Interview of Author Ralph Jones
1. Where do you live? Do you care if I put your hometown in the article?
I live in Merthyr Tydfil in South Wales, it is around 18 miles from Cardiff. Yes you can mention where I live.
2. Tell us about your book.
My book The Rage Within is a fictional gangster book. It is about a young boy,(Jake) who was born when his Father was in prison. On his release the Father refused to accept him as his own and treated him badly. As he grew up Jake grew closer to his Mother, who was frequently beaten by his violent Father.
Jake was often in trouble at school for fighting, which led to one of his teachers taking him to a friend of his, who ran a local boxing gym. Jake took to boxing rather well, until a car crash ruined a promising career, and almost took his life. He then worked for a local farmer, and fell in love with his daughter, who introduced Jake to the female pleasures, before leaving without telling him, which broke his heart.
He then over the next few years drifted into trouble, until he was befriended by Alex, a gangster from the East end of London, who along with his psychopathic minder, Andy, tricked Jake into thinking that he was his friend.
Andy would often taunt Jake, and would beat him viciously, for no reason, but for fun. Jake though would not just take the beatings, he would fight back often leaving Andy bruised and battered.
Alex eventually framed Jake for crimes that he did not commit, with the help of a corrupt police officer, who Alex was paying, leaving Jake to pay a heavy price when he was jailed for murder.
3. What inspired you to write?
I was inspired to write after the 1984 British miner’s strike. A good friend of mine used to say that somebody should write about our experiences during the strike. It took me many years to decide to try and write about our experiences, and when I was half way through my friend sadly passed away. I was so sad and upset when he died that I almost stopped writing the book, until my son convinced me to finish the book as a tribute to my friend. After I finished that book, I then decided to try and write a fictional story, which turned into The Rage Within.
4. What is your writing process? How long does it take you to write a book?
My writing process is, when I get an idea I will make a note, and then when I have enough notes I will then start to put things together. Most of my ideas come to me when I am out walking with my dog. I will then come home and try to put my ideas into words. I think The Rage Within took me around a year, as when I ran out of ideas, I would leave it and write some short stories, or poems, which turned into another book later on. The Silent Wheels took me around 9 months once I really decided to do it.
5. Who are some of your favorite authors?
My favorite authors. That's a good question. I am a big fan of James Patterson, I think he has a fantastic way with his characters. I also quite like Andy McNab, who writes a lot of S.A.S. novels based on his personal experiences. If I'm honest I have not really got favorite authors, if I see a book and it takes my fancy, I will have a quick look and if I like it I will buy it.
I also like to read a good autobiography. I was bought Graham Nash's autobiography for Christmas, but I am trying to keep it until I go on holidays.
6. Do you have any more books coming out? When?
I will have a book out hopefully by the end of July. It is a project I was talked into doing. It is about the history of the ruby club, I have followed for many years. I have really enjoyed doing it, and going back over the years with some of the older men in the club. And also I have enjoyed talking to the players, old and present, and reliving the past times.
I have also started to put down a few ideas for a sequel to The Rage Within, so I will have to wait and see how it goes.
7. How did you go about getting your book published? How long did it take?
The publishing of both books took a long time. I was sending e-mails to different people and companies and was either being rejected, or sometimes I did not have an answer.
It was during this time, that I decided to write The Rage Within, and by the time that I finally found a publisher, The Rage Within was finished. I then asked them if they would publish both books and they agreed.
I did not get a great financial package, but at least the books are out there now.
My third book, Odes and Stories, was published much quicker by a company in America by the name of Welsh-American bookstore.
8. Are you doing any book signings or author talks in the area? If so, when and where?
I have not done any major book signings, except for a few of my friends who have bought my books.
I have done a talk in our local library, and I will also be doing a reading next month (June),in the Merthyr library, in conjunction with their adults learning week, which I think is a good cause.
9. Is there anything else you'd to tell us?
If I have one thing to say, it would be, if anybody wants to write a book, just sit down and do it, and do not be put off. It can be a long and sometimes tedious process, when the ideas seem to dry up, and when you finish, and keep getting turned down by publishers.
I am 60 years of age now, and did not write my first book until 2 years ago. I have never been trained as a writer, nor did I have University education, but I have always enjoyed reading and am now enjoying writing.
The poetry book is a mixture of verse and satirical short stories in prose. The poetry is mainly about the times when I worked as a coal miner, a subject that is close to my heart. I find that if you can sit down, and put into words what is in your heart then it can be really satisfying.
I also wrote a poem for a Holocaust memorial service that was actually read out, by the church Minister. I had an e-mail saying that people at the service were touched by my words, which was very nice.
I was also given a creative writing award, by the local Library. This was the first writing award I have ever had, and I am really pleased to have had it. So my final words are that if I can do it so can anybody else who is willing to try.
10. How can our group members find your book? All my books are available on Amazon/books. The Rage Within and The Silent Wheels are both under the name K.R. Jones, while Odes and Stories is under Ralph Jones.
Thank you very much for given me the chance to showcase my books.