Monday, 12 May 2014

Interview With An Author - Jennifer Joyce

Today I'm delighted to welcome UK author Jennifer Joyce to my blog...

Tell us a bit about your writing – How long have you been writing? How many books have you written and in what genres?
I've been writing for as long as I can remember but I started to take it seriously around three years ago, when I realised I was never going to be a published writer if I wrote a chapter one week, another three weeks down the line before forgetting about it for a month or two. I had to sit down and get the story down!
I've lost count of the number of finished books I've written (which is probably a good thing as most of them were terrible) but I've published one so far (A Beginner’s Guide To Salad) and am gearing up to publish my second in a few months. I write romantic comedies (or chick lit if you like).

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
This happened, a bit like a light bulb moment, when I was around ten. A teacher had taken us to our local library where a children’s author was giving a talk and it was then, as I sat listening to him, that I realised this was what I wanted to do when I was older. I’d always scribbled down bits of stories but it had never occurred to me that I could be an author one day.

Do you plan a plot out in great detail before writing or start with the basics and let the book evolve that way?
I plan, plan, plan! I start with character sheets, then vague plot lines and then I plot each chapter. It takes about a month to plan each novel, but I've found this is what works for me.

Do you ever get part way through writing a book and find the characters are leading the story off in a different direction to how you had envisaged?
Yes! But this is what I love about writing, when the characters take on a life of their own. They don’t care how long it took me to plan their story at all!

Is there such a thing as an average writing day for you and if so what is it?
I write while my children are at school, so I’ll drop them off in the morning and work until I pick them up again in the afternoon. During the holidays, my routine goes out of the window and I have to write in the evenings and weekends instead.

What is your favourite book of all time?
It’s a children’s book called The Animals of Farthing Wood by Colin Dann. The teacher who took us to the author talk read this to us at school and I loved it so much, I saved up and bought my own copy, which I still have. I’ve read it to my oldest daughter and am eagerly waiting until my youngest is ready now!

What is your favourite film of all time?
You’ve Got Mail. New York and Tom Hanks – perfect!

What was your journey to being a published author?
I wrote a few books that I tried to get traditionally published, but it didn't happen. When A Beginner’s Guide To Salad was rejected, I was faced with the option of shelving it and starting a new book or self-publishing it – which is what I did!

Advice to aspiring novelists?
Keep going and believe in yourself. Also, don’t be afraid to take a different path than you were planning to. I never thought I’d self-publish but I’m so glad I did.

You can find out more about Jennifer and her books on:

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