Interview with Jonathan Broughton

Published 2016-02-28.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I was a slow starter at reading. The teacher at my primary school, a spinster with a very large bosom, scared the life out of me. A nice old lady who lived opposite helped me learn and the first books I remember reading and enjoying were the Narnia books by CS Lewis. I loved that fantasy world and the adventures that fired my imagination. I didn't understand the religious symbolism until much later. For me, it didn't add or detract anything from the excitement of the stories.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I've always been an avid reader who wanted to write. Over the last few years the changes in the publishing world have been extraordinary, in particular the control writers have in how and where they want their work to be seen. I think the ability to publish and market a book of your own is a liberation. A lot more work is needed from the indie author, learning how to market your book for example, but the thrill of seeing one of my books published online, available to the whole world, is pretty amazing.
What is your writing process?
I write every morning between nine a.m. and one p.m. I begin by re-reading the work from the previous day and often make small changes. Sometimes these changes will have an impact on an earlier part of the story and I will either make a note of the changes that need to be done or, if their not too major, do them immediately.
I aim to complete five hundred new words every day. I manage this most of the time and often write more, which I think of as a bonus and treat myself to something nice. Chocolate usually.
Describe your desk
I have a small modern wooden desk with a drawer that pulls out. My laptop is just the right size to fit onto the drawer. My laptop is on a plastic pad that has a fan that runs off the laptop's battery via a USB port. There is no effect on the battery as long as my laptop is plugged into the mains. On top of the desk is a television and a DVD player, a black book that holds all my passwords and a small notepad.
My printer is on a shelf under the desk and so is my broadband router along with a selection of envelopes of different sizes.
In the drawer around my laptop is a plastic tub of elastic bands, a wire tub of paper clips, a hole punch, a memory stick and a dynamic duster, which is a soft brush to wipe the dust off the keyboard and the screen.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I don't remember the first story I ever wrote, but I do remember the first story that brought me success. I was twelve, at school and my English teacher announced a forthcoming short story competition for all the schools in East Anglia, UK. Three top prizes, first, second and third, who would receive Book Tokens and then ten runners-up, who would receive an honourable mention. My class was expected to participate. I can't remember if we were given the subject or I just chose it. I wrote a story about Hereward the Wake: an outlaw who lived in the fens around the Isle of Ely during the eleventh century and harried the invading Normans. I included a ferocious battle during which Hereward was wounded and then an exciting escape to reach Ely before Hereward died or the Normans caught him. Hereward made it back, just, and a lot of Normans died with arrows sticking out of them.
I came second in the competition.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
A kindle. Easy to navigate around and an excellent way for storing lots of books in one place. You have to dust bookshelves, you just re-charge a Kindle.
When did you first start writing?
I started writing in earnest six years ago. It was always my idea to write at some point in my life and I thought I'd better start before I grew too old. I'd spent ten years, on and off, writing a Victorian thriller, The Russian White and the satisfaction of completing a novel spurred me on to keep writing. I concentrated on writing shorter works with the determination to learn basic writing techniques and so far I've written over twenty short stories. Some deal with elements of the supernatural like Twisted: Four Paranormal Stories, others include contemporary themes as in Gifts: Four Poignant Stories. I enjoy tackling a genre that I haven't tried before. For example, The Pensioner Pirates of Marine Parade in Quirks: Four Humorous Stories is set in the future.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I enjoy delving as deep as I can into the psyche of my POV characters. Many characters in my short stories are women, some old some young, and the fun of letting my imagination roam as they pit their skills against the situations and events I subject them to is fascinating. I like inventing characters that I'm unfamiliar with in everyday life and I like the variety of scenarios available for them to inhabit from Steampunk to that very British tradition of afternoon tea.
Who are your favorite authors?
Authors who stand out include JRR Tolkien for fantasy, PD James and Ruth Rendell for crime: Peter Ackroyd for his biographies that include Charles Dickens and London. Bill Bryson for the fun of whatever subject he chooses to tackle. I enjoy ghost stories very much and MR James is a favourite as is Edgar Allan Poe. The Turn Of The Screw by Henry James never fails to give me the shivers. I like reading about history too, in particular the books by Tom Holland. He brings the ancient past into very clear focus.
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Books by This Author

Price: Free! Words: 56,450. Language: British English. Published: May 18, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - multi-author, Fiction » Fantasy » General
A new story about Rumpelstiltskin. An ordinary man has an extraordinary day. As the waters rise, the paranormal threatens. Personal conflicts are never forgotten when the war is remembered. These are just some of the stories and poems that you will find in this book. Many of them are set in and around Hastings and St Leonards-on-Sea on the south coast of England, UK.
Running Before The Midnight Bell
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 71,910. Language: British English. Published: May 11, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Traditional British
(5.00 from 1 review)
A man walks his dog at midnight and they never return home. The hunt for a killer begins. Detective Chief Inspector Anthony Nemo struggles with the case. For this is just the first murder. The community the killer targets are discreet, reluctant to reveal their secrets, fearful of publicity. They are easy victims and Detective Chief Inspector Anthony Nemo is next on the list.
Dark Reunion: Twenty Short Stories
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 68,740. Language: English. Published: January 26, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories, Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
(5.00 from 1 review)
Dark Reunion contains twenty short stories that range from the paranormal to the poignant. Humour, horror, cunning, malice and forgiveness weave their various strands through these original plots. Individuals are faced with a variety of dilemmas, the outcomes of which reveals their true characters. There is compassion and there is revenge: paranoia and reconciliation.
Fey: Four Fantastic Stories
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 19,040. Language: British English. Published: January 7, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories, Fiction » Horror » Undead
A colony of forgotten zombies, a young werewolf, Victorian Steampunk and the end of an old lady's life. Four stories in which extraordinary events occur in everyday settings. Mystery, fear, cunning and dark humour each reveal a different surprise.
Quirks: Four Humorous Stories
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 18,180. Language: British English. Published: May 31, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » General
Quirky characters are pitted against corporate and social institutions: two old ladies take to piracy on the high seas: a young lady in Victorian London falls in love with a vampire: an old man worries about educating his baby dragon, and a contemporary farce unfolds around that very English tradition, afternoon tea.
Twisted: Four Paranormal Stories
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 11,240. Language: English. Published: July 31, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Horror
In these stories, the dark wings that flap at the edges of our mind glide into focus. There is horror here, ghostly revenge and malice aforethought. They are meant to frighten.
The Russian White
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 69,700. Language: British English. Published: February 24, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Historical » Victorian, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Spies & espionage
The Russian White, a diamond revered by the Russian Orthodox Church, but lost for centuries, is close to being found again. In Victorian London, The Brotherhood meets in secret. Isobel Hunt fights for a life of independence. Events over which she has no control, but which she cannot ignore, force decisions upon her that affect her family, the fate of the Russian White and even her country.
Gifts: Four Poignant Stories
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 9,600. Language: British English. Published: January 16, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary, Fiction » Themes & motifs » Psychological
Four short stories set on the south coast of England. An old man knits and wonders; a teenage boy overcomes his fear of fireworks; a young girl finds a very special purse and a homeless man receives an unexpected gift.
Roadkill: Four Nasty Stories
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 16,260. Language: English. Published: November 17, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Crime, Fiction » Humor & comedy » Black comedy
(5.00 from 1 review)
Four nasty short stories set on the south coast of England. An old prostitute gets her revenge, an elderly vampire goes hunting in daylight, a dodgy psychic fleeces his client and a gay lover's ghost haunts his murderer.