STEPHEN LLOYD JONES
Stephen Lloyd Jones grew up in Chandlers Ford, Hampshire, and studied at Royal Holloway College, University of London. He now lives in Surrey with his wife, three young sons and far too many books. The String Diaries is his first novel.
Many thanks for taking time to answer some questions:
1) Can you please give the readers some background on you and how/ why you became a writer?
My pleasure. I wrote obsessively all through childhood, college and university. After graduation, I fell into an advertising career. Working in a busy London agency offers little free time for writing, but it does teach valuable lessons: the importance of grabbing an audience’s attention and holding it; the discipline required to meet tight deadlines. A few years ago, with my wife expecting our second child, I told myself that however little free time I thought I had, I would find some. I bought a new laptop and started work. The String Diaries was written late at night, during snatched lunch breaks and days off. It took me just under two years, start to finish.
2) What was it that led you to write in this genre?
It’s a genre I’ve always loved. Growing up, my heroes were Dean Koontz and Stephen King. I love writers that show you something wonderful and unexplained, and then explore its darker possibilities
3) Was there anything behind your choice of locations? (I ask because Oxford is (was) my home town, so nostalgia on my part.
I needed an institution where the characters could research the mythology central to the story. What more iconic – and beautiful – place is there but Oxford? I chose Budapest because it seemed exactly the sort of place where this mythology might have evolved. Snowdonia features because of my family connection.
4) Book Two (Written in the Blood) is due out in the USA 2015? Do you know when it’s out in the UK? And how many books in the series?
Written in the Blood will launch in the UK on 6th November this year (my birthday, coincidentally). My third book is a standalone. I don’t have any plans to extend the series currently, but who knows what the future may bring!
5) Some more back ground on you please, who are the writers you read to relax?
More and more, I find that I’m reading individual books rather than following particular writers. Most of the authors I still read regularly are those I discovered in childhood.
6) What are your top 5 books as a reader?
This changes on a regular basis. Right now, I’d say The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, Misery, Strangers, Birdsong.
7) Soap box time: Why in your words should we buy the book?
Good question! The String Diaries is a fast-paced thriller seasoned with a dash of history and the supernatural. If that appeals, why not check it out? The first chapter is available free online, so you have nothing to lose.
8) Finally just for fun… instead of the usual invite 5 people from history for dinner, Which 5 people would you want with you to help you stay alive while Jakab hunts you, and why?
Wow, that’s a tough one. I’m going to say Sherlock Holmes, Sarah Conner, Indiana Jones, Clarice Starling and my best mate Vrinder Randhawa (he always has a plan, and is a damn fine bloke, too).
My review will follow very very soon, so watch this space… And race you to the last page, because i know this will be great, the person who asked me to read this is almost never wrong when it comes to great book recommendations.