back, I have been busy writing my next book, ‘The Glass Beacon’, a WW2 spy thriller and launching ‘Fugitive’ the third in the Max & Carla series.

My great joy is plotting and scheming to shape the characters and the events to fit the carefully structured outline for the story. I just love to write, no it is more than that, it is a passion, an addiction even, and my greatest reward is to know someone has enjoyed the read.

(LL) Where is your next adventure?

(JD)Carole and I are off to the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas and many other places in the area. I hope to drop a copy of ‘Fugitive’ in at the Warner Bros Studio in the hope of making a hit there. Well, I can dream, I am a fiction writer, damn it!

(LL) I have been to Vegas twice once on a road trip with my Dad and my Uncle Sam when I was twelve my brothers and I had a lot of fun at Circus Circus. I went again with Doug when our oldest daughter was married, we flew in. I have to say that flying in at night is so much better than driving in, so I hope you get lucky and fly in when it is dark the lights are amazing from the sky.

(JD) We will be driving in and I believe we are staying overnight. A great time for photo opportunities, bright lights and all. As my Bio says, I am a keen ‘Happy Snapper’ so that will be immense fun for me.

(LL) Do you ever add any of your adventures to your books? What is your favorite Max/Carla adventure?

(JD) I did with ‘Counterpoint’ my first book of the Max & Carla series. I was running my design business then, so It was a good time to relax, write and absorb the surroundings. The wreck dive on the Zenobia in Larnaca Harbour, Cyprus was the basis of one of the adventures the intrepid couple were involved in. I qualified as a diver there and it was their first night dive experience as they recovered diamonds from the vessel. A lot of the adventures in that book were based on my own exploits, like when they were trapped in the Egyptian Tomb. Another was in the Maldives. That involved a priceless statuette, poisonous snakes, lost in a jungle and flying a helicopter. The assassin they tracked down in Hungary was based on my visit there. I met a most sinister character there, a Hungarian lawyer, a bit of that went into the story. The more I think of it, the more the memories flood in.

(LL) Will you add any of your adventures to The Glass Beacon? I am asking because I was just remembering you telling me about your run in with the airport security and thinking your life must never be boring.

(JD) Of course, during WW2 times were so different. I was born in 1945, so war tales were still popular and I have an extraordinarily good memory of my childhood, even as a tot. I drove the telephone operator mad apparently, when I was small. I would push a stool out into the hall and talk to her. She phoned my father to complain, so they hid the stool. Battersea 6350 that was our number.

The only thing I can add is the feel of Alderney, the beautiful, peaceful island that is my home. That has never changed since the war, we have the German bunkers everywhere. There was one amusing story that happened recently. Some German tourists were walking past a bunker where someone was digging and the tourist asked the man digging, “Is da vore over?”. Yes replied the man. “Who vone?” asked the German. “We did” replied the man and everybody had a good laugh.

Ah! the airport security fiasco! I went back to Dixons at Heathrow to get a Kindle fire for Carole and ended up the wrong side of the customs hall. There were many thousands of people ahead of me and I was forced to go back through again, to get to the right side. My plane was about to leave very soon and I thought about my options. I feared the wrath of Carole more than arrest as a terrorist. Ithought, ‘what would Max & Carla do?”. Well, it did not quite come to that, but you should have seen the look on the security men’s faces as I ran through the crowd and forced through to the head of the queue. The people were not impressed though!

(LL) So you have revamped Fugitive, what is new?

(JD) Based on beta readers comments, I increased the amount of dialogue, made the characters more emotional and I hope the reader will love or hate them strongly. On expert advice from the ladies, I made the sex scenes more explicit and raunchy. I also added a better start to the story that gave purpose to the dreadful discovery Max and Star made, on the small volcanic island, in the Pacific.

Some things were better explained and the story flow smoothed for greater enjoyment. Again, the beta readers helped immensely in this respect.

(LL) I noticed that you added some pretty steamy scenes that will probably leave some erotica readers needing cold showers, well done. What was the best part of the rewriting process? And what was the worst part?

(JD) I guess the shower was cold for you too Laura. Good girl.

I always enjoy reading through the story and oddly, I always find it hard to believe I wrote it. Based on early reviews advice, I enjoyed refining rather than rewriting the work. What I hate is the reformatting of the document so it conforms with the various web site conversion processes. Amazon is straightforward if you do the paperback version first, they then convert for an ebook, but Smashwords requires a different hyperlink structure and that is a boring 2 hour job. Then there is the different presentation versions for publishers. So much precious writing time wasted, it is heatbreaking.

(LL) Wow, that is way too much work and beings as I am lazy by nature I think I will just publish my book on Amazon if I ever finish it. I notice that you found several book sites besides Smashword and Amazon, do you have a favourite book seller?

(JD) I believe Amazon is the most effective from the readers point of view, well structured for finding the book you did not know existed, but are hard to communicate with, if you have a problem, placing your book there. I like Smashwords, because they do push the book out to other sellers and that is a great help to the publisher. Finding an unknown book is much harder though for the reader.

(LL) What is your favorite part of Fugitive?

(JD) Wow, that’s a hard one! I so love the kick ass bitch, Carla, so writing about her is a great pleasure. Guys love her and it appears the girls do too. Several have messaged me that they wish they were as assertive as she is. In this book, Carla pops in and out leaving Star, Max’s psychotic girlfriend, a large role in the story. In many ways, I confess I sort of enjoyed writing her. She was a strange girl and even Max broke out in a nervous sweat one night in bed with her. Then there is Max. I wish I was as skillful and well organized as he is. I find he is a calming influence, even when he is about to be killed in a horrible way. You can tell he hates being in the situations he ends up in, but he manages to turn the tables in the most ingenious way. Lucky bastard.

I think the best bit is in the chapter called early riser! That has to be my favorite.

(LL) I have read three of your books two of them as a Beta reader and I can't decide if Fugitive or Fire Ice is my favorite, which one is your favorite?

(JD) I have a great love and affinity with the first book, ‘Counterpoint’ because it took so long to write, years in fact. It was not that it was difficult, to the contrary, it was started with no plan, but it just flowed. One part, the mission with the priceless statuette was written on a 10 hour flight from the Maldives. I didn’t even realize we had taken off, until we landed in Gatwick.

That book has been re-written so many times, and even now, I still cannot believe I wrote it, I enjoy reading it even now.

Fire Ice is in my opinion a much better story though, perhaps because I gave some thought to the structure of the tale. It is altogether a lighter and more traditional story, but still with oodles of surprises as the plot unfolds.

Fugitive was a dark and desperate story to start with and I enjoyed writing that more than the other two, and that is saying a lot. I found the brighter second half of the book, set in the Pacific was more fun to write, but easier and not quite as satisfying. Perhaps I am a darker character than even I was aware of. So in conclusion, Fugitive is the better of the three.

Having said that, and I know this was not part of your question; The Glass Beacon will be so much more again. I have put everything I have learned about what readers want into the story even the characters speak differently in the dialogue, so the reader can feel a greater affinity with them, as though they are in the characters heads.

(LL) I have been skimming through Fugitive every chance I get since you sent it to me and I just found where you took one of my favourite quotes and made it better, awesome and thank you, I can't wait to get started on my review.

(JD) See, I do listen. It is true that I write for my own amusement primarily, but to know someone else got pleasure from it is the great reward. It is vital that readers communicate with the author so he can better shape the work.

As an aside, if I took my hourly fee and multiplied it by the hours it takes just to write the book, ignoring marketing and outsiders fees, it is worth £100,000. I wonder how many readers would pass up that much money just for a few bucks that might come from sales. None I would guess. So, it is quite clear to me that I am quite mad and love to write.

(LL) When will Counterpoint and Fire Ice be back on the market? And do you know when The Glass Beacon will be completed?

(JD) The Glass Beacon Is the book that tingles every nerve in my body. It is my greatest desire to get it completed as soon as possible, but there are so many new holidays and cruises planned before the end of the year that I am compelled to go on. It just gets in the way of writing.

Laure, I asked Carole, my wife, where did our life go so wrong.

It looks like The Glass Beacon will be ready for December, this year. The other two will have to be re-written to achieve my higher standards. Mind you, they did have nearly 5 stars, so with Carole’s help (she is my Carla, I am her Max) early next year.

(LL) I have read that some writers have multiple projects and that they chose which one to work on based on which characters are talking loudest in their head, how do you decide which project to work on?

(JD) Ah! the voices in the head thing, Tinfoil over your head is the answer, it guarantees constant infusion of mind altering drugs as the men, or women, let’s not be sexist, take you away.

I have only the one brain cell, so I can only do one thing at a time. If I am distracted by a higher priority like book promotion, I have to switch to that. What I do feel is the constant craving to get back to my writing, that never stops. I think I will have to invent a ‘stop craving to write’ patch.

(LL) Ok last question (maybe) what does your family think of you books and do they have favorites?

(JD) I am pleased to say they have come around to accepting the man they knew as a professional building designer, with a formal demeanour, has far greater depth than they could have imagined. My wife who is an avid reader, was also reticent, but now she has read all my books, she is pressing me to reveal The Glass Beacon.

PS. I am being cut some slack now on the household duties, so there you have it, my cunning plan to escape the washing up by spending months at a time writing has finally paid off.

Now the sales figure are racking up, I appear credible as an author. It is strange how people will only bother to pick up a book, if everyone else is doing the same. No wonder it is so hard for a new writer to break into the market.

As this (might be) Laura’s last question, I take this opportunity to thank Laura Lu for her herculean effort to get the buzz going about this exciting book. I will definitely be asking her to publicise my next book, The Glass Beacon.

(LL) You are very welcome and thank you for hanging out this week.

(JD) My pleasure Laura, thank you for asking.


Where John can be found