Thorstruck Press authors are more than just a bunch of writers happy to have landed with a great publishing company. We’re family. We stick up for each other, we tease, flatter and advise each other and celebrate new releases and successes together. This is partly because most of us have known each other for quite a while, usually from the good old Authonomy days, but there’s more. Under the inspiring guidance of Thorstruck’s co-ordinator, the prolific author -and marvelous cover designer – Poppet we’ve grown into a solid team over the past couple of months. And everybody knows a good team can conquer anything.
As a tribute to Thorstruck Press and its wonderfully diverse authors – truly birds of many feathers! – I’m interviewing my partners-in-crime here on my blog but decided to ask some questions that would stretch their writing capacities a little.
I do hope you like the new series of interviews. They’re mostly for fun!
Here’s is – first and foremost – my revered pal from Wales who resides in Germany: Mr Richard Rhys Jones….
Questions about Thorstruck Press:
When did you join Thorstruck Press and which book(s) of yours have they published so far?
I dropped into Thorstruck’s lap about twelve hours after my old publisher, (Taylor Street) made it official that they’d closed shop. They took me onto their books, re-edited and re-released, “The Division of the Damned”, and I’ve signed two more contracts for, “The House in Wales” and, “The Chronicles of Supernatural Warfare”.
What do you like about your new publisher?
Dynamism, communication and their unabashed interest in what everyone’s doing. Thorstruck is small, close and the people in charge are in constant communication with their, “stable”. They also throw ideas out there, and then do their damndest to see these ideas through.
What’s the best thing that has happened to you since you joined TS?
Without a doubt the audio-book format of “Division”. I am so stoked about that.
They also want to investigate the possibility of making it into a graphic novel, which is what I wanted in the first place. If that comes off, I will be one happy teddy.
Which adjective describes you best? One adjective and I (Hannah) guess why you chose that one.
Hannah: Spot on. I don’t think I’ve ever seen one picture of you or read one comment by you in which you expressed chagrin. You always look like you’re having a good time, you are always friendly and outgoing, always harmoniously surrounded by family and friends. You truly have a large heart and a happy constitution.
If you were transformed into an animal right now, which one would it be?
A cat. They have such easy lives, sleep, eat and whine. Brilliant!
You are a time-traveller and have just boarded your comfortable flying limo that instantly takes you to 2114. From your distinct point in space you see the current human race struggle for survival. What change would you implement immediately?
Okay, I firstly put down a serious answer about outlawing the industrial military complex, curbing dependence on fossil fuels and making far reaching changes in the workings of the security council in the UN.
Then I thought, hello? Reggie?
So I’ll just say that if I had the power to change the world in one thing, I’d stop all insurance, lawyer and financial service television ads. If that doesn’t make the world a better place, nothing will.
In what other era would you like to have been born?
I have no interest in any other era before the introduction of anaesthetic for dental work. I like the here and now; in fact I’d like to be born in the future please. Not some dystopian, post nuclear holocaust survival scenario though. I was thinking more along the lines of Woody Allen’s film, “Sleeper”.
What is your worst habit and why can’t you shake it off?
My worst habit isn’t a habit, as such. I never go to the doctor when I’m ill. I always try and shrug things off and tell myself that I’ll be alright. I’ve always seen myself as being indestructible, which has recently come around to bite me on the butt.
Whatever, I’ve learnt my lesson and will now look after myself a lot better. Well, that’s the plan anyway.
Favourites (one word only)
- Colour? Red.
- Country? Wales.
- Veggie? Asparagus..
- Season? Winter.
- Thorstruck author? Me.
- Clothing item? Tee-shirt.
- Tree? Dragon Blood Tree.
- Beverage? Beer Water.
- Time of day? Evening.
- Author? Bernard Cornwall.
- Family member? Gran, (now passed away).
- Body part? Butt… I have a great butt.
I can hear your brain ticking from here. Why asparagus of all things, I hear it asking? Asparagus was something I discovered in the army. We never had it in Wales, as my parents didn’t like it, and so when I went to the cookhouse and saw it prepared for the first time, I was curious. I like my asparagus soft and the army cooks, regardless of what anyone ever says about them, prepare asparagus to perfection. Those cream-hued sticks of vegetable goodness slipped down my throat like droplets of renal Ambrosia, expunging my over worked kidneys of all the nasty, alcohol related poisons that had built up over the years. They also made my next trip to the urinal a lesson in free-diving breathing control, but that’s another thing entirely.
Asparagus, a gift from the Gods, and the curse of all toilet attendants.
Dislikes (one word only)
- Politician? Tony Blair.
- Genre? Romance.
- Food? Sushi.
- Chore? Lawn.
- Sport? Darts.
- Author? Jeffrey Archer.
- Group? Bieber.
- City? Manchester.
- TV-programme? Big Brother
- Fashion style? 90’s Manchester/Oasis look.
- Job? Parcel delivery service.
- Character trait? Insecurity.
- Climate? Death Valley.
Delivering parcels is one of the worst jobs in the world. Yes, shark/crocodile wrestling is moderately more life threatening, Indian Primark textile workers are paid marginally a bit less and junior doctors in African rural hospitals work a couple of hours longer, perhaps. However, the real downer with parcel delivery is the customers. You’ll dash up ten flights of stairs, clutching a parcel that’s as heavy as a dwarf star, only to have some miserable hag give you a stiff talking to because she was expecting it the day before, or some unemployed steroid pumped human pit-bull shouting at you he has no time to sign for it, he has to go to the gym, (both true stories by the way).
However, the real masturbators are the big firms. Their office and store personnel are so bored that their universal favourite pastime is, “muck the delivery man about” A mate of mine was once told by an officious looking desk jockey that he couldn’t accept the matchbox sized parcel my friend had for him there, and that he’d have to drive around to the other doorway in the building. Without complaint, he promptly did so, rang the bell for service, and the same chap walked through a door which led from the office he’d only five minutes before been stood talking to him in.
Bored ink pissers are the tormentors Satan uses in Hell for any parcel delivery driver who may pass into his realm…
What was the best lesson you ever learnt?
Not to take for granted the love of those closest to you.
Choose what you like best. You must choose!
- City or countryside. Countryside.
- Car or train. Car.
- Man or woman. Woman.
- Night or day. Night.
- Ebook or pocket. Ebook.
- Main course or dessert. Main course.
- Flower or beast. Beast.
- Sea or mountains. Sea.
- Sex or talk. Sex. (Hey, I’m a guy, I HAVE to choose that one)
- Mud bath or ice bath. Mud.
- Online friends or neighbours. Online friends.
- Kids or old folk. Kids.
- Thinking or doing. Doing.
- Agreeing or disagreeing. Agreeing.
To what extent do dreams play a part in your writing?
I have used ideas I dreamt about, but I don’t rely on them. I don’t hit a brick wall and think, “I know, I’ll nosh some Gouda and have a powernap”.
If an idea hits me in my sleep, and I remember it the next day, I might use it. No hard and fast rule.
Which word encompasses your writing style best?
Describe your writing spot in three colourful sentences.
My desk sits next to the patio windows that look out across my lawn to the fields beyond. Tucked neatly into a corner, it’s distinct, paper strewn and wild. Old wood and new technology, it’s one of the cornerstones of who I am, and what I like to do.
Writers tend to observe their fellow humans everywhere they go, always on the hunt for potential new characters. When did you first realize you were shamelessly staring at your own species?
A good question and something I’ve never really thought about. I can’t say I’ve picked up on how people react from real people, truth be told. If I watch an old drama that I know backwards, I’ll note how the actors react to certain stimulus and situations. Of course, that’s not the real world, but it is exaggerated, which helps in my perception of how people will react to a certain situation.
Who is your all-time favourite character? Your own or someone else’s.
Richard Sharpe, from the Sharpe series of books by Bernard Cornwall. That man can write a story, seriously.
If you have other obligations in life next to writing, how many percent of yourself is writer, you reckon?
Writing and music are the only hobbies that I’ve ever been passionate about. Drinking too but that’s not really a hobby, is it?
However, I also work shifts in a steelworks, and I’m a father and husband. So I’d say that musically I’m about 10%, and 10% work orientated. 60% family and the other 20% is me aspiring to be a writer.
You are a successful genre writer but now your publisher has decided to push you out of your comfort zone by ordering you to write a book in a genre which is absolute not your cup of tea. Like an actor, you will have to be able to fit the new role. Which genre would your publisher give you? Share the first paragraph of this novice work with us.
Their eyes converged as he entered the room, and for Julia, time stopped in its tracks. Dark, tall and feverishly handsome, Julia knew he was the one; that here was the man who could dry the tears of her split with Dwayne. Her heart pattered like a baby poodle as he stared directly at her, weighed down by the heavy box he was delivering.
“Where should I put it?” he asked finally, his voice deep and rich, breathless after the ten flights of stairs.
She swallowed heavily and pointed to a space between two filing cabinets. “Over there please,” she stuttered, flicking a loose strand of her auburn locks out of her face before smoothing her skirt. Studying his massive frame as he carried the new printer past her, she focused on his dark wavy hair and thick, muscled neck. Then she took in his wide back under the perfectly ironed shirt. A dark line of sweat ran down his back, and she smiled to herself as his musk filled the room, clean, honest and masculine. Her eyes drifted down to his shorts as all manner of wanton thoughts danced at the back of her psyche.
“Do you want me to unpack it for you?” he asked over his shoulder. Shocked, Julia drew her eyes away from the mesmerising khakis and, realising he meant the package said, “Yes please, that’d be nice.”
Thank you so much, you priceless Colwyn Quaffer! I haven’t laughed that much in weeks!
Richard Rhys Jones hails originally from Colwyn Bay, North Wales. The wrong side of forty-five, he now lives in Lower Saxony, Germany with his wife, two kids and two cats. He plays the drums, writes lyrics for the Thrash band, “Gods Will Be Done” and supports Liverpool football club.
Reggie’s Thorstruck page: http://www.thorstruckpress.com/richard-rhys-jones.html