John Decarteret is a 31 year old author from Newcastle Upon Tyne, England. He loves writing children stories, reading and spending time with his two sons.
1. What is your debut novel and what inspired its story?
My debut novel is called “A House Out of Time” It is a short story of about 8,000 words, I suppose you could call it mild horror. Nothing really inspired the story, it just came to me one day and I began to write it, most of my stories are written on the spot when a idea hits me.
2. Do you write one specific genre or are you a multi genre author?
I am very much a multi genre author. I have written fantasy, historical, mild horror, sci-fi, and I am currently writing a western genre book.
3. Do you have any memorable quotations or ‘one-liners’ that you have written and love?
Yes my favorite quote is from my fantasy book “Travis” it was my first attempt at writing and I wrote my most important life lesson down which my mother taught me. “The difference between intelligence and knowledge is speed, intelligent is quick, knowledge is slow, anyone can learn anything with time and hard work” I believe that completely.
4. Do you have a favourite character that you have penned to life and why is this your favourite character?
Yes I have. He is called Robert Ward. This character is the “Bad guy” in my current work “Bronze” which is a western. He is evil and completely mad and thinks his mother is an angel that protects him. He walks blindly into danger and fears nothing, making him seriously scary and fun to write. If you have read the “Sharpe” books by Bernard Cornwell, you will know the character Sergeant Hakeswill, Ward is quite similar to him.
5. Are there any close friends/ family who have proven to be a pillar of support to you in your writing?
Yes. My sisters look forward to me writing new things, they really enjoy it and give me feedback, good and bad which really helps.
6. What are you currently working on?
I am currently working on “Bronze” and writing short stories. Bronze is a western and that genre is not that popular compared to fantasy and the other genres, but I have always loved old western movies and TV shows. I want to bring them back to life in my own small way, even though It may not be that popular, but that is not really why I write. I write about things I love and enjoy, and hopefully others enjoy it also.
7. What has been your greatest challenge as an author thus far and how are you dealing/have dealt with it?
Well, my education was terrible, my school was not good and I now struggle with spelling sometimes, and my punctuation and grammar etc are even worse. I am dealing with it day by day, just trying to learn something new with every page written. Improvement comes over a long period of time and I am better than I was when I first started. So practice helps me along, and hard work fills in the gaps.
8. How do you deal with criticism and how has it helped you as a writer?
I have had plenty of criticism, but also a lot of nice feedback. Everyone has different taste and styles, and you will always get somebody who does not like what you do. I listen to what they say and try to take everyone’s points on board, but ultimately I write what feels right for me. I have had more positives than negatives from readers, so I am happy.
9. How has social media helped in promoting and marketing your books?
Social media is essential I think. It has helped me to interact with other writers and readers, and they are all happy to spread the word for you, and you spread the word for them. If you do not spend money on advertising like me, then it is a must do. I do not charge for my works at the moment, they are all free, which means I can not spend on advertising and things. So online friends have helped me hugely to get my stories out in the world.
10. When writing your novel which aspect of the writing process do you find to be the most challenging?
I find the most challenging part is creating a picture in your mind from the words you write. Descriptions sound easy, but to arrange the words in a way that sparks the imagination and shows the scene clearly in your mind, is tough. I have been improving on this area with some great advice from one of my favorite authors. I emailed him and he gave me some good tips, which was extremely kind of him.
11. How do you measure success as a writer/ author?
I think it is different for everyone. Some people think they have failed because they can not get a publisher, and others think they have done well because they sold a few books without a publisher. For me personally, I think I have done alright. Quite a few copies of my works have been purchased on ebooks. Is that success? I do not know, but I am pleased people are reading them. Plus they are free, and my new published book is on Kindle Unlimited and everyone likes a free book right? That might have something to do with it. I have had some lovely messages about my works, and that makes me feel brilliant. That to me is success.
12. What short term and/or long term goals have you set?
My short term goals are to finish two books this year. “Bronze” and another work I have started “The Stretch” hopefully they will be finished and I can move on to other projects. No long term goals really, just to see how well “A House Out of Time” does and continue moving forward.
13. Do you have any upcoming book releases or events?
I only have my new release “A House out of time” that has just been published a few weeks ago and the audiobook should be out very soon. I have set up a blog on WordPress where I post some of my current works and short stories so people can see what I have been working on and check it out.
14. What are your favourite book(s) and/or author(s)?
My favorite ever book is probably Treasure Island or 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea. I have read those books more times than I can count. My favorite authors are Bernard Cornwell, Jules Verne and Michael J Sullivan. I quite like Karen Slaughter also.
15. What advice will you give to other Indie Authors or those who are thinking of writing and publishing?
I would tell them to enjoy it. If you enjoy doing something you are more likely to do it well. Patience is key also, many successful authors have told me that it can take years and years to become a decent writer. Even Stephen King said “you should treat your first 1,000,000 words as practice” and it is important to read a lot of books. It really does help, you can learn so many things, it is vital for anyone who wants to be an author.
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