Hi everyone, today I am really excited to share with you a bit of a showcase for author R.J Furness as well as an interview that he has very kindly provided and allowed me to share today!
All about the Author
R. J. Furness has been passionate about great stories since he was able to read. At an early age, he would frequently create new characters, worlds, and creatures, then write crazy tales all about them. However, until now, he has always kept those ideas completely secret. After having a lifelong interest in animals, music, and anything spawned from pure imagination, R.J.’s first love are now his wife and children. Over time, he has also developed an overwhelming desire for mugs of tea and good biscuits to dunk. He lives in Southport, England, with his family, a dog and several fish, chickens and quails.
Check him out on:
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Are you a full-time or part-time writer?
The answer to this isn’t as straight-forward as the question. I’d argue that I’m a full-time writer, in the sense that I don’t have a full-time paid job. However, I’m a stay-at-home-parent, and our three children have complex special needs. By that, I mean they all have a few conditions that create a variety of challenges in their lives. As a result, they have many, many hospital appointments. Likewise, there are regular meetings at schools, and other such commitments, which we need to attend. It became evident a long time ago, that someone would need to give up work to facilitate the needs of our children. At the time, my wife Emma was at the start of a great career, so common sense told us that it should be me to remain at home full-time.
Having said all that, there are days when the children are all at school and there are fewer appointments to attend. I decided to use these irregular moments to start writing, because it’s always been something I wanted to do.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
In the most literal sense, this happened before I can remember. I can recall many occasions, at very young ages, where I thought about how much I wanted to write.
What books have influenced you?
Where do I begin? Books have influenced me throughout my life. When I was younger, I first remember reading C.S Lewis’ Narnia books, and I adored the Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling too. The Weirdstone of Brisingamen by Alan Garner was also something that captured my imagination. I was introduced to that one through school. Other books carved into my childhood memories, include Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons, and Tolkien’s Lord of The Rings.
As I got older, I read a variety of books, comics and graphic novels. At the time, I was more of a Marvel fan, and a huge lover of anything X-Men. Novels I enjoyed, included many different genres, from S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders to science fiction epics like Dune. I also became quite the horror fan too—reading many books by Stephen King and James Herbert, amongst others.
More recently, I relish any opportunity to explore the work of new authors through my Kindle. Indie authors are some of my favourites too. There is something about them telling the stories they want to tell—exactly how they want to tell them. Most indie authors really listen to their readers in my experience as well. L.L. Mcneil’s Moroda is a particular favourite of mine, and I adore The Changing Tide by K.A. Dowling. Likewise, I’ve read many books by Lacey London and Bella Forrest. I’m currently reading and loving Room 119 by T.F. Lince too.
I could go on (and on), but my point is, I have read so many books, from many different genres. All those books will have influenced me in some way. I think it is fair to say, that the writers of those books have also influenced me more than I could ever explain.
What inspired you to write your book?
So. Many. Things!
I have to say, that primarily—my family inspire me more than anything else in the world. My wife (Emma), and our children, have been so supportive. The feelings I get when they read my books can’t be explained either. I love sitting down with my children and talking about the “dissent” world, or the adventures of the “Orgo Runners”. They are such special moments. Also, I ask my children to give me ideas for “Orgo Runners”. My family are so involved and continue to inspire me.
However, I find inspiration everywhere. Where the “dissent” story is concerned, I found myself drawing a lot of inspiration from the world around me. There are many things that concern me about our world, and some of those things influenced different parts of the story. As there is more of this story yet to tell, I will leave that there for now though.
Other inspiration generally comes from great storytelling. I have already outlined many book influences, but great storytelling comes in many different forms. T.V. shows and movies are obviously included in the things that feed my imagination, but music and dance are also important.
Sticking with T.V. and movies though, there are so many that have inspired me over time. Star Wars and Jurassic Park are the biggest two for me. Needless to say, I will always be a huge admirer of both George Lucas and Steven Spielberg. I have blogged in the past about my reasons for this, but overall movies like these make imaginary worlds and creatures come to life. How great is that? Last year alone, there were so many amazing movies that I saw with my family too. Wonder Woman and The Greatest Showman top the list though for me—they were both mind-blowingly great!
In fact, there are so many T.V. shows, movies, and even theatre shows that have inspired me over the years. I could waffle on forever. To keep it simple, I love to escape into new worlds and get to know new characters. I always have done! One of my guilty pleasures is when characters capture my attention, at the same time as there being a plot that makes me curious. In the beginning, the T.V. show Lost did this splendidly for me.
All of that, and so much more, makes me want to inspire others through my own stories too.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Unexpected interruptions. I’m quite busy with my day-to-day commitments, and although appointments are planned, other things occur without warning. On several occasions, I’ve found myself in a wonderful writing flow, and then received an urgent call or email. I’m then thrown into ‘real-life’ issues that suck me out of my story. The bigger the challenge, the longer it can take me to centre myself and get absorbed back into a flow. To resolve this, I find that music helps me to reconnect with characters.
How do you feel about ebooks vs. print books and alternative vs. conventional publishing?
I don’t see them as a versus at all.
If you know that you have a story to tell—tell it.
If you like the work of certain authors—read their books.
Perhaps you just like to read—then do so.
All these things can be done in whatever way works for you!
That’s my opinion anyway.
Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
I haven’t yet, but who knows whether that may seem like a good idea in the future. Recently, I read an interview with J.K. Rowling where she explained her reasons for doing this. As I read it, those reasons made sense.
Any advice for others who have started on their own book writing journey?
**Thinks carefully about this answer**
I am only at the start of my own book writing in journey in many ways. By that, I mean I am only just beginning to publish my work. Having said that, recently I have read so many blog posts, tweets and articles about authors ‘running their ideas passed publishers and agents,’ to see if they are good ideas. In my mind, if you have a story to tell—tell it! There will be people out there who want to read what you’ve written. They’re could be lots of those people too. At this stage, I’m still working on ways to find those people who may enjoy the “dissent” stories. But I know they exist, and I’ve already met a fair few in one way or another.
Write your story, and get it published in whatever way works for you.