Do you have a pen name and why?
I write under the pen name J.S. Strange. It’s because of a few reasons. My name is Jack Strange, but there is already someone writing under that name. And that is their pen name! So basically, they stole my name! But that’s okay because they’re cool. So J.S. Strange was chosen. It is my first name, Jack, my middle name and my last name, Strange. I like writing under the pen name, as I feel it holds some weight.
What makes your writing unique compared to others in the genre?
I have a unique setting for Murder on the Rocks, and that’s Cardiff, Wales. There has been talking that people won’t want to read Welsh fiction, and that publishers won’t touch it. There are other Welsh setting novels out there, and Crime Cymru is champions of that Welsh fiction. It’s time Wales was put on the crime literature map because it’s a great setting and there are great stories to be told. Murder on the Rocks also features a gay male detective, in a bid to improve representation within the crime genre.
What made you choose this genre?
I had been writing horror novels. They were Winter Smith: London’s Burning, and Winter Smith: The Secrets of France. I hit a wall with that series, after originally planning three or four, and I needed to get out of my writing slump. I was a reader of crime and thriller fiction, so I set out to write one of my own. I ended up with a murder mystery novel.
What’s the story behind your book title?
My new book, out now, is called Murder on the Rocks. The name actually came from a misheard Fifth Harmony lyric! I had been writing about a writer that died from poison in whiskey. That whiskey was neat and poured over ice. Instead of whiskey on the rocks, I thought I’d play on words, and Murder on the Rocks became the name. I did find out that wasn’t what Fifth Harmony was singing, but I’m glad I misheard it that way!
What’s the basic plot of your book or series?
In Murder on the Rocks, Private Investigator Jordan Jenner has returned to work following the seemingly natural death of his mother. His first case back is that of a murdered writer, who has died in a prestigious writing group. Jordan begins to investigate, learning along the way his mother’s death is related. Murder on the Rocks is the first in the Jordan Jenner Mysteries series. I’m currently writing the second.
Which is your favorite character and why?
Jordan Jenner himself is my favorite character right now. He’s a complex man. He’s shy, misunderstood, sarcastic, blunt and hurting. He closes himself off from people without meaning to, because he’s worried about getting hurt, or trusting the wrong people. He can come across mean, but he’s not a nasty man. I like writing to him because he offers a lot.
How do you develop your characters?
I’m quite observant of people and their behaviors and personality in real life, so I use a lot of what I’ve seen in my writing. I also like writing backstory and like to invent situations as I write. I like to know their ages, who they’ve been with, what music they like, that sort of stuff. It helps make them real to me.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to write a book?
I’d say just do it. A lot of people say they have a book in them, but make excuses as to why they haven’t written anything. Just do it. Write down your ideas, write down the characters in your head, and don’t panic about how you’re writing and what you’re doing right or wrong. If you want to know how to do it, pick up some books, watch some tutorials, but just write and see what happens.
What are you working on now?
I’m currently writing book two of the Jordan Jenner Mysteries. I’m hoping it will be published at some point this year, but we’ll see. I might hit a dead end again with the curse of book two!
YOU CAN FIND J.S. STRANGE ON:
Book Trailer: https://www.mybook.to/MOTR
CLICK ON THE BOOK COVER ABOVE TO ORDER YOUR COPY OF MURDER ON THE ROCKS