About the Author
‘When it comes to real life, I’m a plotter. As a writer, I’m a pantser all the way.’ ~J C Steel
“Writing is what my subconscious does when my conscious life bores its pants off.” ~ J C Steel
Born in Gibraltar and raised on a yacht around the coasts of the Atlantic, I’m a writer, martial artist and introvert. In between the necessary making of money to allow the writing of more books, I can usually be found halfway to the further galaxy.
I started reading young. Around age two or three, if memory serves. This was a direct result of the Distance-Speed-Time formula; when crossing the Atlantic aboard a yacht with a average speed under sail of 6 knots, spotting cloud shapes loses most of its entertainment value by the end of day one.
I didn’t start writing until much later, when I was on the verge of washing out of the British school system from sheer boredom. One of my friends asked me why I never wrote down any of the stories I told myself in my seemingly endless spare run-time, and it turned out to be a sanity-saver. A student writing science-fiction, to the eye of an embattled teacher, looks remarkably like a quiet, absorbed, note-taking student, and for the next few years I was left in peace to entertain myself, while education was inflicted on other people.
Science-fiction and urban fantasy are my favourite genres to write in. I grew up on a rich diet of Anne McCaffrey, Tolkien, Dorothy Dunnett, and Jack Higgins; I can’t point the finger at any one book or author that set me in my current direction, but I’d blame my predilection for characters with an inclination to drastically practical solutions on some mix of those. If I can mess with peoples’ heads by tossing in a bit of gender- and genre-bending, so much the better. Status quo is boring.
I hope you enjoy reading the books half as much as I enjoyed writing them.
Questions I get asked a lot (for some reason):
Q: What kind of science-fiction do you write?
A: The type with spaceships, strange new worlds, and plenty of dirty fighting. I’ve been told I’m a genre crossover with cyberpunk, and one day I will find out what cyberpunk actually is.
Q: “You grew up on a boat? You mean a houseboat, right?”
A: Nope. I grew up on a 45-foot, wooden, Mudie ketch called Gub-Gub. I had my own cabin in the bows, which was utterly uninhabitable in any kind of sea, and I shared it with the power generator and the anchor chain cupboard. And the ship’s cat and dog, when they felt like it.
Q: “Gibraltar? Where exactly in Australia is that?”
A: Partly right, Gibraltar is a British territory and most of the population does speak a dialect of English that the English sometimes find hard to follow. Geographically, pretty much completely wrong; Gibraltar is a peninsula in the south of Spain.
Q: “Is J C Steel your real name?”
A: Yes, it is. I’m forever grateful to my father, who quashed several other names I wouldn’t have been nearly so happy to have the initials for.
Q: “Is there a lot of romance in your books?”
A: No. Sex in the Cortii tends to be more related to power politics than to holding hands in the park.
Q: “You’re indie, right? Where can I buy your books?
A: You can get my books most of the places you can buy traditionally-published books – Amazon stocks e-books and the paperbacks, Smashwords offers most e-book formats, Google Play has them, Kobo has them. If you click on over to any of the book pages, you’ll find direct links there.