To complement my daily blog interviews I recently started a series of Author Spotlights and today’s, the ninth, is of freelance editor and supernatural thriller writer Jeanne Bannon. You can read the others here.
Jeanne has worked in the publishing industry for over twenty years. She started her career as a freelance journalist, then worked as an in-house editor for LexisNexis Canada and currently works as a freelance editor and writer.
Jeanne’s had several short stories published and won first place in the Writes of Caledon Short Story Contest. Her novels The Barely Boy and Dark Angel were finalists in the 2010 and 2011 Strongest Start Contests. One of Jeanne’s short stories “Thom’s Journey” is part of an Anthology entitled A Visitor to Sandahl and is available at Amazon.com.
Invisible, Jeanne’s latest novel, is about a teenage girl who isn’t happy with herself and wishes she could disappear. And one day she does. Invisible will be available shortly from Solstice Publishing.
When not reading or writing, Jeanne enjoys being with her daughters, Nina and Sara and her husband, David. She’s also the proud mother of two fur babies, a sweet Miniature Schnauzer named Emily and Spencer, a rambunctious tabby, who can be a very bad boy.
And now from the author herself:
The value of a good writing group
As far back as I can recall, I’ve written. My lifelong dream has always been to be a published novelist and that dream has finally come true now, in mid-life. I’ve often wondered why I didn’t write that elusive novel earlier. It wasn’t for lack of trying. I’ve lost count of how many novels I’d started and gave up on. But writing was hard work. It was solitary. It was boring. What was it that made the difference? The answer is simple. I found an online writing group.
Writing is a much easier process when you have like-minded individuals ready and willing to provide feedback. At first, when my writing wasn’t up to par, the criticism stung, but I never got angry with reviewers. In my heart I knew they were right and that the criticism was given out of a genuine attempt to help me become a better writer. I learned an awful lot from my writing group and credit those fine fellow authors with much of my success in not just completing my novels, but in making them the best they could be.
As well, knowing I had “fans” waiting for my next chapter made me to want to write. I had a purpose and reason to sit down and pen that next chapter. Someone out in cyberspace was waiting for it! Belonging to an online writing group has also provided me unexpected rewards. I’ve made friends with so many fabulous people. Friendships that will undoubtedly be lifelong.
Over the years I became a senior member of the group and was then in the position of doling out advice; becoming a teacher of sorts. I know I’ve helped others become better writers and that too was rewarding. Although these days with time at a premium, I’m not as active in my group as I’d like to be. However, I will continue to belong and participate when I can. They are my lifeline to advice, to friendship, to encouragement and to anything else I need to keep motivated.
If asked for writing advice, I would say the best thing for an aspiring novelist is to look around for a writing group. It doesn’t have to be an online group like mine. There are plenty of face-to-face groups out there, but the feedback and encouragement is invaluable…better than any workshop or course I’ve ever taken.
And Jeanne will also be returning on 25th October as interviewee 167. Thank you Jeanne.
The blog interviews will return as normal tomorrow with Supernatural mystery, historical and short story author Geoffrey Guiver – the one hundred and thirtieth of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, directors, bloggers, autobiographers and more. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate the author further. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found at here. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also read / download my eBooks here.