Our featured author today is Jack Croxall. We recently spotted a review of Jack’s book Tethers on Goodreads and liked the look of it so much that it’s in our ‘To Read’ pile now. You can expect a review of Tethers in the near future on the blog, but in the meantime, why not find out more about Jack and his writing in today’s interview. Enjoy!
Born in High Wycombe, Jack Croxall now lives in rural Nottinghamshire with his chocolate Labrador, Archie. He has a degree in Environmental Science from the University of Nottingham and currently toils away as a science writer in between working on his books.
If you could jump in to a book, and live in that world, which would it be?
That’s easy! I’d live in Lyra’s universe from His Dark Materials because everyone gets a daemon (a physical, animal representation of your soul). In the meantime, it’s great fun trying to work out what yours might be. I think mine would be a heron because I’m patient, persistent and I love water!
You’ve found a time machine on your driveway this morning – where are you going to go in it?
I think I’d probably go back to the time of the dinosaurs, if I managed to not get eaten, I could come back and tell everyone what colour they were!
How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?
I jumped around the room madly waving my arms! I wasn’t even alone at the time :S
What inspired you to want to become a writer?
In 2011 I was diagnosed with CFS and subsequently found myself housebound for a number of months. I had always felt I had a novel in me, but suddenly I had the time to produce it. My illness also influenced the mindset of my central characters, Karl and Esther; they are frustrated at being stranded in their small town with no way out to explore the wider world. This frustration was no doubt born from my own aggravations at being unable to get out and do anything.
What has been your most rewarding experience since being published?
Definitely seeing people talk about my characters (in reviews or on social networks for example). They lived exclusively inside my head for so long but having other people meet, enjoy and talk about their company triggers a feeling like no other.
Can you see yourself in any of your characters?
How do you react to a bad review?
Sadly, bad reviews are perhaps inevitable but it doesn’t stop them hurting! Obviously not everyone is going to like your book, which is completely fine, you just have to find a way of hardening yourself to them!
Is there a song you could list as the theme song for your book?
I can’t really think of one particular song, but I have put together a playlist of songs I listened to whilst writing the book. You can check it out here: http://bit.ly/Zr6l9U
What’s one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?
Can I give two instead? Firstly, read as widely as you can – not exclusively stuff from the genre you write in. I’m not just talking about fiction either; blogs, newspaper articles, pamphlets, menus, billboards, DVD boxes, E-mails, all can be sources of great writing – you need to absorb as much of it as you can! Secondly, get involved with the larger writing community. With social networking it’s never been easier and most writers really are wonderfully supportive. I’ve found talking to fellow book/writing types incredibly helpful so, please, get involved; my twitter handle is @JackCroxall – if you’re interested, add me for a chat!
Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.
Because there is so much more at stake than the central characters realise!
In the wake of a cold Victorian winter, two teenagers discover an anonymous journal filled with strange passages and bizarre scribblings.
The journal soon draws them into a covert and sinister conspiracy, a conspiracy centred around an otherworldly artefact with the power to change everything …
Karl and Esther have spent almost every day of their thirteen years in the quiet market town of Shraye. Stifled by their rural surroundings and frustrated by their unfulfilled ambitions, they find the allure of the journal’s mysterious pages impossible to ignore. The book seems to be beckoning them away from Shraye, away from their homes and towards the coast where an unsolved disappearance has set in motion a dark chain of events.
The voyage the teenagers soon find themselves undertaking is one of desperate importance and true peril; it will change the way they see the world, and each other, forever.
The story begins with a break away from home that is reminiscent of the exploration stories of Enid Blyton and Arthur Ransome, the kids find themselves on a metaphorical rollercoaster cart racing down the tracks. And the brakes are off. Sword fights, pistols, unfortunate deaths and curious objects, the plot thickens with every twist and turn. Suddenly Blyton meets H.G. Wells, and a brilliantly paced steampunk tale of machinery and science-based magic unfolds. (Charlotte Morris – MuggleNet)
Somewhere between Pullman’s Sally Lockhart mysteries and Moonfleet sits Tethers, a rip-roaring debut novel. Sharply written with well observed characters that you can root for, Tethers has you turning pages faster that Ronald MacDonald can throw out burgers. (Sharon Sant – author of the Sky Song trilogy).