Today I’m featuring John Day as my author in the spotlight. John’s book Bent Penny, the first in the DS Penny Britain series, is due to be published as an e-book on 11th May. He’ll tell you what it’s about in one of his answers below. You can order a copy here: Bent Penny
First of all, would you tell me a little about yourself?
Thank you for wanting to interview me, I am delighted to participate and answer your probing questions .I am one of those lucky people, so people think. Not the sort that ever wins anything, but manages to land on their feet when trouble strikes. The truth is, luck played no part in my life. It was all down to focus and hard work.
I never saw the point of school. When I started work, I must have been a quick learner, because I was rapidly promoted to a senior position, in a large company. Having reached the top, where else could I go? I started my own successful businesses. For me, money never interested me, I enjoyed meeting clients and turning their dreams into reality. Being sought after, was my reward.
After my second retirement, the first lasted 2 weeks, I had a difficult time adjusting to a pointless life. I had hobbies, but they just made things worse. Writing has been my saviour. It takes months to write a book, every moment places me into the action and I enjoy it all that time. I feel sorry for readers, the book they have just enjoyed will have lasted only 8 hours or so. Then comes the true excitement and reward, when readers review or want to talk to me about my stories. Sadly, a reader will never know that joy.
What inspired you to start writing?
During the odd occasions when I had time, I would read Clive Cussler novels. Then he started using other writers who didn’t make the stories work for me. I decided I would try writing. It was a wonderful experience, but being committed to business and even 16 years ago, it was not a viable occupation, I just added to the story.
After retirement, I decided to publish the book and it was a failure, because I thought books sold themselves. On the first day on Amazon, a lady called Rosie bought it and gave a glowing review. From then on, all I wanted to do was write thrillers.
Tell me about your journey to publication
I published my 3rd book first, Fugitive, on Amazon and Smashwords. It shot to no.9 in the Amazon UK top 100 and like a fool, I thought I had managed to avoid the dreaded marketing. I then published my first 2 books, Extinction Event and Fire Ice, and being part of a series, I expected them to sell equally as well, but they didn’t. I still couldn’t face social media as a marketing platform, all I wanted to do was write books for readers to enjoy. The books have all got good reviews, it is just that no one can find them. I say that, but they are still selling better than some.
My 4th book was going to be stupendous. I had an amazing plot, awesome characters and should have been the best seller of the year. I launched it and went away on several very long holidays, so no marketing. I have had great reviews, the book is good, but I pitched it badly into a niche market. A shame, because it is not the niche book people think it is.
Bent Penny is in a popular genre and already there is a lot of interest, even before its launch on 11th May. My wife’s birthday, actually.
In a nutshell, what is your latest book about?
The Psychological crime thrillers I have read for market research struck me as rather samey, boring actually, quite like TV drama. I won’t lower my standards, so I came up with an onion layer story featuring D.S. Penny Britain. As each layer falls away, the story takes a bizarre turn. Readers like damaged or unusual characters, so Penny is a loner and quite unorthodox in her pursuit of criminals. She is a brilliant detective, no shrinking violet and not to be messed with. As is my way, there are two distinct stories running at the same time. Penny is in the thick of it and the body count is rising fast. She makes an error of personal judgement and her perfect life will be ruined. However, I suspect the reader will be looking over their shoulder by the time they get to the end of this story. I guarantee, you will never have read a story like this before.
How did you come up with the title for your book?
Bent Penny and bent copper is the connection, but everyone will see that. I hope so, anyway, else the title will have missed its market.
How do you plan to celebrate/did you celebrate publication day?
Well, it is my wife’s birthday, so I will be taking her out for that. There is no chance I will forget her birthday now, either. We have always gone away on an exotic holiday for her birthday, but because I plan to market this book, we are staying home.
Do you have a work in progress just now?
I had planned an adventure thriller, to follow Bent Penny, called Three ways to Hell. That is still bubbling in the cauldron for the moment.
Pre-launch readers have insisted Bent Penny be a series. Dirty Penny is the next title, due for launch July/August 2016, and I am so excited with this story, it is topical and also scary. Also you have my guarantee, you won’t have read this story before, either.
What’s your favourite book you’ve read in the past few months? Or favourite three if you really can’t choose!
Actually, I read all 4 in the series by Ellie Midwood. I found them remarkably good and have reviewed them.
I was advised to read a Jack Reacher book by Lee Child. I chose the best rated, called Gone Tomorrow. It reminded me of the wise cracking P.I. Phillip Marlow, which I would have enjoyed. Sadly, it was an atrocious reading experience.
What are you reading just now?
I am about to start Burden of Proof by Peter Best.
Tell me about your reading habits: book or kindle, bed or bath, morning or evening?
I prefer a physical book, always have. I can’t get comfortable looking at a Kindle or a screen. The old kindle is a super device for readers and my wife is also a physical book person, though her Kindle Fire is probably loved more than me. Our joke. I tend to read where ever I have the time. I would prefer to read in bed, but more often it is at my desk.
How can people follow you or connect with you on social media?
I have my own website http://www.ajperks.co.uk/page20.html
My facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/JohnDayThrillers
Twitter is @ JohnDayThriller
And finally, if you could be a character in any book you have read, who would it be and why?
I cannot think of a suitable character in any other author’s book that I would like to be. That is not saying I don’t have favourites, but I wouldn’t want to be them. Technically, I have read my own books, so I would like to be like Max Fortune in the series of 3 Max & Carla thrillers. He is an easy going person, uses his brain not brawn to save the day and he has the stunning Carla, a real sweetie, no nonsense, kick arse bitch if you try and thwart her. Max is so lucky.