Hey Jude, writing dude


Cheers, all! Here’s the first international feature on delighted to write – my new friend Jude Ellery from Dorset, a city on the south coast of England. On the editorial staff for strangebOUnce.com, Jude’s both a writing fan and sports devotee. Not only that, he has a sweet name. (Insert moment of silence for the Beatles.) Na na na na na ,na na na, meet Jude…

Q) I love the explanation for strange bOUnce: “a ‘strange’ brew of fiction, satire and verse, with a dash of sport, all coming from a group of writers who want to bOUnce to a different beat.” How do you make it up as you go, Jude?

That was Martin’s tagline, so I can’t take the credit there I’m afraid. I think the idea behind it is we don’t operate by any guidelines, we don’t set word limits, topics or anything else really, apart from that one rule that sport has to feature. Regarding making it up I go… well, I have plenty of half-finished stories that I’ve made up as I’ve gone, so perhaps that’s not the best method!

We’ve have wonderful short stories from a whole range of authors (even a couple of professional writers, but I shan’t name drop). Many of them are basically general fiction, while for others, sport is the driving theme. For me, the best ones are those where you don’t particularly notice it’s about sport – the main theme the story throws up is, say, loyalty, or faith, or friendship. Sport is often just a backdrop to enable this.

Q) In your strangebOUnce.com bio, it says you “live online 24/7.” Tell us about spending your waking minutes with a screen.

I run strange bOUnce, a short story website that sometimes morphs into a satirical football blog. As well as this I still have a couple of football sites that take a bit of a back seat these days, Man and Ball digital magazine, and FootballFarrago. To pay the bills I run a fancy dress website, so whether I’m at work or at home, I’m on a computer most of the time.

Add in the fact that my phone can check emails and access most sites, and pretty much every game of football in the world is now streamed online, and you’ll see that I find it hard to escape the internet! I’ll draw the line at becoming one of those people who updates their friends on Facebook every two minutes about how comfy their bed is, or tweets things like “this gig is incredible” – thus missing the actual action before their eyes. But I must admit I did once catch myself checking my emails in a night club at 3am…

Q) What started you on a writer’s journey?

I’ve always enjoyed reading and writing. For a while I pursued a career as a journalist, but was turned off by the interviews, soundbites and intrusive nature of shoving a microphone in someone’s face. I’ve found nowadays I much prefer fiction; I’ve always wanted to be creative in some way, and seeing as I can’t sing, dance or paint, writing seems a pretty good alternative. I’m not sure if I’ll ever turn it into a profession, but I’d like to at least have a few short pieces published, to leave my very small mark on the world.

I wish I could find more time to read, really. I also try to watch plays or films, but I’m very much of the opinion that the book is always better than the film – in fact I’ve never found it to be any other way. The imagination words on a page can ignite is truly amazing, and there’s nothing I love more than getting lost in a book then realising three hours later that you’ve missed dinner. If only I could get off the damn computer to read a bit more!

Q) Where do you find inspiration for your short stories and articles?

Most of the time it’s something small that I see or hear, which I have in the back of my mind for a while before finding a plot it’ll fit into. Occasionally I’ll “borrow” or adapt a storyline from another story which I know not many people have encountered – there’s a good line from Picasso I think, that goes something like “good artists copy, great artists steal”, so I don’t feel quite so bad doing this if people like him have done it!

Basically the only rule for strange bOUnce is that material always has to involve sport, however subtly. Seeing as I’m a massive sports fan this is never too difficult.

Q) What are your favorite sports and why?

Football, because it’s obviously the best sport. OK, perhaps it has something to do with the fact it’s the biggest sport here in England, I guess. When I was in American a couple of years back I really got into watching baseball and NFL, so I if I’d grown up there I’d be into one of them in a big way instead, I’m sure. But there’s just something about the global nature of football that makes it so brilliant. Take a flattened coke can, two kids, and a dusty street in Rio and you’ve got a game. There aren’t many other sports where you can play with such limited materials. I recently found out about the Homeless World Cup and ended up writing a 6,000-word feature about it in Man and Ball Issue Three. The impact Mel Young’s project has had on millions of unfortunate people all around the world is one of the most inspirational things I’ve ever seen. That’s what it’s all about.

Connect with Jude

website: strangebOUnce.com
twitter: @strangebOUnce 
facebook:  strangebOUnce page
email: IWantToWrite@strangebOUnce.com


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