MY INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR DOMINIC JERICHO
What’s your name and what genre would you consider your books to be?
My name is Dominic Jericho and my books are literary YA thrillers.
Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)?
My series is a seven-book quest series covering the adolescent years of 15-21. These are the most fascinating years in someone’s life in my opinion. I wanted to track the arc of a small group of friends over these tumultuous years.
How did you get interested in writing this particular genre (historical novels, mysteries, sci-fi, children’s books, etc.)?
I was more focused on developing my story than writing in a particular genre. Genres are more for booksellers and people selling books than for writers creating them. They are more a marketing tool than a writing tool.
What kind of research did you do for this book?
I needed to learn about various geographical areas, I needed to learn a lot about literature as the series tracks against and alludes to various literary texts including Shakespeare, Chaucer, Joyce and a number of Romantic poets.
Can you tell me about your Series?
The Danny Canterbury Tales is a seven book YA series exploring issues of contemporary teen life amid the deceptively serene surroundings of Amberleigh, a fictional seaside town in the North East of England.
Do you have a favorite book out of this series?
They are my children. I love them all equally.
Where did you get the inspiration/idea for your series?
I wanted to write a series where the locations and themes were as much characters as the people in the books. So the environment and landscape and their influence on the characters, and the literary background influence the story as much as the characters actions. I wanted an even blend, a fusion of art and life, fiction and reality.
Was it always meant to become a series?
When I wrote the first book I was only thinking about that book. But then after I’d written the first one, and I had an idea for the second, and I didn’t want to leave the characters behind, it gave me the confidence to continue. The whole series took fifteen years to write, the same number of years Danny is old in the first book.
What’s a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?
I write best in the morning, first thing, for a couple of hours, and in the evenings.
Do you have a new book in the making and if so, what’s the name of your upcoming book?
I do have a project, it is not named yet. It is a science-fiction murder mystery written in Jacobean lyric poetry 😉
How important are character names to you in your books? Is there a special meaning to any of the names?
They are very important. Each character name has been carefully chosen, according to the poetic sound and allusions to history and literature.
Where do your ideas come from?
Life and people.
Is there a genre that you’ve been wanting to experiment with?
I’m trying to write a murder mystery, and I’ve always been fascinated by that genre.
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
Knowing when to stop; knowing when not to force it and letting it come naturally.
What do you think of book trailers? Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book?
They are a necessary part of book marketing; but the best book marketing is always word of mouth and there is no scientific formula for generating that – there is no way knowing what will take off among the reading public.
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
Finishing my seven book series
What’s the best thing about being an author?
Writing is its own reward. Nothing comes close to that feeling when you are writing a really important scene, or when you are close to finishing a book. It’s very emotional, I’ve never experienced anything else like it.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I live one day at a time. No-one can predict the future.
Have you always liked to write?
Yes, since I was a child.
What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Read as much as you can. Write as much as you can. Make sacrifices for your writing. Believe in yourself, don’t be afraid to experiment. Don’t listen to anyone else’s advice except your own.
If you didn’t like writing books, or weren’t any good at it, what would you like to do for a living?
I’d probably work in an office.
Do you read reviews of your book(s)? Do you respond to them, good or bad? How do you deal with the bad?
Yes – I love getting reviews, even the bad ones. It means you’ve generated a reaction, which is the aim.
What is your least favourite part of the writing / publishing process?
Writing is more enjoyable than marketing.
Can you give us a few tasty morsels from your work-in-progress?
It’s top secret at the moment, but here’s a paragraph from the final work in my series, Danny Canterbury and the Jacobean Chronicle:
“Fingering the sunlight parched pages of my mother’s old textbooks kept me happy at university. Renewed for my generation, regenerated by my renewal of knowledge. I disliked being confined to one subject, and in my second year switched to double honours. I knew it would mean more work, and a likely reduction in my overall degree result, but I needed to satisfy my curiosity. It was an odd combination – one the university had never seen or permitted before. I passed both aptitude tests, and remember waltzing out of the classroom feeling like my mind had been liberated. History with Astrophysics. Now I could place books on Shakespeare’s London alongside supersymmetry and superstring theory. Now I could weigh the deliberations of centuries with the pressure of nanoparticles. The persecution of long-gone saints with the investigation of inter-planetary asteroid impacts. Black holes and quasars, multi-verses and violent orbits would compete for my time with the black death and other plagues, global wars and evolving monarchies. I was so happy. I felt like I had gently tapped a hammer on the corner of the world and it cracked open to reveal an illuminating yet invisible light, radiating me with knowledge, filling me up faster than ever before.”
Why did you choose to write in your genre? If you write in more than one, how do you balance them?
I didn’t choose it; it chose me.
Where did your love of books come from?
Libraries, teachers, parents, authors. There is a quiet wonder to knowledge communicated through silent cream pages.
Do you have any favorite authors or favorite books?
Yes – James Joyce, Ian McEwan, Jonathan Coe, Jonathan Dollimore, Charlotte Bronte, Shakespeare, Sarah Hall, David Peace, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Keats, Sylvia Plath, Thomas Hardy, Iain Banks.
Of all the characters you have created, which is your favourite and why?
Chardelia Foss is pretty special; she’s faultless which is not true of any of the other characters I’ve created. I don’t really have a favourite though.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
It energizes me.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
Noise. I like it to be silent around me when I write
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I write what is in my head; it is important to be original and not write to an audience – that’s too mechanical a process to be real.
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
I’m friends with lots of authors, including some of my heroes.
If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?
I wouldn’t do that. My life is too dark to be exposed to the light.
Where can your fans find you and follow??
They can read my website at https://dominicjericho.wordpress.com/
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/DominicJerichoFans/
THANK YOU FOR TAKING THE TIME TO DO THIS INTERVIEW!!