Interview with children’s fantasy author James David!

James David is a freelance writer – primarily for children – former school teacher and craftsman. His most known book series, Aqua Crysta, is a fantasy series set along Whitby’s coast, where he lives. His other titles include Squbbitz and Remote Control.

 

1) When and why did you get into writing? 
From school age, having won competitons urged me to write as a hobby, even during twenty years as a teacher. I had freelance work published but nothing serious in volume until the Aqua Crysta series was a accepted after I’d packed up teaching. I’d always regarded it as a relaxing pastime.
 
2) Is there a reason you chose to write from the point of view of children/young adults? Do you find this perspective easier or more challenging than writing for adults? 
I always had young fiction in mind with my writing, but my work is read by many ages. My oldest regular reader is now about 93! I like mixing prose with my own black and white illustrations, which works most effectively with children’s stories. As an ex-teacher I felt at home with school visits etc and book signings. I have had an adult-aimed novel in mind for years – decades – but never got around to it!
 
3) Is the Whitby Coast setting of your Aqua Crysta series a place of sentimental value to you, or is it more of a case of writing what you know? 
Definitely both. I’ve always loved whitby, and it makes a perfect setting for stories with a hint of magic.  Also, being based here helps with promotions such as book signings in a tourist hotspot and ‘A Day with an Author’ days with school parties (a day with me in the locations from the books, doing creative work and exploring, games etc).
 
4) As well as writing your own books, you also receive manuscripts from aspiring, unpublished writers. Do you receive a lot of unsolicited manuscripts? If so, what would you say determines which pieces you look at/accept?
I meet many budding authors at booksignings etc of all ages. I generally encourgage them to send manuscripts. If a piece is original, well-presented, and has a ‘grab factor’ in the first few pages, they’re likely to get an encouraging response from me.
 
5) Would you recommend self-publishing (or other contemporary shared-cost deals etc) to aspiring authors, or would you suggest a more traditional path? 
With such competition regarding new names, I’d say all methods are acceptable and to be encouraged.
 
6) If they were to choose a self-publishing route, how would you advise they get their work noticed? 
The best route, to me, is to have a run of physical books produced and then arranging book signings to meet the public (or getting into school in the case of young fiction), plus back up with radio interviews etc, even on a local basis to start with.
 
7) As a fantasy writer for young readers, do you find that the market for such works has become saturated, with the popularity of fantasy serials such as Harry Potter and Twilight and so many similar books popping up? 
Indeed that is the case, although it has to be said that as time moves on with new readers there is always a new market. Especially regarding the HP factor; recent juniors have seen all the films, but many find the books too long to bother with and prefer something shorter and fresh. Teachers prefer something children have to read/listen to without pre-contact images in their heads! So there is still a market, and I would still encourage the genre with new writers, but obviously a unique angle has to come first!
 
8) Do you have a specific writing process – any traditions or superstitions – or do you treat your writing as any other day’s work?
During the creation of a particular title, one gets into a certain routine. In my case, mornings, alternating between text and illustration, day to day. But with new experimental, non-commissioned work, I suppose it’s more hit and miss when the mood or ideas crop up. The location of working can vary for the second, with holidays etc, but I need a consistent location for my daily work; I find I often need a more mechanical, routine approach for deadlines.

The Path to Postgrad: Alan Smith

With the end of undergraduate study only a mere year away for many, we on the Beyond the Walls team have decided, we would like to help any of you looking towards the future in postgraduate study. As part of this initiative, we will be talking to those who know the path best: actual MA and PhD students at YSJ itself, to paint a helpful and guiding picture as to what can be expected if you decide to continue your study beyond undergraduate level.

Our first interview is with Mr Alan Smith, a mature PhD student in Creative Writing:

 

How did you get into PhD study?

”I started all this off with the hope of writing professionally plus obvious enthusiasm for the project I am undertaking, as yet my enthusiasm hasn’t left me and I’m very pleased with things so far.

I completed a Masters degree in Literature Studies a few years ago and wouldn’t have been confident in starting PhD work if I hadn’t. I’m not a typical PhD student (is there such a thing?) in that I was 60 when I started and largely because of ill health only come in to the university when I’m seeing my supervisor or need to access the library”.

 

What differences did you encounter from undergraduate study?

”I’m not following or attending conferences presenting papers etc. A further difference in my experience as opposed to most doctoral candidates is that I’m following a part-time practice-led (creative writing) route and in that I’m one of YSJ/ Leeds pioneers in this area.

What is most striking when you embark on what I’m doing is that it is the individual who has to devise their own structure/ work pattern – there are, especially in the area I’m working in, few rules to adhere to. My supervision at YSJ has been good but academic staff have increasingly heavy work loads and you can’t expect to be cosseted.  As with all aspects of study, organisation is key to progress and you soon realise that you are very much becoming the expert in the niche area that you’re working in”.

 

What would you say is required of you as a postgraduate student?

”The content of my programme will comprise of the adaptation for a television series of four short stories by Thomas Hardy plus the writing of one original, all the material coming very much from the ‘darker side’ of Hardy, a side ignored by television/ film adaptations. My scripts will be accompanied by a thesis of at least 15000 words. In April of this year I will have done three years of study”.

 

Expect our next interview in the coming week.

 

Friday Feature! Interview with Marvel Comics writer Al Ewing!

Al Ewing began writing short stories for 2000AD, he then worked on several other projects before moving on to his debut novel in 2007 – Pax Britannia: El Sombra. Currently Al is the lead writer for Marvel Comics’ ongoing series Loki: Agent of Asgard.

How did you get into writing?

I’ve been writing in one form or another since a very young age – once they stopped doing ‘creative writing’ exercises at school, I found other outlets for it – short plays, sketches, short stories and various other bits and pieces. I picked up the basics of comics scripting from a few places – there were samples floating around in things like annuals and Warren Ellis’s COME IN ALONE column – and during 2001 I sent off my first submission to 2000AD, which was accepted the following year. That was the first time I was ever paid for my writing, and it all snowballed from there – I gradually made more sales and got some assignments, and after ten years or so enough people were paying attention that I could get American work.

Do you prefer writing shorter stories or long arching narratives?

I tend to prefer short stories – usually my longer narratives are made up of shorter stories, with each issue or chapter being relatively complete in and of itself. I enjoy long-form narratives, but I prefer to have a rough idea of the ending in mind and then find my way to it organically in short jumps, rather than have the whole thing plotted out from the get-go. I usually have the big beats in mind, and let the rest come together naturally.

Any advice for writers wanting to get into the comics industry?

Don’t rely on being noticed. Don’t rely on anything, in fact.

Start small and finish what you start.

If there’s somewhere, like 2000AD, that accepts unsolicited submissions, read their guidelines carefully – don’t send in something badly spelled and wrongly formatted and expect them to look past it, because it’ll go straight in the bin without a word read.

Nobody owes you a second glance or even a first one.

If you can’t tell a story in a maximum of two pages – and I’m being generous – you’re not a writer, so learn to do that first.

Try not to bother working writers while you learn – writers aren’t editors, so the help they can offer is limited, and if you can’t develop a realistic sense of how good a piece is when you read it back, you’ll never amount to anything anyway.

Persevere, because you will be rejected many, many times.

On the bright side, what with the web and various self-publishing tools, it’s never been easier to write something, finish it, and get it drawn and self-published. Nothing is holding you back from getting something out there – even if not paid for – except yourself.

Do you think that, with the success of superhero movies over the past few years, the market for new characters has been harmed in any way?

I suppose audiences are more comfortable with characters they know, but that’s been the case for a long time – since before the recent superhero movie boom. Having a book with an entirely new character has always been a bit of a gamble, and to be honest I can’t think of the last one that really took off. I don’t know how Talon’s doing with DC – that’s probably the newest example.

What’s your creative process like? Do you need to be in a darkened room with a specific drink at hand? Or is it more social for you?

At this point, deadlines are very useful. If someone says ‘we need this in a X days’, it concentrates the mind wonderfully. Not that I’m not motivated before then, but I have a tendency to noodle a little in the early stages and having a clear goal-line in mind is a huge help.

Solitude is good for working, music is good – I find playing the same track over and over until it’s just a general mood that doesn’t impinge on your consciousness can help a lot. Caffeine is good, but I’m trying to cut back. The internet is great for easy research, but bad for keeping focused – distraction is only a click away. It can take a lot of willpower not to succumb, but again, if I’m up against a tricky deadline I find myself getting very focused.

Showers are good for working out thorny plot points. Without fail, there will be a part of any issue I get badly stuck on and have to walk away from – take a shower, walk to the post office, do the washing up. Usually the answer that comes to me is to remove something I was clinging to, which turns out to be the thing that was stopping me from finding the easy solution.

In your opinion, what is the best way for a new writer to get a publisher to read their work?

Get published elsewhere first. Which sounds like a Catch-22, but with the exception of that very first unsolicited submission, it’s how my career has worked. That’s why it’s so important to have places like 2000AD that accept unsolicited submissions – and why it’s so important to put your own stuff out as much as possible. Even if it doesn’t help, it can’t hurt. It’s practice.

At some point every writer will receive a rejection letter, what’s your coping mechanism for when that happens?

Look at what was wrong and try not to do it again. If there’s no indication of what was wrong, it’s a bad rejection letter. Either way, get back on the horse as soon as possible and start thinking up the next idea. A rejection letter is permission to send a new thing.

Do you think writers should constantly be publicising their own work? If so, how?

I think writers should, in the modern age, attempt to publicise themselves. I have no idea how to do it. Cultivating a cult of personality is one way, but that can trap you in a persona – I was “the weird writer” for a while, and it limited me. These days I enjoy being a virtual hermit, within reason. I try to be open and friendly, thank people when I can and answer any question I’m asked as politely and professionally as possible. But I like keeping my interactions relatively private and personal.

That said, I think if I was doing a creator-owned book, I’d be much more pro-active about spreading the word far and wide.

Who is your favourite superhero and why? Has it changed because of who you’ve worked for?

When I was a kid, I liked the Hulk, because he was big and green and viscerally interesting, and then because I was the right age to appreciate the intricacies of Peter David’s run. I don’t think I have a favourite superhero these days – Morrison’s Batman came close, but once he left the character lost me. My favourites these days are probably the ones I’m working on – I have a huge attachment for Luke Cage and company. But then, that’s part of the job – you find yourself caring very strongly about the characters you write.

Any sneaky hints about your newest series, Loki: Agent of Asgard?

It’s a lot of fun! I’m enjoying seeing the reaction online to each new twist – and there are a lot of twists coming. Beyond that, I couldn’t possibly comment.

Friday Feature: Interview with Benjamin Goldsmith

 

benji goldsmith portrait

Benji Goldsmith is a writer of comics and resident comics expert at Travelling
Man in York. He runs sequential art workshops for school children, is a proud
member of York based writers group, and is currently working on a comic with artist Abz-J-Harding.
They plan to release the book in both web and print format later this year.
Benjamin was born in Coventry, England and raised in Cheshire. He originally
started out as a sound engineer and music producer, moving to the area of
Teesside in 2006 where he obtained a B.Sc. in Music Technology with frst-
class honours. 
 Since graduating University Benjamin has done everything from providing a
sound installation for The Old Truman Brewery at Brick Lane in London as part
of Free Range to producing his own electronic music (which has been aired on
BBC Radio) and more recently his work as a flm composer and sound designer
for a multi-award winning flm and animation company based in York called
Glass Cannon.
Benji’s creative focus has steadily shifted over the years towards another of his
greatest passions, comics. He now feeds all of his time, passion, energy and
creativity into writing.

 

Q Whats your work gonna be about?
A I’m currently writing the first book in a series of comics inspired by the representation of
Wolves throughout history, mythology and folklore. The story is routed in speculative fiction,
quite dystopian in tone and heavily conspiracy laden. It focuses on sociocultural factors and
explores themes such as industrialisation, social inequality, spirituality and identity.
Q How did you find the artist to work with?
A It was actually a case of serendipity. The artist I’m working with named Abigail J Harding is
a customer at the shop where I work in York called ‘Travelling Man’. That’s how we got to
know each other and also how I discovered her art. I was completely blown away by her
talent and immediately asked her to do a book with me.
Q Which authors inspire your writing?
A If we’re talking comics then Warren Ellis, Ed Brubaker and Greg Rucka without a doubt. In
terms of prose I would have to say Philip K. Dick, H.P Lovecraft and likes of Kerouac. I have a
broad taste in reading.
Q When do you find time to write?
A I carry a notebook and a pen with me everywhere I go and tend to use my phone a lot for
note taking. I write at every spare minute I get, which is most evenings and whenever I have
time off from work. I have a strong work ethic and tend to give myself very little downtime.
Q How have you scheduled yourself?
A I set myself fairly rigid goals and objectives for every month and then every week. For
example with the book i’m currently writing; I aim to have the outline and structure for the first comic finished by the end of April and then scripting will be completed throughout May.
I’ll then break those sorts of things down into smaller milestones week by week to ensure I
keep on top of things.
Q Do you have anyone proofread for you as you go?
A I’m part of a writers group based in York comprised of friends who also write for comics. Through that group I’m able to gain valuable feedback and commentary on my writing, it’s like having a team of editors. I think a fresh perspective is always welcome and absolutely invaluable.
Q How have you gotten the connections in the industry that you do?
A I’m quite lucky because I work for a chain of independent comic shops which have strong
ties to the industry and association with things like ‘Thought Bubble Sequential Arts Festival’.
This undoubtedly affords me greater opportunities to network, make contacts and get advice
and guidance from people in the industry.
Q What other works have you been involved with?
A I’m a fresh face. I worked/studied as a sound engineer and produced electronic music for
years. My focus seems to have naturally gravitated towards writing over time. My fathers a
writer and a poet amongst other things, it could be his influence on a subconscious level
perhaps. It started off with a bit of work writing reviews for comics blogs and then I began
submitting pitches for short stories to comics anthologies; one of which was accepted recently and i’m about to begin scripting for. I’m basically working as hard as I can and throwing myself head first at the industry. The aim with the book i’m currently working on is to have a 6-page preview printed and ready to take to DICE (Dublin International Comics Expo) in late September, to publish the comic online shortly afterwards and then launch the comic in print around mid November at Thought Bubble.
Q Know of any good alternative literature events for people?
A I was hoping you guys could maybe tell me about one or two…as a writer trying to break into the comics industry it’s all about the conventions for me, but I’m always open to writing for different mediums and being involved in anything that might help me improve my writing skills.
Q Dogs or cats?
A Definitely cats, they’re naturally aloof, clean, tidy and good at taking care of themselves….a
bit like me 🙂

Important Links:

www.benjigoldsmith.com
www.twitter.com/benji_goldsmith
www.facebook.com/AbzJHarding
www.abz-j-harding.tumblr.com

Friday Interview with Helen Cadbury

HelenCadbury

Helen Cadbury was born in the Midlands and brought up in Birmingham and Oldham, Lancashire. She writes fiction, poetry and plays and is currently working on a sequel to To Catch a Rabbit. Currently she is a York based writer whose debut novel, To Catch a Rabbit, is joint winner of the Northern Crime Award and was launched by Moth Publishing , May 2013.

new cover

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

When I was five, I wanted to be a writer (although I couldn’t actually write), an actor or an ice cream man’s assistant. I enjoyed writing, once I got the hang of which way round the letters went, but got distracted by an acting career and didn’t really settle down to write until I was 40. I have never sold ice cream, so I have that to look forward too.

Would you say there are writers out there that everyone who wants to write should read?

I think anyone who writes should read good writers, in a range of genres. Occasionally read ‘bad’ writing, but not too often, as it will depress you that such a thing got published and may influence you in the wrong way. In crime, I would recommend Denise Mina, George Pelecanos, Mark Billingham or Louise Welsh for stylish prose, interesting characters and gripping plots.

What made you write a crime novel?

All the best stories are crime stories. Look at Red Riding Hood, for example. I started off trying to write what I thought was a literary novel, but once I began to pursue the idea of someone going missing, then the idea of a crime obviously presented itself.

What sort of research did you have to do to write /To Catch a Rabbit/?

I did most of the research towards the end of the writing process. When I had a full manuscript, I showed to a serving PCSO for feedback. I also went to a very interesting talk on forensics at the Harrogate Crime Festival, which led me to know what else to look for on the internet. I don’t do massive amounts of research but I did find a very useful YouTube video of a burning car, which was obviously more practical than trying it out myself.

What’s your creative process like? Do you need to be alone to write? Coffee shop maybe?

Agh! If only I had a routine or anything I could reliably call a process. I’m a bit nomadic actually, moving from the kitchen table, to my bed, to the library, depending on my mood. I find coffee shops are better for writing poetry, as I can get too distracted by what’s happening around me to stay in the world of a novel.

Was it a surprise to win the Northern Crime Award?

Yes. It was amazing. You hope for something, then it happens. The only other times I have felt quite so happy was finding out I was pregnant with my sons.

Do you think that writers, especially non-prize winners, need to be constantly going to signings and events to publicise their work?

I quite like public events, because I’m an extrovert, and I go quietly bonkers shut up indoors all the time, but some writers find them more difficult. I think it’s very hard to assess how worthwhile they are in terms of book sales, but I’m sure they help with word of mouth. If readers find it interesting to meet authors, then it is valuable. Social media may be more effective, but if you’re not doing any events, what are you talking about on social media? Where are the pictures to prove you exist?

How’s the sequel coming along?

The sequel is with my agent and making it’s way, I hope, towards publication, but it may still need a bit more work, we’ll see…

Do you have any advice for getting published? Such as important things to include in a query.

This is probably a whole different article in itself, but fiction writers need agents. Competitions or awards can really help you to get noticed and get an agent. If you’re writing directly to an agent, talk about the book. Like any exercise in selling, you need to show why it is unique and why they might want to represent your book. Consider small presses, they are more likely to publish an unagented writer.

What about more general advice for aspiring writers?

Writers write. And read other writers. And re-read what they write themselves, to get it right. You may not be able to keep up with all the films, TV series, parties that non-writers are into, especially if you are a fiction writer. It is very, very time consuming, but if you love it, you won’t care. Oh, and if you are not intending to be single for your entire life, fall in love with someone who loves you enough to put up with you being a writer. It will make you extremely anti-social and is very unlikely to make you rich.

Interview With Indie Comic Writer Jack Fallows

 

Jack Fallows
Jack’s Self-Portrait

Jack Fallows is a comic book artist and illustrator from Newcastle Upon Tyne. He has been self-publishing comics for the last 12 years and reading/making them his entire life. He worked at the Travelling Man comic book shop for 5 years, where he founded the Paper Jam Comics Collective in 2007. Between 2008-2011, he delivered workshops in schools, libraries and youth centers teaching young people how to make their own comic books. This eventually led him to pursue a career in primary teaching. His work has been sold and exhibited internationally and his latest title Axolotl has been reviewed highly. For more information on his works, go to: http://jackfallows.com/

 

What inspires you most? Do you act on all inspiration or choose which ones will be worth it?

I consume quite a lot of art and I think that’s an important thing to do regardless of which creative sector you’re working in. I’ve had movies inspire my music, I’ve had paintings inspire writing, I’ve had music inspire comics etc. I find artists who care about their craft and who have something new to say most inspiring. But what motivates me to sit down and do things is really just looking back over the last thing I did and hating it. It sounds kind of cynical but being able to pick fault with your own output, striving to make it better and wanting to make sure it isn’t the last thing people see before you die really lights a fire under you. 

If you do any contract work or commissions do you just do what they’ve asked for or strive for something inspired?

It really depends on the client. I do a lot of commissioned work in the local music scene here in Newcastle and that’s always a lot of fun. Lots of the bands and promoters know my work now and give me a lot of free reign to take the seed of an idea and put my mark on it. Because I teach full time now and don’t need the money as much as when I was self-employed, I’ve decided these are the only commissions I’ll be taking on for the foreseeable future now. It can get extremely arduous and self-deflating working with clients who are trying to get an end result from you based on work they’ve seen by other artists, without really considering your own merits or limitations. Unfortunately, even as a freelancer, you mostly have to subscribe to the motto of ‘the customer is always right!’

Have you ever started writing anything and changed it radically mid-way through because you’ve been inspired differently?

I don’t think I’ve ever sat down with an idea and stuck with it right until the end. Even the act of creating something changes it from an abstract notion in your head to a concrete thing in front of you. A lot of the time, I’m making decisions as I go, especially with illustration work and with prose. Comics don’t have quite as much leeway because you have to consider everything at the same time but they do constantly evolve and change.
Is it okay to have multiple projects going at the same time?

For absolutely no reason whatsoever, I’ve spent most of my creative career under the assumption that it isn’t okay to have multiple projects going at the same time. In the last year or two, however, I’ve been trying it out and the results have been incredible. Instead of trying to plough through those not so enjoyable projects and really struggling to motivate myself, getting behind on deadlines, scolding myself etc. I’ve been balancing those out with other, smaller and easier jobs. That means all the projects are getting done faster and to a better quality, and I’m not going gradually crazy. I guess everyone works differently but I’d definitely recommend trying it both ways to see what works for you. Of course, the danger with taking on multiple projects is spreading yourself too thin and not being able to manage time properly. But as long as you’re sensible and keep dates and deadlines in mind, you should be okay!

How do you begin your writing/drawing?

It’s different for each project. With longer stuff like The Big Bang, I started by deciding on everything that needed to happen in an issue. Then I broke that down into events, pages, panels etc. Then I wrote a script for the whole issue and kind of did thumbnails as I went to make sure everything flowed okay. After that, I took it a page at a time and pencilled, inked, scanned and shaded each page in order, on A3 paper that would be reduced to A5 for print. But I found this really laborious so I’ve taken a completely different approach for my new (and I believe, better) title Axolotl. A lot of this, I’m making up as I go along. It’s an anthology of short strips, so I can dip in and out of each story depending on whether the ideas/motivation are there. This way, nothing is forced and I’m having fun doing it – which will always improve the quality of the output. I’ve given up on adding greyscale because I don’t think the results are worth the effort – at least not with my work – and I’ve been enjoying the challenge of making striking images in pure black and white. I’m also working entirely in A5 Moleskine sketchbooks now and drawing when I’m out and about in coffee shops and pubs etc. which breaks up the monotony of sitting at a drawing desk alone for 8 hours and gives the stories more context.

What about music, do you do lyrics or music first?

From time to time, I’ll be humming away and come up with a little song in my head that I’ll then set music to. But usually, I just mess around with different instruments and if a nice sounding riff or melody emerges, I’ll let the mood of that dictate what the song will be about and set lyrics to it. I love making and performing music but I don’t really have any idea what I’m doing, most of the time.
Do you then use an editor to finalise your work?

When I’ve worked on anthologies, there has usually been editorial input. Alexi Conman worked as a co-writer and editor on The Big Bang but that was a very natural, collaborative kind of arrangement. If I’m self-publishing, I take complete, megalomaniacal, creative control over everything that happens. I think listening to and acting on feedback from peers is really important though, so I’ll often take works-in-progress along to the Paper Jam Comics Collective meetings to see what people think.

When you were younger did you decide to become a writer/artist/musician/teacher?

Since I was about 5 years old, I’ve always enjoyed writing and drawing and making comics and playing songs. I think everyone pretty much keeps doing the things that they enjoy for as long as they enjoy them and I’m still not tired of any of it. It wasn’t until I had to start thinking about GCSE subject choices and A-Levels and job prospects that I started researching ways to make money from any of it. While I was self-employed, I started running comic workshops for kids and realised that I loved the creative challenge of teaching and that’s what led me down that career path.

Should new writers accept working for free?

A horrible drawback to working in the creative sector is that unfortunately, yes, it is the industry standard for you to prove your salt for no money to begin with. That’s why it’s best to do this while you’re still in education so that you can make inroads and do some networking before you’re out there in the big wide world. I did a lot of free gig posters while I was at university and that’s why I’m being paid to do posters and album artwork etc. now. Writing and drawing are extremely competitive fields and getting yourself noticed is a big challenge. Equally, you need to realise your own worth and not be afraid to make that step into saying ‘you need to pay me for this service’ when the time is right.

Any advice for aspiring writers or students?

If you don’t enjoy writing or drawing or whatever it is you’re hoping to turn into your career, don’t bother. You’re setting yourself up to either fail or somehow succeed against the odds and be unfulfilled for the rest of your life. Enjoying what you do enables you to keep things fresh, stay motivated, meet deadlines, improve your craft and put out the kind of work that people want to pay you to do. The worst thing that can possibly flash into your brain is ‘Hey, this seems really popular and lucrative, maybe I’ll give it a shot’. I often meet people new to the comics scene, who have seen a handful of superhero movies and come to conventions with an idea for a 500 page graphic novel. You need to take the time to understand what you’re getting yourself in for before taking a dive as big as that otherwise the rejection can be really discouraging. Dip your toe into lots of things and figure out what inspires you the most.

A long time ago you told me that things get so much better after high school. When would you say are your best years?

Hopefully I’m yet to have them! My school years were pretty rough but everyone has different experiences. I think I might have just been listening to ‘You Were Cool’ by The Mountain Goats a lot when we had that conversation.

How do you market your self-published works?

I go to comic conventions, get work stocked in comic shops and use Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Facebook, Etsy and my own personal website online. I’m very proud to say that the comic scene is extremely welcoming of new-comers, so don’t be afraid to use any of these avenues if you’re looking to get involved.

For more of Jack’s writing, artwork and music, go to http://jackfallows.com/