Thursday, 26 June 2014

Interview: Jessica Copely

What have you had published?
Crossing Paths is my debut novel, so my first baby step into the publishing world.

What genre(s) of book do you write?
I write New Adult & Women’s Fiction mostly, but I also love fantasy, sci-fi and YA. These genres are pretty varied, so I write under a couple of different names to keep the styles and ‘personas’ separated - otherwise I get confused.

     One reason for writing under a pen name for New Adult work is to keep the sexy stuff from my mum… But I’m sure she’ll find out one day.

What inspired you to write your first book?
I write about themes and ideas I wrestle with in my own life, like identity, following dreams and living with regrets. It’s all very fictionalised - I’m not writing autobiographically. But in a funny way, exploring the way characters deal with issues and emotions, even in ways that a very different from my own life, helps me process what I really think about the world. Writing is very cathartic, and that is what has inspired me from the start. Emotions, ideas and dreams all get explored on the fictional page.

How long did it take you to write “Crossing Paths”?
From start to finish, a little over a year, but that included a few gaps of weeks or months where I took a break to the let the ideas percolate a bit before I went on.

What is the working title of your next book(s)?
‘Unpaved Ways’ - the sequel to ‘Crossing Paths’ - will be my next book. It is on track to be finished soon, unless I get sidetracked by other projects which is always possible. I tend to work on several things at once.

When and why did you begin writing?
I have always made up stories, even as a young child. But the first story I remember writing was when I was about eleven years old. We had just been given a very, very early model computer, back in the dark ages of technology, and I typed it up on the black screen with a green cursor and then printed it out. It was about a woman who lived in a white house with green shutters. It wasn’t very good.

     But I can vividly remember, even then, being enthralled with the process of writing — of creating something from my imagination and bringing it to life with words.

     Soon after, I read a book that had been published by a twelve year old author, and I was determined that I was going to do that too. Well, I’m a bit over twelve now, but I always knew I’d be a author. I couldn’t help it.

Do you self publish your books or go through an agency?
I have self-published ‘Crossing Paths’ and will likely continue to go down that path with future New Adult and Romance books. I may pursue traditional publishing avenues with other genres, but I love the process of self-publishing and I’m a bit of a control freak, so I love having my fingers in a lot of different pies.

What part of writing books do you find the hardest?
Finishing them. Not because I can’t think of an ending, but because when I’m approaching the finish lines there’s a gripping fear that makes me want to turn back. Because when it’s finished there are no more excuses to put it out there. And once you do that, you have to face the reality of whether it is any good or not. It is scary setting your baby loose into the world to be judged.

What do you do in your spare time?
I love to travel as much as possible — I’m going on a two month trip to Peru later in the year, a location I love and used as a setting in ‘Crossing Paths’ but have not actually visited yet. I love adventure. But I can also be a couch potato. Give me a ‘Friends’ marathon or a season of ‘Game of Thrones’ and you won’t see me for hours.

Who is your favourite author?
That’s difficult to pick, but I love Jasper Fforde. I loved the idea in his Thursday Next series of being able to go inside books.

What’s your favourite genre to read?
I’m very fickle when it comes to genres, depending on my mood. I often lean towards some paranormal or fantasy elements, I really just love anything that grips me. And books that make me cry are my favourite for some reason!

Do you have any advice for other writers?
Write, write and keep writing. It might come out as rubbish at first, but you have to get all that out to get to the gems underneath.

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