This is the blog of Samie Sands, author of Lockdown. There will be many great books and projects reviewed here. For more, check out

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Jonny of the Vale

1. Can you please tell me a little about yourself and your YouTube/Twitch channel.

Oh god I never know what to say when this question comes up! My name is Jonny, im 24 years old and live in Leeds, England. I guess I could say I have hobbies but the only ones I really stick by are reading/writing and of course gaming.
About my YouTube and Twitch channels, well on YouTube and pretty much everything else recently I use the name 'Jonny of the Vale', which is a reference to the Vale of Arryn in Game of Thrones, and also to the group of people I game with using the clan name 'Knights of the Vale'
The only exception so far is that of my Twitch name 'Ser Jonny of the Vale' which I only use because of technical issues with my original account.
On my YouTube you can find videos of myself playing mostly indie games, with perhaps one or two 'AAA' titles included. With my Twitch its pretty much the same deal, me gaming, often with other people who are friends or people I have met through previous Twitch shows. The only real differences being obviously Twitch is live and uncut, and most of the games I play on there are multiplayer.

2. Why did you decide to set this up?

It sounds silly but I always dreamt of becoming a YouTuber. Ever since I got strongly into my gaming I could imagine myself making fun videos for the entertainment of other people. So christmas I decided to buy myself a nice new gaming PC, and set it up in my office room with my headset and a webcam, and get to work. I have to say that I was as excited as a small boy when everything arrived, and spent the next week planning what I was going to include on my soon-to-be-world-famous YouTube channel.
With Twitch it was slightly different. The thought of Live Streaming had never even crossed my mind until the day I told Daz - (Twitter handle @ThatsWhatUGets) – a brilliant concept artist currently working on Mike Bithell's (@mikeBithell) game 'Volume' – that I was about to get into YouTubery, when he said to me “Ok Jonny we need to have a talk”. So that afternoon I called Daz on Skype and he told me about Twitch TV, and that it might be more my style. So with the help of Daz I set up an account and got going on there too.

3. What's been your favourite video to make?

Thats a tough one, as it stands I havent made all that many but I guess my faves are the Banished series on my YouTube, and with Twitch it has to be either the Yawhg with Daz and the Twitch chat, or Prop Hunt with Matt (Garrys Mod).

4. What do you hope to achieve with your work?

Mostly I really want to have fun, to be doing something I enjoy and hopefully making things other people enjoy too. I wouldnt say I want to be famous, but the feeling of having fans and follwers is a good one and to build up a dedicated fanbase would be a dream come true.

5. Where can people find out more about you?

Well at the minute I dont have a webpage, but you can find me on Twitter @JonnyoftheVale, and on Tumblr -

6. Can you tell me about about what you write?

Well to be honest I write about anything that comes to mind, but its mostly horror, or at least contains a Zombie or two!

7 . What inspires your writing?

I love the idea of a Zombie apocalypse, (sounds crazy I know) and I like to imagine myself in a scenario like that, depending on quick thinking and instinct for survival. Obviously most of us know 'The Walking Dead', and to those of you who only know it as a TV show I say read the comics, because they are so much of my inspiration. 'The Zombie Survival Guide' by Max Brooks and the 'Day by Day Armageddon' series by J.L Bourne provide some more. I can also say I take a lot of inspiration from the games I play, seeing how the characters develop story to story, and trying to relate to them as if they were real. I love trying to imagine myself in a situation, and if I were dealing with it, what would be the outcome? I try to write that into my stories.

8. Do you have a favourite genre to write in/read?

I'd say my favourite genre to read is Fantasy. Although I like the Horror genre I find reading a Fantasy book ignites my imagination more. One great example of this and one of my favourite series ever is 'The Night Angel Trilogy', by Brent Weeks. I wouldn't want to spoil it for anyone, but I would say although it starts slowly the story that follows is as binding and emotionally involving as any you will read and I would certainly recommend it.

9. Who is your favourite author and whats your favourite book?

Oh damn! Thats tough! Well I cant really say I have a favourite author, but my favourite book is one called 'The Long Walk' which is ghost-written by Ronald Downing based on the story of Slawomir Rawicz, a Polish prisoner of war in Russia. It was released in 1956 and was originally my Grandfathers, who gave it to me a couple years before he died. It is the story of a group of prisoners escaping their camp in Siberia and walking for eleven months, passing through the Gobi Desert, Tibet and the Himalayas on their way to British India and safety. The accounts in the book are astonishing, to read about it and know it was a true thing is a sobering experience. I have read it many times and even as I think about it now I want to read it again.

10. What are you currently working on/do you have planned for the future?

I am currently working on a couple of projects, one is a survival diary based around 'Zack Tracks', a YouTube mini-series written by my friend Matt (@MJGHamblin) which I will be starring in. The other one is recent and you could say definitely for the future, but it is called 'Never Dead'. All I can say at the minute is it is the year 2042 and a massive chemical weapon has been deployed against the US, resulting in massive contamination and widespread infection. The story is of Task Force Zero, a team of soldiers deployed to seek out the source of the chemical weapon and prevent nuclear war. Well at least thats the idea, it really could go anywhere at the minute, iv spent the past month or so playing with ideas and hopefully I be able to put them into some kind of structure in the coming weeks!

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