Today I will be sharing a few questions and answers as part of a mega interview with Josie Jaffrey! The mega interview is taking place over a number of different blogs, and each blog has different questions and answers, so keep an eye out for the other posts.
- What was the first story you ever wrote?
The first story I remember writing was in primary school. I must have been about six, and I wrote a story about a dinosaur, illustrated by a picture of a T-Rex. A lot of my stories were about dinosaurs! Then I moved on to vampires and zombies, and I’ve never looked back. I love paranormal stories, and I’m a sucker for mythology too.
- What’s your work schedule like when you write?
This is a hilarious question because it suggests that I am capable of sticking to a schedule.
I now write practically full-time (although I’m a company director as well, which takes up some of my time). In my ideal writing schedule, I would split my year into quarters and dedicate each quarter to a new book. About 8-10 weeks usually goes into producing a draft, and the rest into plotting and research (before writing) and editing (after writing). In practical terms, that means for a 100,000-word novel (which most of mine are) I’d be writing 2,500 words a day, five days a week, for 8 weeks. That would take up most of my working day (about 6-8 hours), so the rest of my time could go into all the other business of self-publishing (formatting, emails with my cover designer and book bloggers, advertising, social media, YouTube videos, research, interviews etc.).
But I almost never follow that schedule. I’ll end up writing nothing at all one day and hitting 5,000 words the next, then taking a fortnight off writing because I’ve got stuck. I am not a creature of habit and I react poorly to the imposition of routine. It’s very inconvenient, because I’m also someone who likes to plan in advance. I can’t count the number of times I’ve missed my own deadlines!
- Do you relate to any of your characters?
I relate to all of them, at least in part. I think you have to be able to relate to your characters in order to write them convincingly. A part of you always ends up in your characters, because the way we write stories reflects the way we think about the world, but there isn’t any one of my characters that entirely reminds me of myself. I’m sometimes stubborn and obtuse like Jack, irrationally rebellious like Emmy, naïve like Claudia, ruthlessly practical like Solomon, cheerful like Cam and arrogant like Killian. There’s a little of me in each of them, but they are very much themselves.
- What was the highlight of writing Judgement Day?
The ending. I love the last couple of chapters. I knew exactly what was going to happen from the moment I started plotting the book and finally getting to write them was amazing. I’m not going to say anything else because I don’t want to spoil the story!
- What attracted you to the genres you write in?
I write fantasy, romance and historical novels because they’re what I like reading. As to why I like reading them, that’s a harder question to answer. They all interest me for different reasons. I love romance because it’s escapist, sexy and always has a happy ending. It makes me feel good about humanity and sometimes I need that kind of reassurance. I love fantasy because it’s social commentary; it’s often about overturning the status quo and I find the hopefulness of that comforting. As far as historical novels go, I’d love to be able to spout something intellectual about how important it is for us to learn from the past, but in truth I enjoy them because the distant past feels like magic to me. I’ve loved ancient history since I first started reading. It seems like fantasy made real, like a whole other world you can dig up from the earth.
Check Out Josie’s Books: