An interesting interview today with Joni Dee, author of And the Wolf Shall Dwell.
Joni Dee is the author pen name of a UK based young financial professional. Joni’s enthusiasm for thrillers in particular and fiction in general, has led him to write his debut novel “And the Wolf Shall Dwell”.
A Chief Sergeant (Ret.) from military intelligence, Joni bases his novels loosely on his vast knowledge of the espionage world. He holds a dual bachelor’s degree in Business and International Relations and an MBA specializing in finance. He currently lives in London with his wife and two children.
Why do you write?
I think that being an author is my long-lost dream. I’ve always wanted to have the ability to make-up stories which captivate and influence people, and at the same time to describe places or things, using such powerful words that the reader actually feels he is there. Call it The Pied Piper of Hamelin ‘Syndrome’, but when someone is touched by something I write or tells me he really liked it, I get an uplifting feeling.
As a kid, I used to paint a lot. I could sit for hours and paint. Then, as I grew up, paintings became comic strips. So, I think in a sense I’ve always been creative, or a story-teller of some sort.
What are you currently working on?
The second book which revolves around John Daniel and Adam Grey’s clandestine adventures. It has the working title: “Terror Within: John Daniel Book II”. In short: John is in Paris. Grey is in London, then Cornwall. They’re each joining forces with their opposite sex equivalent, to try and solve a mystery or a plot which they have no idea interlinks between them.
Check-out my website (https://jondbooks.com) to find out how you can have a character named after you in this novel!
From where did you draw your inspiration to write your latest book?
Well, that’s a complex question, as I took my time with it (chuckles). I think ultimately, moving to London, the hub of all good spy thrillers, is what inspired me the most. Whenever I got stuck with the plot-line, I strolled around the City area, and immediately knew what the next scene would look like. The plot then followed.
Are you a plotter or pantster?
I’d love to say plotter, but I already gave myself up in the last answer. In truth, I am endeavoring to become a plotter, and for the novel I’m currently working on, I do have a nice chart all worked out. But as I write, I find myself adding twists and turns that do not help me reach the clear conclusion (says with a big grin).
Which writers had the most influence on your decision to write?
Definitely and unambiguously John le Carré, the spy thriller master. His writing is superb, his plots are (mostly) nothing less than ingenious. I was awfully disappointed when his publicity office rejected my request to send him my novel, twice.
What was the last book you read?
“Absence of Blade” by Caitlin McKenna. You (referring to Stephen) and I ran into each other, because I’m running a website called BookGobbler, which aims to help authors get exposure and book reviews, in exchange for a free copy of their book.
As I’m trying to review as many books as time permits me for this project, I read all kinds of genres and elements, and this book was one of them.
It’s the debut Sci-Fi novel of a young and talented author. It takes place in the future, when humans run wars of expansion to new realms and galaxies. Even though it’s not my personal go-to-genre, I found it to be a great read. It’s extremely creative, and there are still copies on offer on this website- http://www.bookgobbler.com
Do you suffer from writers’ block?
(Laughs out loud) All the time! I am having many dry spells or periods where I can’t write because of my job or the kids or simply lack of ideas. So, you can say that! Le’ts just hope this new novel won’t take me six years in the making again!
Reviews for books are vital. Any tips on getting more reviews?
Well, as stated before, seeing just how much reviews are vital, and how hard it is to get attention, I’ve started BookGobbler. It’s sort of like NetGalley, to those of you who aren’t familiar – a website giving ARC’s in exchange to reviews. The difference is that while NetGalley became the playing ground for traditional publishers (charging a small fortune for a quick week-long listing), BookGobbler offers this service for free, with a pledge to keep at least fifth of all giveaways reserved for indie authors and publishers. Besides, as a bonus, we raffle paperbacks, and we publish our reviews too.
Besides that, my only other tip is persistency! Bloggers and reviewers don’t like pests, but they won’t discover you if you keep quiet. Find reviewers that share the same interests as you, and take refusals lightly and not personally.
Also, reciprocate! If you want people to review your book – maybe consider reviewing theirs, too.[Note from SB – please do not agree to swap reviews or reciprocate with another author. It is contrary to Amazon policy and could land you on deep poo. I am sure Joni is not advocating for review swaps.]
Do you use social media? If so, do you like using it?
I use social media, but it’s not my favourite thing in the world in all honesty. I was very anti at first, but I’ve come to realize that in today’s world, you simply can’t just ignore social media – if you’re not there: you simply do not exist.
Having said that, I’m happy to have met my wife before the Tinder-Facebook-WhatsApp nightmare era begun. If I had to use all of these for dating, I would have been a bachelor till this day!
Many people have a bucket list. What is #1 on yours?
I would like, and not many know that, to go back to my old uni and give a lecture. They run lectures from successful graduates – and I’d like to be invited to do this, while I still have hair on my head. (says jokingly)
Any special message for your readers?
You are the greatest readers in the world for giving an unknown author a chance and helping me become one. Thank you all!
Thank you, Joni, that was an interesting interview. Like you, I am a great le Carré fan. I bought your book a couple of days ago and I am enjoying it – review to come soon!
Talking about reviews, I endorse what Joni says about BookGobbler. I signed up there as both a reviewer and an author. I reviewed Gary Guinns’s Sacrificial Lam as a result of using BookGobbler and my Steve Regan Undercover Cop novel is listed on that site too as available for a review copy.
Joni’s social media connections are here:
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