Friday 8 November 2013

Guest Author Interview - J J Marshall

In today's guest author interview I welcome J. J. Marshall to the hot seat, find out what he has to say about his writing below:

Please introduce yourself, who are you and what do you do?
My name is J.J. Marshall (which is actually a pen name that I have chosen for my published work). I’m just about to turn twenty one years old and I currently study at the University of Reading in Berkshire, England where I’m doing a BSc Geography degree. As a student I get a lot of free time, so I have a part-time job every weekend and then when I’m free outside of those two constraints I like to write or work on my projects.

What first inspired you to start writing?
I’ve always loved reading and it was the first novel that I ever read – J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – that really gave me the writing bug. I remember writing a story about witches and wizards, which was a blatant rip-off of J.K.! But I suppose it started there and I’ve been writing fiction ever since.

And what attracted you to science fiction?
My passion for science fiction probably started when I developed an interest in science fiction television (as far as books go, I’ll read anything!) But science fiction TV is something that I really love and I suppose that started in 2005 with the re-launch of Doctor Who. Since then I’ve developed a fondness for the recent works of Joss Whedon and J.J. Abrams. They do a superb job of taking a sci-fi concept and intertwining it with a range of human emotions and depth that makes it so easy to engage with, which I think is something that some sci-fi has trouble doing.

If you could spend a day with anyone from history, who would it be and why?
A tough question as there are so many people which I admire! Mine is an odd one but I’d say Mary Shelley because I really appreciate what she achieved in a time where it was not common for women to be successful and she really paved the way for that genre of writing. I think it’d be really interesting to sit down and talk to her about where her ideas came from and to learn about her writing and publishing process.

Where do your best ideas come from?
The idea for my current novel trilogy actually occurred to me in a dream. I think I have a very overactive imagination and I have some very vivid dreams. In fact, the next novel that I intend to write after this trilogy was something that I experienced in a dream! So dreaming is a just one big idea generator for me. Music also helps to influence my thoughts and ideas, especially when I’m in the process of writing. I have a ‘writing playlist’ full of songs that I like to listen to because of either the lyrics or the rhythm which help me ‘get in the zone’ as well as inspire new ideas.

What is your favourite word?
My favourite word…hmm. My favourite word changes as often as the day of the week. I once had a word-of-the-day calendar but it got a bit too much! Although the word ‘penultimate’ has always been a favourite ever since I read The Penultimate Peril by Lemony Snicket. I don’t really know why but I’ll always find myself using it where I can!

What was the last book you read?
The last book I read was Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris; the final book in the Sookie Stackhouse series. The series had been growing a little stale for me in the past few books but the introduction of a third person narrative in this book shook things up a bit and made the progression of the events more interesting and I really enjoyed it. It was a fitting ending!

What are you working on at the moment?
At the moment I’m working on two things: editing and re-writing the sequel to When the World Ends… (titled: “..Humanity Falls…”) as well as beginning prep-work and initial writing on the third and final book in the trilogy. I’m almost reluctant to start the third novel as I know it is going to be the last installment of Alec & co.’s story and I don’t want it to end! I’ve lived with these characters for such a long time that giving them up isn’t going to be easy!

Tell us about your latest work and how we can find out more.
My latest work is When the World Ends… which is about a boy named Alec Corbett who ends up fighting against the organisation that controls humanity 100 years into the future. The only trouble is that one of the people on the Board of Officials (as they’re known) is Alec’s father and the revolution that he tries to instigate is not as clear-cut or easy as it first appears.

If you want to know more there are many places you can go:

Official website:
Facebook page: search When the World Ends…

And of course if you want to buy it then the novel is available now on Amazon!

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