Name – J.A.Hayman
Where are you from – Born in the UK, Currently living in Australia
I recently graduated with a Masters Degree in Physical Geography in 2015. I have a relatively small family living out in the UK but I am currently working abroad for the time being.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
My debut novel “The Siren Wakes” was recently released in ebook format and is due to be released in paperback shortly. I am currently working on the sequel novel “Beyond Midnight”
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing in the summer of 2014. I decided I wanted to give myself a challenge and achieve something, make my mark on the world…and everything grew from that point onwards.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I didn’t really consider myself a writer until I finished my first novel in Summer 2015.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I was inspired by two of my favourite writers to write my first book; Stephen Kind and Ray Bradbury. I really admire everything they have achieved over their careers and aspired to write and give people enjoyment from my novels.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I would say that I have a specific writing style, I tend to write in first person with a focus on internal thought. It is important to me to show how the character is thinking so you can really grasp who they are as a person and join them in their journey.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
I had the title right at the concept phase of the book as I was planning everything out. The title has many meanings; some of which I will let the readers figure out for themselves, in a very literal sense a siren would wake you and at the beginning of the novel the main character Alex wakes in a field with no recollection of how he got there. Also you can look at it in a more figurative sense, it’s about what wakes this group to the state of the world- no longer ignorant like the masses they have become fully aware.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
The novel has multiple meanings. There is a large focus on discrimination and persecution which I wanted the reader to fully understand and this yearning for equality some of the characters have. There are also some deeper meanings but I will leave those to be figured out in the future.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
The book isn’t really based on real events… the world is a super exaggerated version of our own and most of the characters are based on particular feelings I have had but in a more extreme and exaggerated way.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
I was influenced a lot by Ray Bradbury’s books, most notably Fahrenheit 451 which is just an incredible view on our society and the potential future. I was a huge reader as a child so a lot of those books inspired me to become a writer myself.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest and who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Recently Carol Riggs upcoming novel “The Lying Planet” caught my eye with its stunning cover. Currently I have found James Smythe’s books particularly fascinating with his interesting take on psychology of characters (e.g. in The Machine) and I am a fan of Sarah Lotz- I find her novels very intriguing and is a fresh new take on the horror genre.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
My Beta readers have been really supportive through my journey. Even before I had a publishing contract they had my back and have been with me all the way.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I would love to have writing as my career but I think that day is still far off! If it is achievable I will get there.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
If I did it again I would thoroughly back up my work! I lost a huge chunk of my original draft through not having proper backups!
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I have always had an interest in writing since a young age due to my avid reading but I never really acted upon it. It was only in University that I actually believed I could do it.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I can’t reveal too much about my work in progress novel “Beyond Midnight” but I can say it is a sequel to “The Siren Wakes”. It starts 15 years before the first novel and uncovers some of the secrets of the first novel- finally giving the readers some of the answers they were looking for! It is a much darker novel and takes the series in a different direction. I wanted each book to have its own unique feel rather than feeling like a rehash of the same story.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I find it hard to get into the right headspace to write. If I can get into that zone, I could write for hours but it is rare that I get there and rare that I stay there for long! Too many distractions.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I like to physically research locations for my books so it feels real when I am writing it but I can’t travel too much due to the cost. In the future maybe!
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I personally did the covers! I wanted the cover to have the right feeling for the novel so took it upon myself for the design.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The hardest part was probably persuading myself that I could finish it. There were many nights where it just felt like a stupid dream and a waste of time… but once you push past that feeling you can really do something incredible, so it is worth it in the end.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I think the main thing I learnt was that with perseverance you can achieve anything. Also that it is actually way harder to publish a book than you would think!
Fiona: If any of your books was made into a film who would you like to play the lead.
Don’t get me started on who would play what part. I have an actor for every character in my head. Ideally the main character of “The Siren Wakes” would be played by the incredible Andrew Garfield, but I think there are a lot of great actors who could take the character in a different direction.. there is a lot of flexibility for the role.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
I would say, just keep at it. It is achievable. Don’t take peoples comments too much to heart, all you need to do is believe in yourself.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I would just want to thank them so much for coming along with me on this journey and supporting the release of my novel… and hopefully I will see some of them at events I am attending in the future!
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I am currently reading Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
I have an awful long term memory so no!
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
A good comedy like Superbad or Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia will never fail to make me laugh!
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
I would have loved to have met Ray Bradbury and been able to ask him some questions about his novels!
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
To be continued…
It’s always better when there is more to a story.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
I am very into computers! I built my own PC and like to spend time tinkering with it and finding upgrades!
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I am a big fan of TV shows such as The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad. Film wise I love Interstellar and Moon (2009)
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
My favourite colour would probably be purple. Favourite food is Paella which is a Spanish seafood dish. Favourite music is probably EDM but it tends to change a lot.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I would have loved to have been an artist but I never went down that career path!
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
My website is http://james-hayman-kawa.squarespace.com/