Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Interview With Author John B. Bliss

Today I have a terrific interview with crime and YA author John B. Bliss, who chats about his writing and his book, The Murder Boys. Enjoy.


Interview With John B. Bliss






Why don’t you begin by sharing a little about yourself.

Sure, I'm a writer from Brighton UK. My first novel, The Murder Boys, was published by Crime Wave Press last year. In my day job guise, I'm an English teacher at a busy secondary school in Brighton - and that keeps me in touch with my audience. If you can't please them - forget it! 






Could you tell us a bit about your latest book?

The Murder Boys is about two friends learning to live with guilt and fending for themselves as fugitives. It's set alongside the banks of the River Thames in late 1970s Oxfordshire and Berkshire.


Do you have a favourite character? If so, why?

It's got to be the villain of The Murder Boys, Macaulay. He's basically a psychopathic ex-policeman who is drawn to violence. What I hope is the reader's imagination really goes to work with him because my narrator, Richard, never really completely understands Macauley's motivations. Well, until the end maybe...


Why did you decide to write in the YA genre? 

I kind of fell into writing for young adults; my writing just came out that way. Now I think about it, I suppose you get a sense of wonder from a teenage narrator, and as a writer you can show the world opening up to innocent eyes; that's a great process! 


Who is your intended readership? 

Well as I say, I kind of fell into YA writing. I wanted to write a great memorable story, and I guess when you set out to do that, you sort of write something that you would love to read. When publishers got hold of it, they started calling it a YA novel and yeah I get that young readers like it. It's about how frightening the world can be and about finding strength despite that, and those ideas are always going to appeal to a young audience. 


Why did you write this book? What was your inspiration?

There's elements of autobiography there - although it's probably not a great idea to say which bits actually happened to me! I'll let readers wonder about that... Like most story telling it came out of a need to tell a tale, one that wouldn't go away no matter how much I tried to ignore it. In the end I just had to get it down in words and out there. 


What did you enjoy most about writing your book? 

I guess it's the immersion in the world of the book. After a certain point, it's as if the characters get up off the page and start walking around and talking to you. When that happens you know you're onto something. Everyone who has read The Murder Boys has commented on the strong characters but I can't really claim any credit for that. I just opened the cage and let the monsters out! 


Can you tell us about your writing process? Where do your ideas originate? Do you have a certain writing routine?

I'm great believer in writing first thing in the morning. The main reason for that is the writer is closest then to the world of dreams and the sub-conscious and for me that means the imagination is at its most potent. There's a lot of great stuff on this subject in a fantastic book called Becoming A Writer by Dorothea Brande. It really is the only writing book worth reading in my opinion. Anyone thinking of writing should check it out. 



Do you have a favourite author, or writing inspiration? 

I just love any writing that hits you between the eyes and makes a stupid grin creep across your face. There's so much out there that does this for me but I wouldn't have started writing The Murder Boys without reading The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks, A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess or Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh that's for sure! 



About the Author:



John B Bliss is a crime writer from Brighton, UK.
His writing explores society's seedy underbelly: the derelict and forgotten characters left at the margins. The Murder Boys is his first full-length novel and he is currently working on a sequel.

The Murder Boys is available on Amazon





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