Hello everyone! Welcome to my stop on the tour for the second book in the Vanguard Legacy ~ Reflected by Joanne Kershaw.
When did you decide to become a writer and what inspired you?
I have always written. When I was very young, a story I wrote was published in our local paper. At the time, I remember thinking how incredible it was. I mean, it was maybe 70 words, but it’s framed on my wall! A few years ago my role at work was changing and it meant that I had nothing to do over the summer break from school. Ordinarily I would have been preparing a class room and doing planning and things like that, but I didn’t have any of those things to do. One night, when my husband was at work, I sat down with my laptop and thought I’d have a go and see what happened. Six weeks later, I had something that was novel length. I’d been sharing it with a really good friend of mine as I’d been writing it, and she encouraged me to try and get published. It took countless rejections, three years and self publishing before it was finally picked up by Xchyler Publishing. I think I had always seen myself as a writer, even though I hadn’t actually written anything!
What is the hardest thing about writing?
For me, finding the time to do it I guess. My job is very time consuming, and rewarding, but it leaves little time on a regular basis for writing anything at length. Plus, I have four children to raise as well. Reflected, the sequel to Foretold, was drafted in just less than seven weeks. Some writers I know are astounded by that sort of timescale and ask how I can possibly manage it. My answer is simple, I have no other choice. It’s the only time I get! Obviously, the editing process then takes longer. But editing is quicker and easier for me, I’m like a machine. Again, that’s down to knowing I have so little time. The hardest thing is knowing that I have so many stories I’d like to tell, but I just haven’t the time to write them. Perhaps, once the third and final instalment of Vanguard Legacy is out in the world, I might find the time to write other things.
What is the easiest thing about writing?
It flows, for me anyway. I can write three to four thousand words in a sitting without any real problems. I enjoy the process, ticking away the time and the words. I love finding out what will happen next because, even though there is always a plan, I’m dreadful for sticking to them and often my characters make decisions that I’m not expecting. The adventure makes it all the more fun!
What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?
If my book has engaged anyone enough to drive them to write about it, then I’m happy, regardless of whether the review is good or bad. All you want as a writer is to make people feel, to engage them with your characters. If they don’t, if they read the book and aren’t engaged enough to review it or share it with their friends, then I’ve failed a little in my job. Foretold struggled a little with this. As it was a rewrite of an originally self-published book and I think that it put people off, they thought they’d already read it. I understood, I got it totally. The sequel, however, is a totally different beast. The original sequel, Echoes, has undergone a total rewrite. Less than 500 words of that book survives in Reflected—that’s over 95 thousand new words! Hopefully, readers will see this and be inspired to rediscover the series.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Start sooner. I could have done so much more by now! And also, listen to the advice of others and stop assuming you know better. I may have an English degree, but it’s made no difference when it’s come down to editing. Oh yes! And get an editor! If you’ve written something, and you want it published, it’s unlikely to be ready until it’s had at least a once over by an editor. They pick holes in your plot, your grammar, your voice, and they help your baby become an adult ready for the world.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Same as above really! If it’s something you want to do, then do it. As much as you can. Practise, explore, make mistakes so you don’t make them again. Read voraciously in the genre/style that you want to write so you know what the market wants and what it already has. That will help you be original and desirable. Finally, be prepared for rejection. If you aren’t thick skinned, if you can’t take criticism and your feelings are easily hurt—then this may not be the career for you!
~ Thank you Joanne ~
There you have it! Guess I better get writing *tee hee*