Today on the blog, we’ve got the expert author Simon Jenner, author of the Ethan Justice and Evolved series. Thanks, Simon, for agreeing to join us!
1. What inspired you to write the Evolved series?
I asked myself what might happen if the world continued on its current destructive path (considering wars, terrorism, immigration, consumerism etc.…) and how that would predominantly affect the UK. Then I added a genetically superior band of humans, particularly Max, the most gifted of them all, to give the world a chance to survive. I let my imagination do the rest. I hope it ends well for us.
My ideal days, more rare than I’d like, are sitting at my desk by 8:00 am and working through till 10:00 am when my wife, Julia, and I, weather permitting, attempt to squeeze in a short walk. Then it’s back to work until 2:00 pm when I grab lunch for fifteen or so minutes. After lunch I work through until my son returns from school at around 4:00 pm. After half an hour of us all catching up on his day, I get back to work until 6:00 pm when Julia and I cook our evening meal together. Depending on her workload, we either take the rest of the day off or both burn the candles until 9:00 pm when we stop to take in a short TV show and then head off to bed.
The above might happen once a week I’d guess, but it’s what I strive for in my own crazy idea of how an ideal writer’s world should be.
3. How do you manage to write alongside of your day job and other commitments?
I don’t have a day job, which is kind of wonderful, but then at the same time we don’t have the money we used to have when I ground my days out as a faceless accountant for a blood-sucking corporation – hope I don’t need a reference ever!
While there’s no monthly paycheck for bean-counting any longer, I still have plenty of jobs left to get our house finished. When we arrived here there were only four rooms with electricity, not to mention no doors and windows. Since then – almost 9 years ago – I have plaster-boarded (dry-walled, I guess you good folks across the pond call it) the whole place, put in electricity (had an electrician initially but he turned out to be a moron so I had to sack him and learn to do it myself), installed a pool (supposed to be temporary but a writer’s wages have proven to be meager compared to an accountant’s so it may well be permanent if the bestseller never comes), put doors and windows in (internal and external), plumbed in three new bathrooms etc.… It’s still a way off completion but I’ll get there before I die – I hope.
4. You’re an expat author – how do you find living in a different country to where your books are set?
It’s not always easy but I have a pretty good memory and the Internet is a wonderful thing. Between these two, and regular visits back to the UK for a million and one different reasons, I just about manage. The third book in the Ethan Justice series, Incendiary, is actually based in Spain, which made life a whole lot easier.
5. With your Evolved series you’ve made a departure from your Ethan Justice books. What are the challenges of jumping from one genre to another?
I think the biggest challenge for me was changing from mostly third person point-of-view to only first person. Suddenly having to have my protagonist weave his way through a whole book without having another point of view caused me no end of head-scratching and swearing. But I needed a break from the Ethan Justice books to make sure I kept the story lines fresh, and I think, if I want to improve as an author – and I so badly do – that it’s important to experiment with new genres/ideas/POVs.
6. Which of your books are you personally most satisfied with? Why?
That is such a tough question. I’m my own worst critic and I’m never completely happy with anything I write. Every project has been a new journey and I’m always amazed when I press send and the book pops up on Amazon for sale the next day. I have untold admiration for anyone who finishes a book. Those who have never written one have no idea of the struggles and frustrations that go along with the process. Those authors that knock out bestsellers one after the other at a rate of knots are either paying others to help or are visitors from an advanced alien planet. Not a hint of jealousy there!
Okay, I just read that last paragraph back and I’m clearly avoiding the question in typical accountant fashion. I would have to say Ethan Justice: Guilty is the book I’m most satisfied with to date. The reason is purely that it is my last completed piece of work, and I think so far – perhaps only fractionally – I have written each book a little better than the last.
7. What can we expect to see in the near future from Simon Jenner?
I’m hoping to get The Evolved 2 – much better title to follow – out early 2016. It is proving quite a challenge, to say the least. This time Max’s returning memory reveals a truly horrific world beneath a rapidly failing veneer. I believe that it is a world not so far removed from the one we will inhabit if we don’t get our acts together and look to long-term solutions to our problems. It’s not all gloom and doom, mind you, as Max and co are on hand to provide light relief and hope during their second great adventure.
After that it’s the next installment of Ethan Justice and after that most likely the 3rd and final installment of The Evolved. Don’t hold me to that: I’m persistently unreliable.
I am a man whose goal in life is to find my goal in life. I live with my wife and son who excel at keeping my crazy ideas in check – for which I am eternally grateful. As an accountant turned author, I am no stranger to excitement – yes, I have a sense of humour too – and I hope to continue entertaining readers for some time to come.
I write the ‘Ethan Justice’ series of action thrillers, which I hope will make you laugh, cringe, cry & cheer.
If you’d like to learn a bit more about me, check out some of my ‘Personal Crap’ blog posts, such as ‘The 10 Most Interesting Things About Me’, ‘Selling Myself In 10 Words Or Less’ and ‘The Story of My Life in 250 Words’.
You can also see what I like to read by checking out my ‘Killer Thrillers’ page. This features other indie thrillers that I have read and personally recommend.
To see what I’m muttering about elsewhere online, why not follow me on Twitter, ‘Like’ me on Facebook, or compare books with me on Goodreads. Alternatively leave me a comment on any of my blog posts or contact me directly. I’d love to hear from you.