Interview with J.B. Turner

Describe your desk
A solid wood table in my kitchen. Better view than my study.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a small town in Scotland by the sea. A great place called Dunbar. The birthplace of the environmentalist John Muir. I was very fortunate. How did it influence my writing? I think anyone who has ever lived by or near the sea, knows the feeling of freedom and space which opens up when you're near the sea. That's how I felt and still do, walking a beach, staring out over an ocean. Hard to beat. And I think it's seeped into my writing. My last book, Hard Road, starts with my character Jon Reznick, staring out over the sea. It's just there all the time with me.
When did you first start writing?
I remember writing a short story when I was just a boy, maybe eight or nine. About a fishing boat or something.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Seeing a germ of an idea develop and change and grow into a full developed book. A story created out of nothing but a writer's imagination. It's quite something when you think about it.
Who are your favorite authors?
James Ellroy, John Buchan, Michael Connelly, Thomas H. Harris, Elmore Leonard, George Orwell, John Grisham and James Lee Burke. But there are dozens more, obviously. Those are just my personal favorites.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I spend time with my family. Watching movies. I like walking. A bit of cycling. But pretty regular stuff.
What is your writing process?
I get an idea, it germinates and it grows, and it develops, and it changes, and it morphs into something else, and I have the bare bones of a story. I write a few pages of an outline. I read that James Ellroy writes book length outlines. And I love that he goes into so much detail that it basically writes itself. I like a bit more freedom for the story to grow organically as it progresses. Surprising stuff. Dangerous stuff. But it's good to have an idea where you're going with it from the outset, at least that's what works best for me. But I don't think there's any right or wrong way to do it. It's what works for the individual author.
What do you read for pleasure?
Crime fiction, thrillers, biographies, history, but a whole bunch of stuff.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
iPad Mini. Cool device.
Published 2015-02-24.
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