Interview with J.J. Wright

What's been your latest project?
Well we have just released Mars Encounter. An exciting ebook novel that's been quite a while in the writing. It's about a conspiracy theory that says mankind is already living on Mars. I wanted to explore that idea and look at the sort of people that would go there and what would make them do that. It was also fun to explore the lives they left behind.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
That's a tough question really. Certainly I couldn't put them in any order but my desert island top five would have to be:

High Fidelity, Nick Hornby - I love his style and I think he does a great job of speaking to a generation of men who don't know how to be. All of his work is great but High Fidelity just has something special in my opinion. It's a book I think all men would recognise themselves in. It's the only book that I read at least once a year.

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams - I came late to the party on this one, not reading it until I was in my twenties. A lot of people have said that my book, Intergalactic Sweet Shop, is similar but I always get embarrassed by that. With Hitchhikers I love the universe that Adams creates and the bizarre logic of it all. It's certainly a book everyone should read in their teenage years, preferably a dog eared paperback copy. It's hard to say if I prefer the novels or the original radio series. I must admit I have a special Hitchhikers shelf on my book case with all five parts of the trilogy and the two radio script books, oh and the dvd of the movie, and I mustn't forget the box set of the radio series and the dvd of the tv series and also, well you get the point.

Flat Out Flat Broke, Perry McCarthy - An autobiography I know. I find I read a lot of biographies although not by any conscious choice. This one though is the only one I have read and been in tears of laughter. McCarthy has the distinction of being the first Stig on Top Gear, he is also statistically the least successful Formula One driver in history. Having worked in the motorsport industry myself his autobiography certainly does so a side to car racing that is rarely seen.

The Writers Tale, Russell T Davis & Benjamin Cook - Actually it's been quite a useful book for me. Its a collection of emails and text messages between the two authors about a magazine article Cook is trying to write on how an episode of Dr Who is written (this is back when Davis was the head writer and producer of the show). It's fantastic toilet reading as it's easy to dip in and out of. It's also great to read as an author because here is Davis, one of the most successful writers of the moment and he talks about writer's block, procrastinating and all the excuses you can find not to write. It shows that even if you really want to be a writer it's natural that you put it off, it is hard.

The War Of The Worlds, H.G. Wells - Ok I know what you're thinking here. But I'm not trying to slip in a book to make me look more cultured. The War Of The Worlds is an absolute favourite of mine. it's witty and clever and possibly the best costume drama yet to be filmed.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was born in Leicester, Leicestershire UK. It's a largish city in the midlands (central England). However my family moved to Farnborough, Hampshire UK when I was little. Farnborough is a very typical town about 30 miles outside of London. It's also well known for the air show held there every other year and the town next to us is Aldershot, the home of the British army. I guess this large military presence has influenced a lot of my work. Also living so close to the capital you do feel overshadowed by it. Certainly I think it has influenced work of mine such as the Skate Park series of books which are about a bunch of kids growing up and is set in an unnamed suburban town.
When did you first start writing?
My first real memories of writing for pleasure, as part of a conscious choice would be when I was about 12. Later on when I was 17 I wrote my first novel Intergalactic Sweet Shop. It was around that time that I chose to become I writer, however most of my twenties were a distraction from this so it wasn't until my early thirties that I started writing more full-time. It took me a long time to realise that writing was still something I wanted to pursue, even though it may have been obvious to those around me.
What is your writing process?
Slow. Hahaha. Seriously though it depends on the project. I usually like to work quickly, mainly because I loose focus otherwise. I find it impossible to work at home. I live in a small flat and my desk is in the same room as my TV so it can be very distracting. I'm afraid I'm that stereotypical author in the coffee shop typing away on a laptop, which I hate myself for. I'm lucky that I live near a few large towns so can write for 60-90 minutes in a café, go for a wonder for a bit before settling down in the next café to do 60-90 minutes more. It works for me. I find those size chunks work best. Although I tend to find it's re-writing that takes the longest.
Describe your desk
Messy!!! Although I don't work from home often I do most of my re-writes there. My desk has a small set of draws to the left hand side where my printer sits. The bottom of the desk has a shelf where I keep books such as a dictionary, thesaurus, baby naming books and Stephen King on Writing. Above that my desk has a sliding shelf (for a keyboard) where I often keep the notes for what I'm working on. The main desk surface has a jar of pens (some of which actually work) no fewer then two coffee cups, space for my laptops and a spare hard-drive for backing up. Also sitting on my desk is my Dr Who Mr Potato Head.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Hearing the story for the first time. I'm not very good at writing if I know the ending, or at least the story as a whole. I basically loose interest. It's like I'm reading as I'm writing, telling myself the story first. That's the area that brings real joy to me as I work.

The first time some one downloaded a piece of my work was a big buzz for me also. It was the first time that someone who didn't know me was reading something I had written. They weren't forced into it by being my family or friend they just liked the sound of the book so downloaded it. I will never know who that person is and they will never know how important they were to my career but we have a strange anonymous bond.
What are you working on next?
Yet more writing. I've written a few short stories to help publicise Mars Encounter. These will be coming out as a complete work along with a special bonus story at the end of May. They feature characters and scenarios which are hinted at in the main book and so far have been popular. After these are out I hope to take a short break.

Then going to be working on a collection of short stories which should be out sometime over the summer. At the moment collecting ideas for about half a dozen different stories of varying lengths. Desperately trying to make sure that they aren't all science fiction, I want it to be a real eclectic mix of stories. Some will be funny, some will be sad. Some contemporary and some set in the not to distant future. We aren't sure of a title yet but look out for it soon. News of it's release will be hitting my blog first.
Published 2017-05-05.
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Books by This Author

Mars Encounter: Prequel Stories
Price: Free! Words: 26,100. Language: English. Published: May 21, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure, Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
What if mankind could travel to Mars? Would you want to go? What would life be like for those left behind? What would you want to know? What if mankind was already on Mars? What if you had no choice but to join them? What it your loved ones suddenly disappeared? What if your government didn't want you to know about It? Mars Encounter is that story
Mars Encounter
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 78,600. Language: English. Published: May 5, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General
What if mankind could travel to Mars? Would you want to go? What would life be like for those left behind? What would you want to know? What if mankind was already on Mars? What if you had no choice but to join them? What it your loved ones suddenly disappeared? What if your government didn't want you to know about It? Mars Encounter is that story
Intergalactic Sweet Shop
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 72,260. Language: English. Published: February 11, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » Parody, Fiction » Science fiction » Space opera
A fun comedic story about a sweet shop in space where the owner is accidentally made the captain of the first faster then light ship. Intergalactic Sweet Shop shows that mankind's inability to make calm sensible decisions isn't confined to Earth. Mismanagement is the name of the game as they journey to where no man has ever wanted to go before.
Skate Park: Victoria and the Petition
Series: Skate Park, Book 3. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 18,490. Language: English. Published: August 10, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Sports & Recreation / Skateboarding, Fiction » Children’s books » Social Issues / Friendship
The third book in the popular Skate Park series by J.J. Wright. Fun for all in this heart warming and hilarious comedy about kids growing up in a suburban skate park. The first book in this series is still available for free. We follow the gang as the try to save the park from being demolished.
Skate Park: Danny and the Supreme Ultimate Mega Champion of the Entire Universe
Series: Skate Park, Book 2. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 17,860. Language: English. Published: June 12, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Sports & Recreation / Skateboarding
The annual skate boarding competition comes to the park, this is Danny’s chance to shine and especially impress Lucy with his awesome boarding skills and his awesome hair. But tragedy befalls Danny at the competition and he must learn to live with a new champion of the park and an unexpected one at that.
Skate Park: Lucy and the Skate Park
Series: Skate Park, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 19,420. Language: English. Published: June 12, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Sports & Recreation / Skateboarding
The first part in a series of books by new author J.J.Wright. Lucy and the Skate Park sets the scene for the future adventures as well as being a fun read for everyone. Lucy is having to do the scary thing of making new friends. Her parents have moved into the area and seem to think it would be a good idea for her to meet new people, but who will she find in the Skate Park.