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Andy Jones

As a child

I was born in Liverpool, but my family relocated to North Wales when I was a toddler. This has led to much confusion over my accent. Maybe this is why I took to writing – because you can be whoever and sound however you want on a page. My parents were keen readers, and this love of books is something I’ve carried with me throughout my life. And I’m happy to say it’s something I’ve passed on to my own little bookworms.

As an adult

I studied biology and biochemistry at university. But really, I should have studied English. Books and writing – that’s my passion. But at a young age I lacked confidence in my abilities, and the books we studied in school didn’t speak to me in the same way as the books I read for pleasure. But I was always good at biology, so that’s what I decided to study. I enjoyed it, too – but it wasn’t what I wanted to do with my life. So after university I took a job writing adverts for magazines, TV and radio. I created commercials for cars, biscuits, breakfast cereal and all kinds of stuff. But more importantly, I gained confidence in my creativity. And with that confidence I began writing stories – short ones at first, then longer ones, and finally full-sized novels. I’ve been lucky to have some of those books published – and I feel genuinely blessed and grateful to be able to do what I love for a job. Lesson? Follow your dreams. Pursue your passions.

As an Author

I have two jobs, and I like the variety that adds to my life. Sometimes I write for advertising agencies – I’m what they call a freelancer, which means I work for lots of different companies for a few weeks at a time. This means I have plenty of time for job number two: Writing books. So far I have written five novels for grown-ups. My books are about normal people dealing with the surprises, conflicts and problems normal life throws at them – things like love, friendship, heartbreak, work, and death. I’m told they are quite funny, which is interesting, because that was never my intention. But books – as you will discover if you become a writer – have a life and a will of their own. I have also written two books for children. Although I plan to write more. Unleash Your Creative Monster is a children’s guide to creative writing. And I hope it will inspire young writers, and help them share in my love of stories – reading and writing them. My first novel for children doesn’t have a name at the time of writing this, but I can tell you it involves a genie, a dog thief and a brave, inspiring little girl called Phyll.

Ten things you didn’t know about Andy Jones

  1. My favourite authors are: Stephen King, David Mitchell (not the comedian, although I’m sure he’s lovely) and Charles Dickens.
  2. Favourite book: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey. The film is pretty awesome too.
  3. I have worked as a waiter, a security guard, a barman, a binman and a shelf-stacker. Amongst other things.
  4. I have a PhD in biochemistry – which means I know the fancy names for all the yucky bits inside your body. Like ... vitreous humour, which has nothing to do with laughing, but something to do with what you are doing right now: reading.
  5. My favourite meal is Christmas dinner. Just ... no sprouts. And extra pigs in blankets please.
  6. Favourite films: Rocky, True Romance, The Princess Bride, Forrest Gump and The Deer Hunter
  7. I live with: 1 wife, 2 children, 2 tortoises, 2 cats and one dog. They are all female.
  8. I invented a mixed bean chilli called Bean and Gone. It’s the best vegetarian chilli in the world. True fact. Probably.
  9. I love listening to music when I write, but my tastes are all over the place: classical, rock 'n' roll, hip-hop, folk. I am also a brilliant dancer. My children disagree with me on this point, but I’m a grown-up, so I must be right. Right?
  10. I have a black belt in karate. And a white belt in jiu-jitsu. I started the latter late in life, but I believe it’s important to always challenge yourself.

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