Interview with T. K. Jones

What is your writing process?
It can start in a number of different ways. Sometimes I come up with a title that I think is catchy or interesting and work around it (brainstorm) and see what I come up with. Other times I might have a character sketch. I ask what happens to the character? Why? How? When? Who? Sometimes I see a powerful scene in my head and build a story around it. It can also start with a dream ( I have many bizarre dreams.) So for me, dreams can turn out to be a free writing prompt!
I don't have a set-in-stone process of writing. Maybe that's what makes writing so interesting for me.
How do you approach cover design?
I've always designed my own cover. They don't look fancy but they don't look horrible either. I get royalty-free images online and I use GIMP which is an opensource program I highly recommend. Often times I will make multiple covers and choose my favorite one. If I use an image on my cover, I make sure it's relevant to what my story is about. For example, I wont put an ET on the cover or a whodunit murder mystery set in the 1920s! (PS: I'm available to design your ebook covers as well! Contact me!)
Who are your favorite authors?
Vladimir Nabokov, Franz Kafka, Albert Camus, Sylvia Plath, Edward Gorey, Christoper Isherwood, Dr. Suess, Stephen King
What are your five favorite books, and why?
1. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov - Nabokov is one of my favorite writers and he is clever with words. In Lolita, he can make you feel sorry for a criminal!
2. The Trial by Franz Kafka - Kafka has a huge influence on me. Many of my stories are what you might call "Kafkaeque."
3. The Journals of Sylvia Plath - Gah! Even her journals are well-written!
4. The Girl in the Flammable Skirt by Aimee Bender - Very visual and absurd. You just have to read it to see what I mean.
5. The Stranger by Albert Camus - I read this in the summer before high school and I really felt an affinity with this book. I'm not sure why...
What do you read for pleasure?
I enjoy short stories, books on writing/publishing (how to, nonfiction guide), conspiracy-related books, books about classic actors/actresses (Greta Garbo, Marilyn Monroe, Jean Harlow, Marlon Brando, etc.)
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I only own a Kindle wifi with a keyboard. I've had it for years and have been using it with no problem. I enjoy downloading my own books and short stories onto it and using the text-to-speech capabilities to hear Microsoft Sam (or his cousin?) read me my own work. Good for laughs. (UPDATE: My Kindle has finally stopped working. Well, it can no longer connect to the internet. But now I have an RCA Android tablet and use their Kindle app.) I also occassionally read e-books on my computer.
Describe your desk
I have a tiny metallic blue Acer Aspire One connected (HDMI) to a larger Acer flat-screen monitor. There's an Epson Stylus NX300 printer to my left on the elevated portion of the desk. I have an external Hitachi hard-drive that I never used (not sure why) and there's the usual clutter: 4 or 5 flash-drives, random pens I am too lazy to put back into the pen/pencil holder mug which is a mere few inches to the back left of my netbook, post-it notes everywhere, crumpled up napkins, and a Christmas travel mug full of coffee.
When did you first start writing?
I started writing in elementary school. My writing consisted mostly of horror stories (ghost stories), thrillers and mysteries. I was really into the paranormal. I say was... but I still am. I was reading a lot of R. L. Stine's Goosebumps and Fear Street books and watching all the scary TV shows and movies back in the day. Luckily my parents didn't try to stop me!
I started out writing things out longhand. Then my dad gave me his electric typewriter, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Then we got our first computer. We've come a long way since then!
What motivated you to become an author?
I've always known that I was born to work in the Arts. Growing up, friends and family would tell me they enjoy my (sometimes strange) stories and tell me that I was unique so I thought: why not put the stories down and share them with the world?
What are you working on next?
I've been working on a lot of poetry lately. I would like to write a whole book of poetry. Not just putting together a bunch of poems I've written but poems that work well together. Perhaps even poems around a certain theme. We shall see.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Tokyo, Japan and I remember hearing a lot of ghost stories and even bizarre, gory news stories. These really got me interested in all things scary and bizarre.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I like to watch movies, and of course reading. I also like to listen to the radio. Radio is great. Not so much the music stations but the late night talk shows on strange topics like alien abductions, mind control, bigfoot, etc.
I also am a crafter (ie. I make crafts). I like to crochet and I recently learned to knit. I can also sew. I've been painting and drawing since I was young (well, I guess most of us have but I stuck with it!)
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I think completing a piece and reading over it. I guess, deciding that the work really is complete. That it's the best that it can be and ready to be read by the public.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Moon Matrix is a short story dealing with what it is really like on the moon, the true purpose of the moon, and what happens to us after we die. It crosses a few genres: Sci-Fi, Psychological Thriller, Paranormal. I like learning about different esoteric theories about the moon (ie. the moon eats souls). So I listen to a lot of podcasts/radio shows, read articles/books and watch documentaries on this topic.
Published 2015-12-30.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Anthony Miller
Price: Free! Words: 1,670. Language: English. Published: December 21, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » Black comedy, Fiction » Literature » Literary
Anthony Miller, divorced with two teenage kids, is an unassuming office worker. So no one expects the man threatening to jump off the top of a high rise building is him!
Fancy Horse Girl, Zombified Classmates and an Insolent Instructor
Price: Free! Words: 710. Language: English. Published: June 11, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Personal memoir, Nonfiction » Biography » Autobiographies & Memoirs
This is a very short story that I wrote for Writer's Digest's 5-Minute Memoir. It was rejected. It's a true account of the creative writing workshop I took in college. My high expectations were not met. I write about what went wrong with the class. And it started on the very first day...
Price: Free! Words: 1,060. Language: English. Published: June 11, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Themes & motifs » Psychological, Fiction » Humor & comedy » Black comedy
Lori muses about birds, her birds, as her nagging psychiatrist pushes for further explanation.
A Stranger at the Monastery
Price: Free! Words: 3,880. Language: English. Published: June 10, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Themes & motifs » Spiritual & metaphysical, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Supernatural
A strange, old woman appears at a secluded monastery in Wyoming with a message for the man in charge, Bishop Kallistos Stavros. This self-professed oracle tells him that God told her to warn him of a great fireball falling from the sky... onto his monastery! She warns of Satan coming in disguise. Things are not as they seem.
Petunia and Sir Alfred
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 4,750. Language: English. Published: June 9, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Visionary & metaphysical, Fiction » Literature » Coming of age
Al, a janitor at Lakeview Asylum, never noticed Petunia, a young schizophrenic patient, until Nurse Kathy nudges him into socializing with her. Little does he know he will get pulled into Petunia's bizarre metaphysical world. She claims to be a prophetess, filling one notebook after another with frantic scribbles. Intrigued by her strange religion, he becomes a neophyte initiate.
Project Spiralbound
You set the price! Words: 8,710. Language: English. Published: October 27, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Psychological thriller, Fiction » Themes & motifs » Psychological
A poor college student trying to make some easy money gets trapped in a bizarre experiment. How will he get out of it? Can he? (Printed length = 35 pages) This is a long short story.
Fire Boy
You set the price! Words: 5,470. Language: English. Published: October 27, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Themes & motifs » Psychological, Fiction » Literature » Coming of age
Fire Boy is a short story about Jeremy Scott, a thirteen-year-old, bed-wetting pyromaniac with a grim home life and an awkward social life. What can become of such a sad creature?