Part 2 of the interview with Will MacMillan Jones.
Any fun facts about you that we do not know?
OK: I was one of the first people in the UK to fly a Hang Glider at night. That possibly tells you as much about me as you ever need to know! I also do some performance poetry around South Wales and was once almost drowned by a Scout Leader. Entirely accidentally, he claimed. The performance poetry came a lot later, so that wasn’t to blame. Nor was the stand up comedy work.
List your top ten memorable books.
These are not in any particular order, OK? That would be asking too much. Even whittling this list down to ten has been hard work: so:
The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse – Robert Rankin
Soul Music – Sir Terry Pratchett
Lord of The Rings – Tolkien
The Iron Hand of Mars – Lindsey Davis
Illusions – Richard Bach
Flying Dutch – Tom Holt
A Long Way Down – Nick Hornby
England, Their England – A C Macdonell
Death in The Clouds – Agatha Christie
Lord of Light – Roger Zelazny
Can I add – No? oh.
Who is your favorite character you have written?
It has to be Grizelda, the off-white witch in The Banned Underground. She was actually the first character I ever wrote when I set out to write a novel, and I love her anarchic and individual approach to life and its many problems. Plus, she is a strong female character, which I like. The only point I can think of for writing weak women characters, is so that they can be shown the error of their ways! Grizelda is of course growing, and not just in her clothes size. Oh hang on, delete that bit, in case she sees it. I’m in enough bother with her anyway at the moment. There’s a lot more to come from her.
Who is your least favorite character you have written?
Actually, I have a bit of a problem here. I tend to like all my characters, even the baddies or evil wizards. This means that I tend to give them all redeeming features. If ever I wrote someone who was wholly charming, good looking, loveable and utterly, utterly perfect in every way then I would hate and despise them for being someone I can’t. Will that do?
What is your style of writing (free flowing, planned, mixture)?
It’s a mixture, really. The children’s books are written to a really tight word count of just 12000 words. There’s no real room for free plowing writing there. The rest however…I like to start the book and let the characters set it all up for me. I let them get about half way, then I call a meeting down the pub and we all sit down and I TRY to impose some planning and order on what is to happen in the last half, in a desperate attempt to try and make sense of what they have done so far.
What music do you listen to when you write?
Blues, rock and jazz, depending on my mood. Today’s playlist will include some AC/DC, Gary Moore and Amy Winehouse. Maybe some Miles Davis or Hugh Lawrie’s blues band for later.
What is your routine when you write?
I get a large mug of green tea. Turn on the music, the word processor, get out any notes that I need and get on with it. I focus firmly on the task in hand, and..ooooh, shiny…
How do you combat distractions when writing?
This is possible? Actually, I find that the music helps a great deal by reducing the external influences to just one. Of course, there’s always the time when I’m exactly in the zone, the words are flowing as fast as I can type, and my beloved but aging golden retriever pees on my foot. That can spoil the moment.
Where can we find Have Frog, Will Travel?
Everywhere! Well, Amazon all across the world, of course, and every other online outlet going from Smashwords to KOBO, Nook, Itunes etc etc etc. Just at the moment, the paperback is only available at Amazon/Createspace, but that should change during 2015.
Where can we connect with you?
There’s twitter: @macmillanjones