Friday, November 11, 2016

interview with debut sci-fi thriller author J.A. Hayman

Today’s special feature is an interview with debut sci-fi thriller author J.A. Hayman. And the focus is his novel, The Siren Wakes.

During his virtual book tour, J.A. will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice) gift card to a lucky randomly drawn winner. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit his other tour stops and enter there, too.

Welcome, J.A. Please share a little bit about yourself:
Native to the UK, I was born in the Garden of England in the early 90s.

I was creative from a young age, always wrapped up in my own world and fantasies. I was a big reader from a young age, reading Les Miserables and Lord of the Rings while I was still in primary school.

I was fortunate enough to be able to travel a lot in my youth, from Hong Kong to Houston I experienced the world and gained a greater perspective of the world outside my small woodland village I grew up in.

In secondary school I was told I was too cynical to be a writer and was put off writing for many years. Instead I pursued a degree in Physical Geography, gaining my master’s degree in late 2015. University gave me time to really discover myself as a person. Allowing me to pursue my passions and dreams to their fullest. I want to share my stories and ideas with the world. As a child I hungrily devoured fiction and now I will help feed the minds of others.

Please share a little bit about your current release.
My debut novel The Siren Wakes is a science fiction/thriller following Alex Nicholls journey to find the truth behind his identity and the truth behind the sickness which is plaguing the nation. The story is set in a near future Los Angeles… but the world isn’t everything that it initially seems. It is a story of corruption, betrayal and the unexpected. It was recently released in paperback which is available now and is the first in a long planned series!

What inspired you to write this book?
The novel actually changed a lot from my initial idea. Originally the story was a psychological thriller and was inspired by that feeling of not fitting in whenever you go somewhere new, such as when I first went to secondary school at age 12 and didn’t know anyone there. I wanted to exaggerate those feelings which many people have, of struggling to fit in… and throw this character into a world he couldn’t understand and was forced to overcome his fears and open up to the people he met. When I was plotting out the storyline I decided I wanted the story to have a duality to it, the character is having his personal dilemma of not knowing who he really is but is also thrown into this really dark world of corruption and sickness. It elevated the story to a different level, it would be hard enough to survive in that harsh world and Alex the main character also has to contend with his own psychological dilemma at the same time.

Excerpt from The Siren Wakes:
My eyes were slow to open; I had to shield them with my hand as the sunshine was bright and painful. I let out a gasp as I realized that I was falling backward, the wind rushing through my thick hair. I hit the ground, greeted by its hard embrace; I was lying in tall grass swaying in the wind, the sun rising in the sky. Sitting up, I realized I was in a vast field, seeming to be unending and empty apart from the regular fencing intersecting the fields. It was surprising how warm it was for the morning. The ground was already warm from the sun and the ever-present frost of winter was missing. I appeared to be in the middle of a sloping field of grass and wild flowers. The crest of the field was obscured from view, but at the bottom was a thin and winding country lane lined by tall trees. In the distance I could see what looked like the edge of a large town. The intricate masonry brought on a familiar feeling like I was home, but I had no recollection of being here before. I had no memory of how I had ended up at the field. The last thing I remembered was being on the rooftop with Terry, and now I was somewhere else entirely. Finally, it dawned on me. Why did I not remember why I was here? Amnesia? Dissociation? Had there been an accident? I checked myself for injuries, but there were none. Although I did notice I couldn’t recall buying the clothes I was wearing—slim black jeans, a black vest top, and a soft red hoody. Also, I realized my hair had been cut shorter. I ran my hand across the unfamiliar short bristles; it was clear that some time had passed, but I was unsure how long it had been. I started making my way down the hill toward the road in the hopes of flagging down a passing car. The wildflowers waved in the breeze; it was a beautiful day, a nice temperature with a clear blue sky.

What exciting story are you working on next?
Currently I am working on an Australian Gothic Crime Novel; the working title is ‘Into Ashes’ it is very secret at the moment, I like to keep all novel details to myself until the project is finished and I am completely happy with it. I will say that it was inspired by my time in Australia and I wanted to create an unnerving story which stays in the realm of realism, so it could actually happen… making it all the more scary.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I first considered myself a writer when I finished my first novel. I kept it completely to myself during the writing process, so only upon completion did I consider myself a writer. If I hadn’t been able to finish the novel, I obviously wouldn’t have been a writer!

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I am only writing part time at the moment but I am looking forward to the day that I can write full time! At work I plot out story elements in my head and I write out as much as I can in my free time. Some days I may write 10’000 words, but then there are other days when I write nothing… or 500 words. It completely depends on my mood and ideas at the time.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I like to write the unexpected… which is a little cruel to the reader. I bait the reader into believing something will happen, to then completely go in a different direction with the story. I think it adds a bit to the writing as you retain that element of excitement as a reader, I want the reader to believe that anything could happen in my novels… and I have some pretty crazy things planned which no one would expect!

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I was a child who couldn’t make my mind up. For a long time I wanted to be an Architect but I am not very good at Math so that idea was shelved. Then for the longest time I wanted to be a Marine Biologist… but that fell through. Eventually I went to University to study a Masters in Physical Geography… becoming a writer wasn’t really planned, it just kind of happened.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I just wanted to say the biggest thank you for all the support and feedback I have been receiving! Every little bit helps and helps me to improve as a writer. I was recently on some panels at a writing event in Australia and some of the questions I was receiving were incredible, it is a great feeling to know people are interested in your work. Please check out my work and follow my social media if you are intrigued at all, I have some exciting things coming up in the next few weeks.

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Thank you for being a guest on my blog!

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Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Teresa said...

What is your favorite part of the book?

Unknown said...

Congrats on the tour and thanks for the chance to win :)

Rose-Marie said...

Wow what an intriguing plot this book sound wonderful!

Teresa said...

I love the excerpt. Sounds like a great book.

Victoria Alexander said...

Great post - I for one love a writer who gives me the thing I'm least expecting... a good surprise makes for an entertaining story :)

Bernie Wallace said...

What is the best book that you have read recently? Thanks for the giveaway. I hope that I win. Bernie W BWallace1980(at)hotmail(d0t)com

Unknown said...

Sounds fantastic! Thanks for the giveaway!

Unknown said...

I love the cover! It's a work of art!

Unknown said...

I hope you had a successful tour. Thanks again for the giveaway.