The Writing Life of: Jessica George
This week on ‘The Writing Life of:‘ I am thrilled to be interviewing author Jessica George. Jessica will be sharing with us detail of her writing life, telling us all about her latest book ‘Gifted‘, which was released on 13th April 2016, and answering a few fun questions too. This post contains affiliate links.
Jessica spent years of her life reading book after book before sitting on her bed one morning, opening her laptop and typing Chapter One into her word document.
Now, not only does she read book after book, she now writes book after book too. When she’s not writing, she’s trying to break her record of finishing a tub of Oreo ice cream in less than forty-five minutes.
1) Do you remember the moment you decided that you would like to become a writer?
I don’t remember the date or exact time, but I was on the train on my way home and it suddenly occurred to me that I wasn’t spending my life doing the thing I loved. I then concluded that life was too short to waste away and so I rushed home, purchased a mini laptop that I can use on my hour long train journeys and started to write.
2) How did you go about following your dream?
I just kept writing until my novel appeared.
3) Is there a particular author that inspires you?
Roald Dahl. His theme of extraordinary things happening to ordinary people is something I’ve been subconsciously carrying around with me for many years now. Despite me being an adult now, I never tire of his books! George’s Marvellous Medicine is my favourite.
4) What is your average writing day like? Do you have any strange writing habits?
I can never follow a routine. I just write when I can. I always write down an idea that comes into my head, no matter when it does, but sometimes that is all I’ll write for the day. Other days, I’ll write thousands of words. I’d love to spend all day writing, but unfortunately I have other commitments. However, when I know I’m close to the end, I’ll write non-stop for weeks until it’s done.
5) Do you write Longhand, Type writer, Computer?
Longhand first, then I type it out on my laptop. I used to go straight to the computer, but I’ve found that writing it down first leads to better dialogue, description and pace.
6) From all your books, do you have a favourite character?
Ava is my favourite because she’s come a long way. This version of Gifted is the second edition and in the first edition, Ava was unrecognisably different because I was trying to make her into a character everyone would love. Upon realising that was impossible, I then took to making her into a character I’d love. And it worked!
7) Do you plot your books completely before hand or do you let your imagination flow whilst in the writing process?
I plot basic details, such as, when things will happen and with whom. The dialogue and other aspects are results of my imagination running free at the time.
Concerning your latest book:
The Hayven Series Book One
Author – J.A George
Pages – 273
Release Date – 13th April 2016
There is no chosen one in this story.
Avery Gray was just in the wrong place at the wrong time and happened to make a decision that altered her future forever. It happens to all of us every day.
Avery is a size twelve university student with a penchant for dry humour, and she’s as normal as they come. Up until now, the biggest choice she’s had to make was glasses or contacts? At the moment, it’s stay and save, or leave and be saved.
Allow me to explain. One rainy afternoon, Avery had to make a choice: go through the alleyway or around it. Two possible options. One would have had her future continue on as planned, the other would ensure that her future never remained the same again. She unknowingly went with the latter.
But change is not always bad. Avery meets Theodore-James Connors, an enigmatic young man who takes her to Hayven, a city separated from the rest of the world, where only gifters – ordinary people with extra-ordinary gifts – can go. She soon finds herself in a close-knit group of friends she’d never have imagined herself in. Friends who are diverse in every possible way, from their ethnic backgrounds, to their personalities, from their gifts, to their life stories. Friends who make her laugh, who make her cry, who make her think and who make her…her.
However, change is not always good. The beautiful, golden city of Hayven has its dark side – Cliders. Gifters turned rogue, aka, Cliders are determined to aid fallen Clider, Madrina, return to rule Hayven. They will stop at nothing to make that happen, including harming those Ava has grown to love.
Again, Ava is faced with a choice: spend her days finding a way to inhibit Madrina’s return, or walk away. After all, she isn’t the chosen one. Yet, there exists a third option – rig the future itself and make it work for her.
**Gifted is no longer available for sale as. Correct as of 24th April 2019.
8) How long did it take to get from the ideas stage, to the date of publication?
Three years. Mainly because the first two years were spent on trying to write a book I thought readers would like. It resulted in edition one of Gifted and a book I did not enjoy reading. I just wanted my book to sell so I completely disregarded my feelings towards the story. Last year, I decided to write for myself and just hope readers will like it. They seem to so far!
9) Did you suffer from writer’s block at any stage? How did you overcome it?
I usually do. They don’t last very long and I find that a piece (or large bar) of chocolate helps.
10) How did you come up with the name(s)for your lead character(s)?
I gave them names I like. All of my characters, even the minor ones, have names I like.
11) If your book was made in to a film, who would you love to play the lead character(s)?
People I have never heard of or seen. Having my book made into a film would be a dream come true, so I’d love to make the dreams of some aspiring actors come true too.
12) Did you get anyone in particular to read your work before sending it to the publisher i.e family member, friend etc?
I sent it to numerous beta-readers, who were incredibly helpful. I would have sent it to family and friends, but I feel they would have been more nice than honest!