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Who are you?

I’m Jack Dowd. Hi.

Where are you based?

I’m based on the border of Greater London and Kent.

Why do you write?

I write for three reasons.

  1. It’s what I was born to do. I don’t know what else I could be other than a writer.
  2. Because I enjoy it. I love creating new worlds and telling stories. I love the satisfaction of completing a piece of work and I love the power of changing someone’s thoughts and feelings with the written word. Someone once said that being a writer is like being a bully on a school playground. I just want a reaction. It doesn’t matter if my words make you smile, make you laugh, make you cry or make you think. I just want a reaction.
  3. I don’t have a choice. If I didn’t write I would go mad!

Where do you get your ideas from?

The shop. It’s just down the road. They’re always fully stocked with ideas. No, I’m kidding. I don’t know where my ideas come from. Sometimes I’ll get a fragment of an idea and slowly work it into something. Sometimes ideas just pop into my head fully formed. There’s no telling what triggered the idea, sometimes I don’t even know how long I have been harbouring an idea, it’s a natural process. It just happens.

Are any of your characters based on real people?

I have been inspired by real people and used them as a basis for my characters but I never pluck someone from the real world and plant them in my work. I always change the characters’ names and replaced some of their characteristics so they won’t recognise themselves if they read my work.

How do you deal with Writer’s Block?

I don’t believe in Writer’s Block but I do believe in getting stuck every now and then. When this happens I take a break from my laptop. I watch a film, I read a book, I go for a walk… I do anything away from my screen. When I return to my work with fresh eyes I can normally solve the problem.

What is your typical writer’s day?

I have a full time office job but I try to write something everyday, no matter how small. If I’m stuck on the train to/from work I’ll write notes on my phone, I’ll scribble down a paragraph or two on my lunch break and I attend several writing groups in London when I can. I find I write best in twenty-minute bursts. Write for twenty minutes, then a five minute break where I make a cup of tea, watch a Youtube video, procrastinate and then return to my writing,

What is your process of writing a novel?

The first thing I do is complete draft zero. The point of this is just to get the words on the page so that I can edit them later. Sometimes the sentences aren’t finished and sometimes the paragraphs and chapters are in the wrong order. That doesn’t matter at this point, its draft zero, it doesn’t deserve a number. In draft one I put everything in the right order so that the manuscript is legible. In future drafts I normally print off the manuscript, read through it, edit with a red pen and add my notes digitally.  I’m normally satisfied with a piece after I’ve completed between five – eight drafts.

What is your process of writing a short story?

This process is similar to the above but on a smaller scale. I complete a first draft and then return in a few days to complete a second draft. I continue in this fashion until the story is ready for submission. Then I look for somewhere to submit to.

What do you write?

In terms of which medium I write in, the answers are: novels, novellas, short stories, flash fiction, micro-fiction and screenplays. Occasionally I’ll pitch an article for a magazine. As for what genre I write Fantasy, Sci fi, Horrors, Thrillers and Historical.

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