Today we get to me the thrilling T. J. Blake, who is an indie author in the UK, most known for his thriller and horror novels. Currently living in Surrey, T. J. Blake by day is a copywriter for a digital marketing company and by night an author.
T. J. is currently writing the final book to ‘The Endurance Series’ – due for release in 2017.
Without further ado, let's get to the interview! Welcome to An Angell's Life, TJ. What is the current book you are promoting?
The current book I am promoting is my brand new psychological thriller, Deception: A Love of Lies. This book of mine was in the works for a long time, and I decided to begin working on Deception for my final Creative Writing assignment at university – which was then named ‘The Dog Walk’. For that assignment, I received a First (the highest grade) and that made me determined to complete the book and self-publish it for all my fans to read.
Two years later, I completed writing Deception. It took a long time to complete, but it was a thrilling experience – being wrapped up in the world of Deception was exciting. What I enjoyed most about Deception is entering the mind of my main character, Billy, who is a fascinating character with a unique mind. Without saying too much about Billy and the story overall, he is not considered to be a typically ‘good’ protagonist, but he’s someone that you can’t help but enjoy following; even if some of what he does is not entirely acceptable or considered ‘normal’.
Ah, a morally ambiguous hero is always entertaining! How do you write your books?
When I write a book, I always work from my notes; which are usually stored on my iPhone. These notes are usually in the structure from beginning to end, but as I work over months on this, I alter the story – by thinking of effective twists and randomly writing on the notes if I think of a good idea when I’m out and about, or a new character to incorporate into the story.
Once everything is planned and I personally feel that the story is good enough, I will then start working on it; writing, editing and telling family and friends about the basics of the story. Thankfully for me, my parents and girlfriend are always very honest with me – if they don’t like something, then they tell me.
What is one great lesson you have learned as a writer?
As a writer, I’ve learnt a lot of things; even if I’m still reasonably new to being an indie author. One of the key lessons I have learnt is that you can’t do everything yourself. On my debut novel, Endurance (2013), I tried doing everything myself; the editing, the cover, the self-publishing (with no advice), everything. But when it came to the end result, I wasn’t happy, and that’s when I knew I needed help.
For my books, I’ve worked with talented artists, I partnered with quality editors, I’m never afraid to ask for marketing support, and I always ask the opinion of others on my books. Getting support and help from other people is important in writing – collaboration is the art of writing and self-publishing.
Great lessons. I think all art is collaboration to some degree. What is your next project?
My next project is to complete the final book to my unpredictable and fast-paced horror, dystopian book series, The Endurance Series. Currently, the book series is made up of two books, Endurance and Endurance: Apocalypse (2014). I have already begun working on the final Endurance book – which will be available next year.
Tell us something unique about you.
This is certainly unique, or odd, or unacceptable, but I don’t particularly like fruit. I know fruit is good for you and you should certainly eat it every day, but I just don’t like it much at all. I can drink certain fresh fruit drinks (without the pulp, I hate pulp in drinks!) and I can eat certain fruits (not many), but I don’t enjoy the taste. I’m not sure if it’s down to the texture of them, but me and fruit do not get on – which is ironic, as I used to work on the fruit and vegetable section at a supermarket during my college days.
Perhaps it was all that overexposure during college! Well, thank you for joining us today and sharing a bit about yourself with us.
Want to learn more about TJ Blake? Visit his website!