Welcome, John Dolan…
Can you tell me a little about yourself?
Hi, Suzan, and thank you for the invitation to appear on your blog. I’m a British ex-pat, currently based in Thailand. For the last twenty-odd years I’ve been working in the international power industry, most recently working in India, Dubai, Malaysia and South Africa. My background is in law and finance, although I’ve also run a hypnotherapy practice and I was (for a short time) a karate instructor. I have a low boredom threshold – as my long-suffering wife will testify.
What was the first story you wrote?
Oh, God, that was an Agatha Christie-type story when I was at grammar school. Fortunately for the world, all my embarrassing early writings are long lost. You only have to worry about my latest embarrassing efforts.
Were you inspired by someone or something?
I’ve always been a big reader. Graham Greene, Evelyn Waugh et al are to blame for my sitting down in front of my laptop. I can’t say, however, that I’ve always had an ambition to write. That’s a relatively new aberration.
Why do you write?
It keeps me out of Thai bars when I’m not working on consultancy assignments.
Can you tell us about your newest book?
My latest book is entitled “A Poison Tree”, and it’s the third instalment in my “Time, Blood and Karma” series – which is about a seriously screwed-up English private detective, David Braddock, who is hiding out on the Thai island of Samui. The latest book is a sequel to the previous two novels, which gives the reader some idea about why Braddock is so damaged.
How did you come up with the story?
I don’t come up with stories, Suzan. I have this little man in my head who creates them. I just do the typing for him. Seriously, I have NO idea where the stories come from.
What genre best fits for the book?
I guess “mystery” would be the label, but you could argue it is psychological literary fiction, if indeed such a category exists. I don’t worry too much about genres and certainly don’t write with a specific “label” in mind.
Are you working on something new at the moment?
I’ve just started book four in my series: “Running on Emptiness”. More mystery and phuquerie in Thailand.
Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
Don’t do it. Get a dog instead. Seriously, I think it’s important to be clear about your goals and objectives in writing – and to be realistic. I see many writers who become disillusioned that they are not producing immediate best-sellers. We need to remember most “overnight successes” have been writing for years, if not decades. So keep at it. And write stuff that gives you satisfaction. Keep learning. Drink coffee.
What is your writing routine?
I don’t have a set routine. I squeeze in my writing around other things – working, travelling, spending time with my family, taking the dog for walks. I’m amazed I ever get anything written. But somehow it happens.
What do you enjoy the most/least about writing?
I love the satisfaction of finishing the first draft. But I also get a kick out of the research and planning. I’m a bit of an anal retentive, you see. I dislike editing. I think most writers do. But it’s a necessary evil. Also, every writer has to be a marketer. This is not something that comes naturally to me – and sometimes I find myself choking on the process – but I’m learning.
How important is it for you to share your writing?
Pretty important. Without sharing, there is no feedback; and without feedback, there is no improvement. Having said that, I’m not trying to change the world with my writing; just to give people something interesting and involving to read, and maybe give them some things to think about along the way. A man’s got to know his limitations, right?
Where can people go to read your work?
At the moment my ebooks and paperbacks are exclusively on Amazon (with the exception of my free short story, “Jim Fosse’s Expense Claim”, which you can find on most e-retailer websites). You won’t find my novels on the shelves of bookshops: it’s too time-consuming and expensive to get them there, so that is not a part of my business model.
Where can people find you on the Internet?
Twitter: @JohnDolanAuthor https://twitter.com/JohnDolanAuthor
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/John-Dolan/e/B008IIERF0/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1
Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6550683.John_Dolan
Is there anything else you would like to share with your readers?
Just a big “thank you” would be appropriate, I think. Without readers, there would be little point in writing.
My novel ‘Everyone Burns’ is free on Amazon from 16-20 January.
Thank you John for taking time out to do this interview, I have really enjoyed it. Suzan