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.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Goals for the remainder of 2014

My exams are finally over! Today was my last day at college EVER (except for collecting my certificates later this year and my artwork in January, but let's not think about that just yet). Now it's time to crack on with some writing. We are now half way through June and I've only posted nine things on here. That means half the year is already gone (scary or what?). Anyway, from now on I promise to make more time for you guys and I will be posting a lot more.

Today I want to share with you some of my writing related goals for the rest of this year (feel free to post some of your goals in the comments section).

1. Tweet!

I'm not the most active person on Twitter (as you might have noticed) but all that is about to change. Please follow me @KatieLThompson1

2. Finish Cameron by the middle of October.

I've been writing Cameron on and off for over a year. Now it's time to ignore all those other characters who are pestering me to write their stories and focus on the Snowdon sisters. Another 15,000 words and a little more polishing and it'll be ready to join Daisy on the top shelf of my bookcase.

There's an extract from Cameron on the 'Coming Soon' page of my website. If you haven't yet checked it out, you can do so by clicking here

3. Win Camp NaNoWriMo for the second time this year.

In April I took part in Camp NaNoWriMo for the first time. I was busy revising for my exams so I set a small target of 10,000 words. By the end of the month I'd managed to write 23,327 words. This July I've set myself a target of 50,000 words. During NaNoWriMo I will be posting regular updates here, on my blog, which will include word counts, short extracts and other exciting stuff.

4. Finish Poisoned Blue by the middle of October.

Poisoned Blue is a murder mystery novel which I'll be working on during July's Camp NaNoWriMo. I planned the novel last year but, as of yet, haven't got around to writing it. Poisoned Blue will be my first non-romance novel. It will be the first in the Jamie Stanley Crime Scene Investigation Series. 

5. Book Signing at WARFARE in November.

The wonderful Wargames Association of Reading are letting me have a stand at their annual show, which is being held on the 15th and 16th November. Click above for details on the show. I intend to have both Cameron and Poisoned Blue paperbacks to sign as well as Dying to Live and Daisy.

6. Win NaNoWriMo for the second year running.

Last year I wrote 50,000 words of Spring Showers, yet another novel I am yet to finish but which will be completed by the end of 2015. I haven't yet decided which novel I want to work on this year, but it's most likely to be one of the fifteen I currently have planned.

It looks like I'm going to be busy for the remainder of 2014. Of course, these are just goals and are no way 'written in stone' but I will do my best to stick to the plan. I hope you'll be here to enjoy the rest of 2014 with me.