Wednesday 8 February 2012


What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now? 
My name is Jack Blaine, and I was born and live in the United States.

Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
I’ve always written, but I never wanted to be a writer.  I just didn’t know that was possible.  I never really had an idea of a specific profession that I longed to be.

When did you first consider yourself as a "writer"?
When I started paying the mortgage with my writing.

Did it take a long time to get your first book published? 
Actually, no.  I was very lucky. 

What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarise it in less than 20 words what would you say? 
My latest book is called Twitch, and it will be out by the end of February.  It’s a companion novel to Helper12.  It follows the story of a minor character in Helper12 and explores her experience in the same dystopian future.

Who is your publisher? or do you self publish?
I self-publish and am also traditionally published.

How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
It’s all over the map.  I’ve written a book in three weeks, and I’ve taken a year to write another.  And everything in between.

What genre would you place your books into?
Helper12 and Twitch are science fiction/dystopias.  They have adventure and romance, too.

What made you decide to write that genre of book?
I think dystopias are interesting.  It’s fun to think about how the world might change, and what sorts of clues exist now that might point toward where we are headed.

Where do you get your book plot ideas from?
I love the classic answer to this question: “I think them up.”  J

Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? ie You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?
I like my surroundings to be calm and orderly.  I write sometimes to instrumental music (classical) but usually to silence.  I find that I can hear where I’m going better that way.

Do you have anybody read your books and give you reviews before you officially release them?ie. Your partner, children, friends, reviewers you know?
I have beta readers—I think they are essential.

Do you gift books to readers to do reviews?
I give review copies to reviewers, but I don’t generally gift books other than that.

Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?

Would you ever ask a reviewer to change their review if it was not all positive about your book/books?
No.  Reviews are one person’s opinion.  You can’t very well ask someone to change their opinion on something as subjective as what they thought of a book.

Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
I always know the story before the title. 

How do you market/promote your books?
I try to get some blog reviews, but I’ve been really lucky in that word of mouth has sold my books.  People like them and they tell other people.  I am always so thankful for that.

What do you think makes a book a really good/bestseller ?
Well, I have to say that I think “really good” and “best seller” aren’t always the same thing.  Sometimes, marketing makes the difference in how well a book can compete. 
To me, a really good book has some heart in it, and I care about what happens. 

Are there any hidden messages or morals contained in your books? (Morals as in like Aesops Fables type of "The moral of this story is..")
Hmm.  I don’t like to moralize, but I do think there are questions raised in Helper12 and in Twitch.  They might be questions about justice, and about what it means to be human.

Which format of book do you prefer, ebook, hardback, or paperback?
I am still a hardback/paperback fan, but I have friends who are mad about ebooks.

Do you think ebooks will ever totally replace printed books?
I hope not.

Do you think children at schools these days are encouraged enough to read? and/or do Imaginative writing?
I have to say that I don’t think so.  I know there are teachers who try hard, but especially here in the U.S. schools have become so focused on test results that learning, true learning about how to think critically and how to experience life and art, is suffering.  I wish we would take a step back and reassess what we want our children to learn and why.

Did you read a lot at school and write lots of stories or is being a writer something newer in your life?
I was a big reader when I was a child. Books let me escape to better, and sometimes worse, places.  I think that being a reader at a young age allows you to develop all kinds of important characteristics: imagination, empathy, the ability to handle being alone (something I think many people don’t have) and all kinds of other stuff.  Readers have a richer experience than non-readers, in my opinion.

What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?
Practice!  And have fun.  No point in doing it if it isn’t fun.

Do you or would you ever use a pen name?
Yes.  I like seekrits J

Where can readers follow you?

Thankyou for taking the time to take part in this Interview!

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