Tuesday, February 16, 2021

John Marrs Interview - The Minders

Photo Content from John Marrs

John Marrs is the author of The One which is being made into a 10 part Netflix series, The Good Samaritan, Her Last Move, When You Disappeared, and Welcome to Wherever You Are. Until recently, he worked for twenty-five years as a freelance journalist based in London, England, where he interviewed celebrities from the world of television, film, and music for national newspapers and magazines. He has written for publications including the Guardian’s Guide and Guardian Online, Total Film, the Huffington Post, Empire, Q, GT, the Independent, S Magazine, and Company. He is now a full-time author.

Beyond your own work (of course), what is your all-time favorite book and why?
If my house ever caught fire (God forbid) then family and dog aside, the only thing I’d save is a signed copy of one of my all-time favourite novels, The Beach, by Alex Garland. After a five-year reading slump in the 1990s, this book got me back on track and inspired me to want to write something of my own. It still took me another seventeen years before I actually got my backside into gear and did it though.

What was the single worst distraction that kept you from writing this book?
As I was writing The Minders, our baby son was born two months prematurely weighing 2lb 7 oz at his smallest. I had set myself a deadline to finish Minders around his due date, so when he came early, that deadline went out of the window. He spent the first month in hospital and then he was home for a good two months before I started writing again. And boy was that hard. I struggled to get my mojo back. Early mornings and late night feeds and being a new dad left my brain frazzled. It wasn’t my son who was the distraction, it was wanting to be with him rather than trying to finish this book. It took my partner to sit me down and tell me to just get on with the damn thing and stop complaining for me to complete it!

Why is storytelling so important for all of us?
We all like to escape from our lives. No matter how happy we are in them, escapism is healthy and getting lost in a good book is so important. Especially over the last twelve months when so many of us have been trapped inside this Covid world. Books take us out of the monotony of lockdowns and isolation and take us into fictional worlds beyond our own imaginations. It’s good to live in somebody else’s head sometimes.

Can you tell us when you started THE MINDERS, how that came about?
I found myself in an Internet rabbit hole and stumbled across a website dedicated to conspiracy theories. Some posters’ suggestions appeared quite credible, others were utterly insane. But it left me thinking, what would it be like to know all of your county’s deepest, darkest secrets? And if they were offered to you, but you couldn’t tell anyone else, would you still want to find out? I thought it might make the premise for an interesting thriller.

What was the most surprising thing you learned in creating your characters?
Just how cruel I could be to them and get away with it! I have learned that you can kill off a character when the reader least expects it. I also enjoy twisting and turning my characters so that you are on their side one moment, then I’ll have them do something shocking which makes you hate them the next. It’s fun being a puppet master. * insert evil laugh here *

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
When I was a boy, I would read anything written by Franklin W Dixon, the creator of the Hardy Boys series of books. I was obsessed with them and when I grew up I wanted to be him. It was only when I got older that I learned he didn’t exist – it was a conglomerate of writers under that one name. It explained why he managed to rattle out about 190 full-length novels! So I would say the many, many authors who wrote those books taught me from a young age to be imaginative, creative and to try to entertain.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in any of your books?
My second book, Welcome To Wherever You Are, remains my only novel that is still self-published. If I could go back, I would hire a book editor to help give it a little finesse. I have written six books since and now have a much better idea of what I’m doing, so I think I’d make a better job of it. However new readers still message me to say they have just read it and have really enjoyed it, so I guess I must have done something right.

Has a review or profile ever changed your perspective on your work?
Good question, but no, it hasn’t. You can’t please everyone so there is no point in trying to. I’ll read early reviews of my books when they appear on sites such as Amazon, but then after that, I will only look at the average rating. I don’t think reviews are for authors – they are from one reader to another. Whether I love or loathe a review, I’ll never argue with it because there are plenty of books I have both adored and hated. We all have opinions and I have to take the good with the bad.

In this electrifying near-future thriller, five strangers guard government secrets, but only four can be trusted.

In the 21st century, information is king. But computers can be hacked and files can be broken into - so a unique government initiative has been born. Five ordinary people have been selected to become Minders - the latest weapon in thwarting cyberterrorism. Transformed by a revolutionary medical procedure, the country's most classified information has been taken offline and turned into genetic code implanted inside their heads.

Together, the five know every secret - the truth behind every government lie, conspiracy theory and cover up. In return, they're given the chance to leave their problems behind and a blank slate to start their lives anew.

But not everyone should be trusted, especially when they each have secrets of their own they'll do anything to protect...
You can purchase The Minders at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you JOHN MARRS for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of The Minders by John Marrs.


  1. My happiest childhood memory is my older sisters making me clothes for my dolls.

  2. A summer with my grandparents from the day school got out to the day before. It is a cherished memory.

  3. "What is your happiest childhood memory?" Eating chocolate "ice cubes."

  4. My happiest childhood memories are summers at the lake with my mom and dad

  5. Our cabin on the lake every weekend.

  6. being with my family!