I grew up in the coastal town of Larne, Northern
Ireland, and left to join the Royal Air Force at age
18. I was originally trained as an aircraft technician
before being commissioned as an intelligence officer. I served for a total of two decades and within
Intelligence I specialized in antisubmarine warfare
and later was a qualified targets officer. My last
tour was as an instructor at the Defence Intelligence
and Security School, now part of the Joint Intelligence
Training Group within the Defence College of
Intelligence. The Wright & Tran series aims to blend
real intel techniques with a generous helping of
fiction in a way that blurs the lines and enhances
the action and adventure. I am fortunate that I
maintain contacts within the intelligence world so
I can keep up to date with the latest equipment and
You self-publish all your books seemingly without hesitation. Why are you such a fan of being
an indie author?
I have written extensively about my choice to
independently publish my novels, the professionalism of the independent author scene, and subsequently why I made the move into establishing
an independent publishing assistance service for
other authors. I am passionate about the freedom
and flexibility the new publish-on-demand technologies bring to the world of writers, but am
equally appalled at the lack of an agreed set of
(and, yes, I understand they would have to be self-imposed) regulatory standards across the discipline.
If indie authors are finally to lose the mantle of
somehow being less than traditional authors, an
attitude still sadly widespread in some more “
snobbish” areas of the business, then we must ensure
the products we are releasing are comparable to
those coming from the Big Five.
Yes, we will still struggle with marketing and
distribution models, but our books need to be as
professional a product as they can be. That’s why
I am a partner member of the Alliance of Independent
Authors and was very honored to be asked on to
Ingram Spark’s advisory panel for indie authors.
We should embrace the potential lessening of the
power of the traditional publishing gatekeepers,
yet we must figure out a way of ensuring this
democratization of publishing does not diminish
the reader’s experience.
An Odd Duck in the
Jonuska, the finalist in the
gory with her debut novel,
Transference, has the goal of
being a hybrid writer, but has
come to love the self-publishing
short story market, which she
finds more appealing than
traditional literary journals. Based in Boulder, Colo.,
Jonuska makes her living as a freelance writer.
Transference is a unique novel. Can you describe it?
Transference tells the story of a disgraced psychiatrist with a telepathic patient in distress. She’s in
distress because her telepathy is overwhelming,
especially since she’s married to a senator and works
in politics, around all those politicians, poor woman.
It’s an odd-couple story about secrets, true honesty,
superficiality, and redemption—with a little bit of
current day politics thrown in for extra drama.
BookLife Prize judge Tim Pratt loved how you
developed a terrible character. How did you
decide on a “terrible” protagonist?
Dr. Verbenk is indeed a terrible, terrible man, though
he’s often terribly funny. It was his voice that created
the storyline, and it came to me fully formed. I just
listened to what he had to say and followed the story.
Even the telepathy, the main plot point of the novel,
arose because he was a man with lots of secrets and
a dirty mind. What better way to torture him than by
confronting him with someone who could read it?
Your book is the contender in the Sci-Fi/Fantasy/
Horror category—a pretty broad mashup. Which
of the three genres do you think your book most
Good question, because I don’t think that category
actually suits me very well. Instead, it’s the only category in which the novel fit at all. I’m of the opinion
that sci-fi and fantasy are no longer great, umbrella
descriptors. I like the term speculative fiction, meaning any story that doesn’t follow the rules of reality,
and I would put Transference in speculative fiction.
I’ve also classified it as literary fiction, literary humor,
and magical realism, depending on the context.
Honestly, my novel is more unique in the self-pub
world because it’s not strictly genre but has literary