It was my love of ghost stories and tales of the supernatural that led me to find A Ghost of a Chance by Josh Lanyon… and I’m very happy to have the author in my clutches today (I will be gentle)!
Hello Josh, and many thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions.
Josh: Hi there, Kiran! Thanks very much for inviting me to your blog.
Kiran: As I said, I was drawn to A Ghost of a Chance because of my love of ghost stories. One of the things that inspired me to write Bedevil was a wonderfully spooky house that was buried behind shrubbery for years. Where did you get your inspiration to write A Ghost of a Chance?
Josh: I love ghost stories. I’d like to do more ghost stories to be honest. And of course at the heart of most ghost stories is a mystery — and I love mysteries even more than ghost stories.
Kiran: I have a real-life creepy tale or two to tell, and I’d love to sit down and have a chat with Rhys Davies about them. (I wouldn’t mind meeting Sam Devlin either :-))What are your views on parapsychology and ‘ghost-hunting’? Have you ever seen a ghost?
Josh: I’m open-minded. I believe there are all kinds of things we can’t know for sure, and what happens after death is one of them. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a ghost, but I’ve certainly had a few experiences I can’t explain.
Kiran: I gather you are taking a sabbatical from writing at the moment but… if an idea creeps up on you in the middle of the night will you be able to resist the temptation to write it?
Josh: I’m all in favour of jotting down notes as ideas occur to me. And I’m happy to say I don’t have a shortage of ideas so far.
Kiran: What kind of a writer are you normally? Impulsive or a planner?
Josh: A mix of both. I like to plan out longer works. Short stories and a lot of novellas mostly write themselves. In a manner of speaking. Granted, I’ve been doing this for a while now. I used to outline more.
Kiran: What made you start writing in the first place?
Josh: I’ve been writing since I was a kid, so I’m not exactly sure. Like everyone, I started out writing simply for my own pleasure — so maybe I started writing because our fantasies and dreams are more detailed and so feel more real when we put them onto paper.
Kiran: Can you remember how you felt when your first book was released? Were you excited or petrified?
Josh: I was just out of college. I remember riding a bus to work and sort of hugging the thought to myself, thinking I was probably the only published writer — a real author! — on board. Now days half the bus could be packed with writers.
Kiran: How do you feel now when a story is published? Does it get less nerve-wracking?
Josh: I’ve been doing this too long to find it nerve-wracking, but a new release is always exciting. It always feels like…score! At the same time there’s always an uncertainty as to how readers will respond to any given story. You just don’t know until you start hearing from readers. But the thing is, I give every story my best shot and so there’s a certain amount of comfort in that. Regardless of what people think of the work, you can’t do better than your best.
Kiran: A lot of emphasis is put on reviews these days (or so it seems). How big a part do you think a book’s rating plays in how well it sells?
Josh: I think the reviews matter, not the ratings. Just getting your work out there and talked about is what sells books. I don’t think readers even remember ratings unless they’re really extreme and/or the author has hysterics over them. But a reviewer writing enthusiastically about what she loved about a book, yes, that’s effective — just like if a friend tells you there’s a wonderful book you’ve got to read.
Kiran: Do you think we should write what we love and hope that readers who share that love will find us – or should we write for a specific market to be successful?
Josh: I think it depends on what you want from your writing career. A lot of writers aren’t honest with themselves. They say they don’t care about sales or popularity, but then they’re frustrated because no one is buying their books. I think for most of us we have to find a balance between what we want to write and what’s going to sell. We write for ourselves; we publish for others.
Kiran: Out of all of the books/stories you have written is there one character you relate to more than any other?
Josh: Probably Adrien English of the Adrien English series. That will come as no surprise to most people!
Kiran: What do you like to read? Are there any new authors grabbing your attention?
Josh: I’m reading a lot of non-fiction right now and I’m watching a lot of documentaries. I do have a ginormous TBR pile so I’m surprised I’m not reading more fiction right now. But maybe it makes sense that non fiction is more relaxing. When I read fiction, I do a lot of mental rewriting.
Kiran: What advice would you give someone like me, just starting out?
Josh: There is always, always going to room for another good writer. So take your time and make every book count. Don’t ever turn out anything less than your very best work. I hear a lot of people saying that the only important thing right now is to build a backlist as fast as possible, but that only works if you write books people want to read. You basically get one chance with a new reader. You don’t want that reader to pick up one of your weaker efforts and write off your entire backlist.
Thanks again for spending some time with me, Josh :-)
Josh’s latest release is Green Glass Beads - Josh joins award-winning fantasy authors Ginn Hale, Nicole Kimberling and Astrid Amara for The Irregulars, an anthology of stories about a unique and secret international law enforcement agency.
To find out more about Josh Lanyon and discover more of his wonderful books, check out his website: www.joshlanyon.com