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Jonathan Wood

answers the Usual Questions

photograph, jonathan Wood, courtesy of the author; 207x220

Jonathan Wood

Jonathan Wood is a British-born author of paranormal fantasies now living in New York.

Has your interaction with fans, for example, at conventions, affected your work?

Not directly, perhaps, but maybe indirectly. I'm on facebook a lot (too much, really) so I think I've chatted with most of the series' more ardent fans, and I've gotten book, and movie, and game recommendations from them. So in the way that they form part of my social circle, and in that they have influenced the media I consume, indirectly so.

I also do read a lot of the reviews, and while I don't think one in particular has influenced my writing (that way lies madness) if I see a large scale issue coming up again and again then I think about addressing it. Arthur, my protagonist, has become a more competent action hero over in time in part because of that (also in part because of the rather sensible urging of my editor).

Is there any particular incident (a letter, a meeting, a comment that stands out?

I have, at this point, received two letters from people who have found some solace in the books when dealing with serious medical issues. That's probably the most gratifying thing that I can imagine happening. I tend to think of my books as being quite silly creations, and occasionally, noodling away on my keyboard can feel quite self indulgent. The idea that my books have gone out and caused a real positive change in someone's live is incredibly rewarding.

Do you have a favourite author or book (or writer or film or series) that has influenced you or that you return to?

God, so many. I am ball of influences. Right now, my favorite author is the British thriller author Andy McDermott. He's the first author I've achieved 100% bibliography on since I was a teenager. And he has definitely influenced the way I write action scenes. He's a master at repeatedly complicating a scene, scaling up and up, so something that starts quite small ends up as this grandiose action scene that puts everything Hollywood has to offer to shame. Aside from him authors like Jeff Vandermeer, China Mieville, James Rollins, and H. P. Lovecraft have all affected me strongly. And Indiana Jones is a big touchpoint for me.

Who is the person you would most like to be trapped in a lift with? or a spaceship?

OK, it's a cheesy answer, but my wife.

Who is the person you would most DISlike to be trapped in a lift with? Or a spaceship?

This is a touch specific, but once I was on a long bus ride from New York into the depths of New Jersey, and in the seat in front of me was a large, exceptionally drunk Englishman, talking at great length about the fact that he had only one arm. About halfway through the trip he... well, I'm not completely sure, but the evidence seemed to suggest he had soiled himself. And he did nothing about it. Just sat in it. The whole rest of the way. So that guy.

What would you pack for space? (Is there a food, beverage, book, teddy bear, etc that you couldn't do without?)

My laptop, assuming I could charge it. I don't need the internet or anything like that. I'm just worried I'd run out of paper to write on if I only took a notebook.

What is the most important thing you would like to get/achieve from your work?

I honestly haven't thought about this much. Writing and creating have always been ends in and of themselves for me. That said, if something I'd written could reach out and touch someone the way some of the books I have loved have touched me, if it could become something meaningful in someone's life, that would be pretty awesome.

What is the special satisfaction of your work?

Some days writing is a slog, when you're deep in copy edits, or when you're tired and under deadline, or when the scene just isn't cooperating the way you want it to. And then there are the other days, the days when it feels like you're watching this amazing drama fold out before you, and you're there as a reporter desperately trying to capture it all, to trap it on paper before it slips away, when the story has you and just drags you along whooping and hollering all the way. Those days are incredible, and a big part of what keeps me coming back to my keyboard.

submitted by Jonathan Wood

26 February, 2015

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Just the facts:
Born: Near Cambridge, England
Resides: New York

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