Thursday, 14 February 2013

Author Interview - Simon Jenner


Tell us a bit about your family. My father was a civil engineer, my mother a teacher and my brother is a forensic accountant.  My brother and I were both educated at a boarding school in North Yorkshire because my father’s work took him around the Middle East, where no suitable schools were available – or so they said!
My wife and I used to have our own accounting practice but all the excitement drove us to writing for a living. My son (nearly 12 years old) is due to take his Karate black belt soon so keeps me on my toes.
What is your favorite quality about yourself? 
 Wow, this is a toughie.  Is sarcasm a quality?  Since I can remember, people have always had trouble telling whether I am being serious or joking.  I admit that sometimes the line is blurred, even to me.  Yes, I do have a sarcastic streak, a mile or so long, running right through me.  Is it a quality? Yes.  Is it a good one?  Sometimes, when it makes people laugh.  Would I change it?  Never.
What is your least favorite quality about yourself?
 It would probably have to be my lack of tolerance.  I’m not good at accepting failings in others despite the fact that I know I’m nowhere near to being perfect.  If I could change this, I know it would make me a happier and better person.  Of course, it would be easier if all the other bastards could just stop being so bloody annoying!
What is your favorite quote, by whom, and why?
 My favorite quote comes from the bible: John, chapter 15, verse 13. “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”
To me it epitomizes the best in man and gives us all a target to aspire to.  There are many throughout history who have lived true to these words so surely they can inspire us to at least try harder in everything we do.
What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life?
 To be honest I know that I haven’t achieved as much as I am capable of, through nothing more complicated than inertia.  I have been a victim of this for much of my life although my wife has tried desperately for the last 14 years to cure me. She’s succeeding slowly. What was that dear?  Take the bins out.  Just one minute.
What is your favorite color? Blue.  Not a pasty pale blue but the dark blue
of denim.  There is no other colour worth mentioning, except for maybe a relatively dark green which I guess comes second.  Pink is for girls, red is too harsh, brown is dull and yellow is too bright.  We want blue, we want blue!
What is your favorite food? I love Indian food, especially the hotter curries like Madras and Vindaloo.  I like my food to have a strong flavor and repeat on me when I go to bed so it keeps the flies away in the summer.
How long have you been writing? Since I left school.  Every few years I would start writing a new novel, unable to find the previously unfinished one.  This habit continued until three years ago when I finally finished ‘Timmy Green and the Rise of Sarros’ which is a young adult novel of around 120,000 words.  I have promised myself that I will get it edited and onto the shelves (and e-shelves) one day soon.
What inspires you to write and why?
 I really honestly, don’t know.  Sometimes I love it and sometimes I hate it but I always come back to it and know I always will. It’s a calling I think.
What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general?
 It’s got to be focus, every time.  Some people call it writer’s block and others call it brainstorming.  Still more call it procrastination or mulling.  It’s really just lack of focus and when it hits, it can be devastating to a book’s progress.  The worst thing is, the longer it goes on, the more you want to do something else.  Any writer who hasn’t been hit by this writing phenomenon is lucky indeed.
Can you tell us about your main character? My main character is John Smith, a talented underachiever, who is forced into a life-threatening adventure against his will.   He lives a most uneventful life knowing that if he doesn’t try, he won’t fail, and
when he is thrown into a world of sex, murder and deceit, he discovers where his true talents lie.  Becoming Ethan Justice, he shows us that heroes aren’t born but a product of circumstance.
Who is your publisher?
 I’m still self-publishing digitally, although I do have a children’s picture book in print and Ethan Justice is planned for paperback very soon.  I can’t imagine allowing control of my work and earnings to be in anyone’s hands but my own.
Will you write others in this same genre? Ethan Justice 2 is about sixty percent complete and I’m aiming to get the final version to my editor by 28 Feb 2013.
Have you included a lot of your life experiences, even friends, in the plot? I always draw on my own experiences
but tend to bastardise them to fit the needs of my story.  I had a friend ask me to write him into my current work as an ageing Romeo who young women find irresistible.  I had him down as something rather different, so I guess he won’t like the final version.
How important do you think villains are in a story?
 Every bit as important as the protagonist.  If these two don’t spark off of each other, then the story just won’t work.  Sometimes I prefer my villain to the hero.  I’m not sure what that says about me?
Can we expect any more books from you in the future?
 That’s the plan.  On top of the Ethan Justice sequel, I have an outline for another reluctant hero thriller as well as a couple of part-finished books that I’d love to complete (a detective thriller with a difference, a coming of age tale set in a Dystopian future and a young adult novel that just needs editing).
So yes.  Please watch this space.
Are you reading any interesting books at the moment? I’m reading all things Indie at the moment but staying within the reluctant hero genre – if there is such a thing.  There are some great authors out there.
What are some of the best tools available today for writers, especially those just starting out?
 My latest find is the Scrivener software that enables me to be far more organized.  I still wish it wrote some of the stuff by itself but I guess we’re a way off that yet.  If you struggle with keeping your notes together, it might be worth a look.
What contributes to making a writer successful?
 Mostly it’s practice and hard work.  We need to make sure that we get better as we write.  It’s impossible to learn everything but we should never stop trying to hone our craft.  Oh yes, don’t forget that a huge dollop of luck always comes in handy.
What do you do to unwind and relax? Anything with my family.  Other than that I love to read a good book or watch a good film, depending on how the mood takes me.
If you could leave your readers with one bit of wisdom, what would you want it to be?
 It’s so cheesy but it has to be that ‘anything you achieve through hard work and effort is far sweeter than anything that falls easily into your grasp.’
When you wish to end your career, stop writing, and look back on your life, what thoughts would you like to have? That I tried hard enough to warrant the success I achieved and that I gave a few people a distraction from their troubles along the way.
Buy Now @ Amazon 
Genre – Action / Adventure 
Rating – PG15
More details about the book
Connect with Simon Jenner on Facebook
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Books Sold - 6 Nov 2011 to 31 May 2012

Some of you have asked me for my total number of books sold to evaluate KDP Select so here it is. Bear in mind, that results will vary based on genre and author. Good luck and remember, Keep Moving Forward.

Total - 120,836

1. Excuse Me, My Brains Have Stepped Out
Amazon Kindle - 42,559
Paperback -
Smashwords -

2. Frequent Traveller
Amazon Kindle - 35277
Paperback -
Smashwords -

3. Dora's Essentials - Books, Blogs & Smiles 1
Amazon Kindle - 462
Smashwords -

4. Mirror Me Martha (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle - 281
Smashwords -

5. Drive On Hope (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle - 190
Smashwords -

6. Blog-A-Licious Directory 2012
Amazon Kindle - 1
Smashwords -

7. Pandora's Reading Room 1
Amazon Kindle -
Paperback - N/A

8. The Cat That Barked (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle -

9. Dora's Essentials - Examining Anxiety
Amazon Kindle -

10. Dora's Essentials - Books, Blogs & Smiles 2
Amazon Kindle -

11. Elevenses from Around the World
Amazon Kindle -

12. Genetically Modified Foods vs. Sustainability
Amazon Kindle -

Blog-A-Licius - Sherbet Blossom

SherbetBlossom

Blog-A-Licious

Dealightfully Frugal

Blog-A-Licious - The Few, The Proud, The Wife

Blog-A-Licious

My Soul Slippers

Blog-A-Licous - Textbook Mommy

Blog-A-Licious - Blue Frogs Legs

Blog-A-Licious - Pretty All True

Pretty All True

Blog-A-Licious - tbaoo

tbaoo

Blog-A-Licious

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Blog-A-Licious - The Invisible Art

Blog-A-Licious - Rediscovering Domesticity

Rediscovering Domesticity

Blog-A-Licious - Quiver Full

Blog-A-Licious - Cori's Big Mouth

Blog-A-Licious - Great Fun

Greatfun4kids

Blog-A-Licious - Busy Wife

Blog-A-Licious - Steps To Happiness

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Blog-A-Licious - Toby & Max


Blog-A-Licious - Amelie

Raising Amelie

Blog-A-Licious - Peas In A Pod

Blog-A-Licious - Riley

Blognostics - Poetry

BlogNostics

My Awards - September 2010

My Awards - September 2010
Awarded By Jo Frances

My Awards - May 2011

My Awards - May 2011
Awarded By Alejandro Guzman

My Awards - May 2011

My Awards - May 2011
Awarded by Kriti Mukherjee

My Awards - April 2011

My Awards - April 2011
Awarded By Roy Durham

My Awards - June 2011

My Awards - June 2011
Awarded By Sulekha Rawat

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