Jonathan Gould has lived in Melbourne, Australia all his life, except when he hasn’t. He has written comedy sketches for both the theatre and radio, as well as several published children’s books for the educational market.
He likes to refer to his stories as dag-lit because they don’t easily fit into recognizable genres (dag is Australian slang for a person who is unfashionable and doesn’t follow the crowd – but in an amusing and fun way). You might think of them as comic fantasies, or modern fairytales for the young and the young-at-heart.
Over the years, his writing has been compared to Douglas Adams, Monty Python, A.A. Milne, Lewis Carroll, the Goons, Dr Seuss, Terry Pratchett, and even Enid Blyton (in a good way).
What inspires you to write?
Reading a book inspires me to write. Checking out the stories in the news inspires me to write. Watching a movie or TV inspires me to write. Talking to people, or just listening to them talking inspires me to write. Walking down the street inspires me to write. Going to sleep at night inspires me to write. Pretty much everything inspires me to write.
Tell us about your writing process.
I turn on the computer. I sit down in front of the screen. My fingers hover over the keyboard. Sometimes they descend, typing out a sequence of letters. Sometimes those letters are promptly deleted again. Sometimes they remain, although the order is likely to be jiggled and juggled over the hour that follows.
Sometimes I’m really thrilled with what I’ve done. I even laugh out loud. More often, I spend quite a bit of time staring blankly at the screen. Occasionally, I bang my head on the desk. It’s the most agonising thing you might ever have to watch. But I love it.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Do I listen to my characters? I can barely get them to shut up. Every hour of the day, they seem to be in my ear, blabbing away at me. When I’m trying to work. When I’m trying to eat or sleep. They never seem to leave me alone.
The worst bit is that as I often have more than one book on the go, I have characters from multiple stories all yakking away at the same time. Sometimes they end up talking to each other. Sometimes they get into fights. After a while, I’ve totally forgotten which characters are in which stories.
Do I talk to my characters? You bet. I tell them to shut up and leave me in peace.
What advice would you give other writers?
After having heard so much advice from so many different sources, I’m not sure I want to give any advice to anybody else. I think as far as the practicalities of writing and publishing, the information is all out there – it’s up to individuals to decide what suits them best.
And as for the creative aspect of writing, I’d rather just leave it up to every other writer to produce the best story that they can for themselves.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
At the moment, my books are available in eformat only. My main focus is on writing so I didn’t want to spend too much time on the mechanics of publishing – which made ebooks the ideal format. Down the line, I would be interested in producing print versions, but I have decided that for now I’d rather concentrating on producing more work.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think I don’t like to think too much about the future of book publishing. It’s all changing so quickly. I can’t possibly imagine what things are likely to be like, even in a year’s time.
Whatever happens, it isn’t going to stop me doing my best to get my stories out there.
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?
What formats are your books in?