Hey Jonathan! Thanks for agreeing to be interviewed. Before we start, can you tell us a bit about yourself?
So these are the serious questions? Does that mean I should answer them dressed in suitable sombre attire? The best I can do is navy shorts and a loud red T-shirt.
My day job is in healthcare, which I find hugely rewarding despite it often being intensive and tiring. The rest of the time I love to write (naturally). But I also manage to fit in playing tennis, photography and theatregoing.
So, what inspired you to start writing?
I started fairly late on in life. It was during a spell of illness when I was confined to bed and reading a lot. Susan Hill’s ‘The Woman in Black’ inspired me to try a ghost story and it just took off from there. Curiously, I detested English at school and dropped it at the first available opportunity. I would love to study it now.
That’s surprising! A writer who doesn’t like English!
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Yes. Finding the time and energy to write! When I get some free time, the words tend to flow fairly naturally. The trouble is that said free time is lacking! And when it is available, the chances of me being mentally capable of writing are slim – I hasten to add that’s because of my mentally-demanding day job and not alcohol or drugs. Well, technically, my day job is drugs so it sort of is because of drugs…
There are a lot of drugs in that paragraph!
When you’re writing a new story, where do you start? Main text? Title? Start? Ending?
Always the start. I tend to write longer pieces from start to finish in order. For some reason, I write the Maureen novellas best by bouncing about from one random section to another like a pinball which thinks it’s in control (but isn’t). The title comes later on. It often makes itself known to me naturally during the writing of a book.
Do you have any regrets, or things you wish that you’d done differently?
Well, I look back at my earliest work and think to myself that I’d write it very differently today. Why did I choose that expression? Why didn’t I expand that section? Why did I not develop the characters more? I actually planned to revisit some of my early writing and rewrite it so it reflects my writing as of now. However, it would suck up my time and I figure that my time is best spent giving readers something new and that, I hope, is amazing.
Any other regrets? Yes, a big one. It took me until the age of thirty to be myself openly. But I’m learning not to regret it. The time I spent not being myself still contributed to who I am today.
I think it’s good to see how much a writer has developed since their first publication! Frankly, it’s amazing that you’ve written and published so much! I can’t do it!
What advice would you give to other authors?
Write what you want to write and not what you think others want to read. And don’t give up the day job!
Have you experienced writers block, and how did you get past it?
I’m lucky (or unlucky) enough to have ideas flooding my mind all the time. I always have too much to write about. Writer’s diarrhoea?
That doesn’t mean I find writing easy all the time, though. It depends on my motivation and mood, which vary from minute to minute! I might wake up raring to write, then by the time I’m dressed, I’m no longer in the zone!
If I get stuck while writing, I tend to find writing something else, something completely different, gets me moving again.
Can I ask, if you don’t mind, what are you currently working on?
You certainly can ask, yes. I’m not sure the answer will be satisfactory, though, as I no longer publicise what I’m working on until close to the release date. It’s a novel, my second. I guess it could be categorised as a thriller. It’s written in first person, which is something new and challenging for me. And that’s all you’re getting, I’m afraid.
It’s better than a straight up no! I can’t wait to see how it turns out!
Is there anything you’d like to say to your readers, or just in general?
Thank you for taking the time to read my work. I still find it hard to believe that people do read my books. I am grateful and thankful to every single one of you.
Oh, and be yourself. Always.
To read more about the lovely Jonathan Hill, and to find information about what he has written, please visit the following links:
His website for his book Fag
His Amazon author profile