Sunday, 18 November 2012

Interview: Jen Yates

What have you had published?
'Through All Eternity' is the first book I have had published and it is Indie published on Amazon. Prior to that I have had several short erotica stories published in various places and at different times. 
What genre(s) of book do you write?
Romance, romance, and romance! Contemporary, Regency historical (my favourite) and—the ‘Crystal Series’, which cross so many genre lines I’m not sure what to call them! They are romantica, paranormal, pastlife-timetravel,  fantasy-historical (fantstorical?) . This last is because the historical element is so ancient it comes in the realm of fantasy—Atlantis as I perceived it was.
What inspired you to write your first book?
I’ve written books and aspired to be a published author all my life but ‘Through All Eternity’ was inspired by my daughter asking me if I believed in Atlantis. It wasn’t something I’d ever deeply considered but for some reason it set me off on a research journey that opened vistas hitherto undreamed of! The characters became very real to me for a time and told me their own versions of the story. It was a fascinating time of growth for me on many levels.
How long did it take you to write ‘Through All Eternity?
It took about 5 years to complete the Atlantean part of the story, which underwent various transformations during that time. Then, because it was so ‘outfield’, I couldn’t find anyone to publish it. So it sat for a while before it came to me to make it the historical component of a Time Travel. Well—it was already a big book—but a couple of years later it had reached the draft of the form it has now.  It was quite an epic journey, during which time I was also writing other more conventional contemporary and historical romances.
What is the working title of your next book(s)?
I am currently working (with the marvellous motivating tool of NaNoWriMo) on the 2nd book in the Crystal Series—‘Crystal Dancer’ and I’m loving writing it. The ancient part of this book is set at the time of the Great Flood, so again it’s really fantstorical! ‘Flame of Crystal”  and “Crystal Victory” are already taking shape in note form.
When and why did you begin writing?
I don’t remember a time when I didn’t create stories in my head. I loved writing stories and essays all through school (I became a teacher so never left school really—from 5 to 55!) But I wrote my first novel in my mid-twenties on a portable Olivetti typewriter! I was widowed with 4 young children, a full time teaching job and a live-in house-keeper. I guess I would call that one ‘escapism’ as it certainly took me out of my life and into a fantasy world. And it’s probably very fortunate it was lost in a house fire some years later and no longer exists! The parts I remember make me cringe.
Do you self publish your books or go through an agency?
The short stories I’ve had published were submitted and accepted for publication by various books or magazines. ‘Through All Eternity’ has been independently published on Amazon.
What part of writing books do you find the hardest?
“—what to do with it after it’s written!” I love every part of the process of creating a story but then I just want someone to take it away and make it a best-seller while I get on with the next one!
What do you do in your spare time?
Love my husband (#2). Read romance! I am also involved in a Trust which works to keep our small village alive and pumping and growing in a time when many small communities are giving up their struggle to thrive outside of the splash and dash of the big cities. Did I mention my husband? J He’s a huge part of my life and support team. There is also the small matter of 4 grown children, 11 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren!
Who is your favourite author?
Georgette Heyer—even though her stories are not sexy! There are not many stories I can be bothered to re-read but hers I do. I have quite a collection of her books and am always looking for ones I don’t have.
What’s your favourite genre to read?
Romance, especially Historical romance—and especially Regency.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Believe in yourself and never give up your dreams – and write what you love. Your passion will show in your writing.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I have finaled in various competitions over the years with contemporary and historical category romances and I plan to get these onto Amazon some time soon. There are just not enough hours in the day—or enough of me— to do all I want to do as fast as I’d like to do it. So I will just have to settle for—one task at a time.
Thank you, Katie, for making space for this interview.

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