Welcome to BookView Interview, a conversation series where BookView talks to authors.
Recently, we talked with J. W. Nelson about his writing and his novel, COMPANY OF FOOLS: Selling For Love & Life, Is A Tricky Business (read the review here).
I was born in Birmingham on the same day as my mother. I have enjoyed writing since I was ten years old. My stories were often read out to the class in English at school. Since then I have continued to write for the enjoyment of it, whether it was lyrics for songs, poems. I attempt to dedicate time to writing full-length manuscripts (hopefully for publication).
I’d welcome the opportunity one day to be able to write screenplays and scripts for movies and/or television.
Currently I have a self-published book of Poetry on Amazon (e-book ‘Poems for the Festive Season’) and I have written a thriller trilogy entitled ‘Crime of the Century’ and I hope to issue this series too for submission at some stage (maybe with a changed title).
Additionally, I have ideas for several books, including a Young Adult series, the first is being written as we speak called; (Pentagon Pirate Gang; The Secret of the Orchard) and younger children books (age 3-7 mainly poetry based – like my own poetic version of Little Red Riding Hood – called ‘Little Boy Hood’).
J W Nelson Contact info:
Company of Fools info:
Genre: – Romantic/Comedy/Drama
Company of Fools: Selling For Love & Life, Is A Tricky Business’ is available now: https://amzn.to/2FJDs55.
What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?
(JW) My first experience of this would when I was around eleven or twelve years old. I had always enjoyed English as a subject and my teacher (Mr. Hancock) would write 2 lines on the blackboard and the class would have write 2 sides of A4 as a story. In essence on numerous occasions he would select my story and read it out in front of the whole class – which often ended up with the class applauding what they’d heard…
How often do you base your characters on real people?
(JW) –Yes and No. I use what I see and the people I have worked with over the years. Some of these people have the characteristics I require for my story so I use that. Other times I will dream up a complete fictional person from scratch that fits whatever I’m writing and that will add to the overall story.
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
(JW) – Okay so starting with unpublished. I have a trilogy fully written (however the first book was self- published 20 years ago – however I have since re-written this first instalment and doubled the word count) and any look to publish at some point in the future. I do have a book of Poems published on Amazon as an E-book only – out now (published a few year ago) – “Poems for the Festive Season” – 25 Christmas poems – 1 per day to help you on your way to Christmas day..
Half finished books (or as I call them WIP – Work in Progress – the progress if obviously slow) – there are a few however.
1). Phone In: The Revelation – 14k words so far. (adult drama)
2) Pentagon Pirate Gang: The Secret of the Orchard (60k words so far hope to complete this in the next few weeks) – YA/Mystical/mystery).
3) Human Nature – A Journey Through Life – it is a cross between real life (factual) but written in a fictional manner under the guise of a student writing a ‘comedic thesis’ on human life’s journey from C to G.
What does literary success look like to you?
(JW) Being able to sell enough books and have enough of a reader base that means I can continue writing across multiple genre’s – hopefully if there is ‘success’ in these I can reach many people, old, young from across the board, with a thriller, a romcom , a YA book, a poetic young children’s piece that satisfies the readers and hopefully gives them new experience or view that maybe hasn’t been told in that way before.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
(JW) This would depend on the topic, subject matter whatever the core theme is. Some of the research may have already been gleaned (e.g. for example the Crime of Century trilogy – most of my research was done at work – as the book is based around technology and computers and I worked for many years in that industry). I’ll use library, friends, online searches to build the background information.
Time wise this can be weeks and then do further research as you write the story.
Do you find writing therapeutic?
(JW) Absolutely – I can ‘disappear’ into my own world when I write and get absorbed into the world of your book.
What’s the most difficult thing about writing a novel?
(JW) Coming up with an idea that has enough legs to last 60k plus words and maybe thinking about if it can be made into a series of books. This requires planning and researching and building in the character development over that period of books. Then ensuring you have your start middle and end – and sometime knowing how it ends helps to write the former parts as you build to that finale.
How many hours a day do you write?
(JW) This varies – depending on how busy homelife and work is! – I often schedule time on a weekend or in the evenings.
How often you read?
(JW) I try to read most nights before bed or sometimes on my lunchbreak when at work if I’m really into that book and I can fit it in.
Have you read anything that made you think differently about fiction?
(JW) I’d probably say C S Lewis Robert Ludlum’s books (E.G. Bourne Series) and Michael Connelly’s book (Bosch series) – all in a positive who to capture a reader and keep it going throughout, plus the details of your story, like a spider’s web – so many strands, but they all start or end in a core centre.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
What is your favourite childhood book?
(JW) The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe)
How do you select the names of your characters?
(JW) I think about what I’m writing (thriller, comedy, children’s) and play with names that I know of and then change a few letters around or it could be topical (EG in Pentagon Pirate Gang – the children go to a ‘special school’ called S.O.F.T. – School of Fruit Teaching – so many of the teacher have fruit-based names – Mrs Berry/Mrs Blackfruit/Ms Lemon etc)
What are your favourite books?
(JW) Comedies, dramas, thrillers, poetry books and biographies
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
(JW) For me it’s my energy. A hobby that inspires me to write everyday (if time and circumstances allow). I’m constantly coming up with ideas which I have to jot down and store for another time.
Categories: BookView Review Interview