I used to read a lot of comics, and books and enjoyed skateboarding. My role model as a child? That’s hard to say. At school my English teachers would read the classics to class. We all had to read. Read, read, read, that’s all I remember. I suppose, apart from my parents as role models, that the late Stan Lee of Marvel comics used to fascinate me.Did you ever dream of becoming an author? What were your dreams during childhood?
My dreams? I’ve always seen the world, let’s say, with a certain realisation of a sort. Your psyche will usually give you a creative imagination to escape the realisation of such things.Why do you write? What does writing mean to you?
It’s a mad dash for freedom; you’ll never be free until you realise, you’ll never be free. Writing to me means transformation. You see life, you transform a representation of it into something mysterious. Then you’re writing something creative. Writing is the courage to breathe your own words.What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?
The story that inspires the readers imagination. Dialogue that becomes timeless. Narrative that transcends.What do you enjoy writing the most - science fiction or mystery?
I think science fiction is mystery. It’s all mystery. Every book you read is a mystery to begin with. Perhaps the mystery should never be fully answered. Mystery is a bone that should be buried deep.What are some under-represented themes or people you feature in your books and why do you think it is important?
Bad people who do good things. Good people who do bad things. I like to turn people upside down and inside out. It’s all about courage, you see, all the other so-called values in life are nothing without courage.What is one quote or proverb that best describes your life?
It’s by Zhuangzi, who once said something like this: Once upon a time, I dreamt I was a butterfly, fluttering hither and thither, to all intents and purposes a butterfly. I was conscious only of my happiness as a butterfly, unaware that I was myself.What is the most positive review you've ever received? What about the most negative? How did you handle both?
A good review will make you feel good because it empowered you. A bad review will make you feel bad because it disempowered you. It’s always worth remembering that we are transient things composed of the elements. We don’t know how long any of us have. So, it’s best not to care so much about such things.How did you come up with the story of "Zara Hanson & the Mystery of the Painted Symbol"?
I made it up as I went along. It took me a very, very long time to make it up as I went along. But if you read the story, the real reason should become quite clear, even so, I should warn the reader that the way is painted with paradoxes.How do you define literary success?
When someone re-reads your book. If someone reads a book more than once.How do you build your characters ensuring that the readers can also relate to them?
By basing characters on your everyday experience of people.What are you currently working on? Is it going to be a series or a standalone?
I’m working on a follow up to Zara Hanson & The Mystery of the Painted Symbol. We get to meet new and larger than life characters already hinted on in the first book. I’d love to know how it ends (he says laughing).What is the one advice you would like to give to young writers in the world?
Never get old in heart or mind. Always look at the world with a sort of mischievous amusement.What are some of your other hobbies? Do you have any favourite TV shows?
I have a hobby of not trying to change anything, anymore. I enjoyed Breaking Bad.How has your experience with AllAuthor been?
I’ve found AllAuthor and the add on tools on the platform to be excellent.
J.L. Haynes is a great storyteller and his writings reflect the work of a highly imaginative mind, filled with descriptions and images that are stunning. His debut novel, Zara Hanson & the Mystery of the Painted Symbol is a meld of science fiction and fantasy. With a keen interest in philosophy, myths, legends and the unexplained, he writes for both young and old. His storytelling is entertaining, action-packed and exceptionally well-crafted.