Kindle Author Interview With J.S. Strange

Thursday, 28 January 2016
Next up in the interview chair is Kindle Author J.S. Strange. Join us as he talks about the art of writing and his debut novel Winter Smith: London's Burning which is available on the amazon kindle store now.

If you use a Pen Name why did you choose it?

My pen name is J.S. Strange. I chose it because it is the initials for my first and middle name, and then my last name is Strange. I think the 'Strange' part is quite intriguing, and I wonder if people might think it's made up. But that is actually my name! Jack Samuel Strange. 

Why do you write?

I write because I love to create characters. I love telling stories and developing narratives, and seeing where my characters go and how they change. I love the escapism, as I write in a different world. It's just something I love to do. 

When did you decide to become a writer?

I was always writing as a kid. My stories then involved people being chased and blown up, mainly. I think I decided to become a writer when I did some articles for magazines at the age of 15. I started writing my first novel at 16, but scrapped it. Then I started work on my Winter Smith series at age 17. 

What genre are your books?

The genre of my Winter Smith novels fall into a few. I would mainly say it's an action & adventure novel, with thrilling elements and whole lot of horror. There's a bit of romance thrown in, too. As the series develop, so will the genres. I'm also plotting some other separate stories in different genres, one of which I'm aiming to release at the end of the year. 

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?

I've always been quite determined, and I've always wanted to be successful in something, and I'm very creative. So I'm quite good at keeping on track and getting stuff done if I truly believe in it. I was bullied in school, and I just wanted to prove to people I could actually do something worthwhile. 

Do you write full-time or part-time?

I would love to write full time, but I have a full time job as an editor, and I also run my own business. Plus I'm pretty social. So I write part time, and not nearly as much as I would like to! 

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?

I definitely prefer to start writing from morning, with a view by the window and a cup of coffee. I can write at any time of the day, but when my day develops and gets busier, I find it harder to focus on my writing. I like to be able to relax and watch the world go by. 

How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?

I started writing my Winter Smith series at the age of seventeen. They started out as super humans, but now they're normal people like you or I. That changed as I got older. I think my creativity has evolved over the years, because as I got older I began learning new things, and coming to terms with who I was as a person. 

What have you written?

I'm releasing my debut novel, 'Winter Smith: London's Burning' on the 18th April in both ebook and paperback format. It's a zombie apocalypse novel set in London. I'm also hoping to release more books in different genres, before the second instalment of the Winter Smith series. 

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just seeing where an idea takes you?

I definitely work to a plot, as right now I am writing a series, and I need to have everything written out so the series continues to move forwards, and I know where my characters are going. But yes, I do let my characters take me places and go in different directions. That way, it makes the story more interesting!

Give us an insight into your main character. What does she do that is so special?

My main character is Winter Smith. She's seventeen years old, and she has come from a life of luxury and wealth. Her parents are famous jewellery designers, but she has hated that whole superficial life, so her relationship with her parents are quite strained. She has been through a lot, which has made her grow older before her time. She's no nonsense and reserved, and very thoughtful. She's observant, too. But she's someone you need and want to know. 

What is the hardest thing about writing?

Finding time! You don't want to shut yourself off from people, because they will think you to be ignorant, or feel neglected. I live with my boyfriend, and it's hard to write with him in the room because I don't want to seem like I'm ignoring him. 

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?

The Debut Novel From J.S. Strange
I'm currently writing the second instalment of the Winter Smith series, and I've suffered major writers block with it! I've redrafted and replotted it so many times. Finally, though, it's all piecing together. 

What is the current book you are promoting?

Winter Smith: London's Burning is my current book, and it is also my debut. It's a zombie apocalypse novel set in London. Winter and a group of survivors need to get to the Thames, where evacuation boats are leaving for the safety of France. But as Winter travels, she learns somethings aren't as they seem, and not everyone is to be trusted. 

Who is your favorite character in your book and why?

What a good question! I think my favourite character to write is Violet Black. Winter meets her first, and Violet has been more emotionally scarred than Winter. They're complete opposites. Violet is broke, living with a mother who has cancer and two younger brothers. She has to be the mother now, and has to care for her whole family. To do that, she turns to prostitution, so puts her own life in danger. She is ballsy, confident, arrogant, rude, bossy, but underneath it all she's just a girl. You either love her or hate her, but her character is giving me lots to write and work with. 

If your book were made into a movie, who would you cast?

For Winter, Violet and Zach - my three main characters of London's Burning - I would cast unknown actors. I know how hard it is to get work and make your dreams come true, and I know it can feel impossible, so I would like to help people there. For Winter's mother, I would love Zoe Wanamaker to play her, famous for the mother role in the BBC sitcom My Family. I think she would be perfect. 

What is your next project?

My next project is 'Winter Smith: The Secrets of France', and is the follow up to London's Burning. 

Winter Smith blog: - a character role play account where Winter documents the zombie apocalypse. Used as a promotional tool. 

Synopsis For Winter Smith: London's Burning

A story of survival trust and fear. The first in the series, Winter Smith is ripped from a rich lifestyle and forced to survive... The zombie virus has torn through the world, and Winter and a group of survivors must get to the Thames. Winter has to deal with the loss of her parents, the harsh reality of promised safety, and learns that not everyone can be trusted...

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