Joshua G. J. Insole in the Spotlight

Welcome to this year’s fun spotlight introduction of Blog Battlers!

Every month we’re shining the light on a participant.

Welcome, Joshua G. J. Insole!

How long have you been a writer? On and off all my life, it’s always been something that drew me in. I got back into it properly in 2019.
3 random facts about you! 1) I play several instruments and love to compose and record music

2) I create abstract, psychedelic art

3) I moved to Austria in 2017 — I now live in the Alps with my fiancΓ©e
What genre(s) do you write?Horror and sci-fi, mostly. It’s what comes naturally! Occasionally dabble in fantasy and more upbeat stuff. I try to not force genres, as a rule — I aim to let the story dictate its own.
What is your favorite BB story/entry you’ve written? What is the URL?Hm, tough question! Quite proud of most of my work. I guess it’d have to be ‘The Night Has Teeth” ( Might be the fastest I’ve ever written a story!
Have you published any books? Self/Indie published? Traditional? Hybrid?Self-published a collection of short horror and sci-fi stories — some of which were written for BB! Another collection of more uplifting stories coming later this year, along with volume two of horror stories. My novel is in limbo at the moment. Trying to get it right…
If you have published books, where can people go to buy your books? US:
Do you plan to publish? If so, self/indie, traditional or both/hybrid?I’ll be self-publishing more books in the future. I hope to publish my novel — whenever I finish it! — the traditional way. But we’ll see if that’s a viable route when we come to it…
Who or what inspired you to start a blog and share your writing?My partner did — she read one or two pieces and encouraged me to make a go of it!
Any advice you could share with your fellow BBers?Clarity is key. One of my biggest peeves as a reader is having to reread a sentence of paragraph because it’s unclear. I think Hemingway’s rules of writing say it best:
If you could write from anywhere in the world, where would it be? Why?I rather like where I’m writing from now — the Austrian Alps! But I’m also rather fond of the Welsh seaside. There’s something about that stormy greyness that stirs something within me.
In your own reading, who has been your favorite protagonist? Why? What makes them stand out?I’m rather fond of Jake and Oy from King’s Dark Tower series. Their friendship and love for each other transcends the barriers of species and language.
Where are you strongest as a writer and feel like you could offer help and advice to fellow BBers?I’m not actually sure! Perhaps it’s linked to the Hemingway link I shared — I like to think I’m quite good at decluttering. One thing I like to do is use those text to speech programs. There’s one built into Microsoft Edge. Even though the voice is robotic, it does a good job of imitating natural diction. If something sounds a bit awkward or clunky through that electronic friend, I know I need to rework bits of it.
Where are you weakest as a writer and would like to get more feedback and help with?There’s quite a bit I think I’m weak at! I think the biggest might be getting my characters to sound and feel different to one another. And to that extent, the dialog between them. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.
Share any social media links you have where you’d like to connect with fellow BBers and readers.
How did you discover BB? (If you’d care to share!)By accident! I had just made my blog and was searching for friends and communities to join. As luck would have it, I stumbled across BB — struck gold, as it were!

Thanks so much for sharing, Joshua!

Enjoy May’s stories by tapping here.

And keep your eyes peeled for the next Prompt Word coming Friday, June 4th!

Q&A Time

Please take a moment to ask Joshua some questions in the comments section.


7 thoughts on “Joshua G. J. Insole in the Spotlight

  1. I find genres taxing at the best of times. πŸ™‚

    I already have this weird split that I write sf/fantasy and I write about the farm, which is totally different, and then people tell me that my fantasy drifts into horror, but in my head I don’t do horror, but then everything I do tends to have a bit of humour, except when I’m writing about a serial killer counting heads, and…


    As you say, it’s best not to force genres. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your comment about genres made me pause. However, I have not come to a clear solution. There definitely are genres that I prefer to others, but sometimes I do like to challenge myself and write something else. Especially if I feel like I’ve been writing too much in the same lane. It switches things up for me. Refreshes my creativity. But I don’t like forcing it, either.

    Why do you think your novel is in limbo? What’s stopping you from “getting it out there?”

    And why do you want to publish it traditionally unlike your previous stuff? (I have some ideas based on personal feelings but I want to know from you.)

    It’s awesome that you have a partner that supports your writing.

    I definitely agree with “clarity is key.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, it’s a funny one, isn’t it? I find myself gravitating towards sci-fi/horror. But if I sit down and say to myself, “Right, we’re gonna write a scary story!” it almost never works. I start putting words onto paper, and figure out what it is I’ve got later!

      I don’t want to put something out that’s subquality. I want it to be good! I find that I’m always improving as a writer, and whenever I get halfway through, I hate the first third or so. I know, I know, you shouldn’t go back and read/edit whilst drafting, but I find it hard to go forward when I’m not a fan of what I’ve got so far…

      And, I guess it’s sort of an honour, a mark of status or something? (I know these answers are a bit abstract β€” I should submit it to this month’s prompt!) Anyone can self-publish a book. But (for the most part β€” not always!) to get trad published, it needs to be of a certain level. So far, I kind of think of myself as a hobbyist, but if I were to get a manuscript out there… Well, y’know.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I actually have a couple of questions: I’ve long wondered hat brought you to the Alps. (Job? Sense of adventure?) And what all instruments do you play? Which actually leads to a third question – do you ever get the sense that your musical training plays into your writing, like influencing word flow or spawning ideas?

    Liked by 1 person

    • The adventure. πŸ™‚ I wanted to know how it felt to live somewhere else, and I’d spent my entire life in the UK! I have no plans to go back, I’m rather in love with this place β€” although I do miss my family, especially during this pandemic! I play guitar (currently have a nice jazzy semi-hollow Washburn and a Spanish acoustic), bass (unfortunately I don’t have one with me β€” it’s back in the UK!), piano and keyboard, ukulele (really fun), and to a lesser extent, bits of percussion. πŸ™‚ I think all my creative pursuits are quite separate β€” they’re their own beasts. But when I get “in the zone” the feeling is the same!

      Liked by 1 person

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