Saturday 5 April 2014

Author Interview: Joss Striling

What better way to wrap up a week of Joss Stirling reviews and wrap ups than an interview with the author herself, I'm so very very excited about this interview as I've only recently discovered this lovely author having met her earlier on this year.

Thank you so much to Joss for answering my probing questions and being on the blog today. Without any further ado, I'll hand you over to her! 

1.  First question-bit of a cliche-how did you get into writing?  I always wrote stories to entertain myself as a child and later as a young adult but not in any expectation of getting published. The serious stuff happened when I had my third child.  I wanted to offer my oldest (then about 7) a story to show I wasn't only thinking of the baby.  That became a finished book and was the first thing I sent out to a publisher.  They said yes - eventually - after a long wait.

2. Do you write full time & if so, have you always done this? Yes, full time, and no, this is only what I've been doing for the last 10 years.  Before that I was a diplomat and then worked for Oxfam as a policy adviser.

3. Do you have a particular writing style or genre that you prefer? No - I like being able to shift - that's why I write under different names - Joss Stirling, Julia Golding and Eve Edwards.

4. How do you develop your characters as you write, are any of them based on real people? I develop as I write.  If there is a real character that I had in mind, it is only a seed and then the character grows from that.

5. What was the inspiration behind The Finding Sky books? The inspiration was my daughter who was reading Twilight on a loop so I decided to break the habit by writing her her own story.  I went for a light touch paranormal - no vampires, werewolves, fallen angels etc. as these all seemed to have been done to death.  That was the birth of the savant Benedict brothers.

6. What is your writing process-do you map it out first? Write a bit at a time? I map out the initial chapters and the characters and then start writing.  I don't like to know exactly how I'm going to get to the end as I enjoy the discovery.

7. How much of you is reflected in your novels? I expect all of my books are fragments of me - they have to be, don't they, as I am the controlling mind behind them. 

8. What kind of research do you do before/during writing your novels?  I research as I go along.  If an overseas location is used, I get the fabulous excuse to travel there and have a snoop around.

9. Do you have any plans to develop this series any further or give us the joy of a sequel to Storm And Stone? That's the plan.  I've submitted the next one already.  It is called Hunter and Pearl - it's a fast-paced chase story about one of Kieran's friends, Nathan Hunter.  I hope to get to Daimon and Joe too.

10. How much attention do you pay to the reviews that you get? I don't read all of them but sometimes people mention a weakness and I'm like 'Oh yeah - let's not do that again'.  I try to learn as I know my writing is not perfect.

11. Are friends and family supportive of your writing? Completely.

12. How do you feel leading up to your publication day? A little excited, especially when the real fans start emailing to let me know what they think.

13. Which other authors inspire you or are there any you particularly enjoy reading?  I read very widely so I suppose lots of writers inspire me. For example, I'm currently reading James Joyce's Ulysses because I've always avoided it until now and I'm determined to finish it this year. It is hard to pick on a single influence.  I learn a lot from reading adult romances and I guess my patron saint is Jane Austen who thought up the most desirable hero of them all (I'm sure you know who I mean!).

14. Finally...what are you working on right now?  I'm working on the next one after Misty Falls.  I've not got a contract for it yet so I can't tell you much about it but  I'm writing it for fun for my daughter who is doing A levels.  She gets to hear first which Benedict is about to meet his match.

Thanks very much for joining us today and I can't wait to read the next book! 

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