Thursday, 24 March 2016

Q & A with Jennifer Joyce

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

1.    Did you always dream of being a writer?

I’ve always scribbled down bits of stories for as long as I can remember and then, when I was around ten, a teacher took my class to an author’s talk at the local library. It was then that I realised I could make my stories into actual books when I was older. I’ve wanted to be a writer ever since.

2.    How did your writing career develop?

I first started submitted manuscripts when I was around 20 but, not surprisingly in hindsight, they ended in rejection. I kept writing but didn’t submit anything for a few years. I wrote a couple of books and started the submission process again in 2011 but was rejected again. But then I wrote A Beginner’s Guide To Salad and although that too was rejected, those rejections came with lots of positive comments too instead of the standard rejection slips I was used to. I loved the book and couldn’t bear to shelve it so I decided to self-publish. I had such a good positive experience self-publishing – largely down to the fantastic support from the online book community – that I decided to self-publish my second novel, Everything Changes But You.

Last year I submitted my next book (The Mince Pie Mix-Up) to Carina UK and was shocked when I was offered a two-book deal. I still can’t quite believe I’m a published author with people reading my books!

3.    Your newest novel is called The Wedding Date, what is it about?

The Wedding Date tells the story of Delilah James, who is dreading attending her oldest friend’s wedding as it will mean facing up to her ex-boyfriend and his new girlfriend. So she decides she will bag herself a new boyfriend to take to the wedding as her plus-one to show that she’s moved on too.

4.    What was your inspiration for the book?

Delilah’s story came about as a bit of fun. I set up a blog and started to post as Delilah so I could get to know her and her friends and family. I had to put the blog to one side after a handful of posts as Real Life got in the way but when I was offered the two-book deal with Carina I knew I wanted to go back to Delilah and find out her story. Although there were only a few posts, a story quickly started to emerge.

5.    Can you tell us more about the main character(s)?

Delilah was a lot of fun to write about. She’s in her mid-twenties and still lives at home with her parents and younger brother and I loved seeing how the dynamics would work out between them. She has a couple of really close friends who help her jump back into the dating game as well as an arch nemesis at work to spar against. Delilah can be quite snarky – especially when it comes to her co-worker and her older sister, Clara – but hopefully in an amusing way. She’s a huge fan of musicals and would love to break out in song whenever anything good happens in life.

6.    Where and when do you write your stories?

I usually write them on my laptop on the sofa, though I do have a desk as well. I mainly write while my daughters are at school but I can sneak up to my desk during the evenings and weekends too.

7.    What do you do and enjoy when you’re not writing?

Like most writers, I love to read but I also love crafting too. If you give me a stack of card, some double-sided tape and a pair of scissors, I’m happy. A pack of googly eyes never hurt either.

8.    If you could switch places with a characters from a book, who would it be and why?

I think I’d swap with Erin from A Beginner’s Guide To Salad. She’s full of confidence and not only knows what she wants but how to get it too. She takes no prisoners but she’s also fun and extremely loyal to her friends.

9.    What books have most influenced your life most?

I write romantic comedies and fell in love with the genre in the early 2000s, gobbling up the books by Jane Green and Lisa Jewell. Bookends (by Jane Green) was one of the first women’s fiction books I read and I was mesmerised by the style and storytelling. Thirty Nothing (by Lisa Jewell) is up there too. I was hooked by the chemistry between Dig and Deen and it’s still one of my favourite books.

10.  What are you working on at the moment?

I’m around half-way through the second draft of a book about three pregnant friends and how they cope with the joys and pitfalls of pregnancy and the early days with a new baby. Although everyone thinks of the delights of a pregnancy, it’s fun to write about the not-so-good side!

11.  What do you enjoy most about writing?

I love creating new characters and building up relationships and friendships and finding out what stories they have to tell. Even though I’m a big planner, I’m still surprised by where characters take me as I start writing.

12.  Pick three authors you want to have dinner with and tell us why.

Dorothy Koomson, because I’m a massive fan of her books. She writes with such emotion and creates vivid characters that I can’t help being drawn to.

Laura Tait and Jimmy Rice because I’d love to see if they have as much chemistry between them that their characters have in their co-written books. The pair have written two books together (both of which I adored) and I can’t wait to see what they come up with next.

13.   Imagine The Wedding Date would be turned into a movie, who would you cast for the main characters?

I love ‘casting’ my characters and usually choose British TV actors rather than looking to Hollywood. This is who I chose for The Wedding Date:

Delilah: Jodie Comer
Lauren: Karen Gillan
Ryan: Ashley Taylor Dawson
Adam: Aidan Turner

14.  Last year your book The Mince Pie Mix-Up was published, can you tell us more about it?

The Mince Pie Mix-Up is a bit like a festive Freaky Friday. When married couple Judy and Calvin make a wish to switch places, their wish comes true and they have to live each other’s lives over the festive period. They start off thinking the other has it easy but experiencing life as their spouse reveals life isn’t always greener on the other side.

15.  You also wrote A Beginner’s Guide to Salad, A Beginner’s Guide to Christmas and Everything Changes But You. Can you quickly tell us what they are about?

A Beginner’s Guide To Salad follows Ruth Lynch as she attempts to lose weight in time for her school reunion. Ruth isn’t a fan of diets and exercise so she’s really put to the test! Set prior to Ruth’s weight loss attempt is my short story, A Beginner’s Guide To Christmas, which was a fun way for me to introduce some of the characters.

Everything Changes But You is a romantic comedy with a sprinkling of magic. Ally is finding life a bit boring but when she makes a birthday wish to have a life more like her glamorous co-worker, her wish is granted and she soon realises her old life wasn’t so bad after all. But can she reverse the wish or is she stuck in her new life for good?

16.  Coffee or tea?

Tea, with milk and two sugars.

17.  Paperback or e-reader?

I do love my Kindle and it really comes in handy but I still prefer the feel of a paperback in my hands.

18.  Mountains or the sea?

Ooh, toughie because I’m too lazy to climb a mountain and I’m scared of the sea. Can I say the sea if I’m allowed to stay on the beach with my book?

19.  Summer or winter?

I always moan I’m too cold but I do prefer winter.

20.  Sweet or salty?

Ooh, another toughie… Sweet!

You can find Jennifer here:

Twitter: @Writer_Jenn

No comments:

Post a Comment