Hello and welcome to interview with an author. Today, we have an interview with Liam Jenkins, but due to a difference in time zones, we decided to do a question and answer type of video/blog rather than sitting down and discussing together. Enjoy Liam Jenkins and all of his answers!
Abby: Introduce yourself and your book.
Liam: Hi, everyone. My name is Liam Jenkins. I am a self-published or indie author and I am in your months, April, your month's subscription of Project Indie which is a fantastic initiative and I'm really pleased to be part of. So, like I said, my name is Liam Jenkins. I am the author of a book called 'Dylan McFinn and the Sea Serpents Fury'. It's a book which is a series of about five books. I'm currently on the third book. The second book is 'Dylan McFinn and the Temple of the Four Winds'. So if you enjoy the first book, then please check me out and look into the second one. Abby has kindly put together some questions because as you can tell by my accent (in the video), I'm based in the UK and the time zones are a bit skewed, so we can't really settle on a time. But she's currently put together some questions for me to answer. So here goes.
Abby: What inspired you to write 'Dylan McFinn and the Sea Serpent's Fury'?
Liam: So, what inspired me to write? Well, I've always had a vivid imagination. My dad used to read me stories when I was a kid, and it wasn't so much the stories that he read to me, it was the fact that he used to make stories up, and the stories that he used to make up were fantastic. But the problem is, every time I went to bed the next day, he couldn't remember the story. So I wanted the same story that I had yesterday, but he couldn't remember them, so he would make up another story, and they they were great. So that's kind of what inspired me to write, and I've got a very vivid imagination. I've always wanted to write, and it was just something that I thought, I'm going to give it a go, and that's how Dylan was born, really.
Abby: When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer?
Liam: So next question, when did you first realise that you wanted to be a writer?Well, I'm in marketing, I'm in communications, so I'm always writing, but it's always stuff that really isn't what I'm interested in or something which is for a client or something, so something that might be a bit a bit dry or a bit nondescript or something, which isn't really buzzing with me. So, I thought, well, I enjoy writing, I'm going to maybe start writing a short story. So I did, and then my stories grew. I've always had a love, an affinity with the ocean, and then I developed Dylan and it became a novella and then got bigger and bigger and turned into an actual novel which I'm really pleased about and proud about.
Abby: How long did it take to write your book?
Liam: Well, the first book took probably, to write, to actually sit down and write, it probably took about 18 months, but the planning itself took about, from start to finish, probably about three years. It probably took about three to four years total because it was my first book. I really wanted to research and then work out how to do it, so that's why it took so long. For the second one, purely writing probably took me about 12 months. The first book was about forty-five thousand words and the second was about sixty thousand, so you can kind of tell from that that I'm now in a rhythm, and I can now pull these stories together relatively quick.
Abby: What has been your experience as an indie author?
Liam: Next question. What has been your experience as an indie author? Well, as an indie author, my experience has been, um, tried lots of adulation and, you know, you are in control of what you do, you are in control of how you work and you are in control of the places you go, but the other side of that is that it is very time consuming because it is you, you're the person doing the right thing, you're the person doing the research and the person doing the marketing and you're the person who's doing the selling you're the person who's doing the website, the social media, all these things that can that are attributed to indie author or indie publishing. Writing itself is purely cathartic for me. I love it, but it is something which when you're an indie author, you have to take all these things into consideration because you're everything. Whereas if you're with a publishing house or with your literary agent, they have teams of people that deal with that. So, it's something to consider, not not saying it's bad or good, but that for me, that's my experience. You are in control of everything, but you have to be involved with everything and you basically got to fit it around your day to day.
Abby: Why choose to publish indie rather than through a publishing company?
Liam: Well, the beauty of indie publishing is that the gatekeepers have been taken away, and publishing a book is actually incredibly hard and it's something necessary to do with the fact that it's writing the book. The writing of the book is actually, as its own entity, very hard, but then trying to get it to a market which may enjoy it or being accepted through submissions by an agency or a publishing house or a literary agent is equally as troubling or as tough because they can take a long, long time and take a long time. So if you really want to, you know, like me, you just wanted to get, or you had to write writing, and get something published, then that's why I went indie and it was something that I could do myself, research look into and now what I'm trying to do is actually use the work that I've done or the book that I've created to then use it as a selling tool to actually try and get me picked up by a publishing house or a literary agent. So, who knows? But I think initially, if you're looking to just get a book out there or create something purely out of fun, then go the indie route. Things like Amazon are out there, which make life so much easier to actually develop one of these books, actually get them out to the market.
Abby: Are you planning to or have you written more?
Liam: Well, I've kind of covered that in other questions, but yes, Dylan McFinn is in a planned series of perhaps five books or maybe six. I'm up to book three, which is still in its infancy. I've only just started writing that book, but it's a journey which Dylan, you know, seems to go through. It's almost as if, the way that I write, I see it as I'm a gardener and that I'm planting things as I go. I know what's going to happen at the very end, but I don't know what's going to happen in between, so it's sort of meandering and taking its organic stage. I'm going to continue to write, and when Dylan is finished, I do have plans for other stories, especially in the young adult genre, in the middle grade. I think that's kind of where I'm at. I think that's my style, so fantasy action adventure, that's kind of what I'm good at. So that's what I'm going to continue to do.
Abby: What do you want people to know about your book?
Liam: What I initially want people to know about my book is that if you're into action adventure fantasy, then this is definitely something for you, it's something for the family from I mean, the book itself is aimed at children between seven to preteen, you know, but people of all ages have enjoyed the book from adults to younger. So, you know, it is something for the family. It's full of morals and dilemmas and it's also full of family connections. It's also full of monsters and myths and magic and all those things that we hold dear to our hearts, so people have said it's a mixture between a sort of Percy Jackson and Harry Potter, so if they are your sorts of go-to books then this is definitely something that you'd enjoy. So please try to check it out and see what you think. It's also got the eco style or it's got eco issues within it. It's not a huge part of the book, but it does touch on it and it does make reference to it and how the villages of Moloto and how they deal with it. Yeah, that's that kind of in a nutshell, what my writing is and what I want it to represent and what I wanted to do.
Abby: If you could spend the whole day with an author, who would it be and why?
Liam: I think it would be Terry Pratchett because he was my go-to childhood author growing up. Those are the books I would read on a regular basis and his imagination was amazing. He's unfortunately no longer with us and, in the UK, he was a quite prolific children's author and all those types of books with just the imagination and the character building and and the world building was something that I would love to sit down and just, you know, take notes on how he does it and how he got his ideas. Yeah. Terry Pratchett would be my guy that I'd like to talk to, scoop out his brain and use that information.
Abby: Is there anything you want to add?
Liam: Firstly, big thank you to Abigail for inviting me on and being part of this project, and I'm so happy to be part of it. I'm so grateful as well. Also, please do check out my book. There's still spots left for the subscription in April. If you don't get a chance to get onto the subscription for April, then don't worry, you can still purchase my book on Amazon.com or the UK, depending where you're watching this. My book catalogue is on there, which is the prequel, which is part of the River Chaos 'Dylan McFinn and the Sea Serpent's Fury' and 'Dylan McFinn and the Temple of Four Winds'. Please go on and check it out if you want to see what my writing is like. Go onto to Goodreads, check out the reviews, see if it's your sort of thing. I'm happy to take questions if you want to contact me via my email address I have on my website or on the socials. I'm on Instagram, also on Facebook, so yeah, do go on there and check it out. I would just like to add also that if reading isn't your thing, the books are also in audible, or audio book form, so if you want to listen to them, they are being narrated by a fantastic guy. Please go on there and check them out if reading isn't your thing, but you love stories. If you want to hear more from me, again, check me out on Instagram, check me on Facebook or go to my website, which is the Liam the Official Author or search The Chronicles of Dylan McFinn and you'll be able to find me.
All the very best and thank you for having me. Cheerio for now!
Notes: You can still grab your April Book Box at projectindiebookbox.com or watch the video version of this interview on YouTube at 'Project Indie Book Box'. Liam Jenkin's box will be on sale until April 30th!