Interview with Johnathan Kemp

What do your fans mean to you?
I have always thought that knowledge was wasted if it was not shared. If people read what I write, they get to share in my thinking. In turn their comments share their thinking with me and hopefully we both benefit. I am interested in encouraging others to think for themselves and to question what they read and are told. If they end up disagreeing with me that's fine too. I guess the worst outcome would be to write something and then for no one to read it.
What are you working on next?
For a long time I have wanted to write a book about basic economic ideas. Not an economics text book, but something that was easily accessible and to which people could relate. Something that encourages people to think and to question. It would be great if people started demanding better answers from their politicians and actively sought to look beyond the sound bites. An understanding of some simple basic economic concepts can open up whole new lines of thinking and open people up to all kinds of new possibilities.
Who are your favorite authors?
For years I limited myself to reading for information and learning. So I read everything from Richard Dawkins and Stephen Jay Gould to Joseph Stiglitz, James Gleick, Karen Armstrong. Now I am retired and am cutting myself a little slack. So mixed in with factual stuff I am enjoying some fantasy and science fiction. I have just discovered Ann Leckie's Ancillary trilogy which are excellent.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
It's morning and I have slept long enough.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Playing the Chromatic Button Accordion, reading, going out with my wife. I seem to spend a hell of a lot of time thinking. One idea chains on to another. In seconds I can have bridged across from one starting point to somewhere totally different through lightly connected steps.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
To be honest, I am new to ebooks. I have a large library of books at home. I have now reached the point where I have to get rid of a book, if I buy a new one, to make room. I love charity shop shopping as you never know what books you can find and I log them on a memrise database on my phone, so that I don't buy the same book twice. Moving over to ebooks is going to be an essential move to enable me to down-size.
What is your writing process?
I seem to start with a number of separate ideas that coalesce into a reasoned whole. I start capturing the individual components as they come to me and as I find material that relates to them. The hardest thing for me is knowing when something is finished. I see so many different links between ideas that the structure and order of a book can keep changing. My first published book was not the book I was working on at the time. The EU referendum happened and everything had to go onto a back burner whilst I got "Leaving Democracy?" out of my system.
What do you read for pleasure?
I like well written factual books that I can learn something from. Popular science, history, economics, anything that will introduce new ideas or provide for a better understanding. When I feel the need to lighten things up I enjoy science fiction and to a lesser extent fantasy books.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Tesco Hudl 2. Its cheap, got a good screen, nice size and weight and offers the facility to extend its memory with a micro sd card. Sadly they are no longer available and there isn't going to be a hudl 3
What events have influenced your writing
At school I didn't like French, so when it came to pick my options I chose Economics even though I had no idea what it was. It was either that or French. I should add that I now enjoy studying languages for fun, but at that time school French was all memorising. Economics opened my eyes to a subject in which I could grasp concepts and apply them. Economics gave me a new way of seeing the world. At about that time borrowed a book on logic from the school library. Suddenly having had years of education that was all about what to think I was being shown ways of how to think and given a whole new field of study in which to apply that thinking. Since then I have found myself looking more at how ideas link to each other and inform each other. It is why I like to share knowledge and ideas and to encourage people to think and question for themselves.
Published 2016-12-19.
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Books by This Author

Leaving Democracy?
Price: Free! Words: 9,170. Language: British English. Published: December 19, 2016. Categories: Nonfiction » Politics & Current Affairs » Current affairs
In June 2016 the United Kingdom held the European Union Referendum. The result has been almost universally interpreted as a win for those who want the United Kingdom to leave the European Union. This book challenges this interpretation of the EU Referendum result, arguing that the result was in fact a landslide in favour of Remain. It draws on a variety of evidence to justify this perspective.