Jason Pinnington has joined us today! Let's all welcome him by liking and sharing his interview! :-) Jason, can you tell us about yourself?
Jason: I’ve always wanted to write but never really got any further than a couple of chapters. After recovering from cancer I decided that I should do things instead of wanting to do them. Driven by the thought that we never know what tomorrow brings, I started writing and didn’t stop until I was done. I was happy then, happy that no matter what tomorrow brought a piece of me would be on the shelf for my kids to pick up whenever they wanted.
I have one book self published at the moment and another two to follow in 2015.
Me: Wow! Sounds like you've had quite a journey! Congratulations on winning your battle with cancer. :-) Can you tell us about your book and what inspired it?
Jason: The name of my book is Harry Webb in ‘A Potato With Her Name On’ and I was inspired to write it by wanting to create something for my children. Something which would fire their imagination and get them playing the way I used to play when I was a kid.
During the development stage I asked myself about different things kids like and I hit upon the combination for Harry’s world – roleplay, mystery and bugs!
Look beyond the story and characters and you’ll find that there is a springboard for roleplay that doesn’t require vast amounts of money to be spent on merchandise and costumes to play. For example, Harry crafts gadgets from everyday stuff he keeps in his pockets, and his new sidekick Marty is a self proclaimed master of disguise.
I want kids to just read the book and then go and play. There is no greater accolade than watching my own kids dressing up like Marty and inventing like Harry; one even sat on another’s shoulders to portray a villainous stick insect!
Me: Sounds like your book will be a lot of fun for kids! :-) What are you working on now?
Jason: I’m working on a sequel to ‘Potato’ along with a collection of short stories featuring Harry and the gang. I’m also working on a project away from Harry’s world which I can’t say too much about yet, but a free running chimpanzee will take centre stage. And I’m storyboarding a comedy play about two brothers who inherit their father’s cleaning business. Oh, and I’ve been asked to write background pieces for an upcoming role playing game. Busy 2015!
Me: Busy, busy, busy!! :-) Are there any authors, or books, who have influenced you?
Jason: A wide range of authors have influenced me over the years and it’s extremely difficult to pick any out. I suppose that on the path I’ve chosen direct influences would come from the likes of Anthony Horrowitz, Douglas Adams, and Roald Dahl.
Recently I’ve had the privilege of discovering indie books and authors though Mark Shaw and IndieBooksBeSeen. I have to say that these people, their work, their determination and their attitude have been a huge influence. I wasn’t actually going to write another book after ‘Potato,’ it was a personal goal satisfied. But this group of great folk have made me want to carry on, to be a part of what they are doing.
Nick Park and the team at Aardman Animations have been a huge influence, but this probably isn’t the time or place...!
Me: Yeah, Mark is great. His work helping indie authors has made a lot of difference to a lot of people. :-) What are you reading now?
Jason: I’m finishing David Jason’s autobiography, then moving on to Annie’s War by Mackenzie Brown.
Me: Heavy! For those who might consider reading your book, what would you tell them to expect?
Jason: These are the questions I struggle with, I’m a bit rubbish at these but here goes...
I hope that what you’ll get is a book that can be enjoyed not just by the youngsters, but by the family. I’ve aimed to provide clean fun that doesn’t rely on toilet humour for cheap laughs. It’s set in the nineteen-sixties, so it appeals to the older generations too – in fact I’d say that around 75% of my readers are adults!
Like the great gumshoe books and TV shows, Harry narrates directly to you, so you know everything he knows. All the clues are there right up until the point where Harry says, ‘I know who did this.’ And there the chapter ends, leaving an opportunity to figure things out or have a guess.
And finally, as I mentioned earlier, I hope kids will find that spark to put the book down and run past the games console to go and play.
Me: It sounds like those old radio serials: "The Shadow knows!" ;-) What is your favorite part of being an author?
Jason: I love it all, honestly. And when I stop loving it you’ll know, because I’ll stop writing.
Me: That's the best way to write! :-) Do you have a day job as well?
Jason: I like to keep busy. By day, I’m a computer technician and I produce a radio show once a week for a station here in Liverpool. When I’m not working, I’m writing, researching, running or weeding my allotment! And the best job of all, being a dad.
Me: Wow, with so many pulls on your attention it's a good thing you love writing or you'd never find the time to do it! What would you say are the easiest and hardest parts of being a writer?
Jason: The easiest part for me is having the ideas. I have lots and lots of little notebooks all brimming with ideas, sketches, characters and plots just waiting to be brought to life. And that’s where the hardest bit interferes – finding the time to actually get it done – refer to earlier answers! If there was something that just plugged into my head to get everything out that would be great. I reckon I’d do about eight books a year if I had one of those...
Me: Ha! I think that's a common wish among authors! :-) What genre do you place your book in?
Jason: A friend described the book as Insect Comedy Noir – but I don’t think that’s a genre. I suppose it would fall under Children’s Mystery... although I had great difficulty placing it in a category on Amazon...
Me: Oh yes, Amazon and their boxes. ;-) Is there anything else you'd like to tell your readers?
Jason: To tell my readers? I’d just like to say a big thank you for the support and feedback. Without them, there’s no point in doing it.
Me: And so these lovely folks can contact you, are there any links you'd like to share?