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Steve Jenkins Answers 12 Questions

The English author I'm interviewing this time writes thrillers for young adults, a genre that's particularly hard to break into. That brave man who opts for it anyway is Steve Jenkins, whose two YA thrillers are on Amazon Kindle (links below). I met Steve at the Swanwick Writers' Summer School a few years ago. He's a keen and analytical reader – as well as a great writer – and I'm happy that he's helping me with one of my projects.

The most urgent question first, Steve. When will your next book come out?

Two of my books, PAYBACK and BLIND SPOT, are already out. They’re available on Amazon Kindle. My newest book is just about ready to be sent off to my agent, so there’s no release date yet.

Why did you begin to write? Was there a specific event that spurred you on?

I’ve always written, in some form or another. As a child

I was always entertaining myself by making up stories, although I didn’t write these down.

What genre do you write?

Thrillers generally. I’ve got an idea simmering away for a fantasy/horror book, but that’s very much in the planning stage, and might not even happen.

Which do you find more challenging, the process of thinking up a story or the editing?

Definitely the thinking up a story. There’s a theory that there are two distinct types of writer – those who have more ideas than they can cope with, often finding new stories are trying to muscle in while they’re still working on the current one; and those who are as likely to strike oil in the back garden as come up with a brilliant idea, and the ones they do find have to be excavated through concrete with a plastic spoon!
I am definitely in the latter group.

Do you have a favourite among your books/stories and why?

I’m not sure favourite is the right word. My books are both thrillers, but in different styles. PAYBACK is in first person and is therefore more immediate and slightly faster-paced. BLIND SPOT is more conventional, with multiple viewpoints. The style of PAYBACK allowed me to really get inside the head of the main character, and I enjoyed that. So, I maybe have a slight preference for PAYBACK, but I think favourite would be putting it too strongly.

How do you fit writing into your daily life?

I am extremely blessed to be able to write full time so, apart from household stuff, deliveries etc. it’s only my own procrastination I have to get out of the way.

Should you ever consider changing genre, what would you like to write?

Crime writing appeals to me and, as I said, I’m toying with the idea of a fantasy/horror book.

Are there any writing related events that you go to?

I’ve been attending the Writers’ Summer School at Swanwick for the past few years. It’s an amazing week in August when writers of all disciplines and all levels of experience get together to learn, teach, network and have fun. Complete beginners to international best-sellers and everybody in between, all mixed in together.
Earlier this year I was at Crime and Publishment in Scotland. This was the first time it was held, but it’s definitely back next year and bookings are open now. As you can tell from the name, this one is specific to crime writing, but thrillers are included as well.
I like to get along to any literary festivals I can, specifically the Edinburgh book festival and the Morley Literary Festival.

Do you belong to any writing related organisations?

The Swanwick Writers’ Summer School has members not just delegates, and I am included there.

How important is reader feedback to you?

Very important. Readers are the people we are doing this for. Of course, writers are readers too, and we need to write the books that we would like to read, but if it were only for ourselves I don’t think our books would be as good. There’d be something missing. A book is something intimately shared between author and reader. The connection goes both ways.

How can readers contact you?

I’m on Facebook and Twitter (@SMJauthor)

What’s your favourite book of all times?

That’s one massive question. If I had to pick one, it would have to be the Bible. That’s probably the only book that reads you more thoroughly and accurately than you read it.

Thank you very much, Steve, for giving us such a detailed look into your writing life. Fingers crossed for your current project. We're looking forward to reading more of and about you in the future.