Sunday, June 30, 2013

Jane Riddell author of Water's Edge

Jane Riddell

Welcome for being part of this blog, Jane. I met Jane when she mailed me asking if I would be interested swapping interviews on our blogs, and of course I said yes. Through her answers for both interviews I had with her I found her interesting, humble, and a caring woman that I admire. 

Author’s Interview Questions

     1.     Are you famous is the general question I get when family and friends introduces me to their friends. It always left me with a pause as quick comebacks filters through my mind but ending up saying something like ….”Oh gee thanks” and give a shy smile, silly I know but the idea unsettles me. (a)Does this happen to you and (b) what do you say?

Firstly, thank you, Lynelle, for interviewing me on your blog.

No one has ever asked me if I’m famous.  Most people ask if I’ve been published.  From April 22, 2013 I’ve been able to say ‘yes’ as my debut novel, Water’s Edge, was e-published that day by ThornBerry Publishing.

     2.     In general do you like to talk about you writing and published books or are you very close-lip about it? If no why?

Yes, I do like talking about my writing, especially since I’ve been published, and especially if I think I write the sort of story that person would enjoy.  It took me a while, though, before I could tell people I was a writer without feeling fraudulent.

      3.     What book/s are you currently writing and what is it about?
I am currently writing a novel about a woman who is left an inheritance by her aunt, and at the same time, receives some traumatising news that sends her on a life-changing journey.  Chergui’s Child will be finished in a month or so.

     4.     Why this particular genre?
I love writing contemporary quiet fiction, especially about family relationships.  I am fascinated by interpersonal relationships:  the superficial interactions and all the stuff that’s simmering away underneath.

    5.     What inspire or motivate you to write?
I write because I have to - this may sound dramatic, but I feel a real sense of deprivation if I can’t.  My laptop always goes on holiday with me.  Even if I am only away for one night, it comes, too, in case there’s an opportunity to write.  I am fascinated by use of language, and by the challenge of describing a setting.  I also enjoy devising ‘edgy’ dialogue.

   6.     What is the writing process like for you?
The initial writing and revising is relatively easy.  The hard graft comes when it’s time to do a thorough edit.  I find this tedious, time consuming and draining, but at the end of the day can see huge improvements in the text, which makes it worthwhile.

    7.     What is the best and/ or worst part of being a writer?
The worst part is keeping going when your work is rejected by agencies or publishers.  Isolation can also be a problem.  The best bits are the excitement you have when you’ve thought of a good idea, and the pleasure you get from re-reading a chapter you have spent hours editing.

   8.     Any advice for struggling writers?
      Ask for feedback about your work from someone you feel is qualified to give
      it and will be honest.  Read the technical books on writing.  If you can afford,
      to, work with a professional mentor.

   9.     What is your favorite genre to read or write?
Probably quiet fiction for both reading and writing.

   10.     Favorite author?
      The American author, Anita Shreve, for her wonderful use of language, and
      her ability to convey setting.

    11.               Do you have a favorite spot to read and write?
I tend to read only when in bed.  I rent desk space for 50 hours per month at an organisation set up for people working for social enterprises.  I like the people, the space, the location, the reasonable price, and the fact that I can suit myself when I use those hours.

    12.     What did you do before you became a writer?
I worked as a dietitian and then as a health promoter for the National Health Service in the UK.  I wrote a little in those days, but not nearly as much as I do now.

    13.  Was it a life long dream or triggered recently?
I had been writing as a hobby for many years, but was never caught up enough in it to work on something for more than a couple of hours at a time.  Although I had a paid job for most of these years, it was only part time so time wasn’t a limiting factor.  When we decided to move to France for a couple of years, things changed.  I knew I’d be unlikely to find work there because of my limited French, and reckoned that I would probably spend more time writing.  Several months before we left Edinburgh, during a Saturday afternoon at the gym, I found myself on the treadmill, listening to Martha Reeves and the Vandellas singing Dancing in the Street, and thinking:  I’ll have a go at becoming a serious writer.  This was seven years ago and I haven’t looked back.

    14.  What do you like to do when not writing? 
      I swim, go to movies, have lunch with friends, do things with family.

     15.        Do you have a bucket/ to-do list and would you share at least two things on it?  Not really.  There are loads of things I’d like to do, and I tend to do some of them for several days before becoming sidetracked.  The main I want to at present is lose weight, but this has been my goal for many years now….

   16.     Most daring thing or experience you have done you would like to share?
      Moving to France for three years: more difficult, in some ways, than predicted.

    17.  This or that questions:
      ·        Coffee or Tea -   neither
      ·        Sweet or sour –  both
      ·        Home make meal or takeouts – home made meals usually, takeaway Indian curry on a Saturday night
      ·        Winter or summer –  winter
      ·        Night-owl or Early-Bird –  night owl
      ·        Telephone or visits –  phone, but better still, email!
      ·        Which social network do you prefer?  I’m not that keen on any of them.  Probably LinkedIn
      ·        Blogger or website?  Both equally
      ·        What does your family say about your career? Supportive or Clueless
My partner is very supportive.  He’s encouraged me from the start, including paying for me to do a Masters in Creative Writing.  Now that I’m published, he has great ideas for how I should promote my book.

And Finally
Moto/wisdom in life you live by.

Meet people half way, but always keep part of yourself private.

Contact details and buy links of the newest books you would like the readers to know.

1.  Water’s Edge, available from Amazon on Kindle: 

Promotional video:

2.  To be published in paperback by ThornBerry Publishing at the end of June:
Words’Worth: a fiction writer’s guide to serious editing.

Thanks once again for your willingness to share with me and the readers.

Thank you, Lynelle.

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