It’s the 25th of the month and boy am I glad to spotlight this British author. He is super talented and I loved his book of short stories Pills. You can read my review here. Jack’s style sits well with me personally as a reader, I get him and his work. It’s dark, it’s raw, and not for the faint hearted. Inspired by the main man Stephen King himself. I could not keep a straight face during this interview it was an absolute pleasure to meet him. Let’s get to know Mr. Binding’s style… let’s get into it!
Hello nice to meet you! Tell us a bit about you where are you from and other than writing what else do you enjoy?
Hello. My name is Jack and technically, I’m from Slough (where The Office is set). But I moved to Southampton when I was three years old. Okay if I say Southampton? Does that count? I live in Sydney now, though. Maybe I should say I’m from Sydney. I move around a lot. Restless.
Other than writing I enjoy creating music and watching on repeat that scene in Spring Breakers where a gold-toothed James Franco sings Britney.
Kim: Britney? You don’t look like the “type” *eyes Jack closely.*
How did you start writing? What was your inspiration to create?
I’ve always written in one form or another. Lyrics, diaries, death threats. This is just a natural progression. There is no single inspiration to create, it’s just something I have to do. Whether it be music, writing or whatever. I go crazy if I can’t create.
Kim: Hmm know the feeling.
Who is your favourite author, is there anyone out there that inspires you?
Although it’s hard to pin down one author, as I’m answering this question, it’s JG Ballard.
Other than his excellent short stories, I’m a particular fan of the urban dystopia in his later works such as Super Cannes and Cocaine Nights.
What genre do you enjoy reading?
Anything, as long as it’s good. Horror, obviously. And dark fiction like Bret Easton Ellis. Just finished reading his wonderful Lunar Park.
I love science fiction, too. I grew up reading Asimov and have a real fondness for the genre.
Have you ever thought about writing in a different genre? If you could what genre would you like to dabble in?
Although I market myself as a horror writer (pigeonholing is a necessary evil in order to find the right audience), I actually don’t set out to write horror. I always come at writing new stories from the psychological point of view. I write a lot in the first person – I like to be in the character’s head. Sometimes, however, that process isn’t too good for my own sanity.
I have thought about writing erotic romance under a pseudonym as I’m not shy about writing a sex scene, but at the moment it’s nothing more than an idea. (Or is it? Perhaps I have an entire series of erotic novels out there..?)
Kim: *wide eyes* reeeeeeeeeeally? You’re the second male author I’ve interviewed who has entertained writing romance. Go for it, I imagine your style of romance would be … err… hmmm dark maybe? *Narrows her eyes* wait, wait.. what’s this about erotica and pseudonyms?? If you’ve got an anthology of erotica out there Jack, you better spill the beans! We wanna know… details please.
Was there ever a time you wanted to pick up your laptop, and then launch it out the window with frustration?
Maybe whilst editing the short story Breeders. There was a great, creepy tale in there, but I had a hellish time trying to pull it out. It was a very painful experience. It’s one of the longest stories in Pills. Did I succeed it making it good? Let me know.
Kim: Ya did good kiddo, I loved all of Pills… until the bitter end.
Are you a “plotter” or a fly by the seat of your pants “pantster” as a writer?
I used to meticulously plot, but I find that for me it leads to contrived situations and I often force my characters to do something that doesn’t fit with their personas. So now I have a vague plot, but I let my characters dictate how I get from A to B. It’s more natural that way. If that alters the plot, so be it.
Am I the only one who gets hung up on commas? Do they make you go blah! when you’re writing?
I don’t, know what you mean.
Kim: *shakes head* me neither I, don’t, have, no, problems with commas :).
Every writer has a word(s) that they always slip up on when they write, then slap their forehead when they notice their typo. For me it’s further and farther exit or exists- but hey I’m over it now. Do you have a word (s) that make you go blah! Go away not another damn typo.
No, my spelling is perfect and their is nothing wrong with my grammar.
Kim: *Pouts shrugs shoulders* sure, same hear my speling and grammar, is excellant. 🙂 Who needs an editor?
What three tips would you give any aspiring writer?
If you’re pissed off, channel it to drive your plot or your characters.
Don’t write for your audience, write for yourself. If you don’t like what you’ve written, chances are nobody else will.
Take chances. That murder scene too violent? Fuck it. Leave it in there. Don’t be afraid to offend people.
Kim: * heart pounds, OMG. Did he just say what I’m thinking*…. Ahem, okay, thanks Jack great advice there. 🙂
What are you working on now? What will you release next?
I’m working on a very dark thriller right now which has the nastiest villain I have ever created. It also has a clear protagonist, which is unusual for me, because I tend to steer away from writing good guys. Can’t relate to them. It’s on draft two, although I suspect there will be many more drafts before it’s fit for public consumption.
So… where can we get your books?
Amazon! Everything’s available on Kindle. Here’s the link to my US author page:
Does a big ego help or hurt writers?
I’m not gonna lie, I have a huge ego. To be able to write something – something that will most likely be very personal – and put it out there for strangers to read (and the inevitably judge) takes guts. There’s a fine line between delusion and confidence, however, so being self-critical is also very important. Luckily for me, everything I’ve written is fucking brilliant and it’s only a matter of time before the awards deals start rolling in and I can dine out on movie rights with my new celebrity mates.
Kim: Erm, I guess the short answer is .. no?
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
My writing tends to stem from personal experience, so I don’t need to research much. I only tend to research medical things like how to best dismember the body of a dog with rigarmortis.
Kim: *Avoids eye contact.* Thanks Jack, I think.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
Thankfully most reviews tend to be positive. But bad reviews don’t bother me. I actually like that something I’ve written has elicited an emotion in someone so strong they feel compelled to document it on Amazon or Goodreads or whatever. Bring it on. Haters gonna hate, to quote modern poet, Taylor Swift.
Kim: Haha that’s a sure thing just like tax and death, it will happen. Them haters gonna hate.
What was your hardest scene to write?
There’s a short story in Pills called Sleeping Pills, and there’s something awful that happens to the narrator near the end. I don’t want to spoil it here, but that was the hardest scene I’ve had to write. It was very personal and upsetting. Had to get drunk in order to finish it.
Kim: Sleeping Pills is a deep story and one of my favourites.
Do you Google yourself?
I have a Google Alert set up for “Jack Binding”.
Kim: *shakes her head* you’re too much Jack, seriously?
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
I am a solitary beast.
Kim: Ha more like Billy No Mates. 🙂
What would you like readers to know?
Deep down I’m actually an okay guy. Honestly.
Kim: Raises an eyebrow to readers… have you read Pills yet? You be the judge of that one. Just kidding.
What’s your favourite movie?
It changes every week. Sometimes it’s Candyman – the most underrated horror movie of all time. Sublime story and wonderful gothic Philip Glass score. Sometimes it’s Withnail and I, because that was basically my life for about three years. And sometimes it’s White Chicks, because … well, why not?
What’s your favourite book and why?
England Made Me by Graham Greene. I first finished it on a train between Reading and Basingstoke and burst into tears in the carriage. It has had the same effect on me every time I’ve read it since. Heart breaking. Underrated classic.
Where would you like to travel to and why?
I’m fortunate enough to have travelled extensively, but the one place that sticks in my mind is Lake Garda in Italy. Exquisite scenery, food and people. I will buy an apartment there when I sell the rights for Dot Matrix to Hollywood.
Kim: Dot Matrix is an excellent story!! I could see that in a movie. Great characters.
Tell us about how you develop your characters?
My characters develop themselves. I let them run with it.
Which one of your characters is your favourite and why?
There’s a strange old lady called Mags, who pops in and out of the short stories in Pills. She’s my favourite. Sad old woman who has lived for years and has seen so much she has to resort to some very dark things to get her kicks.
If you could do it all again would you change anything?
I’d have grown a moustache in my early twenties.
Pick one a one time “Bestselling author” or an author with longevity what would you rather?
Either, as long as something I write strikes a chord with people.
And that’s a wrap people, I strongly suggest you grab a copy of Pills, it’s a great introduction to what this author is about, really entertaining. But brace yourself it is over eighteen reading for sure. I’m a fan! Can’t wait for the next anthology to land on Amazon.
Jack Binding’s Pills splices gritty realism with surreal imagery and otherworldly dread.
From the vicious high fashion horror of FMM (The Devils Wears Prada via Bret Easton Ellis-esque debauchery) to the stark, unsettling heartbreak of Sleeping Pills, Binding takes the reader on a journey through the secret parts of London that few people ever visit.
Influenced by writers such as Stephen King, Martin Amis and JG Ballard, there’s Cronenberg-inspired body horror, creepy kids (and their creepier parents), death, love (often unrequited), seedy massage parlours and late nights fuelled with lust and narcotics.
With overarching themes and characters, the 18 short stories in Pills can be read either as a whole enjoyed as stand-alone tales.
Connect with Jack here
Author site: https://jackjbinding.com/
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