Tag Archives: cynefin road

Author Interview: J.J. Patrick

Today I am interviewing J.J. Patrick, author of what he calls “a bit of a unique novel”, Forever Completely.  It’s proving hard to categories, even for the author, but “witches, zombies, the end of the world, and a nice, old dear in a tracksuit” seems to be the consensus…

◊  ◊  ◊

DJ: Hey J.J.! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview! 

For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

J.J. Patrick: My story’s pretty standard really…I was a police officer for ten years, eventually working at Scotland Yard as a specialist analyst where I uncovered the national manipulation of crime statistics and sparked a parliamentary inquiry which saw me hounded out of my job as a whistleblower hated by my bosses but praised in Parliament. After that things went wonky and I ended up bankrupt and malnourished, living in poverty, in a sink estate bedsit with a Scottish alcoholic urinating on the floor in the room above every night. You know, the usual mundane stuff…

DJ: What is Forever Completely about?

J.J.: It’s about falling apart. About being lost. Being found. It’s about love at its heart. The world around us is a strange place right now, people making odd decisions and a surreal layer of protectionism overseeing all of it in the most dangerous way, and FC captures the risks by destroying the world through selfish acts of war and extremism, and leaving something else to grow in it’s place. Magic. Of course, conflict Never quite finishes, because people are people, so after the desolate loneliness of the apocalypse come a whole other round of loss before positive choices set the world right for good. The book is about finding yourself, and having deities with a rather naughty sense of humour.

DJ: What were some of your influences for Forever Completely

J.J.: I’m a lifelong reader of Stephen King, and so many of his journeys resonate with me, but FC was mainly influenced by a need for me to escape at the time I was writing it. There’s a lot of me in there, and a lot of my beliefs too. The world is a magical place if you’re prepared to look for it. I suppose the biggest influence on the story is people themselves – I’ve seen the best and worst of them, and the love/hate conflict of daily life was a huge driver. The human condition is the best material any writer has.

DJ: Could you briefly tell us a little about your main characters? Do they have any cool quirks or habits, or any reason why readers with sympathize with them?

J.J.: The main character is the narrator and apparently he’s quite likeable, in a frustrating way. He’s utterly broken and that seems to capture something in people. Gives them something to identify with. The centrepiece though is Jeanette, the old hedge witch with the awful, eye-popping wardrobe. She’s forthright, sassy, grumpy and utterly, utterly wonderful. People love her and so do I. So much so, she’s having her own book. The characters all introduced themselves as they are, and I genuinely think there’s someone in there for everyone. Continue reading

Tagged , , ,

Author Interview: Thomas Heasman-Hunt

Today I am interviewing Thomas Heasman-Hunt, debut author of the new science-fiction novel, Legacy.

◊  ◊  ◊

DJ: Hey Thomas! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!

For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Thomas Heasman-Hunt: No problem. I’m a 31-year-old part-time author (in other words, like most writers, I have a day job…) living in Cambridgeshire in the UK. I’ve been writing, telling stories, playing make-believe and so forth for as long as I can remember, but I started doing it in earnest and trying to make a career out of it perhaps seven or eight years ago. I first tried writing a novel, which was a long slog to get finished and, once it was done, failed to win over any agents or publishers. I’m quite grateful for that now because it was very much a ‘first novel’ and had no business seeing the light of day! But it kind of got it out of my system and I started to try my hand at short fiction instead. I put it all on a blog (theserialwritist.wordpress.com), just so I could amass a portfolio of work, and it ended up being a multi-year odyssey of fiction writing that birthed dozens of short stories, novellas and a handful of full novels, totaling over a million words altogether. Legacy was one of those novels (well, actually, six short stories that have been edited and combined into one work). I’m very glad that, out of everything I’ve done, that’s the one I’ve managed to get to a wider audience.

DJ: What is Legacy about?

Thomas: It’s pure space opera – a fun, free-wheeling adventure across interstellar space that gradually raises the stakes until the future of the entire galaxy hangs in the balance. The hero, Emily Ajax, is the daughter of a legendary starship captain and has spent her whole life living in his shadow. When he dies unexpectedly, she’s left trying to figure out some interstellar legalese regarding ownership of a remote moon base that her father’s former executive officer is strangely intent on keeping from her. What starts as a bunch of rich kids going off on a jaunt across space ends up uncovering a galactic conspiracy that the late Captain Ajax was at the very heart of. Emily has to grapple with uncomfortable truths about her father and the stories she’s grown up hearing about him, as well as try to stop a tyrant who’s all-too-familiar to her while commanding The Sunskimmer, her father’s old ship. At the same time, her friends and crew must grow into their new lives as outlaws, and a bounty hunter with a dark secret and a very strange connection to Emily comes aboard. Continue reading

Tagged , , ,