About Author

Stephen P Jeffries

Stephen P Jeffries
  • Genre:

    Historical Fiction Teen & Young Adult
  • Country: South Africa
  • Books: 1
  • Profession: Retired
  • Born: 3 July
  • Member Since: Jan 2022
  • Profile Views: 7,012
  • Followers: 37
  • VISIT AUTHOR: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Amazon,

I retired from business at 50 and moved to Cape Town, South Africa, for the best part of each year.
I have always had a creative mind but until I told stories to my children and then grandcildren, did I consider putting pen to paper.
Hence, Matthew and the Front Room Railway, a fantasy novel for early to late teens.

Stephen P Jeffries's Books

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Matthew And The Front Room Railway
$13.99 kindleeBook,
Matthew And The Front Room Railwayby Stephen P JeffriesPublish: Dec 23, 2021Fantasy

Stephen P Jeffries Interview On 21, Jun 2022

"Stephen P. Jeffries retired from business at 50 and has just published his debut novel. With the introduction of lockdown measures in the UK, he took the opportunity to put pen to paper and produce his first fantasy novel, Matthew And The Front Room Railway for early to late teens. He was not an avid reader as a child however, in adulthood, read at least ten to twelve books per year. His first novel has been praised worldwide and received among the readers with immense love."
What is a childhood memory that makes you smile?

I was four years old and my older brother five when we lived on Victoria Park Road, London E9, in a third floor two bed flat, without either a bathroom or a toilet. Along the road, occupying a second floor corner flat lived a woman whose name I forget, however, what I will never forget is what my brother and I called, “sweeties from heaven”. We would stand below this lovely lady’s flat and call out. She would open the window and throw handfuls of sweets down to us. How could I not smile at such a memory?

Were you an avid reader as a child? Do you still read books?

I have to admit to not being an avid reader as a child, it was a time when it was safe for very young children to play out on the street or go unintended to the park and this we did a great deal. However, in adulthood, I have more than made up for the absence of this pleasure. I read at least ten to twelve books per year.

Your thoughts on conventional vs. self-publishing? What route did you choose and why?

Matthew and the Front Room Railway was my first book and being new to the world of publishing, the cost of the ‘conventional’ route appeared somewhat excessive, considering I had no independent validation as to whether or not what I had written was of any merit. During my research of self-publishing companies, I found somebody who was not only the writer of a large number of books but somebody who was happy to dispense useful advice and was very responsive to my multiple emails. Lastly, the cost was at a level that negated any requirement for the need for book sales to cover that cost.

What is a childhood ambition that you had?

A question I have never been asked and slightly embarrassed to answer! From the age of ten or eleven, after performing in junior school plays, I had a hankering to follow a theatrical career. I actually joined an amateur theatrical group in my teens but whilst I found it a most enjoyable and rewarding experience, my father drummed into me the lack of any guarantee of what a remunerative pursuit it was likely to be.

What motivated you to retire from business at 50?

At the turn of the century I was running a large chain of video and then latterly DVD rental stores. It was on the horizon that we would likely suffer death by a thousand cuts, when first supermarkets started renting movies and then online entities appeared. Having the fortuitous opportunity to sell the business, I did so at what transpired to be five minutes to midnight, in terms of the industry’s demise. I spent some time considering what to do next. It was not so easy for a businessman to seek employment and I had no impulse to start another business and so I retired. It proved the best decision I could have made, spending the best part of every year, for the last twenty years, in Cape Town, South Africa.

Do you remember the first story you told to your grandchildren?

Now that is an easy question to answer because it became the title of my first book, Matthew and the Front Room Railway.

What did you enjoy more - writing a tale about war or writing comedy?

A somewhat curious question considering I have never written war or comedy. To answer from a purely speculative point, I think I would veer towards war.

How much did you research while writing your novel, Matthew And The Front Room Railway?

I undertook a great deal of research whilst writing the book and have continued the practice with my current novel. I have always enjoyed the writings of Frederick Forsyth and John le Carre, both of whom engendered their fictional stories with an abundance of facts.

What are some things to keep in mind when writing a fantasy novel?

The first and foremost priority is to fix your mind on the age of your target audience. It would be a mistake to think you are writing a children’s space fantasy, for 8-10 year olds and wax lyrical about a quasar being an extremely luminous galactic nucleus, powered by a supermassive black hole, with a mass ranging from millions to tens of billions of solar masses, surrounded by a gaseous accretion disc. Also it is important to bear in mind the short attention span of young children and so avoid spending multiple pages on background information and detailed character analysis.

What is your writing schedule?

The truth is I do not have a schedule as such. I find that there are times I will not write for a couple of days and then have a moment of inspiration and sit at the keyboard for six hours straight.

How will you know that you've "made it" as an author?

I would suggest the answer to this question may very well differ according to who you ask. The first response may well be by virtue of the sales made, royalties earned or even awards given. Personally, I have a far lower bench mark and consider that I would have made it as an author if sales of my book reached three figures.

What is the one thing you feel has helped you shape into a writer?

In simple terms it is and always has been, having a fertile imagination and a fairly good grasp of the English language.

When do you have the most fun writing? When does it feel the most draining?

I have the most fun or as I would rather phrase it, derive the most enjoyment, when I start with the germ of an idea and the words flow as I expand on that idea and embellish it. The most draining part is when I have spent some considerable time writing a passage or chapter and on a re-read consider it unworthy and have to delete it.

How many plot ideas are just waiting to be written? Can you tell us about one?

The main protagonist I am working on starts out as an amateur treasure hunter who is given a metal detector by his father as a present. He is a very bright young man and living in an area known for its large number of finds of Roman treasure and he carefully works out the most likely areas where future finds may be made. Interwoven with his current exploits, I am also adding chapters covering a period around 300 AD and the owner of the treasure our present day hunter will find.

How has been your experience working with AllAuthor?

It is gratifying to have AllAuthors’s constant attention to tweeting about my book which in turn has prompted me to reach out to other authors who I may not have otherwise corresponded with and their very regular creative output of mock-ups of my cover.

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