This week in IPR License's 'Meet The Author' series, Christian Jones talks about facing up to the hope and doubt that go hand in hand when approaching the task of telling stories.
Christian: I’ve always been interested in telling stories whether it’s embellishing an otherwise lacklustre anecdote to make it more interesting for the listener (some people would call this lying but I call it embellishing, it sounds more wholesome); or sharing a vision of the world which I hope others might find engaging, stimulating or at the very least entertaining.
I wrote a lot of short stories when I was younger (I’m now thirty-nine) and I took a few creative writing courses. For a while I considered trying to take it further but then I left school; I went to university and writing gradually became something that other people did, something that I would probably never have been very good at anyway.
I’ve never really overcome that self-doubt which might go some way to explaining why it’s taken me this long to think about writing again: I started putting together my first novel last summer. I’m now about a quarter of the way through the first draft and it’s taking on a life of its own. The world I’m creating continues to grow even when I’m not paying attention to it.
Last autumn, after ludicrous amounts of editing and procrastination, I finally bit the bullet; I found a few agencies that were still prepared to accept unsolicited work and I sent them the first part of the novel. It wasn’t picked up.
Did the rejection hurt? Yes, I’d be lying (and I mean properly lying, not just tweaking the truth with a bit of attractive garnish) if I said otherwise. I know that it was unrealistic to expect instant success but I can’t deny that a small part of me hoped for it nonetheless.
Am I going to let it stop me? No, not yet. Even if this all comes to nothing I want to be able to look myself in the eye and say without any embellishment that I did everything I could to turn a passion into a career.
Christian Jones is currently working on his first novel, No Time Like The Present. Set against a backdrop of mistrust, surveillance, paranoia and unease, it's a story about apathy, conformity, greed and fear; it explores what can happen when people are unwilling or simply too frightened to question what is going on around them, or being done in their name. Visit his website where you can read an excerpt.