Jack Strange has had a very varied career. He’s worked in a morgue, dug holes for a living, shifted heavy things on and off trucks, sold advertising space, and was, for a while, a Lawyer.
Jack has always read voraciously and has wanted to be a novelist since the age of ten. He wrote his first novel aged fourteen. Jack enjoys parties and keeps himself fit. He is married with two adult daughters.
And so as usual I sat Jack down with a (virtual) beverage of his choosing, and we talked...
Do you have another job or are you a full time author? If you do something else (international spy?) what is it and do you like it?
Regrettably, I have another job. Two other jobs, in fact, so I'm on my way to rivalling George Osborne - but I don't get paid nearly as much as him. I'm a lawyer and a handyman, as well as being a writer. It's an odd combination, I know, but hey - we writers are supposed to be different, aren't we?
Why did you start writing?
To change the world, earn fame and fortune, and finally retire to a desert island with a good bar and a rocking city close to my beach house.
List 3 things that are guaranteed to make you smile.
My bank balance (that's an ironic smile by the way);
Tory party promises (so is that);
and any episode of 'Fleabag' (Google it, if you haven't heard of it).
Do you have any pets?
No, I used to have a cat called 'Udi' and when she died I couldn't cope with the emotional loss so I never got another pet. They definitely would hinder the writing process. Udi used to demand attention when I needed time to myself to study law; she'd do the same if she was around when I was trying to write.
Who is your favourite author? Do they influence your writing or are they a total break from the sort of thing you write?
That's such a tough question as I could name twenty or thirty or more favourite authors who all have an equal claim to my affections. If I had to narrow it down to one, it might be Russell H Greenan, largely for his novel 'It happened in Boston'. We have things in common - we're both lineal descendants of Edgar Allan Poe, and accordingly, cats feature in my writing and in his. His books are hard to categorise, and maybe mine are too - but we both sit comfortably in the horror genre. And we both like to use dark humour in our books. I wouldn't want to claim I've written anything as good as 'It Happened in Boston' - but there's still time!
Which book(s) are you reading at the moment?
'Junky' by William Burroughs and 'Salvage' by Duncan Ralston. The opening of Junky is textbook, in that it's the perfect opening to draw you into a story; and the author's use of detail is outstanding. Would-be writers could do a lot worse than to read this book and draw a few lessons from it.
Which three cities would you most like to visit and why?
(1) Timbuktu - it's always seemed to me to be exotic, mysterious and remote. Plus it has some amazing libraries. I like libraries.
(2) La Paz - it's the current highest capital city in the world, I believe. The views from my hotel room would be tremendous, and I'm sure I'd enjoy a rocking night life there. I have a feeling the drinks are cheap, too.
(3) Novosibirsk - the largest city in Siberia. I'd love to snuggle up in front of a warm fire in a Siberian bar, with a vodka in my hand and the winter winds raging outside.
Tell us about the character that you've written that you like the most - no spoilers!
Henderson the cat. It's not just me - everyone who's read my books says he's their favourite character.
Here's a link to a recent review of a book of mine - note the comment about Henderson. Many readers have said similar things.
What is your favourite biscuit?
Jack Strange never eats biscuits. He wouldn't be able to rock the pullup bar if he did.
In the film of your life who would play you?
The young me would be played by the young Jude law (if we could go back in time!) - because we both had charm, insouciance and good looks in abundance in our youth. The old me would be played by Vladimir Putin if he ever turned his hand to acting - for obvious reasons.
If you could genetically cross an animal and a vegetable, what would you pick and why? I like the idea of asparagus and a giraffe...tender neck
A tory politician with a...wait a minute...they're a cross of animal and vegetable already. Mainly vegetable.
Amazon links to Jack's books:
Celebrity Chef Zombie Apocalypse
Confessions of an English Psychopath