© 2013 Clive Eaton
Peter Watson Jenkins is a 77 year young author and publisher of metaphysical books. He studied theology at Cambridge, England, emigrated thence to America in 1982 and lives with his wife, Sonia, (an excellent copy editor) in Elk Grove Village, NW of Chicago. In the sixties he was the leader of a British peace movement. He has been a minister, stockbroker, teacher, and still practices as a hypnotherapist. His first book, Escape to Danger, was a thriller written in 1981. He is currently working on a teen thriller, a sci-fi novel, a book of poetry and prose, a book of his memoirs, and (for his work) a metaphysical manual. But not all at once.
Book title: Found Money
In 17 short stories the theme is of unexpected wealth for at least one character. One extra story is a contest winner that brought the author a $100 prize. This theme is treated very differently in each time: a derelict sleeping rough in Chicago; a boy in the London Blitz; two people accidentally brought together who win the lotto with horrendous consequences; a girl who is the target of a serial rapist; an old Jewish diamond trader; a baker buying a new bakery during the Egyptian “Spring” riots; Two of the stories have experiments: one is a monologue in Cockney, the other tells the story through only what the man says, and the woman’s replies are left to the reader’s imagination.
What do you do to relax when you are not writing?
Watch crime and British drama on TV with my wife. Often wish for something better to do.
What, or who, inspired you to become a writer?
The Elizabethan lyrical poets; poetry from the front in the Great War; my dad’s sermons; my 5th form (UK-speak) English master; Shakes...I’m getting boring very fast.
What or who inspired you to write your current book of short stories?
I needed the dough. (So that’s why one story was about a baker.)
Tell us three interesting facts about your book which are not covered in the synopsis.
1) I promised my daughter, then aged 10, that I would publish “Fluffy finds Treasure.”
2) Two weeks after writing “Spin,” I met a transgender girl/boy for the first time.
3) I cry every time I read the passage in “Date Rape” about the two kids fighting all the way up the schools they attended, yet in truth were passionately in love with each other.
What research did you need to do for this book?
Nearly every story raised research requirements, e.g., from reading up the details of the South Sea Bubble. to researching a certain kind of wooden boat used by the US Navy in WWII, to the names of streets and other trivia.
Are any elements/characters of your book based on real life experiences or people you’ve met/known?
Not one. It is pure imagination and general character observation.
Tell us a little about your current work-in-progress.
I’ve finished the basic writing of a 95k words sci-fi story Rescue Planet Earth! My son has volunteered to be the first peer reviewer. My wife, a professional copy editor, will do her stuff when she has time. A major problem has arisen: the story ends with steps taken by the rescuers to rebuild human civilization on Earth. I’m finding some difficulty in deciding what they achieve and ignore over a 40 year period. Hopefully Jonathan will have some ideas.
What process did you adopt from inception through to the finished book?
Ideas put down one day on about three pages. Continuing visualization in the dead of night. Then just let it flow.
What do you need (or not need) around you whilst writing?
A quiet room, no music, no refreshments, no animals. Just peace for 2-3 hour bursts.
What prompted you to self-publish your current book?
I wanted it to appear while I was still alive. But I intend to talk to one agent I know, who helped me when hawking one of my company’s metaphysical books.
What were the three biggest challenges you faced when writing your book?
1) Knowing at what point there were enough stories to make a good book: whatever that means.
2) Getting my cover artists to get the dimensions right without costing me more money.
3) Arthritis, spinal stenosis, Parkinson symptoms and Insomnia. Just boasting!
Every author seems to suffer with writer’s block at some point. How do you overcome it?
Go do something else for as long as it takes, and don’t tell yourself that you are blocked
What single piece of advice would you give to any aspiring writer?
Write for yourself, not for the money, not for the glory, not even for the reviewers; just for your personal satisfaction.
What genre does your book fall into?
Collected short stories by a single author
How did you get interested in this specific genre?
I read a lot of shorts, they are crisper and cunning-er.
You as a reader
Which three authors have inspired you the most, and why?
1) 2) 3) I don’t happen to think that way, although I did as a boy.
What was your favourite book as a child?
What is the best book you’ve read in the last 12 months?
How I Died (and what I did next)
What was the last book you recommended to a friend, and why did you think it was worthy of recommendation?
Harmony by HRH Prince Charles. A sound view of our environmental way forward.
Kindle (or other e-reader) or paperback, and why?
Kindle. My wife gave me hers when she was given a new one.
Hollywood is calling
You’ve had the call from Hollywood and they want your opinion on who should play the leading roles in the film based upon your book. Who would you choose, and why?
Not applicable for these short stories. I’ve written a TV series hoping for Judi Dench and Maggie Smith to be available. Dream on, Buster!
The film of your book is now going to need a soundtrack. Which musician(s) would you want to write and play it?
Karena Mendoza, a superb South African composer who wrote the music to my book and lyrics in a musical. She also wrote outstanding music for my cantata, Requiem for a Refugee.
Drink – Water
Meal – Traditional British breakfast
Holiday destination – Now I live in the USA, my hometown of Bath, England
TV programme – Castle (I have a crush on Detective Kate Beckett) Do you know she...
Method of travel – a walker for the past four years. Not done the ton yet.
Sport – Yew must be bleeding joking, mate. OK, if you must: Tiddlywinks, eshpeshally the tidderly.
How can people connect with you?
Facebook: Peter Watson Jenkins
Apart from Amazon, where can readers obtain “FoundMoney”?
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