The RV Book Fair – Author Liam Jenkins

Author Liam Jenner says: “Growing up in North Hampshire in the UK, I very much enjoyed spending all my time outdoors, playing in the park, lots of football, climbing trees and any other boisterous activity! 

I always enjoyed reading and making up my own stories, but I was too busy having fun outdoors to dedicate too much time to it! 

One of my favourite authors growing up was Terry Pratchett; I love to read (and write!) and enjoy anything connected with myths, legends, gods and goddesses. 

I am up for anything alternative, a road less trodden or less obvious path is always the one I will choose!

My purpose is to inflame the imagination of a younger generation so that we do not lose the ability to be creative and continue to think and dream up stories as we get older.

The world needs new stories laced with peril, triumph and moral dilemmas and new heroes and heroines with new principles and belief systems because, let’s face it, things are changing, and our stories need to reflect this.

My ultimate goal is to spend all my time writing whilst travelling all over the globe. Why do you need to be in one place anymore to do the same work you can do on a beach, right? (well, only if the Wi-Fi is good!).”

Dylan McFinn is an extraordinary twelve-year-old with a keen nose for adventure. He lives deep under the Pacific Ocean with his sea captain father and Lapatian mother in the ancient sunken fishing village of Lapatia. Dylan’s birthday is coming up, and the sea captain has arranged for a surprise camping trip back to his home island of Maloto.
Dylan is incredibly excited to explore the island and learn more about his father’s culture. However, when they arrive, Dylan quickly realizes that something is very wrong. The island is covered in a thick layer of pollution, and the once- pristine beaches are now full of trash. Dylan is determined to find out what happened to the island and clean it up.
With the help of his new friends, Dylan sets out on an adventure to save the island of Maloto.
  • Hello author Liam, welcome to the RV Book Fair! What’s your favorite word and why? 

That’s like asking to pick your favourite child! I can’t pick one; they’re all my favourites!

  • What’s the last book you read?

I’m Reading/listening to the Sandman Volume 2 – I was so gripped by the work of Neil Gaiman and the first instalment of the Sandman that I was so happy to find out that Volume 2 had been produced. 

  • What’s the book that changed your life?

The Hero of a thousand faces – Joesph Campbell, for so many reasons… but the main one is that he is the archetype of the blueprint for every superhero movie that has ever been. 

  • What’s the book that made you want to become an author?

The Historian Elizabeth Kostova – was the primary catalyst but to be honest, several books inspired me to start writing, too many to name. 

  • What is your favorite thing about being a writer?

Worldbuilding. You can create anything or anyone – that’s the biggest draw. Also, it can be an actual cathartic exercise; if life is a struggle, then writing can help you straighten things out.

  • What makes you laugh the most?

My baby Alfie makes me laugh – he’s so funny and expressive, without even knowing it! I’m a sucker for modern classic sitcoms now like the UK office, Extras and the IT Crowd, and also the movie Step Brothers – if I’m feeling blue, then these will go on for sure! 

  • If you could tell your young writing self anything, what would it be?

Just start – don’t worry if your spelling isn’t up to scratch or grammar; I confess these are still things I trip over – the English language is a difficult skill to master. But the more you do, the sharper your skill becomes, so just start. 

  • How long, on average, does it take you to write a book?

Tough to estimate but usually 12-18 months from the planning stage to editing 

  • What inspired you to start writing?

Family trauma and travelling too far climbs around the World, started out as a cathartic exercise and grew into a novel

  • Do you hear from your readers much? What do they say?

I do, and I’m pleased to say that what I hear back from my readers is nothing but positive feedback about how much they love the characters and description and how the book makes them feel.

  • How do you come up with the title of your books?

Big fan of the sea and myth and legends, specifically sea myths, so I’ve taken mythical stories as a narrative and built around them. Also, meaningful places have been included or will be…

  • What does literary success look like to you?

Well, I’ve set an incredibly high bar for myself – one I will only share when I achieve it! But put it this way, I’m on the journey but have a long way to go…  

  • As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

Have fun and play. And to be honest, Not much has changed; apart from writing and gardening, I’ve never found a career or profession that I’ve fitted into – I think we are all too quick to shackle ourselves to a title, put ourselves in a box; it’s usually one of the first questions we ask somebody new when we meet them; “what do you do for a living?” maybe we should ask, “are you happy, what do you do to have fun?” 

  • What do you like to do when you are not writing?

Being outside, gardening or going on lovely walks – walking and gardening is good for the soul and thinking. 

  • What do you think makes a good story?

An authentic one. Good stories always come from a real place, usually through struggle and triumph. Anything that has a connection to being a human, I think, always works. Layering creative language on top of any good story is like decorating a delicious cake. If the flavours are correct, then creative writing takes it to the next level.

  • What are your guilty pleasures?

Good food – maybe too much of it! I’ve always loved my food. Also, I enjoy tinkering/using tarot cards. I find it fascinating. I take it with a pinch of salt but is there something in it? who knows – a bit of fun, though.

  • Where do you dream of travelling to, and why?

Sigh. too many to mention but as many places as I can before I get too old and creaky. I want to live in Ibiza one day or somewhere in Spain; that’s the dream. I want to visit the Pacific Islands and return to Cuba one day and Mexico. Once gone, never forgotten.

  • Anything you would say to those just starting out in the craft?

How strong is your constitution? It’s not for the faint of heart – although a beautiful thing to do, it can equally be the most infuriating thing… Ernest Hemmingway once said, “Writing’s easy; all you have to do is sit at a typewriter and bleed.”

  • Aside from writing, what do you enjoy doing on your spare time? 

I enjoy cooking and reading/listening audiobooks 

  • State a random fact about yourself that would surprise your readers.

One of our next-door neighbours is a famous film star – they have starred in the Harry Potter films. 

  • Who are your cheerleaders?

My wife, for sure! and close family and friends, I’m starting to work with some great people in different countries, especially the US and Spain, who are flying the flag of my stuff.

  • What was your hardest scene to write?

Essential scenes in the story are the most challenging part for me. These parts hang everything together. I’m somebody who picks up very quickly on continuity, so I’m overly cautious about getting these bits suitable as there so meaningful. If they are missing elements, then the whole story can fall. 

  • What is your writing process like? Are you more plotter or a pantser?

I’m a gardener! I plant a plot and let it grow; I don’t know where it’s gonna go!!

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