Thank you for visiting my blog today. I’m Rebecca Scarberry (@Scarberryfields on Twitter) and Indie author of Messages from Henry and Rag Doll. I have interviewed another multi-published author, Jeff Jones (@JeffJ_64 on Twitter). I hope you enjoy getting to know him as much as I have.
Scarberryfields: Can you please tell us a little about your nationality, and where you’re now living?
Jeff: I’m English although there’s a little bit of Welsh hiding in there somewhere from my dad’s side of the family, hence the surname Jones. I was born in Hampshire on the south coast of England, but after a trail of new jobs and redundancies, I ended up in East Anglia where it rains and snows a ridiculous amount.
Jeff: My first two books are adult fantasy books as is the one I’m writing at the moment. However, this week I have been fortunate enough to also have an anthology of my short ghost and horror stories published. Many of my short stories have also been published in various anthologies, both here and in the US.
Scarberryfields: Do you feel you spend more time writing your books, editing them, or promoting them?
Jeff: That’s a good question and at the moment, I feel like I’m spending every waking moment trying to promote my new book to the detriment of everything else. However, if you’re an indie writer and want success you’ve got to put in the effort. Generally, though I’d say that I spend most of my time doing the editing. I’m a great believer in just getting the thing written and then worrying about plot kinks, pace and continuity. I think I ended up re-writing my first book or at least parts of it, seven or eight times until I was finally satisfied. In an ideal world, I’d spend most of my time writing, but the days of big publishers doing all the promotional work for you are long gone, except for the lucky few. On the plus side though, being responsible for the promotional side of things has meant that I’ve had to learn several new skills, which can’t be a bad thing. It’s been a hard but interesting learning curve.
Jeff: Neither unfortunately. I’m currently unable to work because of a serious back condition which prevents me from doing much of anything at all and that includes sitting at a desk all day. Like most other writers, I guess, I dream of becoming a full time writer, but that’s all it is at the moment – a dream. In the meantime, I sit and write for 20 minutes at a time whilst doing what I can to contribute around the house. It’s very frustrating but hey, you’ve got to work with what you’re given.
Scarberryfields: Do you feel authors, writing erotica are discriminated against in any way?
Jeff: I’m sure there are people out there who think that authors of erotica are some sort of deviants, but I’m not one of them thank goodness. Some people have pre-conceived ideas about all sorts of things. I’ve certainly come across people who have looked down on me because I write fantasy, presumably because they don’t consider it a real genre or think that the people who write it are people who have never grown up. I admire people who are liberated enough to write erotica – I certainly couldn’t do it.
Scarberryfields: Do you read books by those you follow on Twitter? If so, do you write reviews for those books you enjoyed?
Jeff: I’ve got to be honest and say I’m terrible at this. Firstly, I don’t seem to get much time to read anyway, but I rarely leave a review when I do finish a book, which I know is criminal. However, since I’ve become a published author I’ve tried to change all that. I still read fiction by established authors but I’m also trying to read more work by indie authors, because we all know that there are some very good ones out there. I’ve got a presence on Shelfari and Amazon and will be making more of an effort over the coming months to leave reviews on all of the books, which I read. After all reviews is the lifeblood of an indie writer.
Scarberryfields: If refunds are requested for any of your books, do you remove the book(s) from publication?
Jeff: It hasn’t happened yet and I hope that it doesn’t, but I can’t see me doing that anyway. Everybody has different tastes and not all books are to our liking. I know that I’ve bought several books, which have really disappointed me, though I can only think of a couple that I didn’t bother finishing, but I never asked for a refund. Put it down, move on and read another author.
Jeff: None of my direct family has read any of my books. My wife doesn’t read much, my daughter isn’t into fantasy and my son says that he’s waiting for them to be made into films (I wish). However, my sister and her husband are prolific readers and have given me honest and sometimes brutal feedback. They’re my biggest fans as well as my biggest critics.
Scarberryfields: When you’re writing or editing, do you shut-off all social networks?
Jeff: I’m not a prolific user of social networks and probably don’t use them anywhere near as much as I should, mainly because I resent the time I lose updating and checking them during the day. Still though I can’t seem to bring myself to turn them off when I’m writing which probably means I’m more hooked on them than I care to admit.
Scarberryfields: What are the books you’ve published, and where can readers find them?
Jeff: To date I’ve written 2 novels and am furiously working on the third. I’ve also, as I mentioned earlier, just had an anthology of some of my prize winning short ghost stories published. My first 2 books, Destiny of the sword and Redemption of the sword, are part of the Chronicles of Arkadia series and can be classed as heroic fantasy.
All 3 are available from Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk as well as a number of online retailers.
Scarberryfields: Thank you so much for answering my questions, Jeff. I wish you the best!