Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I,m CJ Damage author of Jess’ Tales Vol 1 and 2. I am currently a full time psychology student (mature) and part time writer of novels for young adults in the fiction/fantasy genre. I particularly like to write stories with a heavy background in Irish mythology. I am married (barely!) with three young children. The inspiration for the two novels came in the form of a character who lives nearby who has been described in the newspaper as ‘Ireland’s Worst Neighbour.’ When drunk (which is every day (unless he has a court appointment!)) he loves to stand at the edge of his perfectly manicured garden and shout obscenities and profanities at my home and family. He had over 50 convictions for drunk and disorderly conduct, has served multiple short prison terms and has even put in a bomb scare to our local police station (for which he received a suspended sentence!!!). His one and only prison term of more than a few days resulted when he threatened to shoot me in front of the police who had come to arrest him for drunk driving. We were lucky to have this gentleman welcome us to a new estate when we moved a number of years ago and he has remained our beloved neighbour ever since, never missing an opportunity to greet us morning noon or night (usually in the form of a threat or just general abuse!). I told him that he had been the inspiration behind a character in a story I had written and he responded by graciously dumping his two week stash of empty beer cans in my garden! When my novels become No.1. Amazon sellers I am going to go over and have a can or two with him in his front garden while listening to his anecdotes about how my children make him sick and how my wife is a b!£(h! One can only dream!! Ps I have also started a third book in the series entitled Jess’ Tales Vol 3 ‘Hy Brasil’.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
I have also written 7 psychology non fiction books under the name CJ Eccles. The latest in the series is entitled, Knowledge is Power. The Traits of a Narcissist. My inspiration for writing on this particular was the realisation through my studies that there has been a huge upsurge in interest in the personality disorders and narcissistic personality disorder has peaked partly as a result of social media (which is ubiquitous now) and the selfie phenomenon. These factors are playing large roles in the destruction of marriages and families.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Not at all. I’m very traditional in my approach to a book. I’ll find an interesting subject through doing research and then write down some ideas. I mostly aim to write ten pages per day. Sometimes I write more and sometimes less but it will average out at around 70 per week. Maybe the only quirk I have is that I don’t set out a plan for chapter sizes or what each chapter will contain in advance. I find that once I start writing that the story will mostly develop itself with as little interference from me as possible!
What authors, or books have influenced you?
There are many but to name a few, Stephen King, Peter Straub, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Enid Blyton and Aesop!
What are you working on now?
I’m working on the third in the Jess’ Tales series which is entitled ‘Hy Brasil’. It is a continuation of the adventures of the two girls in the first two books, Jess and Ellie. They visit the mythological Celtic version of ‘ Atlantis’ known as Hy Brasil which arises out of the Atlantic Ocean on the west coast of Ireland every seven years only to re submerge after a short period.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I’m still learning this process but Facebook ads and websites such as this one are my main go to.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Just write and don’t stop. The more you write the better the chance there is of getting at least one great book out of you. I’m a big believer in the idea that if a person takes the time to sit down and write a book that they are natural story tellers. After that it’s just about refining your skills. Practice makes improvement every time!
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Never give up. I realise it’s a bit trite but truer words were never spoken.
What are you reading now?
I’m working my way through ‘The Shack.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
Philosophical Foundations for a Christian worldview, Windswept House and The Talisman.
Author Websites and Profiles
CJ Damage Amazon Profile
CJ Damage’s Social Media Links