Jonathan is one of those Creative Reviews folks… and blame it on Cassie that suggested I check his book! ;-) Now the next one is on my Kindle (I might have read it already by the time this goes live), and I wanted you to meet this guy. Ladies and gents, please welcome Jonathan Gould!
I live in Melbourne, Australia and a write from my study – that is when I’m able to dodge all the detritus in there and actually make it to the computer.
When did you start writing?
I reckon it would have been in about the second trimester when my mother was pregnant with me – I was scribbling little stories on the placenta. Seriously, it’s something that’s always been with me – I used to write little “books” when I was about 4 or 5. The decision to actually take writing seriously and really give it a shot was made when I was about 28 (not saying how long ago that was now).
What genre(s) do you write?
I call my genre dag-lit. Dag is Australian slang for someone who is kind of silly and funny and doesn’t follow the crowd. I think that describes my stories quite well. They’re hard to place within traditional genres. I sometimes use “comic fantasy” for simplicity, or otherwise describe them as modern fairy-tales.
Where do you find your inspiration? Do you put yourself in your stories?
Inspiration is all around. Reading books and newspapers. Watching television. Talking to people. The world is a crazy, surreal and absurd place so ideas for stories are all around.
I do put quite a bit of myself into my stories. In many ways they are the way I try to make sense of the world around me. And in many of my stories, the central character is very much based on me –only he tends to be much smarter and braver and better at finding solutions to problems than I am.
Do you have a specific writing routine?
Not really. I juggle writing with full time work so it’s whenever I can make time. Also, inspiration tends to come and go. I can get really motivated and get a lot written really quickly, then go for months without making any progress.
Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?
Generally I’m a total outliner – always planning things out and mapping where it’s going to go next. The one big exception was my first self-published novella, Doodling. This was almost completely improvised, hence the name – I regarded it as “literary doodling”.
Fast or slow writer – again it depends. I can absolutely churn it out at times (I think I got the first draft for Flidderbugs done in less than a month) and take ages (I worked on Doodling for years).
I like to describe Flidderbugs as a kind of fable. It has aspects of political satire about it but I think it’s really more about the ways people choose to believe what they do and how it connects with their identity. Then again, it doesn’t have to be read that deeply – I’m happy if people see it as a funny little story about a strange bunch of insects.
Flidderbugs is currently available (as an ebook only at this stage) from:
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B005K7HKS8/
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/flidderbugs-jonathan-gould/1105609621
Indie publishing or traditional publishing – and why?
I guess I’d have to say indie, even though I don’t particularly label myself as an indie writer –I just see myself as a writer. I tried the traditional route. I even got a couple of publications (children’s stories – mainly for schools), but ultimately it wasn’t working. Publisher’s really liked my stories but didn’t seem to know how to classify them so I was constantly getting these really polite and encouraging rejection letters. Eventually I decided to take matters into my own hands – and definitely haven’t looked back since then.
Any other projects in the pipeline?
Always. Next cab off the ranks is my version of a novel length epic fantasy – but with a twist. It’s called Magnus Opum and I like to describe it as Tolkien meets Dr Seuss. I’m hoping to have it out by the end of the year or shortly after.
After that, I have a couple of other things going. One is another novella – a sequel to Doodling, tentatively titled Scribbling. I’m also about half-way through a first draft of another full-length novel. Something a bit more ambitious and with a female protagonist as the main character.
What is your goal as a writer and what are you doing to achieve it?
I’m not sure I have a particular goal. I’d love to be able, ultimately, to make a living as a full-time writer. In the meantime I’m focusing in writing the best stories I possibly can, trying to offer a unique viewpoint, and getting them out to as many readers as I can. Daunting but ultimately highly rewarding.
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B004KSQVCO
There you have it, another Aussie! And I LOVE his humor! *glances at her Kindle wondering if she should start Doodling right away*
Thank you for answering my questions, Jonathan, and best wishes – I’m sure you can make it (and I look forward to the Magnum Opum!)! :-)