If you work hard and play by the rules, this country is truly open to you. You can achieve anything. Arnold Schwarzenegger

Tell us about your life and your struggles.

Born and bred in the West Midlands, Great Britain. A child with a vast and wild imagination, letting it run free. My first writing experience was in secondary school, in English literature creative writing. After school, was Wolverhampton College. Besides studies I spent most of my time with the ZIP Theater group. A small band of actors who toured around the Midlands, putting on shows for schools and hospitals. After college was a job as a glass cutter in a picture framing factory. A good job, with fond memories. However craving something different I joined the British Army, where I served my full 22 years. It was a fantastic time of my life, full of ups sand downs, but something I have never regretted doing. Regrettably, my writing phase was put on hold until the leaving the Army and joined a security firm. Now I write when I can.

How passionate are you about writing?

I wouldn't say passionate about writing, more passion for writing my stories. I always carry a notebook with me just in case an idea pops in, which most of the time it does when you least expect it. I have lots of stories jotted down and little time to get then down quick enough. I love writing my stories; the John Steel series has been a great pleasure to work on, and I’m looking forward to completing the first book of the Samantha McCall series. These are both great characters that have a bit of mystery in their past, which make them fantastic to write. People seem to love them so that pushes me on to get more stories out for the readers and myself.

How long have you been writing and what inspired you to become a writer?

As I mentioned before, I was in secondary school when it took off for me. However, I must say it was when I let the Army, and my Imagination had time to roam free. That was in 2014, and I have been lucky enough to have written four books since then. I could not say what my inspiration was to write. I suppose it has always been there; it was a more timing issue. The issue being having the time to write and to let my imagination free to create the stories.

How did you get the idea for your first book?

Oddly enough I was having a lazy day at work, and I started to write something down. A small idea grew, and before you knew it, John Steel was born. That's the fantastic thing about a good imagination, sometimes it doesn't need much, just a little peace and quiet to nurture the embers. That is why you'll find most writing dens in a quiet spot with no distractions.

While choosing a name for your character, what aspects do you consider that determines what you finally call them?

How do you name a child? It is a feeling. If you can picture to character in your head, I mean picture them, the name comes easy......Also, sometimes using name search on the internet helps. Seriously, you will be so hyped up about finding the right name you become stuck. I found looking up names; you know things like modern Spanish, or Russian names, or whatever you require. Having the names in front of you can help, plus you will find names you hadn't even heard of before. A name is just as important as a description. You can't have a massive American hero, with a chiselled jaw to be called Alice! He would be more likely to be called Jack, John, Frank. A name is everything, so you have to get it right.

Do authors in general and you in particular plan series beforehand or do they just happen?

I carry a notebook, inside the notebook is the name and brief synopsis of that book so I can go back to it later. An excellent idea, However, my actual plan for the series is a mystery to me. I know where I want it to go, but that can change from book to book. For instance book five - which I am working on at the moment, will see John Steel investigate without the NYPD. Book five be the first of the Loner series. My intention wasn't to make him part of a team; that's not who he is. That is why the new book will be a break from that. You have to know your hero. That's the great thing about writing. If you feel they are going in a wrong direction, change it. Also, it brings something fresh to the reader and more important to the writer. When doing a series, you may discover there is a pattern from which you can’t break away. Ideas run dry, and characters become stale. Soon it becomes more of a job than a joy.

How do you choose which stories to tell?

Which story to tell? I think it goes back to the feeling. I started writing one story which was to be book three; A story called “BLOOD IN THE INK.” However, it didn’t seem right. Then the idea for False Witness popped in, and I was off. As a writer, it is better to go with your gut. If it doesn't feel right, it probably isn't. Something the Army taught me. However if you have started the story, just put it on the back burner and come back to it later. Never toss anything away.

Do you ever get writer’s block?

Writer's block, me? Ha, ha. Yes. Well, not so much block as everything else gets in the way. I work full time so when I get home its family time. When I have time off, it’s a case of try getting everything done in the time you have. I would say it is more a time block than a writer's block. Also FACEBOOK and TWITTER. If you are writing, toss your phone away or whatever, social media can be a writer's biggest blockage. "Oh I'll just quickly check my inbox" doesn't happen. If you are writing, you are writing.

Do you have a “reader” in mind while writing?

Someone once said, "I write the books I want to read, but have never found". That is probably true of most authors. I would say, the people I write for are those who have enjoyed the story so far. Feedback from the public is paramount. Reviews on Amazon and other such sites are a must. If someone likes something or hate something, reviews are to assist the writer. If we don't know our Audience, how can we improve or keep our stories as they are?

Who is the first person to read the first draft of your books?

Apart from my Proofreader ( a fabulous lady named Julia Gibb), I would say my wife and friends (who also act as my test readers), people I know will say yeah or nay. The problem with writing is to find people who will tell you the truth or give you the Britain has talent answer, "Oh yeah that was really great" when it wasn't. If they don't tell you, the world will, and that could sting.

How do you get reviews? Which was the best review you ever got?

Reviews are the worst thing to get hold of unless you buy them. Nobody wants to give a review for some reason. I have given hundreds of books on Amazon Kindle free deals and gotten no reviews back. To those who have I thank You, even the kind woman who said she hated book 4, it but it was free? The thing about reviews is they can help or hinder the writer. But they are opinion. You can't please everyone, but those I do, I am grateful for. I love constructive criticism. What was good and what wasn't. As for my best review, well you'd have to see for yourself on Amazon, most of which are on the UK site. The most fun thing I did see wasn't so much a review; it was on a "Social media site". William Shatner called me Castle, which I thought was quite cool.

What does the word “story” signifies for you?

What does the word Story signify for me? I guess the means to let my imagination run riot. Stories are fantastic, and we all tell them. Lies are stories, of course, they are. However, the entertaining story tellers are the greatest. For me a person who can pick up and object and create a whole new universe are brilliant. I remember in school our English Lit. teacher would give us a word, and we would have to write a five-page story about it. I was always filling the notebook with a story. In fact, my first detective story was called the "Wall". Unfortunately, it was too much for the teacher to read. A story is only as good as the writer and the imagination or the reader.

Do you think an author should be bound by Genre?

No. It is what breathes new life into the writer, stops them from growing weary of what they do. In my notebook, I have several ideas. Sci-Fi, fantasy, horror, action, a couple of kids stories. Dickens wrote different Genres, Poe, also. A writer should write what they feel a passion for at that time. Variety is the spice of the imagination after all.

Are you currently working on anything?

At present, I am working on book five of the John Steel series,"Tears at Azure Window". The story finds Steel in Malta investigating the death of a friends daughter. This book is the first in the John Steel Loner series which will see him travel on missions and not working with the NYPD. Now I know lots of people like the Samantha McCall character and so that is why I decided she should have her own series. It will be the first book of the Samantha McCall series; the name is yet to be confirmed, but it tells the story of how McCall became a detective in the NYPD. Her genesis story if you will.

Do you have a special time or place for writing?

We have a "Hobby room" which is a spare room with a sofa bed and my computer. To have a small hut in the garden away from everything would be great, a nice Hobbit hole somewhere or cabin would be great. Sorry, no beach house in the Hampton's for me I am afraid. It's a case of write when and where you can really.

How do you promote your work? How will QuotesRain help you in your book promotion and sales, would you like to refer this platform to your author friends?

Promotion is obviously a massive thing, and I am always on the lookout for ways to do it. Be it free Kindle deals or walking around with a logo T-shirt on. It is hard, and as a new author, it is even more so. Social media helps but unless you know people or you have money to spare things can be difficult. The sad thing is it doesn't always work. You have to be a constant voice in people's heads. As a writer in a full-time job, it is also difficult as you can't always be there to give radio interviews, book signings and so forth. I am hoping with QuotesRain, my name and books will reach a further audience, new readers looking for a new story.

Would you like to share something with your readers and fans?

I would just like to say to all my readers and fans; a big thank you for all your support. I hope the John Steel series will continue to keep you glued to your seats and the future Samantha McCall will captivate you also. I love to hear what you think of the series or just a hello. So drop me a Line at www.pssyronjones@aol.com