1) Tell us a bit about yourself and where you live and work.
John Alexander Priest - born in the West Midlands, UK. One of seven children - four boys, three girls. I'm married and have two daughters now grown and settled in their own homes.
I've done many, many jobs in the past, from Glazier, Factory work, Additional Needs Assistant, TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) trained. Currently I'm a qualified Internal Verifier, NVQ Assessor/Trainer/Tutor covering Employability, Business Administration and Customer Service amongst other things. I'm still living in the West Midlands but taking time off my Tutor/Training work to concentrate on the marketing and publicity of my latest children's novel Jay-Pea-Eyes aka Junior Private Investigators.
2) Describe your journey to becoming an author.
A bad injury at work left me unable to walk for a long time and so I started writing magazine articles initially which were published by national magazines. The first children's books were accepted and published by educational publishers Ginn & Co., Heinemann & Rigby USA. The titles were:
Naughty Nigel Runs Away, Tom's Birthday Treat, Answer The Phone Fiona!
3) Who is your ideal reader?
This is a tricky one! My current book is for good readers, boys and girls aged 8 years to 9 years. I hope that they would enjoy the book and come over to my website www.johnpriest.co.uk to leave a little note about how they found the book, what they did and didn't enjoy about it so that I can improve the next one.
4) Describe your path to publication. Has this experience met/exceeded your expectations?
I have been published by traditional publishers and have also self -published. Both have their 'for's and against'. I feel that the self-publishing route is very interesting and although you can be pulling your hair out most of the time, you do get to meet some very good people along the way. The artist who designed the cover of Jay-Pea-Eyes for example, Doriano Strologo, who lives in Italy but we arranged everything via emails.
5) How do you promote your work? What methods have worked best for you?
I currently use the website above, newspaper articles, school visits and also social networking sites such as Twitter and Face book but I'm new to these so can't really judge which is the best way to go yet. I think there will always be some old-fashioned ground work, walking/driving/telephoning and seeing people as well as the on-line work.
6) Who are your favourite authors? What is on your reading list right now?
I always enjoyed James Herbert and have just finished reading a book by Dean Koontz. Roald Dahl's books are brilliant too for studying. I don't really have a favourite as I try to read all different types/genres by female and male authors. I think it's the only way to learn your craft.
7) Describe a typical day in your life.
A typical day? Right ... start at 8.30am, I always have a good 20 tasks on my 'to do' list, so I read emails first, do the replies if necessary and then get down to the tasks. These can be anything from a visit to a bookstore and looking at new/popular titles, designing or updating my website, learning how to format e-books for the various e-readers and studying the writing craft itself through reading books or going to workshops.
Recently I've been tied up with marketing so I'm on Twitter and Face book briefly otherwise there isn't any time left to do other things. I then start on my actual writing. This is something we all have to be careful of now that self-promoting is such a big part of our lives - we still have to find time to write!
I usually try and finish around 2pm in the afternoon but will start again around 5pm and sometimes still be at the PC or laptop at 9pm at night.
8) What projects do you have in the works?
I have three children's stories completed and I'm looking for an illustrator as I want to publish these as e-books.
I'm also currently researching the second book of the Jay-Pea-Eyes adventure series.
9) What advice would you offer to aspiring authors?
Believe in yourself and don't get disheartened. It's a tough world out there but if you work at your craft you will break through eventually. There's always something to learn from another author, so read, read, read and write, write, write! Turn any criticism you receive into positive criticism you can use to improve your work. The last bit of advice would be - don't make excuses! If you want to write then do it!
Jay-Pea-Eyes aka Junior Private Investigators
The Boomerang Mystery is just the right case for the Junior Private Investigators or Jay-Pea-Eyes (J.P.I.’s) to sink their teeth into. Such a strange and unusual set of circumstances have baffled the local police. Children are reported missing but re-appear after a number of hours. They are unhurt, not harmed whatsoever and refuse to say where they’ve been. Can these young detectives solve the mystery before the police can? Will they find out who is behind the mystery or are they just getting further and further into danger? Can they link the clues and put an end to the mystery once and for all? The Jay-Pea-Eyes think they’ve found the ‘why’, ‘where’, ‘who’ and ‘how’. Now they need to show just how good at this detective work they really are...A detective/whodunit of some 235 pages (fiction)
Jay -Pea -Eyes was released in paperback June 2012 by FeedARead.com and distributed via all good bookstores and on-line at: http://www.FeedARead.com
Released for Amazon (.com and .co.uk) eKindle
Paperback from Amazon:
Google+ John Priest
Other books described above:
Naughty Nigel Runs Away
Tom's Birthday Treat
Answer The Phone Fiona!
Peter Challenge - Time Surfer eBook is at: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005WKLWC8/
John Alexander Priest was born in a town called Netherton in the West Midlands.He is one of seven children (three girls, four boys). He started writing seriously in 1985 and had several articles published in national magazines. His first children's book was published by Ginn & Co, Ltd..entitled Naughty Nigel Runs Away. This was followed by Tom's Birthday Treat and Answer The Phone Fiona! John has recently published two books for Amazon e-Kindle: Peter Challenge - Time Surfer, a fantasy book for children aged 7-10 years old. Jay-Pea-Eyes aka Junior Private Investigators, a mystery book for children aged 8-9 years old. In this book a group of children play detective and solve a ‘whodunit’ mystery faster than the grown-ups! John enjoys school visits and demonstrating the writing processes.