In this author spotlight, we have the privilege of interviewing John West, writer of twisted tales – music, magick & mayhem.
John shares candid observations about his writing inspiration, marketing strategies and gives us a glimpse of an author’s life and journey. I am sure that we can all learn a lot from the insights John shares.
What was the inspiration for your book? How it got started?
Burning Roses was the story of my life back in the 80s. Sex, drugs, rock n roll & magick. Plus some supernatural elements to spice it up a little. Nothing much has changed, really. Hard Money was in response to all the questions from people asking how I could afford to take time off to write Burning Roses. Read this one, follow the simple steps, then retire early and write your own life story.
What are you working on now?
Dancing in Valhalla will be released across the internet on 21 April 2019. 13 twisted tales of music, magick, mayhem & murder. I’m looking forward to it.
Tell us about some challenges and interesting incidents from your creative life
I’ve made a point – so far – of doing everything myself on a shoestring budget. Partly because I’m a stingy Scotsman, I suppose. But mainly to show that it can be done. I know people who have spent small fortunes on having their books edited, proofread, typeset, designed, covered, converted and published. Sometimes that’s necessary. But any and all of that can also be done by the authors themselves, with a bit of research and knowledge. Marketing too, I believe, although that’s an area where even I’m scared to go…I’m just glad we have people like you to give us some exposure.
What inspires you? Where do you get new ideas from?
A broad cross-section. Tarantino. Palahniuk. Richard Bach. Robert A. Heinlein. Alan Moore, the Master. I try to draw inspiration from different media – music, movies, graphic novels – then convert that into words on a page.
How do you promote your work?
Still learning the ropes here. Got a weekly Blog, replicated on Facebook and various other social media sites. The most effective marketing seems to be standing an A1 sized poster of my book cover – a grinning skull wearing rose tinted sunglasses – on an easel. Anyone at all interested in my decadent tale of sex, drugs, rock n roll and magick will be drawn to that. That obviously has strict geographical limitations, but it works every time.
What is the best advice you ever heard?
Don’t eat the yellow snow.
What are some of your favorite tools?
I wrote my first novel on A4 lined paper, using a pen. I’ve since upgraded slightly, but I’m still pretty basic. Small notebooks scattered everywhere I go, Google Keep on my phone in an attempt to keep all those notes together, then Word for the actual writing.
Thanks for this opportunity. Looks like you’re doing great work for authors everywhere. Keep it up.