Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I was born in 1943 at Derby Royal Infirmary, and thus a war baby. I lived my early life in Ashby-de-la-Zouch, a market town in Leicestershire, but was sent away to be educated at Kings Mead Preparatory School, Seaford and afterwards at Rugby School that bastion of English education. Later commissioned into the Territorial Army, I have been variously an hotel and restaurant owner, director and chairman of a marketing consortium, and latterly a partner with my wife in a commercial legal services company. I have enjoyed my working life in England and Switzerland and now live with my wife Sally in West Sussex and northern Tenerife, where for five years I occupied myself as restaurant critic for a Canarian newspaper.
I had long wanted to try my hand at writing a book, probably much as many others do. I decided to try to make that dream come true, and sketched out my first book, the manuscript of which was summarily rejected. I then learned of the requirement for a skilled editor, and was lucky to be put in touch with one such. She guided me through an almost complete re-write and the book was picked up and made it into print.
My first book, Dog Days in The Fortunate Islands, charts the stories of moving my family and dog to live on a small island in the Atlantic Ocean, and which received much acclaim. It is available in paperback and e-book formats.
Prunes for Breakfast is my second book and records the life and times of my father throughout WW2, including a cache of unpublished personal letters with details of his landing in Normandy, fighting through the bocage and later capture and incarceration in a German POW Camp. It is available in paperback, e-book and audio formats.
The Reluctant Hotelkeeper is my third book, just released, and forms a prequel to Dog Days in The Fortunate Islands. It is available in paperback and e-book formats.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My third published book is entitled The Reluctant Hotelkeeper. It centres around the majority of my working life, bringing an old building back to life as a country house hotel. I was inspired to write it so that my family could one day learn more of my history.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Not that I am aware of, other than my quill pen and vellum.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I like legal/crime thrillers such as authors John Grisham and Peter James. I also like historical novels by the superb Bernard Cornwell. The Dark Age period of England fascinates me.
What are you working on now?
Having just been published for vthe third time, I am taking a break and working on my family tree, which goes back, so far, to nearly 400 years ago.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
My website is www.johnsearancke.com and I am currently using the inspired services of Margaret Daly of Margaret Daly Designs in the USA. She is awesome!
Do you have any advice for new authors?
I would not presume to offer advice, other than to engage with the best editor that you can find/afford. They work wonders with your manuscript. As for writing, if you feel that you have a book just bursting to get out, then go for it.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Never volunteer for anything. I learned that in the army and it has served me well.
What are you reading now?
I am just finishing off the quite outstanding Boudica trilogy by Manda Scott and will shortly be moving on to her epic on Joan of Arc.
What’s next for you as a writer?
Promotion, promotion. A necessary evil!
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?
The latest John Grisham, Lee Child and a simple cookery book.