Interview with P.J. Leonard

When did you first start writing?
Back in primary school (I think 5th year), I remember coming to the end-of-term and our whole class was given this huge long term assignment: build a fictional country. The whole idea was, I think, to teach us the complexities of politics, economics and how there's no easy answers. But over the heads of 10 year olds! But so LOVED the world-building aspect of it. I wanted to create my own world, my own stories. So after the school project finished I kept going...
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Vaguely...I think it was this long form poetry project I had at school that I took a little bit too far: if I recall correctly the concept was a man going through one day where all the seasons passed. It was quite avant-garde!
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The thrill of writing is that of creativity in its purest form. Nothing excites me more than the limitless possibilities of a blank sheet of paper.

But more than just carving out my own worlds and adventures, I love sharing them with others, taking them on a journey and getting them to share that same joy. Nothing is better.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Being author is, for me, the ultimate expression of freedom and creativity. No rules, no budget constraints, no celebrity actors with big egos or dodgy CGI. You can do ANYTHING in a book.

Being an indie author is a natural extension of that. It offers complete control of what you do at every stage of the process.
What's the story behind your latest book?
'Tick' is not so much a coming-of-age story as it is a coming-of-humanity story. It tells the story of Tom Verbrusser, who at the age of just 18 is already shaping up to be one odious, nasty man.

One day, he wakes up to find he's been turned into a cat. Not good news at the best of times, but he has an important sales presentation in three days and must find a way back to becoming a human. But to do so, he must first find a way back to humanity...
What do your fans mean to you?
Everything! I love communicating with fans, hearing their thoughts, interacting with them. The internet has made fandom something truly special, as sophisticated and creative as the original thing that inspired it. It's wonderful.
What is your writing process?
My work grows from the seed of an idea that intrigues me. Now, I'm terrible at coming up with intriguing ideas wholesale, so my process is to take two fairly standard but different concepts and fuse them together into one premise. For example, let's take the standard premise of a vampire romance and stanard premise of a police procedural. Put them in a blender and what do you come up with? Suddenly you start thinking of clever ways to fuse the two: characters, settings, plot, and hey presto! I've got my intriguing idea to build from.
Who are your favorite authors?
There are so many to pick from! But if I had to give a top three, I would say they are Jonathan Stroud, Brandon Sanderson and Joseph Campbell.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Well, I'm quite lucky that I have a job I genuinely enjoy, but on top of that I currently live in Japan. Even now every day brings something new, a little adventure, and I'm always curious to see what the new day will bring.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Well, I'm a self-prescribed workaholic so I find it hard to relax! But I enjoy hiking, photography, and playing video games in my downtime.
What are you working on next?
Something huge. A big, sweeping sci-if dystopian thriller called 'Exit', and I am seriously proud of this one. The central idea to it is something that just came to me in a flash of inspiration, and it was just too good, I instantly sat down and fleshed it out for a good few hours. Can't wait to share it in full!
Published 2016-11-15.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Last Hand You Shake
You set the price! Words: 6,050. Language: British English. Published: January 1, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary, Fiction » Fantasy » Dark
Everybody has a figure that follows them. From the moment they come into being. This figure keeps it's distance, but will gradually come closer until one day it is time to shake hands. And their's will be the last hand you shake.
The Closet
Price: $1.00 USD. Words: 9,620. Language: English. Published: June 11, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
I had lived with the nightmares in my closet for years. Fought them alone. Gave up questioning why it was me. I never thought I could find anyone to share it with...
Blood Of The Cherry Blossom
Price: $1.00 USD. Words: 14,380. Language: English. Published: March 16, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary
What would you do if you discovered a miracle? Yushi has discovered one, under the blossom of a cherry tree, and he's not sure what to do next... Support the author on Patreon and get this book for free!
Winter Takes a Holiday (Short Story)
Price: Free! Words: 8,090. Language: English. Published: February 28, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Fiction, Fiction » Fantasy » General
Anttoni has always wondered why the top of the local mountain is always covered in snow, even in the height of summer. When he gets his chance to climb the mountain, what he finds is the last thing he expected...
When Big Ben Stopped (Short Story)
Price: Free! Words: 4,610. Language: British English. Published: January 31, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary
(4.00 from 2 reviews)
"Nobody would have expected the bell of Big Ben to freeze one second before midnight on December 31st. Least of all me: after all, I’m the mechanic who maintains the thing. But that wasn’t even the most shocking thing. No, it was the fact that everybody else in the world had frozen with it. Except me..."
Sarah Sues Santa
Price: Free! Words: 25,320. Language: English. Published: December 4, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Holidays & Celebrations / Christmas & Advent, Fiction » Holiday » Christmas
(5.00 from 1 review)
Sarah has been an angel all year, and Santa still didn't bring her exactly what she wanted! This is the final straw. She decides to send one more letter to Santa: to tell him she is suing him! What will Saint Nick do? 'Sarah Sues Santa' is the delightfully festive Christmas tale from P.J. Leonard, author of Kickstarter campaign success 'Tick' and 'Kami'.
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 93,730. Language: British English. Published: November 14, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy
"TICK is an inspiring, enthralling feline read." - Erin Hunter, International bestselling author of the 'Warriors' series. Tom Verbrisser is only 18 years old and already has it all. A rising business empire. The fastest car. The biggest house. The finest clothes. He is also a cat. Oh. Well, that last one wasn't part of the plan. 'Tick' is the first novel from P.J. Leonard.