Author Interview: ‘Winterset Hollow’ by Jonathan Edward Durham

About the Book:

Everyone has wanted their favorite book to be real, if only for a moment. Everyone has wished to meet their favorite characters, if only for a day. But be careful in that wish, for even a history laid in ink can be repaid in flesh and blood, and reality is far deadlier than fiction . . . especially on Addington Isle.Winterset Hollow follows a group of friends to the place that inspired their favorite book-a timeless tale about a tribe of animals preparing for their yearly end-of-summer festival. But after a series of shocking discoveries, they find that much of what the world believes to be fiction is actually fact, and that the truth behind their beloved story is darker and more dangerous than they ever imagined. It’s Barley Day . . . and you’re invited to the hunt.

Winterset Hollow is as thrilling as it is terrifying and as smart as it is surprising. A uniquely original story filled with properly unexpected twists and turns, Winterset Hollow delivers complex, indelible characters and pulse- pounding action as it storms toward an unforgettable climax that will leave you reeling. How do you celebrate Barley Day? You run, friend. You run.

Add to Goodreads

Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

Giveaway:

Jonathan has got three paperback copies of “Winterset Hollow” up for grabs and is willing to ship anywhere in the contiguous United states. Simply go to www.jonathanedwarddurham.com click contact to scroll down to the ‘send a message’ box and add your name, email, and message ‘ReadingNookGiveaway’ for your chance to win. Enter between 8th-15th November for your chance to win. Good Luck!

Author Interview:

1: Tell us a little about yourself and what got you in to writing?

Well, I’ve always been a strong writer, but it wasn’t until I spent a few years out in the professional world after college that I realized I had buttons that just weren’t being pushed in my life, and that I very much needed that to happen in order for me to be happy.  So, I sat down one day and asked myself what I would choose to do for a living if I knew I could support myself doing it…and writing was the answer to that question…and here we are with half of that dream realized lol.

2: Do you have a favourite time and place where you write?

Now, I know the answer you’re hoping to hear to this question is some romantic notion of sitting in a great library with a fountain pen or alone in a secluded cabin with an old typewriter…but actually I prefer to write sitting on my couch in front of the television.  I know, it sounds a bit weird…but I really hate working in silence, so the white noise of some garbage or another playing in my periphery is a necessary thing for me to feel comfortable enough to sit there and write for hours on end.  That way, I can glance up for a few seconds if I need a mental distraction to avoid feeling burned out…not your typical writerly situation, I know, but it works for me.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

Most of the stories that I write are grounded fantasy stories, which means that they exist in the real world but with a liiiiitle fantastic twist that sets the story off…a little spark that sets everything on fire.  So, for me, my ideas come from engineering interesting ‘what if’ scenarios based off of what would be fairly typical situations.  For instance, in Winterset Hollow, the premise was ‘what would happen if you went to the place that inspired your favorite work of fantasy fiction only to find that it was all real?’  It’s always an idea that gets stretched just far enough to make it unique, but not so far that it starts to feel too unfamiliar.

4: Do you have a plan in your head of where the story is going before you start writing or do you let it carry you along as you go?

I’m a storyboarder…so I have it all laid out piece by piece before I even sit down to type anything.  All the characters, the plot arcs, the subplots, the settings, the flow…even bits of dialogue and action…it’s all on notecards on my wall before I even fire up my laptop for the first time.  Of course, there are things that change once I get to know my own book a little better by actually writing it, but as for the overall story, it’s all laid out from the get-go.  I just don’t feel comfortable starting a piece if I don’t know how it’s going to end.

5: What genre are your books and what drew you to that genre?

Well, that’s actually a very good question, and one that’s not exactly easy to answer.  My stories typically pull from several different genres, which makes them quite unique, but also makes them hard to fit neatly into any one literary box, which has caused me no small amount of difficulty over the course of my career.  Suffice it to say…there’s always some fantasy-adjacent twist, they’re always pretty dark in tone, and there’s always some mystery to unravel throughout.  Those characteristics seem to be present in pretty much everything that I write.

6: What dream cast would you like to see playing the characters in your latest book?

That’s a tough question being that four of the main characters are anthropomorphic animals that would need to be computer-generated lol, so let’s start with Andy Serkis plays all four of them in a mo-cap suit… and then we’ll let him voice Finn, the fox, and then we’ll get Ian Mckellan and Patrick Stewart to voice Runny, the rabbit, and Flackwell Frog respectively.  They should all be easy to get a hold of, right?  Right?

7: Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?

I don’t read nearly as much as I’d like…I barely have enough time in my day to write as much as I’d like let alone read for pleasure, to be honest.  But I have a soft spot for good storytellers with big ideas, so I’m a huge Michael Crichton fan and I dearly love Roald Dahl and Stephen King and C.S. Lewis and other authors like them who endeavor to answer big, messy questions in relatable fashion.  Basically, I like high-concept premises that unfold with a poppy yet earnest sensibility…I guess that about sums it up.

8: What is your favourite book and why?

Jurassic Park is my favorite book.  Now, I know what you’re thinking, but I’ve read all the classics too—all of them—and that book is still my favorite.  It’s just the purest communication of an original and completely compelling story and I totally love it.  Is it great literature?  Maybe not.  Is it entertaining and absorbing and unique and inspiring?  For me…absolutely.  Elevating a string of words is hard, but I truly believe that elevating a story is harder, so when I see that done as expertly as it is in Jurassic Park, I can’t help but top my hat.

10: What advice would you give for someone thinking about becoming a writer?

Write.  Honestly, I’m not sure what other advice to give.  Writers write.  Period.  What got you here won’t get you there…so write.

11: What are the best Social Media Sites for people to find out about you and your work?

You can follow me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jonathanedwarddurham and my Twitter and Instagram handles are @thatone0verhere.  You can also find me on Goodreads and if you’re interested in my latest book, Winterset Hollow, it’s available on Amazon right now in both Paperback and E-Reader formats.

About the Author:

Jonathan Edward Durham was born near Philadelphia in one of many satellite rust-belt communities where he read voraciously throughout his youth. After attending William & Mary, where he received a degree in neuroscience, Jonathan waded into the professional world before deciding he was better suited for more artistic pursuits. 

He now lives with his partner in California where he writes to bring a unique voice to the space between the timeless wonder of his favorite childhood stories and the pop sensibilities of his adolescent literary indulgences.  His debut novel, Winterset Hollow, an elevated contemporary fantasy with a dark twist, is mined from that same vein and is currently available everywhere.

Social Media Links:

Website: www.jonathanedwarddurham.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/jonathanedwarddurham

Twitter: @thisone0verhere

Instagram: www.instagram.com/thisone0verhere

Amazon page: www.amazon.com/author/jonathanedwarddurham

Reedsy:www.reedsy.com/discovery/user/jonathandurham

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