Author interview 169 – Jon Cronshaw


Jon Cronshaw

United Kingdom

Age 39

Jon Cronshaw is a full-time fantasy and speculative fiction author based in Morecambe, England.
Born in Wolverhampton, he has a PhD in the history of art and has written for local and national newspapers across the UK.
He’s an avid reader, podcaster, and history geek.

Two friends. A master assassin. One deadly choice.

Fedor and Lev are thieves…not killers.

They lead a desperate life in the tunnels of Nordturm, conning and stealing to buy their next meal.

But when an assassin recruits them against their will, they are forced into a life they do not want and cannot escape.

If they leave, they will die. But if they stay, they must kill.

Can they survive the master’s relentless evaluation?

Is loyalty stronger than the will to live?

Will their friendship last the ordeal?

From the best-selling author of The Ravenglass Chronicles, comes a new thrilling adventure featuring a new cast of unforgettable characters.

You’ll love this high fantasy series, because these unlikely heroes have a story you won’t be able to put down.

Romelia:   WHAT IS THE MOST DIFFICULT PART OF YOUR ARTISTIC PROCESS?

Jon Cronshaw:   It’s having more ideas and stories than I’ll ever have the time to write. My mind is constantly giving me ideas for characters, plots, scenes, and worlds, most of them I have to ignore. It’s the ones I can’t ignore, the ones that keep tugging at me that I have to write.

Romelia:   DOES YOUR FAMILY SUPPORT YOUR CAREER AS A WRITER?

Jon Cronshaw:   Yes. My wife is my biggest supporter and she’s amazing.

Romelia:   IF YOU HAD TO DO SOMETHING DIFFERENTLY AS A CHILD OR TEENAGER TO BECOME A BETTER WRITER AS AN ADULT, WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

Jon Cronshaw:   I should have started writing fiction sooner. I did every other type of writing through my teenage years and twenties, and only dabbled in fiction writing because I thought I wasn’t good enough. Of course, you get good enough by accepting that what you’ll write will always be flawed. You only get better by doing.

Romelia:   HOW LONG ON AVERAGE DOES IT TAKE YOU TO WRITE A BOOK?

Jon Cronshaw:   It depends on the book. I had a twenty-one-book novella series where I published a book roughly every six weeks. My latest novel took me six months.

Romelia:   DO YOU BELIEVE IN WRITER’S BLOCK?

Jon Cronshaw:   Nope. I used to work as a reporter and if I told my editor I had writer’s block I’m sure he would have laughed me out of the newsroom.

I think what most authors call writer’s block can either be put down to not enough planning or some kind of mental health/medical issue.

Romelia:   AT WHAT POINT DO YOU THINK SOMEONE SHOULD CALL THEMSELVES A WRITER?

Jon Cronshaw:   If you can write, you’re a writer.

Romelia:   WHAT DIFFERENCE DO YOU SEE BETWEEN A WRITER AND AN AUTHOR?

Jon Cronshaw:   A writer is someone who writes. An author is someone who spends more time in their imagination than reality. 

Romelia:   HOW DO YOU PROCESS AND DEAL WITH NEGATIVE BOOK REVIEWS?

Jon Cronshaw:   Other people’s opinions don’t bother me. There are plenty of books, songs, and movies I love that other people hate.

 If a book isn’t for a reader, that’s fine. Not everyone likes the same things.

The only time I do take notice is if a negative review points out an issue with the book itself, or if they point out a problem with my writing I can learn from.

Romelia:   WHAT IS THE MOST DIFFICULT PART OF YOUR WRITING PROCESS?

Jon Cronshaw:   Getting the first draft while staying focused on the story I planned. I write an outline and by the end of the first chapter I’ve already come up with new ideas for the story.

Romelia:   HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WRITING OR WHEN DID YOU START?

Jon Cronshaw:   I’ve written professionally for most of my adult life. I started taking fiction writing seriously in 2015 and haven’t looked back.

Romelia:   WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A WRITER WORKING ON THEIR FIRST BOOK?

Jon Cronshaw:   Don’t get stuck on your first book. It’s most likely going to be the worst thing you write as an author. Get the draft finished, get some feedback, and start work on a new book.

Romelia:   WHAT, TO YOU, ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT ELEMENTS OF GOOD WRITING?

Jon Cronshaw:   Story is king. Everything else is window dressing.

Romelia:   WHAT COMES FIRST FOR YOU – THE PLOT OR THE CHARACTERS – AND WHY?

Jon Cronshaw:   Characters. I don’t know how you could have a plot without knowing your character’s motivations.

Romelia:   HOW DO YOU DEVELOP YOUR PLOT AND CHARACTERS?

Jon Cronshaw:   I take lots of walks and showers when I’m in the planning stages of a book.

I spend a lot of time thinking about my characters, about their voices, their drives, their values, their secrets, their flaws, their fears, their relationships.

I work on paper to start with, brainstorming ideas, events, and cool scenes. I try to make sure the scenes flow logically from one another, that every scene helps to move the story along.  

Then I try to tell it like a five-year-old would tell a story into a voice recorder and use that to write an outline on index cards.

Romelia:   WHEN DID YOU FIRST CALL YOURSELF A WRITER?

Jon Cronshaw:   Probably when I was trying to get my first writing jobs.

Romelia:   HOW DO YOU USE SOCIAL MEDIA AS AN AUTHOR?

Jon Cronshaw:   I try not to. I used to, but when I started tracking where my sales came from it struck me as a waste of my time.

As an added bonus, I’ve been blissfully unaware of the latest Twitter outrage since 2019.  

Romelia:   WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE AND LEAST FAVORITE PART OF PUBLISHING?

Jon Cronshaw:   My favourite part of publishing is knowing that something I created is helping to feed my family.

My least favourite part is that success is as much luck as determination.

Romelia:   WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO AN AUTHOR WHO WANTED TO DESIGN THEIR OWN COVER?

Jon Cronshaw:   If the author is a professional cover designer, go for it. If not, then don’t. Your work deserves to have the best chance possible of attracting the right reader.

A great cover sells your book.

Your writing sells the next one.

Romelia:   HOW MANY BOOKS HAVE YOU WRITTEN AND WHICH IS YOUR FAVORITE?

Jon Cronshaw:   Umm…I’ve published eight novels, twenty-four novellas, and three short story collections.

As for written…let’s just say there are some that will never see the light of day.

My favourite tends to be the book I’ve just written. I only write if I love the characters and world. And I had a blast writing Dawn of Assassins.

Romelia:   WHAT PART OF THE BOOK DID YOU HAVE THE HARDEST TIME WRITING?

Jon Cronshaw:   I think I rewrote the final few chapters half a dozen times. I needed all of the story threads to come together in a satisfying way.

Romelia:   WHAT PART OF THE BOOK WAS THE MOST FUN TO WRITE?

Jon Cronshaw:   The banter between the gang, especially those scenes where Lev is getting annoyed with Onwyth.

Romelia:   WHICH OF THE CHARACTERS DO YOU RELATE TO THE MOST AND WHY?

Jon Cronshaw:   Fedor is the main character and apart from being a thief he shares a lot of my core values.

Romelia:   IF YOU’RE PLANNING A SEQUEL. CAN YOU SHARE A TINY BIT ABOUT YOUR PLANS FOR IT?

Jon Cronshaw:   Dawn of Assassins will be at least a three-book series. I’m currently writing Trial of Thieves, which is set a week after the events of Dawn of Assassins.

Romelia:   TELL US SOMETHING FUNNY ABOUT YOUR ADULT LIFE.

Jon Cronshaw:   I once convinced a major UK art gallery that I was one half of a German rock band and played a show in their foyer using children’s instruments and a Nintendo DS. 

Romelia:   DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN A FEW SENTENCES. TELL US SOMETHING WE DO NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU AND SOMETHING YOU HATE ABOUT THE WORLD.

Jon Cronshaw:   I love stories. I love to tell them and hear them.

Being severely visually impaired, I listen to a lot of audiobooks (usually around three a week).

What most people don’t know is I have access to a hidden dimension where stories exist in their purest form…I hate to admit it, but I’ve stolen a lot from that place.

As for hating things about the world…I don’t. It’s all story fuel.

https://geni.us/dawnofassassins

https://joncronshaw.com

You can listen to Jon Cronshaw’s Author Diary wherever you listen to podcasts. Visit: anchor.fm/joncronshaw
Amazon: https://amazon.com/author/joncronshaw
Facebook: https://facebook.com/joncronshawauthor
Website: https://joncronshaw.com

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