I’ve had a bit of a cold, hence the break. It was a severe cold, bordering on MAN FLU, but I don’t want to harp on about it. It was bad though….
Anyway, I’m very pleased to have been chatting with the awesome Jane West. She’s from a place called Texas, which is in a country called America…
- When did you first realize that you wanted to become a writer?
I have dabbled with writing throughout my life but it was only about six years ago when I decided to do something with my writing.
2. What are your ambitions for your writing career?
I wish to become an accomplished writer. I was once signed with a traditional publisher, but by my choice I left. I haven’t looked back. I enjoy the self-publishing side. I have more control over my work, and in the meantime, I am looking for a publisher that’s a good fit for me.
3. Which writers inspire you?
Rosemary Rogers, Karen Moning, Harper Lee, John Grisham, Susan Collins and the list keeps going.
4. So, what have you written?
I’ve written the Angel Series and other stories that I haven’t published. If I were to count all the books I’ve written and rewritten the number is around 100 books. I’m serious. I’ve been doing this non-stop full time for six years. I also wrote earlier in my life too.
5. What are you working on at the minute?
I’m starting a new book that will be a murder mystery. I’ve been kicking around a few ideas in my head but I haven’t made any decisions yet.
6. Why do you write?
Writing touches me. I am obsessed with it. I wake up in the morning thinking about it and I go to bed at night thinking about it. It’s all I want to do and it is in my heart, my soul. I have to write.
7. Where do your ideas come from?
What started me writing the Angel Series, is my obsession about the Illuminati. I was between books and couldn’t find anything I liked and I decided to write my own book and the rest is history. I have all sorts of ideas and they keep coming.
8. Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
I use to be a panster. Then I learned if you want an effective story you have to do more than sit down and start writing. To do a story justice, I learned that I have to do my homework before I begin actually writing. First, I have to decide who my characters are going to be. For each character, I write a short story – where he or she was born, likes, dislikes, what position will this person play in the story? Next, which point of view will I take? First person is usually what I write. After character interviewing, I begin plotting the transitions of the story, scene stacking and pulling it all together and tying the story up. I’ve learned in order to be effective, you have to write a book before you write. It’s a lot of work but if you want to do it right and make a bestseller that’s what you have to do. Your story will go smoother, it will make more sense and your characters will be more defined.
9. How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
I write a lot. I read everything I can find on creative writing, how to write dazzling dialogue, tags and beats, description, building scenes and closing the story with a perfect ending. Research is very vital as well. Even if your story is fiction, it helps to have facts. It makes it more believable.
10. What are the hardest and easiest things about writing?
It’s easy to sink my entire day into writing. The hardest part is telling yourself that you are not wasting your time. That you will become an accomplished writer. I believe you have to believe in yourself first and the rest will follow.
11. Do you read much, and if so who are your favourite authors?
I like reading books that I can learn from. I use a book call The Novel Maker’s Handbook by Diane O’Connell. It is the best guide to writing I have found yet. I read various books to get an idea of different styles. It’s important to develop your own voice and not try to be like your favourite author. You want your voice to be unique and different than anyone else’s. It takes practice and lots of practice. Learning to write is something you will never ever lean completely. If a writer thinks he or she knows all there is about the art of writing, I can show you an author who will not grow. Challenge yourself and keep challenging yourself. Keep the edge and never lose the drive.
12. What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?
Traditional publishing can be great if you have a good one. They have such a larger platform and can reach millions of millions of readers. Though, finding a really good publisher is difficult. Self-publishing, you are limited to a much smaller platform and any expense comes out of your own pocket. Generally, most respectable publishers provide a book cover, advertising, publicist and so on… The downside of a publisher is that you don’t have control over your work as a self-publisher will have more control.
13. Do you have any advice for other budding authors?
Write strong! Keep stretching your mind, challenge yourself, read everything you can get your hands on, take creative writing and don’t let anyone discourage you. Write and write and write more… And push!
14. How do you relax?
I occasionally sleep. lol.
15. What is your favourite book and why?
I have many. I have to say one of the most profound books is the Hunger Games. I didn’t think I’d like it but when I opened the book and read the half page, I was hooked and I never get hooked on a first page. The author wowed me with how she told the story. I could feel the young girl’s pain, her fear and excitement. It was if I was right there. The story is awesome!
Thanks so much for giving me the opportunity to chat with you. I hope your readers enjoy it!
Many thanks Jane for an insight into what makes you tick. I’ll be keeping a close eye on your future works.
You can find Jane’s links below. Check back soon for more bookish stuff.