Monday 10 September 2012

Questions From Readers - Part Three

A few weeks back, Joey asked both here and on her Facebook page for readers of her work to send in any questions they wanted her to answer. This is the last batch for now, but don't worry if you missed this one, Joey will do it again.
-> How much research do you do for your books?
It really does depend on what I'm writing about. In "Blackout", which dealt with hospital issues and a mystery, I didn't have to do too much research. Because of my personal experience with hospitals, I knew what to expect from that side. For information about the drugs involved, I had to do a lot of searches on the internet and go from there. For the Dying Thoughts series, I was lucky enough to know someone who worked for the police and I was able to pump them for accurate information, in addition to double checking things with good old Google! I try to make my books as accurate as I can, but I'm no expert in any subject (except maybe where my own health is concerned) and so I have to depend on books or other means of finding the correct way to do things. I believe that, as a writer, you do have some creative license, but you also have to get some things as correct and accurate as possible. In "Lynne & Hope", I had to do a lot of studying of books such as "Forensics For Dummies" for Lynne's job, and that's something that I wanted to get as accurate as possible.

-> What made you start writing in the first place?
To be honest, boredom! I've touched on this in other interviews, but the short version is I was medically retired from my job and so took a book I had written at the age of 13 and turned it into an actual proper book - from there I had been bitten by the bug and I really haven't looked back since :D

-> Do you base any of your characters on people you know?
I have done in the past. "Blackout" has a character called Lisa, who's back story came from an old friend of mine. "Lynne & Hope" has a character called Jewlie, who was also based on an old friend of mine. For both of those characters, I obtained permission from the people they were modelled on. Sometimes I used their personality, other times just their names. The Dying Thoughts series has several people who I know, who are either cameos of themselves or have just been name-dropped. They all know they appear and have all given permission, and they are all aware that it is just fiction and there are no hidden messages. I think it's a nice way to give a shout out to those who have supported me in one way or another.

-> I hear you play Ukulele, does that mean a character of yours will also take it up?
Ha! I'm actually working on my ninth and tenth books and book nine does has a character who plays. I'd wanted her to have a supportive online network of friends due to some of the circumstances in her home life and I've never met a nicer bunch of people than those in the Ukulele online community, so I used that. Plus it helped that I had some knowledge of what she could learn and how she would play. It cut down on the amount of research required.

-> Why did you choose to write in the crime genre? And are there any books that don't focus on that?
I have a vivid imagination - a must for any writer. I enjoy crime novels myself and I like to think I am good at dreaming up new and interesting plots for those stories. I just kind of fell into the crime genre, though I have written at least two books which don't deal with crime. One is "The Friendship Triangle" and the other is one of my upcoming releases "Waiting On You", which is an internet love story and though it does have some crime in it, it is not the main focus of the book.

-> Do you ever get writer's block? How do you overcome it?
I do get writer's block, I think everyone has times when they're tapped out of ideas and are struggling to keep the story going. I have it with some books more than others and I usually deal with it by going back to my story plan. I have yet to get to a point where I am so blocked I have to leave the book alone and unfinished for a significant period of time. I did get close to that when writing "Dying Thoughts - First Touch", where I had come to the main ending of the book and suddenly I had put Tara and Kaolin (and Kaolin's mum) in a dangerous situation but could not, for the life of me, think of a way to end it or get them out of it. It took me about ten months to get over that and it ended as quickly as it started. Once I'd figured out how, I was able to solve it and go on to end the book quickly.

-> Why do you write two books at once? Isn't it confusing? Do you ever mess up the different plots?
I didn't start writing two at the same time until my seventh and eighth when I had started book seven and had a great idea for book eight and I was so desperate to write it, I almost came close to abandoning book seven. So I decided to try writing two at once. I write two chapters of one, switch over and write two of the other and it worked for me so well that I plan to continue doing it. I haven't yet had an accident or confused the plots, but I make sure that I follow my chapter plan and read the previous chapters before starting the next two. Usually I just read the last two and carry on as it's generally enough to remind me where I am in the story. I wouldn't say it's for everyone, but it does seem to keep my muse singing and works very well. It also means I am twice as productive as far as completed books go!

-> Which do you prefer writing, crime novels or the other genres you have dabbled in?
I don't really have a preference, if I'm honest. If I have the idea of a story and I feel like I can work with it and make it into a book, then I'll go where the characters and plot take me. I will say that I mostly write crime novels and have only, so far, written two outside of that genre. However, I have an idea for book eleven (yes, thinking ahead!) that won't be crime related and I think that I can really do it justice. It will all depend on whether the plot and back story are viable enough for me to write them. Nothing is set in stone and it's why I like working the way I do, although I am pretty sure about the plot for book twelve, the sixth "Dying Thoughts" book. I guess saying that, I must subconsciously have a preference because I keep writing for the crime genre.

-> You have a Facebook page, do you have a Twitter?
I do! It's not my official twitter though, it's my personal account and so it will contain things about my everyday life, but if you want to follow me you can - my user name is @MsJoeyBug

And that's all the questions. Thanks to everyone who submitted one and took part. Remember to 'like' Joey on Facebook and follow this blog for updates about upcoming releases, promotions and future chances to ask Joey a question about her books and writing. 

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