Hello everyone! So today I am back with an interview with J.F.Johns, author of Eternal Darkness! Hope you enjoy this wonderful interview with J.F.Johns.
1) To start off with our first question, tell us a little about yourself.
Hi! My name is J.F.Johns, though I’m known as Jazmin to friends and family. I’m 23 years old, and I was born and raised in Spain. I studied English Literature and Creative Writing at ARU in Cambridge, UK. I’m currently working as a language teacher in Madrid. In my free time, I read, write (of course!) meet up with friends, argue with my parents over the amount of space my books take up…
2) How did you come up with the idea behind Eternal Darkness and what was first running through your mind right after you thought of the idea for Eternal Darkness?
Eternal Darkness changed themes a lot throughout the years. I started writing this novel at the age of 15, and it was originally a vampire story. The characters just sort of began appearing in my mind and very slowly they started telling me about themselves, but I could never clearly picture the world they lived in, so throughout 5 years I wrote and rewrote the book several times, never finding the right theme. When I finally did, and discovered they were meant to be in a dystopian world, it all kind of clicked together. I only wish it hadn’t taken 7 years to do so!
3) Is your main character Scarlet Lock based on you or anyone you know in real life?
I don’t tend to write my characters based on people I know. My characters usually just pop into my head and start to shape themselves. Of course, there are certain features that might come from real life, like certain movements or expressions, but in general they’re nothing like the people I know.
4) If you weren’t a writer, what do you think your job would be?
That’s a tough question! It’s difficult not imagining myself as anything but. I think I would’ve studied Criminology; it was something I was thinking of studying whilst at school, but then opted to do Literature & Writing. Currently I’m working as a language teacher and even though at first I was quite reluctant, I’ve found myself being surprised time and time again about what a nice experience it is!
5) What is your favorite thing about writing and what is your least favorite thing?
I love to disappear into different worlds and forget about the responsibilities and worries of real life for a few hours. Being able to be whatever you want and wherever you want is something incredible. One moment you could be fighting off dragons and the very next you could be a millionaire running away from the police.
I hate writing the very first draft, which is unusual, as most people I know love the first draft the most, as it’s all new. I hate it because my ideas are never properly clear and sometimes I struggle with the chapters. The next few drafts are more fun because I can properly shape the story and concentrate on what I really want in the book.
6) And for the final question, is there any advice you have for aspiring writers?
Listen and take advice from others. I know sometimes it’s difficult for us writers to do so. I could never take criticism when I was younger, I always knew best. But when I grew up and went off to study at University, I learned to listen properly to what others were saying and take advice. In general, people aren’t out there to get you; they’re just trying to help. That doesn’t mean you should always listen if
it doesn’t feel right. Stay true to yourself.
For those writers that aren’t native English speakers like me, don’t give up on the idea of writing your books in English. Try to live with English as much as possible, by reading and watching movies, listening to music and writing. Keep drafts of your work to see your improvement with time.
And of course, never give up what you do!