What would you like to promote?
Well, I would like to promote my book When the World Falls Down. It’s a quirky YA Fantasy story – Douglas Adams meets CS Lewis and the film Labyrinth. Link found right here: https://www.troubador.co.uk/bookshop/young-adult/when-the-world-falls-down/
I am also here to promote myself too! I am a writer/actor from the northwest of England. Here’s my Twitter handle: @JonBolihtoJones. and here’s my writing website: https://www.jonbolithojonesauthor.co.uk/
What does success look like to you?
Oooo that’s quite a question. For me, it would be making a full-time living from my books and my writing, interspersed with a bit of performance too. It’s also having people enjoy my work and being recognized as a writer.
What genre do you write in?
Fantasy. Well I mostly write YA fantasy but I’m also trying my hand at Science Fiction and Horror – the genres often being mixed together.
What was your favorite childhood book?
That would be the Redwall series by Brian Jacques. Absolutely brilliant. If you know Animals of Farthing Wood or Watership Down, well it was basically that but with swords, lots of fighting, and classic fantasy tropes.
How did you get started with writing?
In some ways, I have always enjoyed making up magical, fantastical worlds, though it was only when I was 11 that I began to write them all down. After lots of false starts though I started When the World Falls Down, completed it and then wanted to share it with the world. When it comes to actually create a story and getting it down in a Word document I generally begin by coming up with an idea, or simply choosing one from my bank of ideas. I then write out a loose chapter by chapter plan and then start writing and getting it done. I do a bit each day, approximately 2,000 words, and so steadily it gets written. The first draft is usually a mess so then it goes to the editing stage, which is pretty long, but that’s where the real work begins.
How do you attract new readers?
Generally what I have tried so far is posting blog articles and free short stories. Along with that, I engage with people on social media when I can, especially on Twitter. Pretty much everything is done online really.
Do you connect with any of the characters in your book?
Yes. I tend to write from my own emotional experiences, so there are little parts of me found in almost all of my main characters. However, my lead is actually based on my wife.
What is your favorite thing about being a blogger, writer, or author?
It has to be when someone reads my works and really enjoys them. Positive reviews are great, though I also like sitting and chatting about the lore, characters, and mysteries of my book with anyone who is interested.
How do you make sales as an author?
I’m not quite sure so far. I’m still experimenting at the moment. I’ll let you know when I find out!
What are you reading right now?
The Hobbit. I’ve just finished Anthony Beevor’s book about the Spanish Civil War though. I know – very different material.
What is your favorite genre to read?
Fantasy, SciFi, and historical non-fiction
What is your favorite comfort food?
Chocolate, though on savory days cheese. I am also a sucker for charcuterie boards.
Who are your top three favorite authors?
Tolkien, Walter Moers, and Terry Pratchett
How do you come up with plots or characters for your book?
Happy accidents maybe? In reality, I draw inspiration from everywhere whether books, films, TV shows, videogames, moments, personal experiences, and then gradually ideas form into something tangible in my head. These are then written down in “ideas” documents so I don’t forget them. Some of these ideas actually get combined too. I have a character (and race) in my book who was originally intended for something else.
If you could learn how to make any food what would it be?
That’s another tricky one… My answer – all the food! I like cooking and it’d be nice to know how to make everything and know exactly what goes well with each other for dinner parties.
What do you like to do for fun?
I am a big geek really, in particular miniature wargaming. I collect Warhammer, and though I’m not a great painter, I like to put them together, create new characters and frightening new worlds. I also like board games, reading, and old-school video gaming (no Fortnite or Call of Duty for me!)
What advice do you have for new writers just starting out?
Get on that social media as soon as you can. Even if you’d don’t have a book out, start building up that author platform and making connections. Also, prepare for disappointment and rejection, find good reliable people to read the work that gives you honest feedback, and keep pushing on with your writing and creating.
What helps you to stay motivated and keep writing?
I would say stubborn determination and the thrill of creating new stories and worlds. I write for fun too sometimes.
What projects are you working on right now?
I’ve actually just finished the 2nd book of my other YA fantasy series. Only the first draft though, so it still needs a lot of work. Along with that I am also querying my manuscripts and reading a short story for a competition. Perhaps most importantly I am in the very early stages of publishing the sequel to When the World Falls Down.
Thank you Jon for a wonderful interview!
To connect with Jon and read more check out these links~
When the World Falls Down – https://www.troubador.co.uk/bookshop/young-adult/when-the-world-falls-down/
Our Little Patch of Paradise – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0872XZPBM
The Clown in the Basement – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Clown-Basement-Edimorian-short-story-ebook/dp/B08JK7SVKQ