Interview with Jan Jacob Mekes

What do your fans mean to you?
The world. I write for my readers, not for myself. Because if I wrote only for myself, I would have quit long ago... and/or gone insane.
What are you working on next?
There's always a new story lurking around the corner, but one thing I do plan on writing and writing and writing... is more Jewel Friedman mysteries. That detective and her stories are like Marmite, you love it or you hate it... and I love her.
Who are your favorite authors?
Terry Pratchett, Professor Tolkien... um... now I'm desperately trying not to come off as too much of a nerd. I also like Russian classics (Tolstoy, Dostoevsky) and just good literature in general. To be honest, the author isn't as important as the quality of the writing.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My alarm.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Procrastinating, mostly. I play video games, I love cycling, and apart from that, I work as a freelance translator (English-Dutch). If you know anyone who needs one, let me know!

Oh, and I have a BA in history, which I'm currently applying in my research of local police history.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
To be brutally honest... mostly on Project Gutenberg, because I'm a typical Dutch cheapskate. And it helps that I love old books. But I'm also looking into reading and reviewing more indie books. Indie authors must stick together, right?
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Not really... it was probably something I wrote in elementary school. I do remember that I always loved writing. It's the only thing I'm *really* good at.
What is your writing process?
Good question. Next question.

(I'm definitely a pantser as opposed to a plotter. I do outline my stories just a tiny bit, to have a basic skeleton, but all the flesh and organs sort of grow naturally as I go along. I try to let the characters do most of the work while I write.)
How do you approach cover design?
I'm thankful to have a great friend, Ado Ceric, who is a very talented artist. So the illustrations for my covers are always top notch. Then I love playing around in Paint.NET (yes, seriously) with typography, until I get it just right. For books where Ado doesn't draw the cover illustration, I go with stock photography.
What do you read for pleasure?
For a writer, there's no such thing as reading for pleasure, since you're always thinking about how what you're reading might influence your own writing, but that doesn't mean I can't enjoy a good book. And a good book can be anything from hefty classics like Ulysses or Don Quixote, to a silly comic book (or a serious comic book), or the Bible.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
My trusty Kindle.
Describe your desk
It's a wooden thing, with a few drawers that don't get all that much use. My PC is on it, which has a big 1920x1080 screen hooked up to it (great for gaming and watching movies, but also for writing!). There's a desk lamp, a jar with pens that don't work and a quill in it (to remind me I'm a writer), and a bunch of junk. Also quite a few cat hairs (having a black and white cat means you'll always see his hairs, no matter what the surface), and last but not least, a notepad and pencil.
Published 2014-05-19.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Within
Series: Jewel Friedman Mysteries. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 16,910. Language: English. Published: January 11, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Short Stories, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
Chief Inspector Jewel Friedman returns in five cases that will truly test her mettle, hitting closer to home than she would ever have imagined or liked. Even in the face of hardship, however, she finds a companion, finally someone who seems to really understand her... but will Jewel lose her almost as soon as she found her? And how will she cope? Will she even stay on at the Yard...?
Mothered
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 53,540. Language: English. Published: July 1, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopias, Fiction » Science fiction » General
(5.00)
Barbara, Eric, and their aunt Beryl lead a quiet life on an idyllic island, untouched by time and the war between the dystopian Maternopole and Overmere. Everything seems about to change, however, when Eric finds out about two girls on the mainland asking for help, throwing the island and its inhabitants into a maelstrom of uncertainty.
Bouffon Stories 2012
Series: Bouffon Stories. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 20,660. Language: English. Published: March 12, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author
(5.00)
Twenty-one delicious stories for your delectation. All based on writing prompts from various fans (and/or readers), these bizarre tales range from comedic to serious, from horror to noir, from back to front, and back again.
Chief Inspector Jewel Friedman
Series: Jewel Friedman Mysteries. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 15,590. Language: English. Published: January 6, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Short Stories
(5.00)
Meet Detective... uh... Chief Inspector Jewel Friedman, a brilliant, quirky young woman who is one of the most talented detectives of Scotland Yard. Follow in her footsteps as she solves five bizarre murder cases, taking her from London to Hawaii, to great heights and great depths.
Bouffon Stories 2011
Series: Bouffon Stories. Price: Free! Words: 16,460. Language: English. Published: February 14, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author
(5.00)
Bouffon Stories 2011 is a collection of 28 short stories, all lovingly crafted to meet the standards of those who submitted writing prompts. The result is a strange but potent mixture of stories, ranging from funny and emotional to downright bizarre.
Struglend Tales
Series: The Struglend Saga, Book 1. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 59,630. Language: English. Published: February 3, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
(5.00)
Follow Edward, the ugliest and probably most haphazard king Struglend has ever had, and his herald Fred, as they go on a quest to restore order to the universe. Well, maybe not the universe, but at least the little piece of land they call home – Struglend. In their journey to remove the evil knight who has invaded the kingdom, they meet several hilarious characters.