In 1995, after half a lifetime of plausible excuses, JJ Toner began to write. Encouraged by some modest early success with his short stories, he went on to write novels. His first novel found a home on the garden compost heap; the second and third are historical fiction both waiting for extensive edits. Only the fourth and an anthology of shorts have been published so far. He lives in Ireland with his wife and youngest son.
Today, JJ Toner discusses his book, 'St Patrick’s Day Special'.
How long did it take you to write your book?
Including the work of my editor and several rewrites : Exactly 2 years
Who’s your favorite character in it?
Dessie Bonnar, the snitch. This is a guy who dresses well, but always looks untidy. He has disobedient hair. He has no obvious profession and seems to spend all his time at the bar in The Bleeding Horse, his favorite pub. He has a wicked streak and an irrepressible sense of humor.
What projects are you currently working on?
Doing battle with Ben Jordan 2, the sequel. I sneak a short story in every now and then.
What one word describes how you feel when you write?
Who designed the cover?
Anya Kelleye with a lot of input from me. I’m not happy with it, though, and planning a change soon.
Do you ever write in your PJ’s?
No. I like to write in the nude but can’t afford the heating.
What are your pet peeves?
The cost of central heating. Writers who can’t construct a decent plot. Writers who break the basic rules, like head-hopping or tense-changing or stupid saidisms. Indie writers who rush into print without paying for any proper structural edits. Indie writers who call themselves editing professionals just because they have published one or two books. Don’t get me started!
Do you normally eat breakfast, of do you skip it and get straight to work?
Straight to work. No time to waste.
If you were deserted on an island, who are 3 famous people you would want with you?
David Baboulene, Chuck Lorre and Stephen King. David Baboulene has written the best ever instructional book on writing, called The Story Book.
What is your favorite quote?
From the moment I picked up your book until I put it down again, I couldn’t stop laughing. I can’t wait to read it. Groucho Marx
If you were to attend a St. Patrick’s Day Party, which one thing would you never leave behind and why?
A pot of gold for obvious reasons.
Where can your readers stalk you?