This week I’d like to welcome Will MacMillan Jones to the Thursday Throng hot seat as I put him through his interview paces. The first thing that strikes you about Will is that reality is a very loose concept, something rather like being me on this blog 🙂 The second is that Will is really a stand up comic in disguise; oh and he’s also an Awesome Indies approved writer too.
I’m a fan of Terry Pratchett’s discworld series and I love Douglas Adam’s character Dirk Gently. Imagine then if these two somehow collide and end up as a rock star band made up of dragons and dwarves who just happen to fall foul of both The Dark Lord and Adam.
Yep, the scene is set for a comic showdown that rivals both the aforementioned authors. Well worth getting hold of to enjoy whilst sitting through a boring meeting.
What is one thing that no-one would usually know about you?
A little known fact about myself. Hum. That’s a difficult one, as I don’t really think I’m all that interesting. After all, I am an accountant you know. As a profession, we don’t really seem to be full of international men of mystery, do we? How many times was James Bond disguised as an accountant? How many Bond villains have been accountants? I don’t even have an interesting collection of exotic torture instruments. Or stamps. How about this? When I was 20, I was the fourth person in the UK (unless someone knows different, of course) to fly their hang glider at night. Over snow and by the light of the full moon of course, my eyesight isn’t that good. It was a very surreal and weird experience looking down on the snow-shrouded hillside from a hundred feet or so up, and I didn’t stay there for more than ten minutes before landing and letting one of my friends have a go. Yes, there were three of us there, and somehow I was the one who got sent off first. They could tell the idiot, I suppose. Oh well.
What did the best review you ever had say about you and your work?
The best review? I’ve been lucky enough to have a few good reviews. I could pick comments out of many of them to boast about. But I’m busily promoting the latest release in my series, Bass Instinct, so let’s chose this review. It’s from a book review website, http://fantasticalimaginations.wordpress.com/2013/04/11/review-bass-instinct-will-macmillan-jones/ . The reviewer kindly said two things that properly floated my boat.
‘Jones still has some way to go before he stands beside giants like Terry Pratchett…he’s on the right road.’ ‘So my advice to Will is this if he…he will have a best seller on his hands’. A bestseller? Me?
What did the worst review you ever had say about you and your work?
Ah, this is more like it. Another book review website, this time much more critical.
I’ll not link it, you can find this one on my first book, ‘The Amulet of Kings’, on Amazon. ‘This book was everything I hated. I threw it across the room in disgust.’ That I found thoroughly reassuring, as it confirmed my (now ex) partner’s opinions and prejudices as well as my own secret fears. Sadly she promptly ruined her review by adding that her teenage son took the book off into his bedroom and spent the rest of the night laughing so loudly she could hear him through his closed bedroom door. Ah well, you can’t have everything, can you? As I said to my ex before she sulked at me.
Are there any occupational hazards to being an author?
There are a number of dreadful hazards to being an author, and I do feel it is my duty to help warn new authors of some of the dangers. Ever since I have started writing, I have had to cut up my credit cards and return them. Obviously as an author I’m broke, but it was nothing to do with that. As soon as you start writing, bookshops change from havens of peace and tranquillity into dreadful and terrifying places, guarded by dragons and staffed by sirens. If you previously found it possible to walk past a bookshop without falling prey to the siren song of the books, when you start writing that we will be impossible and the only way to avoid bankruptcy through books is to go out of your house with neither money nor access to any. Plus every time you do venture through the doorway, you will scour the shelves looking for a) your book and b) your competitors’ books.
Yes, beware the dread fate of being an author, if you love spending time in bookshops! I’ve also been warned on Facebook that being an author is supposed to make you irresistibly attractive to the opposite sex. This clearly isn’t much of a hazard, as no mob of frantic girls has chased me down the road yet. Why is there always a downside?
Have you ever written naked?
I thought this was a joke. And then I realised that, horrible a thought as it is, I have to confess. I have a poor sleeping pattern, and that means I often wake in the early hours with either odd jokes or a scene inside my head. I’ve tried using a tape recorder, but even I couldn’t understand the results the next day. I do keep a note book, torch and pen by the bed, but this one time I had so much in my head that I ran into the study, turned on the computer and started typing.
A leather chair is cold and unwelcoming at three in the morning. Perhaps this also stands as a hazard to being an author…
How do you remain sane while working?
This is an easy one. My sanity has never been a problem to me. Often to others, that is true, but as far as I am concerned I am a model of staid respectability and normality. So there. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. Going outside to howl at the full moon is research when you are a fantasy writer, isn’t it?
What is the best excuse you have ever come up with for missing a deadline?
Deadlines? What are deadlines? Oh, those. Well, the best excuse I’ve ever used is the enormous workload my publisher drops on my over promotional work. I mean, that’s vital and important and gets in the way of writing, doesn’t it? No? Oh…
(‘Deadlines? I love them. I love the whooshing noise they make as they shoot by.’ – Douglas Adams…)
What has been the best experience you have ever had in your life?
The best experience I’ve ever had in my life. I suppose that I’d have to be gushy and say that it was the birth of my kids. So now that I’ve got that out of the way, let’s go to the second best, which is likely to be much more interesting. I’m torn here. On one hand there’s the first time that I opened a box full of books that I had written. Then there’s the time in North Wales when I flew my hang glider out of the lifting air at the hilltop, and had to land on the holiday beach…amidst the bikini-clad sunbathers. That was memorable. Or the time I managed to get my car airborne over a steep bridge? On balance, I’m going to plump for this one: the first booksigning event I did in Waterstones, when a customer I didn’t know picked up a copy of my book and took it to the till. That was an amazing feeling.
What was the most important thing you learned at school?
I don’t think I learnt much at school. Oh, I passed some exams, non of which have been especially useful to me subsequently. I learnt to play Lacrosse, which earned me some minor fame when I broke the (universally disliked) French master’s thumb one sports lesson.
If I learned anything, it was that there were many people around who were much brighter, much better looking and more attractive than I am. And if I wanted to keep up with them, I was going to have to work at it. I’ve been working hard at it ever since, although without catching anyone yet.
What is your favourite TV moment of all time?
My favourite moment. There aren’t many recently, as in truth I rarely watch any television any more. I listen to a lot of music, instead as it stimulates my imagination more. But a favourite from the past has to me from Eric Morecambe. The ‘Singing In The Rain’ routine is bound to be on YouTube, and for me it encapsulates their perfect comedy. It never fails to crack me up.
If you could commit the perfect murder where would you hide the body?
The first question I’d ask is: who have I managed to murder? Am I allowed some politicians? I did actually speculate about this once, for a short story I was writing. The answer was easy: Where does one hide a leaf? In the forest. Where does one hide a body? With other bodies. So I’d hide the politician who had just experienced a serious ‘No’ vote with some other bodies. I’d wrap the corpse up in bandages, and sneak it into a museum and leave it with some other mummies in the Egyptian display… can I go now? Only I’ve got this consignment of bandages being delivered by UPS
Where can you find out more about Will and buy his book?
Bass Instinct is available on Amazon in Kindle format from Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. You can read a short excerpt on the publishers website here: safkhetpublishing.com/books/fantasy/9781908208156/TBU4.html
You can also find Will lurking online in the following places:
- The Facebook page – facebook.com/BannedUnderground
- His Twitter account – @macmillanjones
- His website –www.willmacmillanjones.com
Why ‘The Thursday Throng’?
These posts are called The Thursday Throng in honour of the throng that waits eagerly outside the book store when a new author is doing a book signing event or appearance. On this website it takes the form of a ‘Meet the Author‘ online event with some information about our author’s latest book and an interview. If you would like to take part in the Thursday Throng then why not visit Thursday Throng Author Interview Guidelines to find out more.
If you would like to see all the Authors who have been featured on The Thursday Throng you can click here: womanontheedgeofreality.com/2012/06/17/the-thursday-throng/