Day three of The Demons Beneath publication week sees us talking to WD Jackson-Smart, author of the DI Graves series, about his favourite novelists and books. The Demons Beneath publishes June 1st 2019.
What books do you read?
A bit of mixture. I of course love crime and horror. Authors like Dean Koontz, Stephen King, MJ Aldridge and Chelsea Cain used to be my go to types of author – well known in their fields. I also loved the Rachel Morgan series by Kim Harrison, which I read all of, possibly to get my supernatural Buffy-esque fix.
Recently though I’ve found myself randomly reading new authors, but in those genres still. I tend to be a sucker for good reviews and a good book cover, but recently I’ve found charting crime fiction in particular to be rather dull.
One of the best books I’ve read recently is actually outside of what I normally go for – Circe by Madeline Miller. It was complex and interesting and I really enjoyed it, so much so I’ve bought her other book too, which is on my reading list.
I’m also a sucker for creature feature style books. I adore Jurassic Park and recently have found myself gravitating towards similar, such as The Meg by Steve Alten. I love that series for it’s cheesy action but surprisingly sincere scientific approach. And I’m reading The Great Zoo of China by Matthew Reilly at the moment, which again is rather like Jurassic Park.
What authors inspire you?
I certainly used to be inspired by the well known writers like Stephen King, to name check him again, those big hitters that people know and love. To be honest now I find myself inspired simply by any author who successfully transports me to somewhere else.
I’m not bothered by how successful an author is, I just want to read books that succeed in taking me somewhere else.
Have you met any authors?
I’ve not met any famous authors I don’t think except Terry Pratchett once, when I went to a signing with my dad as a teenager. I used to love his books and he was very nice in person.
I’m quite well connected online with indie authors though, so I think that helps me feel like I’ve met others when in reality I haven’t.
If you could sit down with (favourite author), and talk about anything, what would it be about?
I actually think talking to someone like JK Rowling would be fascinating. While I’m not a massive Harry Potter fan, I really love her story of being this constantly rejected author who just kept going undeterred and became such a wonderful success story and a source of inspiration for so many. I bet she would have some brilliant stories and advice she could share to indie authors like me.
Do you know any authors personally?
Again, not in a face to face capacity but I like to think I know a few online anyway. JS Strange of course, another Panther author, is someone I regularly chat to, and there are a few others I like to connect with. I have chatted to Adam Nevill a few times before as well. I can’t say I know him really but his career has inspired me actually now that I think about it.
What attracted you to writing?
I think it’s the element of being in control of a story and twisting it to suit you. It’s quite a self indulgent activity in some ways, especially for me as I write what I like to read.
I do love being told by others that they’ve enjoyed something I’ve written though – not so much for the praise itself as the vindication that I wrote something someone else took enjoyment from.