John Kerry is – to the untrained eye – an average-sized, average-looking, marginally out of shape white guy, but depending on which day you observe him, in his head he could be about to take down a cartel of drug dealers with his bare hands. On another day he might be about to force push a lorry from the path of a baby stroller before they collide. Or, on yet another, he might even be getting ready to dive into a telephone box so he can rip open his shirt and fly off round the world backwards turning back time for some reason known only to himself. When John isn't living in a fantasy world he can be found in the city of Sheffield, UK where he lives. Originally from Ipswich, he lived in London for a while, before moving up north to raise his three Padawan daughters. And one day he hopes to move to the US because that’s where all the other superheroes live and where alien invasions often occur. Books wise John loves virtually anything containing adventure, fantasy, Sci-Fi, monsters, Harry Potter, Hunger Games, or Lovecraftian cyclopean horror.
1. When did you realize you wanted to become a writer?
It wasn't something I ever considered as a kid. I've tried my hand at various creative projects. I wrote and produced a couple of short films. I also wrote the story for and designed a mobile phone game. So I guess it took me a while to realize that every creative project I took on I always enjoyed the writing and story creation side most.
2. Who are your influences?
This seems like a cop-out answer but JK Rowling was a huge influence for me. She was the first children’s/teen writer I read (as an adult) that completely immersed me into the world around her characters.
I've always loved the worlds that stories are set in. Often as much as the characters. C.S. Lewis’s Narnia. GRRM’s Westeros. Middle Earth. I love the Star Wars universe, Marvel and DC universes. All that back-story the character relationships and history. Which is why I spent a lot of time crafting the realm of Perseopia around my main characters.
The rest of my influences form a huge jumbled pile of writers and include: Philip Pullman, H.P. Lovecraft, Justin Cronin, Cormack McCarthy, James Herbert, Chuck Palahniuk, Suzanne Collins. Whatever I’m reading at the time of writing tends to influence me. Which is why whenever I begin a book that I feel is badly written I have to abandon it.
3. Who is your favorite author? What is your favorite book?
There are too many to choose from. If I was forced to pick one, I’d have to go with The Road by Cormac McCarthy.
4. How do you like to write (computer, typewriter, pen & paper)?
Computer. I make too many mistakes to use paper. I’d need half the Amazon rain forest cut down and pulped for the number of mistakes I make. Much easier to use a computer...and it leaves a smaller carbon footprint!
5. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Reading mainly. Life is so noisy and busy that quiet time with a book is my ideal pastime. But I enjoy anything with a story. Movies, TV shows, video games, anything that can evoke an emotion or thrill with adventure.
6. What inspired you to write Eden At The Edge Of Midnight?
The birth of my eldest daughter. I wanted to write (and paint) her a picture book about a young girl and her adventures in an unusual and magical fantasy world. My imagination has always been my strongest asset and I realized early on that I had too many ideas for a simple picture book. (And that my paintings weren't particularly great) That’s when I decided I had to write a novel. And then later a series of novels.
7. Why did you decide to make the main character a teenage girl?
Because I wanted my main character to be young enough that she would display a sense of wonder and naivety like a child thrown into a magical world would, but I also wanted her to be grown up enough that she had some independence and confidence too. There are a lot of emotionally needy female protagonists in teen fiction at the moment. Girls that need boyfriends to feel validated in their lives. I wanted to create a strong female lead for my daughters. A young woman that is an outsider, geeky and vulnerable, but shows strength and courage too. In the sequel two years have passed since Eden, she’s stronger still and on her way to becoming a serious badass!
8. Are you working on the sequel?
Yes. I have the plot all worked out and even the overall arc for the next three books. I’m a hundred and fifty pages into the sequel. Which isn't very much, so I need to concentrate and get writing! I’m really excited by the sequel. A lot of things will get explained and I’ll be introducing characters that were only hinted at in the first book.
9. How many books are there going to be in the series?
At minimum 5. But probably 6.
10. Are you going to stick to the fantasy genre in the future?
Certainly for the rest of The Vara Volumes, yes. I've had a few other ideas that I suppose you’d file under the Sci-Fi, and separately, paranormal genres. But I’ll have to leave those as notes for the time being as I’m fully committed to delivering the next installment of the Vara Volumes.
Eden at the Edge of Midnight 4/5 (Review)
From the 4th to the 6th of June Eden at the Edge of Midnight (Kindle) is going to be 75p (99 cents) on Amazon.