When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I don't think one chooses to be a writer. It is something that is cast upon you. I first fell in love with books when i was very, very young. Perhaps five or six. I think I always knew that writing was for me but I made a very intense effort to not be a writer. It was like I spent twenty something years running from it and trying to find something to fill my life with that wasn't writing. University, various jobs and multiple career changes finally led me to make the brave decision to give into what I knew all along. Writing. Full time.
What genre do you write and why?
I'm not a fan of the word 'genre'. I understand why it's used; you need categories in bookshops, libraries and online to make it easier to search for the kind of book you want or don't want. Yet, I regard myself as a storyteller first and foremost. Whether that story happens within a framework of horror, fantasy, crime or whatever, doesn't really matter to me. For me it is always about the story. Sometimes it's fun to change things up but whether you are reading about Bilbo Baggins or Atticus Finch (who are poles apart in terms of genre) it doesn't change the fact that both The Lord of the Rings and To Kill a Mockingbird are great universal stories. Their genre just tells me where in the bookstore I need to go to find them.
Tell us about your latest book.
My latest book is also my first. It's an ebook called 'Looking Back'. It's just a small piece of work consisting of two short stories yet it means an awful lot to me. Both the stories deal with memory and death but not in any morbid way whatsoever. 'The Girl in the Blue Dress' and 'The Presence of Nothing' both seem to have a real resonance with the reader (according to the feedback I've received so far) which is vital for me as a writer. Again, the story is always what comes first but if that story has an effect on the reader then my job is done. I've been told that a few tears have been shed while reading these stories so 'buyer beware'.
What marketing methods are you using to promote your book?
As I'm self published, then I have to use the tools I have available to me. Which, for the main part, is the internet. I'm on Twitter and have a dedicated Author page on Facebook. When it was first available to buy online there was a lot of nudging family and friends to purchase it and tell their friends and so on. Word of mouth is a decent marketing tool once the writing is of a good quality but for sheer numbers, social networks are the way to go. I also sent a few copies to bloggers so that they might write about 'Looking Back'. Luckily for me it has all been good reviews so far.
What formats is the book available in?
The book is available online on Amazon to download to your kindle. Even if you don't have a kindle that doesn't matter. Amazing will let you download a free Kindle app to read the book directly on your computer.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
When I'm not writing I'm thinking about writing. Yet, when I do manage to turn the voices in my head off, I like to play music. I have been playing guitar since I was a little boy. Of course I love to read. What author doesn't? I try to keep myself in shape seeing as how a lot of my time is spent sitting over my computer so I work out, walk lots and try to catch up with my mates and their families.
Stephen King for me is probably my favorite author of all time. As a child, when I first learned to love books, Enid Blyton was the only author I would read. But my taste varies from time to time. I love Cormac McCarthy, Frank McCourt (being Irish it's hard not to love him). Also there is a guy called Patrick Rothfuss who will one day, in my opinion, be one of the greatest fantasy story tellers of all time. George.R.R. Martin also.
What advice do you have for other writers?
Simple. Stop thinking about writing and write. Write everyday. Even if it's just a few hundred words. Write, write, write.
What's your favorite quote for writing/for writers?
"There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed." It may sound a bit drastic, but writing is all about taking what is inside of you and putting it down on paper. If you don't do it full and honestly then it's not writing.
What's the best thing about being a writer?
It is quite simply, getting to create my own worlds and characters and writing the stories that I would like to read myself.
Where can people find out more about you and your writing?
I'm on Twitter @JayFinn32. My facebook author page is here https://www.facebook.com/AuthorJayFinn My amazon page where you can purchase my ebook is here http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006QZ4XME
Anything else you'd like to add?
Well my first full length novel (still untitled) will be ready within the next few months so I would hope people would check out 'Looking Back', join my Twitter and Facebook pages so I can let everyone know when the novel finally comes out. And thanks for giving me this opportunity to talk about myself a bit.