Today I’d like to welcome T.J. Blake to my site. He says his friends call him Tom or Blake, I think I’ll stick with Blake. Blake is the author of Familiar a new paranormal mystery thriller!
Obviously, we know you are an author, but some writers have other jobs as well. Do you have another occupation? Do you like what you do?
I do, I’m a content marketing specialist. I’m a Content Marketer at the UK’s leading online trade directory managing a team of writers. I also own a content marketing business called TJ Creative, and I’m currently working on a new app called TipSpend.
I really enjoy what I do. I’m able to merge my love for writing with marketing. Although my content writing is different to my fiction stories, there are a lot of similarities – there is still storytelling in everything I do. There’s a lot of psychology involved in what I do too, which is an element I really enjoy.
Do you prefer e-books, paperbacks, hard-covers or audio-books?
I prefer a physical book when reading. However, I love Kindle because instead of lugging around one physical copy, you’re holding fifty books in your e-book!
I have been producing an audiobook and listened to a couple too. I do like them, they’re great for if you’re on a long drive, whack on an audiobook.
What is your favorite film based on a book?
There’s too many to choose from; The Harry Potter films, Lord of The Rings, The Avengers (I think that counts!), any adapted Stephen King novel!
What book are you reading at the moment? And in what format?
Stephen King’s ‘The Institute’ is the next one on my list. I’ll be reading it on my Kindle.
Let’s shift somewhat and talk about your latest story.
What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 20 or fewer words, what would you say?
“Familiar” is my new paranormal mystery thriller book.
To describe it in 20 words: a murder mystery with a paranormal twist. The Conjuring meets True Detective.
How did you come up with the title for “Familiar”?
The title relied on the story. Once you have read the book it should make sense. There’s more to the title than Arabella’s anniversary show being called “Familiar”.
Do you have a book trailer? If so, where can we watch it?
In your latest novel, who is the lead character and can you tell us a little about her?
Arabella is a famous psychic medium who communicates with those who exist only in memory. She has been speaking to her ‘friends’ for as long as she can remember. Arabella is committed to using her ability to help people connect once more by giving the deceased a voice.
Her ability and reputation has made it impossible to hold onto lasting relationships, but with those who no longer walk this earth, that’s not the case.
In the book, Arabella returns to where it all began fifteen-years before – on the very same stage. After an evening reconnecting loved ones and exposing untold stories, Arabella can’t help but wonder about the one unclaimed ‘friend’, and their cryptic message.
Arabella finds herself the subject of morning headlines and at the centre of Detective Barnes’ investigation.
What is your character’s greatest strengths?
Quite simply, she’s tough. She has to be. Communicating with spirits is not easy and it’s absolutely terrifying. Arabella doesn’t get a second to herself, but she reasons with her ‘friends’ and makes sure they have a chance to be heard.
Does your character have any weaknesses?
There’s a big weakness to Arabella… but I can’t tell you! You’ll have to read the book to find out.
Arabella has a habit for getting too close with her ‘friends’, but she must distance herself. All ‘friends’ want one thing, to feel alive again.
You’ll have to read to find out more!
Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?
I think readers will like Arabella, she’s kind and truly cares about people. But there is a hardness to her.
What first gave you the idea for your latest book?
It was the character Arabella who came to me first; strangely after having gone to see a live Derren Brown stage show.
It was a segment in Derren’s show that impressed me – he was outing psychic mediums and their ‘ability’. In fact, he was more convincing than any psychic medium I had ever seen. It was incredible. He revealed the most personal details about members of the audience. I was jealous – and I actually went up on stage to see if he could speak to my grandfather. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen.
Derren’s work really inspired me. It made me consider all the things that could happen to a psychic medium – I had a lot of interesting thoughts, a lot of dark ones too.
The different scenarios that unfolded really excited me. I soon had a huge collection of situations that would create an interesting plot. I didn’t rush these ideas – I let them sit in my brain for a bit.
These ideas of mine loitered for a year I’d say. There was huge potential and a lot of different paths to explore.
One plot really stuck out to me. One that I thought, “now that would make an awesome Netflix show.” More like it would make another great T. J. Blake novel!
Let’s talk now about your writing process.
What is your writing style like? Are you a pantster or a plotter?
I’m a huge plotter. It’s all about the plot for me!
My aim is to create a world where you are entertained and trying to guess what’s going to happen. Most of the time, you won’t guess mwahaha!
What’s the best advice that you have been given when it comes to writing?
Show don’t tell!
What advice would you give someone who wants to start writing?
It’s tough writing a book, but actually it’s the editing and marketing that’s hardest. It’s quite draining, marketing your book; encouraging people to read your books. It takes time though, and you have to keep going.
Where can your readers follow you? Please list links to any applicable websites and/or social media accounts.
Instagram – www.instagram.com/tjblake93
Twitter – www.twitter.com/tjblake93 (@TJBlake93)
Facebook – www.facebook.com/tjblakeauthor
Blog – tjblakeauthor.com
For the living, it’s closure. For the departed, it’s the last chance to expose the truth.
For as long as she can remember, Arabella has communicated with those who exist only in memory.
Being the center of attention growing up was uncomfortable, and now, as a renowned psychic medium, it is becoming more of a struggle. Arabella’s ability and reputation always made it impossible to hold onto lasting relationships, but with those who no longer walk this earth, that’s not the case.
Arabella returns to where it all began fifteen-years before – on the very same stage. After an evening reconnecting loved ones and exposing untold stories, Arabella can’t help but wonder about the one unclaimed ‘friend’, and their cryptic message.
In an unexpected turn of events, Arabella finds herself the subject of morning headlines and at the centre of Detective Barnes’ investigation.
Can Arabella use her ability to prove her innocence and uncover the truth about the past?
“Blake has the unerring skill on how to tell a good story… This is an author to watch. His talent is remarkable” Michelle Willms – Amazon.com
“Clever writing. Genuinely smart. It tells me we’re in the hands of an author who knows what he’s doing” Damien Seaman – Amazon.co.uk
“T. J. Blake has real talent and I am definitely looking forward to more novels from him in the future” Jaron Vail – Amazon.com
“Blake knows how to keep you glued to the story” Karen O – Amazon.com
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