Indie Interview with J.B. McCauley, author of the King of Sunday Morning #mystery


Conversations with authors and writers from the self-publishing world.

Meet J.B. McCauley
Genre: Mystery/Suspense
Best Known for: The King of Sunday Morning

J B McCauley is an English born Australian author.

Born in the heart of Essex County U.K., he is a retired Music Journalist/Reporter and House DJ. He has performed as a DJ across 5 continents and has also been a very popular radio presenter.

The King of Sunday Morning is his fictional account of one man's journey through the criminal underworld set against the backdrop of the early dance music scene. Although taking place in an extremely toxic environment, The King of Sunday Morning is a tale of enduring mate-ship and love, a bond that runs deep through the Australian psyche.

Connect with Jay on 

Facebook  |  Goodreads

Today we have DJ and author Jay McCauley with us sharing some useful insight into writing and publishing. Jay is author of The King of Sunday Morning which casts a new light on ‘broken’ characters.

Dear Jay, thank you very much for agreeing to participate in the Indie Author Spotlight.

How long have you been writing and how did you get started?
I have been writing for as long as I can remember and that is a very long time. From the hapless angst ridden poetry of a teenager seeking love and fame to the column inches of a newspaper and music journalist, I have written both for myself and for the profit of others. My English teacher at school said I could sell ice to the Eskimos and then sell them a heater to go with it. He encouraged me to write and to write well but most of all to love what you write. Journalism and Newspaper Reporting doesn’t really give you the satisfaction of being creative, it is after all just reporting. Gone really are the days of the Foreign Correspondent filing tortuous copy from a far flung venue. The written word has been replaced by the 30 second sound grab and we are the worse off for it.

Dance music and the written word are my passion. Both have to be well cultured and engaging, taking you on a journey without letting you know where the path may lead. That is very much the reason behind The King of Sunday Morning. It is tale of mystery and intrigue based in a world which few ever have the chance of visiting but which, when revealed, can be as bleak as it is inspiring.

Your book The King of Sunday Morning has received a lot of positive feedback, tell us a little bit about it…
I have been thrilled with the feedback for TKSOM. When I originally penned the book, I thought that it would be specifically for people who had been involved in nightclubs and music and who were interested in that space. The book itself can be very profane, contains some truly misogynistic behaviour and sex and drugs galore. To that end I thought that women especially might be put off but I have been very pleasantly surprised. 

The language, the sex and the drug use all have their place in the book and it is not put in there for effect but represents how these people live their lives. A lot of famous DJs have read it too so that I could get the character just right and they have all expressed how accurate the tale is.

How does this book differ from other mystery novels?
This is not a classic ‘whodunnit’ mystery. The mystery is in how the tale comes together. It does not lead you by the nose and the beginning of the book represents a multi-generational explanation of how the main character came to be the way he is and where he is. It deliberately jumps in place and time as it represents the scattered nature of drug-users mind. 

Although the tale is relatively easy to read, I think novels sometimes need to let you find the story rather than give you a two plus two scenario. So The King of Sunday Morning is like a vase that has been shattered into a hundred pieces. The mystery is how to put the character back together without having a road map. How are the stories connected? Who are these people? Who will survive?

You have achieved what many indie authors dream of- how did your success come about?
Sheer hard work and still working. There is no such thing as an overnight success and I still don’t see myself as one yet but I think the story is too good to be ignored. There are some exciting things in the pipeline but the one person responsible for my success so far is my wife. She has been the one who has encouraged me to pursue my dreams. She is the one who allows me the freedom to do what I do. It sounds like a cliché but without her I would be writing poems in greeting cards.

Do you have any special tips that you’d like to share with other authors, regarding writing, marketing or publishing?
If a publishing house turns you down don’t be discouraged be empowered. They get things wrong so many times due to overwork and underfunding that they will generally miss everything. Networking and luck are everything. People will promise you the earth and deliver very little. Be very thick skinned. Listen to advice when offered but remember not all advice is good advice. Fictional writing is the hardest to start a career in. 

No one knows you and no one cares. Get a very good PR company behind you if you can and remember you are writing this book for yourself. Edit, Re-edit and proof read like mad but at the end of the day, if for some reason someone is not happy on a personal level with what you have written, remind them they do have the right to reply. As long as it is not libellous or defamatory, stick to your guns. It is YOUR book after all.

Is there anything you’d like to say to your readers?
Don’t be reserved. Give The King a fighting chance. It is what the book is all about after all. Winning love. Winning Respect. Winning full-stop. Very few of us get a shot at the title and life passes us by due to one reason or another. The King of Sunday Morning attempts to take life by the scruff of the neck and give it a shake. He is a truly flawed character in an even worse world but very capable of breathing life into a barren landscape. That is what I would like my readers to take away from this. That given the chance we can all make a difference.

Why did you choose to write in the mystery genre?
As I said before this is not an out and out Agatha Christie type mystery. The intrigue and the plot have to be slightly complicated to keep me engaged in any novel I read and so I set out to do the same. If you want to read a commentary read a biography. Fiction should not be a mindless trudge through effective comprehension. It should be mysterious both in its breadth and its content. The reader should be asking “What is that?”, “Why is that?”, “How is that possible?” These are the questions that separate a good novel from a great novel and which keep readers turning pages.

Do you also read? What sort of books?
Yes I read. Not as much as I would like to. My youngest son is autistic and therefore takes up a lot of our time. My reading material stretches across so many different genres it is easier to name what I do not read. That basically falls under the romance and paranormal category which seems to be the main focus of literature at the moment. Hunger Games and Twilight are not my favourite kind of novel. Love a good Iain Banks story and was so saddened to see his passing. A literary giant.

How did you learn to write?
With a quill and an ink pot. No seriously, I have always written. My first proper essay at school was a nine page critique of Mark Twain. My parents said I went from reading Janet and John type books to serious tomes in the space of what seemed a week. I was encouraged by teachers at school and given assistance but I basically plowed my own furrow. I studied Journalism and History at University and despite all the ‘painting by numbers’ courses on creative writing, I think it is something that you are truly born with.

What are your thoughts on self-publishing vs. traditional publishing?
I am glad that traditional publishing houses are getting taught a bit of a lesson at the moment but I would be the first to welcome a large company supporting me. Being chief bottle washer, chef and chairman of the board can be taxing at times. Knowing which way to jump, who to listen to etc is a minefield of uncertain consequences but at the end of the day Independent Publishing means you are accountable to no one but yourself. There is a brilliant freedom in it.

Do you have any more books being released soon?
Now I have written my first novel the Australian government will give me funding to write my second. It would be so helpful if they helped with the first but you have to have success before they will adopt you. So ‘soon’ is a very subjective term. ‘In the pipeline’ would be more appropriate.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about yourself or your books?
I think The King of Sunday Morning represents an important commentary on DJ and drug culture. The criminals which exist in that world are ‘normal’ people who dream big and sometimes but very rarely win. I would like people to read this book and not judge the people in it too harshly. They live on their own code of ethics which whilst profiting from an abhorrent international trade have at their very core a staunch belief in loyalty and friendship. Some of the people I count as friends are like this and I would be a lot worse off as a person, author and father without them.

Thank you so much, JB!