Welcome to the four hundred and thirty-third of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, biographers, agents, publishers and more. Today’s is with thriller / crime author Jacqui Rose. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further.
Morgen: Hello, Jacqui. Please tell us something about yourself and your writing.
Jacqui: I’m based in London but I’m a northerner by birth and in my heart. I write gangland thrillers / crime and at the moment I’m happy sticking to that. I’ve still got lots of fun to have with that genre.
Morgen: That’s how it should be, if a writer doesn’t enjoy what they’re writing, the chances are it’ll show in the writing. What have you had published to-date?
Jacqui: My debut novel, Taken, was out on March 15th.
Morgen: Have you had any rejections? If so, how do you deal with them?
Jacqui: No, not really. I only tried one agent because she was the only one I wanted to be with and I was lucky she took me on. Within a short time, we’d got a publishing deal.
Morgen: Excellent. Have you won or been shortlisted in any competitions?
Jacqui: My radio play, ‘For me mam’ was shortlisted for the BBC Alfred Bradley award.
Morgen: Congratulations. You have an agent, do you think they’re vital to an author’s success?
Jacqui: Yes, I think it’s vital to have an agent. I think mine’s the best in town. She guides me and knows the business inside out. You need someone looking out for you.
Morgen: Is your book available as an eBook? Do you read eBooks or is it paper all the way?
Jacqui: Yes you can get my book as an ebook. For me I love something you can put on the shelf and see.
Morgen: I have a Kindle and read mostly on it but couldn’t imagine not having a house full of books (probably too many to read in my lifetime). I’m a writer, it makes sense. How much of the marketing do you do for your published works or indeed for yourself as a ‘brand’?
Jacqui: Most of the publicity is done by the PR but I think authors should do what they can. Its team work. Everyone wants the book to do as well as possible.
Morgen: They do. I’ve only had one author say that their publisher does it all but she’s still really active on Twitter and Facebook. Do you have a favourite of your books or characters? If any of your books were made into films, who would you have as the leading actor/s?
Jacqui: My favourite character is Lola in my book Taken. The only actor I know I would definitely want is Jamie Foreman to play the part of Oscar Harding. I’ve always loved Jamie’s acting.
Morgen: Isn’t he great – he’s got a gangster’s voice through and through. Did you have any say in the title / cover of your book? How important do you think they are?
Jacqui: I have an input with the title but the cover is decided by a whole team at the publishing house. They’ve done an amazing job with mine. The right cover and title is essential in sales and marketing.
Morgen: It is a great cover. What are you working on at the moment / next?
Jacqui: I’ve finished my second novel which will be out next year and I’m writing my third and I’m finding it very exciting.
Morgen: Yay. Do you manage to write every day? Do you ever suffer from writer’s block?
Jacqui: Yes I write most days and if I don’t I get very twitchy. Luckily I’ve never suffered from writers block.
Morgen: Me neither but then I tend not to have much time to think; I write a short story a day for my 5pm Fiction slot and the bigger projects tend to be for NaNoWriMo… 50,000 words in 50 days gets it done! Do you plot your stories or do you just get an idea and run with it?
Jacqui: No I don’t plot. A character comes into my mind with a story to tell then I sit down and begin to write and I let my character guide me in their journey.
Morgen: That’s my favourite thing about writing. Do you have a method for creating your characters, their names and what do you think makes them believable?
Jacqui: No, they just come to me. When I write it’s like I’m watching a film and I’m just writing down what I see and hear.
Morgen: Do you do a lot of editing or do you find that as time goes on your writing is more fully-formed?
Jacqui: I write my story then edit but I love editing, it’s like the colouring in of a picture.
Morgen: I’d not thought of it like that. I tend to prefer the ‘getting it down’ and not so much the editing but it is great when it’s polished. Do you have to do much research?
Jacqui: No, only the odd bits and pieces for authenticity.
Morgen: What point of view do you find most to your liking?
Jacqui: I write in third person otherwise I find it too restricting unless I’m writing a radio or TV drama.
Morgen: Do you have pieces of work that you think will never see light of day?
Jacqui: No, not yet anyway!
Morgen: Let’s hope not. What’s your favourite / least favourite aspect of your writing life? Has anything surprised you?
Jacqui: Favourite part how natural it feels. Least favourite part is waiting for judgement day from my editor and the most surprising part, is how much I actually love writing even when it’s hours and hours on end.
Morgen: “judgement day” I’m sure that’s how a lot of authors feel. What advice would you give aspiring writers?
Jacqui: Don’t give up and believe in yourself. Don’t procrastinate – just sit down and write.
Morgen: Absolutely. Is there a word, phrase or quote you like?
Jacqui: The opening lines from a Tale of two Cities. It’s magical and I get butterflies in my tummy when I read it.
Morgen: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way.” (thank you, Wikipedia) Are you on any forums or networking sites? If so, how valuable do you find them?
Jacqui: Yes I’m on twitter and facebook. I love them and love being able to connect with other authors and bloggers and of course other footie lovers!!
Morgen: What do you think the future holds for a writer?
Jacqui: We’ll always need storytellers, though publishing is changing but we will all adapt and evolve and eventually find our niche.
Morgen: We will. Where can we find out about you and your work?
Morgen: Thank you, Jacqui… good luck with books two and three, maybe you could come back when they’re out.
I then invited Jacqui to include an extract of her writing…
‘All she wanted to do was get out of there. Get on a train and head for London, the place she’d been avoiding for so many years.’
And a synopsis of her latest book…
Casey Edwards has demons to put to rest. Since she had to give away her baby at 15, she’s been lost in booze and bad company. But now she wants to find her child and put things right. To find the truth, Casey must enter the dark world of London’s gangland
Full of strong women, devious gangsters and compelling twists, Taken is compulsive read perfect for fans of Jessie Keane and Roberta Kray.
Jacqui Rose is a debut novelist who now lives in London, although she hails from South Yorkshire. She has always written for pleasure but the idea of Taken came from her own experiences.
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