Thursday, 15 March 2012

The Interpreter: Author Interview: John Booth

Shah Sight
John Booth, Welcome on our live talk show. Let me first thank you for taking your time to be with us today, and then I should say that Valerie Douglas is also on the line, and I have a few questions from your fans, so to honour our fellow author Andy Szpuk, I put froward his question first which is, 'how do you get your inspiration to write?'

Mandy Ward Which is your favourite character?

John Booth I love strong and slightly damaged female characters, though the lead character is usually male.

John Booth Jalia, without a shadow of a doubt. However as the first Jalia book is in final edit the rest of you will have to wait to see what she's like.

Valerie Douglas Do you consider yourself mostly a fantasy writer, or a YA writer? What other genres would you consider?

John Booth I'll answer this a little differently from the last time. I love fantasy, but I jump around all the various Fantasy genres, Horror, YA, Sword & sorcery, Urban etc. But I always write things I enjoy reading.

John Booth I was raised on Science Fiction. I don't know why I don't write it, but I will one day

Valerie Douglas ‎(sorry John I accidentally deleted your previous answer)

John Booth Not a problem, I do that when writing stories all the time :-)

Shah Sight What inspires you to write John?

John Booth I want to write stories that push the boundaries. With YA, I wanted to add sexuality in a natural way, not pretend teens are sexless.

John Booth My stories all have a strong moral core, because that's what I believe. If you do the right thing the world will be better.

Valerie Douglas ‎*grins* I try to do that with my novels for adults.
In Wizards series you write in the first person. Many find that difficult or limiting to do. Why do you find that it works for you?

John Booth Over all my novels (published and unpublished) only 4 out of 23 are in first person. Wizards had to be in first person because it wouldn't have worked in any other POV

Valerie Douglas I'm an ex-Authonomy person, too. Would you recommend the site to other writers?

John Booth Yes and no. Yes it can be a great site, but it also spoils the voices of some young writers. It's a mixed blessing

Valerie Douglas ‎*nods* I found that to be true, also.

John Booth I had to unlearn almost as much as I learnt

Valerie Douglas You were one of the writers I respected there.

John Booth I found that reading other people's work and trying to figure out how to make it better was highly educational. The longer I stayed the less sure I became that anything I was saying was true :-)

Shah Sight Which of the books you have written is your favourite and why? This question from Mandy Ward.

John Booth Gosh, Mandy. Ask an easy one. It would either be The Lost or Andrew Hawks, both unpublished and probably unpublishable.

Shah Sight And why?

John Booth They are both semi-autobiographical (especially the USAF zombies Mandy) and describe teenage sexuality fairly graphically.

John Booth I think they would not be understood or approved of in the USA, which is where 95% of my readers are based.

Mandy Ward I don't consider either of those unpublishable - just tricky for the age group.

John Booth But you are British, Mandy.

Shah Sight You said you couldn't write your main character in another POV in Wizards, but in the first person, what is the reason for that, why it was not possible?

John Booth In Wizards, Jake can do almost anything (He changes the world around him without even knowing it), but he never does things unethically.

The only way I could sell that proposition was to let the reader live it in 1st person. Jake, just doesn't see the world they way most people do. In his head he always does the most obvious thing. Outside his head it would look different.

Mandy Ward How do the girls in Jakes' life see him?

John Booth He is like an unexploded bomb to Esmeralda, she feels she has to handle him stop him from bursting into flames. For Jenny, he is the man who fulfils her dreams while thinking he is doing nothing for her.

John Booth There is a scene in the first book where he has taken Jenny to a disney fantasy world, made her the guest of honour and let her shine as a dancer. During it, he's thinking: 'I can't think we such a wonderful girl like me. I do nothing for her.'

John Booth Oops, a few spelling errors there :-)

Shah Sight Why do you write in this genre, John? Are all your books in the same genre?

Valerie Douglas I write in several genres... do you think you'd ever try another one... and which one would it be?

John Booth I write in a number of genres.
Inspector Monde is ghost horror, completely adult and a little bit nasty.
Silver Magic is young YA fantasy
The Spellbinder & Scotland Hard are Steampunk Fantasy. I see them as adult though others think they are YA because the main protagonists are young.
Jalia & Gally Delbar are Sword & Sorcery in the Fritz Leiber tradition

John Booth I have a hankering to write mysteries in the noir detective vein. But when I tried to write one it turned into fantasy again.

Valerie Douglas I thought I remembered that about you...!

Valerie Douglas ‎*laughing*

Shah Sight John, you are such humorous person, do we read a lot of humour in your books?

John Booth I think every book should have chapters that make the reader laugh out loud and others where they wipe away tears.

John Booth If I'm on a roll I can do it in the same chapter!

Mandy Ward I've spent several hours laughing at the jokes in your books... How much of your own life experience goes into your work?

John Booth Shah, I can't pull stuff out like that. Much of my humour is situational and takes a lot of setting up.

Mandy, almost everything in my books is based on life experience or observation. Often I see something in real life and it goes into the list of things to work into books.

Shah Sight That's fine John, I totally understand that, do you want to say something to our audience at the end of this interview, as we don't want to take a lot of your time?

John Booth Well, I like to thank all those who posed questions to me and You Shah for setting this up.

And all those who have bothered to read this :-)

Shah Sight Thank you John, it was a pleasure to have you with us. If you want to buy John's books please visit:

Wizards, John Booth,Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Children's, eBooks > Literature > Science

Shah Sight

Jake's War, Book Two of Wizards, John Booth, Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Fantasy >

Shah Sight You can find nearly all of John's books on this site:

Scotland Hard John Booth, FICTION / Action & Adventure / Fantasy / Historical - ShahSight Home

Valerie Douglas Bye John Booth, it was a pleasure seeing you again!

Mandy Ward See you soon John!

No comments:

Post a Comment