Welcome to my stop on Stephen J Willis’ Forest of Riddles blog tour!
Many thanks to Kelly @ Love Books Group Tours for arranging the following interview with Stephen J Willis…..
For those who don’t know already, could you tell us about yourself and your book(s) please?
My interest in the arts started in the acting world, wherein I had a few TV spots, like playing a pilot in the TV series Mile High on Sky One, and was even in an award-winning short film called Casting Call. I have written books in different genres. I have two novellas, based on true stories, a thriller and a very short ghost story. This current teen series is: The Christopher Daring Adventures, book1: Spirits of the Dead, book2: The Forest of Riddles, book3: The Steampunk Spiders.
Where did/do you get your ideas from?
They come from various aspects of life and have built up from over the years. I read a cross-section of books and am interested in all sorts of films and documentaries. I constantly make notes for things to use in the future.
Are any of your characters based (however loosely) on anyone you know?
Yes, a mixture normally. But I’d never say incase the people found out…
How do you pick your characters’ names?
Some names just seem to site nicely, whereas others I need to use deeper meanings for. I may use names with deeper meanings depending on the persons ethnic background too.
Can you share your writing process with us, in a nutshell?
1) I work out an overall story
2) I list key moments/scenes/scenario/characters/plots/interests/worries/etc
3) I bullet-point each chapter, then add sub-subjects
4) I then begin to write each chapter. Although not necessarily in order
5) I then review if further layers or sub-plots are needed
Who are your top 5 favourite authors?
1) James Herbert
2) J.K. Rowling
3) Dan Brown
4) Christopher Fowler
5) M.C. Beaton
If you could meet any author, who would it be and what would you ask them?
James Herbert (back in the day) and ask where he got all his intel. Some of the stuff he wrote about was so secret I wonder how he found out.
Were you a big reader as a child?
Not really. Just the odd Roald Dahl or Enid Blyton. But in my mid-late teens I became more interested in positive business mind-set, and so would read and listen to constructive books and tapes all the time. Only in my twenties did I start back in to literary books.
When did you start to write?
I wrote my first basic story when I was 14 years old. It was called Liberation, but it was never finished. I wrote various bits and bobs over the next twenty years, but never took what I was doing seriously.
If you could re-write the ending to any book what would it be and what would you change?
Only one of my own shorter ones: The Figure in the Mist. I’d add a final twist, that I always wished I’d added.
Is there a book you wish you had written?
The Harry Potter Series I suppose.
If you wrote an autobiography, what would your title be?
Lies aside, let me tell you the truth
If you could invite any fictional character for coffee who would it be and where would you take them?
Robert Langdon, (Dan Brown novels) and I’d take him to Brighton for a walk around the Lanes and sea front, before sitting down for a coffee at one of the wonderful coffee bars on the actual lower promenade.
What are you working on right now?
I am working on book 3 of the Christopher Daring Adventures, the current title is: The Steampunk Spiders. I am continuing Christopher’s journey to find his missing brother and father. This book is sort of the catalyst for the main overall theme of the series. Here we start to pick up pace the science fiction and fantasy genres, with more mysteries, riddles and unusual creatures.
Tell us about your last release?
In September 2018, I released two books together from the Christopher Daring Adventures, book1: Spirits of the Dead, and book2: The Forest of Riddles. Throughout the series, Christopher and his friends must overcome various despicable foes as they battle with riddles, codes, creatures of the night, deathly spectres and secret orders, as they go in search of Christopher’s missing brother and father. I had two brilliant book signings, one in October and one in December of 2018.
Do you have a new release due?
It is too early for that yet, and so has not been planned. I am only on chapter 11 of the new book.
What do you generally do to celebrate on publication day?
I’ve celebrated to be honest. I am normally too tired or distracted with the next project to give it much attention. But now that you have pointed it out, I think I need to stop and acknowledge what has been achieved!
How can readers keep in touch with you?
They can subscribe to my Newsletter on my website and get a free audio book in the process. As well as all the latest news, they will get the short audio ghost story: The Figure in the Mist sent to them. http://www.stephenjwillis.com
Is there anything else you would like us to know?
Some of the fascinating facts within my stories are true, and some, equally, are not — I shall leave it up to you, the reader, to decide which is which…
My short ghost story: The Figure in the Mist will be played in its entirety on MeridianFM radio in February 2019.
The next book to be launched will actually be a psychological drama about a spiritual shaman. It is a stand-alone book and is a tough, yet eye-opening look, into the realms of the mind, the spirit and the body.
Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, Stephen! 🙂
Throughout the series, Christopher and his friends must overcome various despicable foes as they battle with riddles, codes, creatures of the night, deathly spectres and secret orders, as they go in search of Christopher’s missing brother and father.
Within a tall whispering forest, night-time eyes blink in mesmerized wonder at a magical blue spectacle that dances all about them in the silence. So enchanting is this mysterious woodland, that it bewitches all that dare to cross its path.
But as darkness falls and the creatures stir, something else awakens deep within. For under the watchful eye of an unknown foe, a creeping menace ponders the fate of these dancing lights.
Invited to stay with his grandfather, Charlie, over the spring holidays, Christopher, along with his best mate Jason and new friend Poppy, venture up by train to the beautiful landscapes of Scotland. Here, they must unravel the many secrets weaved amongst sacred symbols and enchanting nocturnal lights that are hidden within this magical forest. For they alone hold the key to solving an ancient entrapment of a lost civilization.
With an unusual mix of science, technology, cosmology, fantasy fiction and a dash of the spiritual self, the Christopher Daring Adventures is a thrilling ride into the impossible.
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|2nd March||The Magic
happy reading 🙂