Please Welcome Josh Winning to Genuine Jenn for this weeks Author Spotlight! Josh has a new YA Fantasy book that will be released on Monday! Pop back over to see Cheryl's review on the Sentinel by Josh Winning.
Tell us a little bit about your book and yourself.
Sentinel is a dark YA fantasy that I started writing when I was 16. It took a while to finish (I'm 30 now), which is mostly because life kept getting in the way. I loved the weird, mysterious world I had created, though, so I stuck at it and finally finished Sentinel in 2013.
As for me, I'm a freelance film journalist and contributing editor at Total Film magazine. Though books were my first love, I'm also a massive movie buff. I grew up watching films like Labyrinth, The Neverending Story and The Dark Crystal on repeat.
When was your first book published?
Sentinel is my first book and it'll be published by Peridot Press on 19 May. I previously self-published it on Amazon KDP in May 2013, and it's crazy that a year later a publisher is releasing it. I feel very lucky.
Are you currently working on anything?
I'm writing the sequel to Sentinel now. It's called Ruins, and it's the second instalment in the Sentinel Trilogy. It's been a fantastic challenge. Sentinel set up the world and now I get to play around in it and discover more about it. Also, because it's a sequel, the stakes are a lot higher. There's more action, more peril, more demons... Sometimes I creep myself out writing it!
I'm also co-writing a book with another author. It's called Camp Carnage and it's a fun throwback to '80s slasher films. Very different to Sentinel, but I love horror (and there's plenty of horror in Sentinel), so it's been great fun.
Why did you decide to become an Author?
I'm rubbish at everything else? No, I've just always written. I can still remember very clearly the stories I wrote as a kid. I still have copies of some of them. There's one called Illusions, which was a sort of a Point Horror-style teen book. I was really proud of it as a teenager, but it's definitely not anything I'd let anybody else look at now!
Who and what inspired you to write?
I honestly can't remember, though it must have been the authors that I read as a youngster. I love stories and storytelling, and reading only made me want to create my own stories. The more I read, the more I'm inspired to write more stories, and I can only hope that mine are even a fraction as good as those I love.
When you are writing do you like to listen to music? What is on your playlist?
It's different every day. Sometimes I need total quiet to get into a scene, but other times I need a certain kind of music to write a certain kind of scene. Horror movie scores feature heavily on my playlist (especially ones from the eighties, so things like A Nightmare On Elm Street and Hellraiser, which are particularly atmospheric), especially if I'm writing a moody scene. In fact, movie scores in general are great for writing. They're so emotive – and a soundtrack is generally around an hour long, which is perfect for writing and then taking a break.
Who is your favorite character in your books?
Sam Wilkins is pretty badass. He's seventy-one years old, but that doesn't stop him from breaking out a can of whoop-ass every once in a while. I like to think of him as a pensioner version of Indiana Jones. In terms of villains, Malika is everything I aspire to be – ruthless, scheming and great with a putdown. I could write her forever.
Do you ever take characteristics or nuances from close friends or family when working on character development and if so has that friend or family member noticed and what was their response to it?
Not consciously! My cousin recently said that he thought I'd based one character from Sentinel on his mother, my aunt, which I think says more about him than me! If anything, I incorporate characteristics from actors I like, partly because I like to imagine them acting out a scene for me and partly in a kind of vain hope that they might one day play them on screen!
What is your favorite book of all time?
Impossible question! I love anything by Roald Dahl (The Witches, Matilda) and Robin Jarvis (The Woven Path). And I haven't even mentioned comic-book authors – people like Alan Moore, Garth Ennis and Gerard Way. There's so much amazing stuff out there.
Tell us in one sentence why we should read your books.
Sentinel will keep you up all night – you won't be able to put it down, and when you do, it'll give you nightmares.
List your books that are available
Sentinel, book one of the Sentinel Trilogy
Coming soon: Ruins, Camp Carnage
Where can people connect with you (facebook, website twitter etc)
Thanks Josh for taking your time to answer some questions for my readers at Genuine Jenn.
~*Disclaimer: This post was written by Genuine Jenn. All opinions are honest and my own.*~