Today I have the fabulous Jennifer Joyce at my blog answering some questions about writing, reading and what she’d do if she wasn’t an author.
Hi Jennifer thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background.
Thank you for having me on your blog! I’m a writer of romantic comedies who lives in Manchester with my husband and our two daughters, as well as two bunnies and a Jack Russell who likes to take naps (and I like to take photos of her taking naps).
Why did you want to become a writer?
I’ve always loved making up my own stories. I used to write them on my typewriter when I was younger, but I wouldn’t let anybody read them! When I was around ten, a teacher took us to our local library, where a children’s author was giving a talk. As I sat listening to him, it occurred to me that I could write actual books when I was older – and that has been the dream ever since.
Tell us a bit about your recent release.
The Wedding Date was released by Carina UK (HarperCollins) in March.
Delilah James has been single for nine months, but she isn’t over her ex-boyfriend, Ben. So when she learns that Ben will be attending her oldest friend’s wedding in six months – with his new girlfriend – Delilah vows to find herself a date to take as her plus-one.
How much research do you do? / How do you research?
It depends on the book, but Google is a good start for looking up quick pieces of information!
Plotter or pantser? – Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
I’m a planner. I need to know where my story is starting and ending – plus any major points on the way. I’ve been known to plan a book down to individual chapters and scenes.
Describe what a typical writing day involves for you. / Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?
I’ll drop my youngest daughter off at school and then the laptop will come out. I’ll have what is supposed to be a quick look on Facebook and Twitter and then I aim to write 2,000 words. Sometimes it happens – sometimes not, but I try not to beat myself up about it if it doesn’t.
What’s the toughest part of the writing process for you?
The first draft, around 30,000 words. I always seem to reach a slump at this point, no matter how much I’ve plotted beforehand. I have to force myself through it, which is a slow, frustrating process – but such a relief when I make it out of the slump again!
What’s the most enjoyable part of writing?
When I see it all coming together and it starts to read like a real book. Then I know all the hard work was worth it.
Out of all the wonderful books out there, which book do you wish you had written and why?
Bridget Jones’s Diary, because Bridget is such a great character. Plus, the films are amazing and I’d love to see one of my books brought to life.
What can we expect next from you?
My next book will be another romantic comedy, this time with lots and lots of cake as it’s set in a teashop. It’ll be out early 2017 and I hope to have more information to share soon!
Have you ever had a book rejected by a publisher / agent? How did you deal with it? How would you advise other authors to deal with rejection?
I’ve had lots of rejection letters from agents – I started submitting when I was 20 (I’m 33 now), but my writing wasn’t ready for publication back then and I cringe just thinking about it. I still don’t have an agent (my publisher accepts non-agented submissions and I’ve also self-published two of my books), but it’s definitely something I’d like in the future. I’d advise other authors to either keep trying, or explore an alternative route to publication – whichever they feel is best for their writing career.
What are you reading at the moment?
I’m reading Nerve by Jeanne Ryan. It isn’t my usual genre of choice, but my thirteen-year-old daughter read and loved it recently and insisted I had to read it too.
Great answers, Jennifer! Thank you!
Now for fun…
If you had a superpower, what would it be?
I’d either like to pause time (so that I could pause it in the morning and have more sleep) or time travel as I’m fascinated by history.
If you were a super hero, what would your name be? What costume would you wear?
Sleep Girl – so I could wear pyjamas (any excuse!)
Are you a morning or night person? Explain.
Neither – I hate getting up in the mornings, but I can’t seem to keep awake late at night. I’m lazy, basically.
What is your favourite film and why?
You’ve Got Mail, because it stars Tom Hanks, is set in New York and involves books. Perfect!
How can readers discover more about you and your work?