About Will Macmillan Jones:
Will Macmillan Jones lives in Wales, a lovely green, verdant land with a rich cultural heritage. He does his best to support this heritage by drinking the local beer and shouting loud encouragement whenever International Rugby is on the TV. A fifty something lover of blues, rock and jazz he has just fulfilled a lifetime ambition by filling an entire wall of his home office with (full) bookcases. When not writing, he is usually lost with the help of a satnav on top of a large hill in the middle of nowhere.
What inspires you to write?
Well, I love entertaining. But I can’t sing, can’t dance, and when I pick up my beloved Les Paul guitar, my dogs run howling for the kitchen before I’ve even played a note… so writing is a way of entertaining without frightening the neighbours. Plus, I love it. I’ve always enjoyed making up stories in my head, and finally after many years of solid collecting the tales they are leaking out into paper.
I hill walk a lot, as I’m lucky enough to live in the myth and mist (well, OK, rain) haunted land of Wales, and getting out onto hill tops is always inspirational for me.
Tell us about your writing process.
I’m a bit of a hybrid, really. I like to start out with the vaguest idea of what’s going on, and just write until I’m about half way through. Then I’ll sit down with the plot to date and the characters, and see if I manage to create a book that makes some sense at the finish. Or at least has a finish.
My first publisher insisted I wrote within some set guidelines, and that was actually a useful discipline as it told me when exactly I had to stop bashing away merrily at the keyboard and think a little about the structure. Just don’t tell anyone there’s supposed to be a structure, OK?
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I do not talk to my characters. They talk AT me. Or lecture me, or even shout at me. Honestly, they treat me worse than my ex wife did. Do you know one time, they even took me out and got me hopelessly drunk, and then dropped me back at the house pretty much undressed and threw my clothes in the pond? And all because I mistakenly let slip the idea for the next book, and they didn’t like it.
Characters. Huh. Why would I want to talk to them after that?
What advice would you give other writers?
Write, read, write again (a lot) and hire the best editor you can find.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I wanted to be with a publisher for the validation. I was first published in 2011, before ebooks had reached the sort of status they have now. But even so, at conventions and book fairs (some places I love to go to interact with readers properly) readers still want to know if you have a proper publisher or if you have self published.
I’d always advise new authors to see if they can get a publishing deal before going solo: after all, that way you don’t have to pay out a shed load of money for decent covers and editing!
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
It really is in a state of flux. Personally, I think we’ve seen a huge explosion in the self published market, and that is probably at the high water mark now: it is so easy to self publish that many authors go for that option before their work truly is ready for release and the reader response to that will swing the pendulum back, unless more authors take a properly professional approach – which I hope that they will!
We will also see the rise of the hybrid author, who has both trad. published work and self published books. This will be a great advance, as it should allow authors to experiment more and write outside of their normal (most well known) genres, and that’s an exciting idea too.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Fantasy, horror, humour, short stories, childrens
What formats are your books in?: eBook, Both eBook and Print