Jenny Smedley [jennysmedley]
What did you first read? How did you begin to write? Who were the first to read what you wrote?
The first book I remember was called 'Cowboy Joe'. I was about 5 years old I think, and it made a huge impact on me, turning me into a bookworm.
I started writing stories when I was about 11, and my school friends read them every day. They'd be waiting for the 'next installment' when I got into school.
What is your favorite genre? Can you provide a link to a site where we can read some of your work or learn something about it?
What is your creative process like? What happens before sitting down to write?
An idea often occurs when I'm still in bed, sometimes in the middle of the night. I had to put a pen and paper beside the bed so I wouldn't forget the ideas.
I always think a lot before I write, then I write, getting the whole thing out asap, after that I think some more and do a lot of refining/polishing.
What type of reading inspires you to write?
I love Deane Koontz, Dick Francis.
What do you think are the basic ingredients of a story?
Making your reader identify with the characters.
Good description of places and events.
An opening page that grabs the reader.
What voice do you find most to your liking: first person or third person?
What well known writers do you admire most?
Dean Koontz for his style and longevity
What is required for a character to be believable? How do you create yours?
The have to show the same hopes, aspirations and fears as everyone else.
Are you equally good at telling stories orally?
Good question. I've never tried.
Deep down inside, who do you write for?
Is writing a form of personal therapy? Are internal conflicts a creative force?
Does reader feed-back help you?
It helps to know someone is reading your books! :)
Do you participate in competitions? Have you received any awards?
Never have, maybe I should.
Do you share rough drafts of your writings with someone whose opinion you trust?
My husband, Tony and my astute friend, Wendy.
Do you believe you have already found "your voice" or is that something one is always searching for?
I always hope my next book will be my best one, so I think you have to always be searching.
What discipline do you impose on yourself regarding schedules, goals, etc.?
None really. I am very quick at writing though and don't seem to be able to work any differently. If deadlines are imposed on me though, I am disciplined.
What do you surround yourself with in your work area in order to help your concentrate?
Nothing is the best thing. No distractions. But once I get into writing, a bomb could go off as I am totally absorbed.
Do you write on a computer? Do you print frequently? Do you correct on paper? What is your process?
I always write on the computer, although, as I said, if I think of something when I'm away from it, I take handwritten notes.
I tend to correct on the screen too, although the final read through is always printed.
What sites do you frequent on-line to share experiences or information?
Don't really have time. I am on author's den though.
What has been your experience with publishers?
It took me years to get on board with a publisher. The bigger ones don't tend to take notice until either you're well-known, or some smaller publisher has shown a lot of faith in you.
What are you working on now?
I'm collecting research and data for my next (hopefully) Hay House book on pets' souls.
What do you recommend I do with all those things I wrote years ago but have never been able to bring myself to show anyone?
Read them through, be ruthless, update them, correct them, polish them, and if you aren't just writing for your own satisfaction, put them out there and see if they have wings.