Interview with J.J. Maxwell

Why do you charge so little for the eBooks in your Helen James series ?
I have priced these eBooks so that children can easily afford to purchase them from their pocket money.
It is my idea that children can read each of the books in the series and let their imagination run as if it is them who are going on the adventures.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The adventure of the day. Being retired my time is my own with the exception of what ever my wife has planned for the day.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Taking my wife wherever she wants to go, spending time with my granddaughter and working in my allotment
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
very sad but I purchased a Nook e-reader for the sole purpose of being able to read my own books. I first discovered eBooks when I gave my wife a Kindle for a Christmas present (the best present I had ever given her - her words not mine)
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes. I needed to get away from my office desk at lunch times. I took a writing pad and pen to the canteen and started to write about a 18th century smuggler from the village I grew up in. I put a sub plot in this story and got diverted. I was more interested in this now story so went on to write it and it became my first published book - The Virgins Wreath by Bob Looker (my real name). I still have the original story on the back burner, I'll get around to completing it in a year or two.
What is your writing process?
I would best say muddled. I often have several books on the go at the same time. I start with a basic idea, plan out the start middle and the end and then get down to writing it. I generally start with pen and paper but once I am at about chapter 4 then I just sit at my computer and type. I always have music drumming in my ears as this cuts out all the noise around me and allows me to concentrate on the story. Once I have my first draft I transfer it to my Nook and read it through. re-write and eventually I get a Proof copy and pass it to my friend - the editor. She is a person I trust to tear it to pieces.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Unfortunately I was not an avid reader as a child and as such books played little in my growing up.
How do you approach cover design?
I was lucky enough to find a cover designer who is on my wave length. Once we had arrived at the basic series design all I have to do is give her a brief on the story and what I am looking to portray on the cover. only one have I had to go back to her more than twice for changes.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
That is unfair. My favourite books are ones I have written. My first book - The Virgins Wreath. My latest book - The Long Walk Home (both written under my name - Bob Looker) The first book in the Helen James series - The Yunkery Problem and one that is due out in time for Christmas 2017 - Helen James & Saving Father Christmas
What do you read for pleasure?
FaceBook
What is your e-reading device of choice?
There is so much variety. The Kindle was the first, then I got a Nook and now I use the Kobo app. The choice is very much dependant on your pocket and requirements
Describe your desk
Cluttered. I have my PC in front of me, the printer to my right, and various papers and books to my left. It is a good job that I have a large desk and it is in the spare room!!!
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a small village in the South Downs of Sussex. My first book was influenced by a booklet written by a man for his PHD in History and it was all about my village from roman times up until the present times (1960s) In this booklet there was a page about the smugglers who worked out of the village and was where I started.
What's the story behind your latest book?
This is difficult as it involves 2 books. The first was the story about how someone stole the story of a writer and sold it as a film and the writer sued for breach of copy write. The only trouble was that I had no idea what this story was about, so decided to write the story that the film was based on. Going well hope to have them both out by the end of 2017
Published 2017-11-01.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Helen James & The Ruby Sword
Series: Helen James. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 33,170. Language: British English. Published: November 15, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Action, Fiction » Children’s books » Action & Adventure / Pirates
A 'Good' has gone missing but he is the only one who can save millions of lives on a far off planet. The Visitants send for Helen James to find him. Weting takes Helen to the planet Yungr to search for Jawake. She starts in the market place which only sells weapons. Luker gives her the Ruby Sword, which she later discovers is magical. Will she find Jawake and secure his freedom?
Helen James & Frozen in Time
Series: Helen James. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 16,340. Language: British English. Published: November 15, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Action, Fiction » Children’s books » Action & Adventure / Pirates
Helen's first day at the Academy was interrupted by Hyming, the visitant. Helen was needed to solve the problem of a space ship adrift far across the universe. With the help of the visitants children Helen was able to work out not only where the ship came from but how to return it to its home planet. To Helens surprise their home planet was on the far side of the Milky Way.
Helen James & Saving Father Christmas
Series: Helen James. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 20,240. Language: British English. Published: November 15, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Action, Fiction » Children’s books » Action & Adventure / Survival Stories
Helen James has stopped believing in Father Christmas but her 4 year old nephew still believes. As they visit Santa's Grotto at the shopping centre Helen is taken away by Hyming the Visitant to the planet Lapand, the home of Father Christmas. Santa needs help as he is too old now. Helen finds a replacement much like in the folklore she had read about Father Christmas.
Helen James & Crash
Series: Helen James. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 18,760. Language: British English. Published: November 24, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy, Fiction » Adventure » General
As Helen James cycled home she was struck by a van while the driver was on his mobile. As Helen flew across the road Pyling wrapped herself around her and took her across the universe to the Imkoo galaxy. The Visitants needed their 'Good' to sort out the galaxies banking system. 1 bank with 1 currency but no money in the bank. How can Helen save them? She understood pocket money but banks?
Helen James & To Catch a Thief
Series: Helen James. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 17,690. Language: British English. Published: November 24, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy, Fiction » Adventure » General
On Helen's way to the girls’ toilets she is engulfed by Hyming and spirited out of the school and across the universe to the Uklet Galaxy. She was not to know but 2 other ‘Goods’ had all ready visited the planet Drogan but could not find the reason for the beings dying. Helen discovered that the planet Flym were taking the Oxygn from Drogan. If she stopped them Flym die, if not Drogan die?
Helen James & Family Feud
Series: Helen James. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 21,340. Language: British English. Published: November 24, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy, Fiction » Adventure » General
The Visitant Pyling comes to collect the 'Good' Helen James as she travels home from school. There is trouble within the Visitants' home cloud. Pyling thought that the only one who could bring everyone back together was Helen. The Visitants' leader Zacred had case 4 young visitants out because he thought his leadership was under threight. Can Helen get the 2 stubborn Visitants back together?
Helen James & Fall from Grace
Series: Helen James. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 23,020. Language: British English. Published: July 17, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Action & Adventure / Survival Stories, Fiction » Adventure » Action
Helen James is on a school trip when she falls over a cliff edge and is saved by Hyming the ‘Visitant’ He is her to collect Helen and take her to the planet Chrilren where no young have been born for 10 years. Without the young, the planet will die. Can Helen make the 3 groups see sense or will she fail for the first time?
Helen James & The Yunkery Problem
Series: Helen James. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 33,020. Language: British English. Published: July 17, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Action & Adventure / Survival Stories, Fiction » Adventure » Action
7 year old Helen James’s life was about to change. Far across the universe ‘The Visitants’ needed a replacement ‘Good’ to put things right on Galaxies, Star Systems or Planets in trouble in the Universe. Despite Zacred’s objections Helen was chosen and Hyming was sent to collect Helen to solve the problems in the Yunkery Star System. Helen was worried she would be missed by her mum and sister.
Helen James & Peace ?
Series: Helen James. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 19,040. Language: British English. Published: July 17, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Action & Adventure / Survival Stories, Fiction » Adventure » Action
The ‘Visitant’ Hyming arrived to take Helen across the universe to the Ritepryde Star System. There was a dispute about the meaning of Peace. Helen soon discovered that unless she was able to solve this problem and if one of the planets was destroyed it would mean the whole universe would be sucked through its void and Helen would never get back home to her family and friends.