Wednesday 17 April 2013

Guest Author Interview - Jayne Lockwood

Welcome to Wednesday's guest author interview with Jayne Lockwood, you can read about her below:

Who are you and what do you do?
Hi, my name Jayne Lockwood and for my sins, I can now call myself a writer. I’m also a mother, a homemaker and a previously published author of erotic fiction, under the pseudonym Savannah Smythe. I don’t write erotica now, but still love the sensual interplay between characters, which comes out in my “mainstream” writing. On the home front, I run a book group and participitate in a writing group, Four Writers in a Pub. We are working on an anthology at the moment. Privacy is very important, which is why I won’t talk about my family. Books, films an all kinds of writing challenges interest me most. I hate reality TV, celebrity culture (an oxymoron if ever there was one) and love giving my opinions on books and films. Writing gives me the chance to be totally myself, without the obligations of motherhood and social expectation.

What inspired you to start writing?
It wasn’t a conscious decision. I’ve been making up stories in my head since I was very young. I think it was hitting puberty that made me realise I could actually write these things down, although at the time I didn’t think “I want to be Daphne due Maurier.” I was just doing it to get all the different voices and ideas out of my head.

What was your first story?
Oh, this is very strange. I guess you would call it fan fiction these days, but I wrote an alternative version of A Clockwork Orange, based entirely on seeing the album cover for the soundtrack in my local record shop. I had asked my mother about it and she had gone off at the deep end, telling me never to talk about that “dirty, disgusting film.” So of course, my interest was piqued. I did research in the local libraries but it was really hard to get any information at that time, so I made it up! I think it was about a boy who was having a hard time at school and there was only one girl who understood him. I don’t have it now. I think I burned it!

If you could work with any author, who would it be?
This is a really hard question because I could list any number of wonderful authors that I really admire, but would I really want to work with them? I’m going to be brave (or arrogant – take your pick) and say none, because I’m a bit precious about my writing and want it to be in my own voice, without other influences creeping in. At a push, I would say Dean Koontz, because he has the combination of abject horror, wit and humour that really appeals to me as a reader. Or Dame Barbara Cartland, because she found a winning formula and really capitalised on it. She was the original chick lit doyenne.

Where do you most like to write?
If I’m working on prose, then it has to be somewhere cosy, warm and above all, quiet. That could be anywhere in the house. I don’t have a “writing room,” surrounded by Jo Malone candles and classic novels. Somewhere with a view, perhaps. But if I’m storyboarding or thinking of an important piece of dialogue, I always go out to a local Cafe Nero with a notepad (never my laptop). A latte and vibrant characters around me, I love doing that.

What do you like most about writing?
I love doing dialogue. The trick is to make every word relevant, so it can be a challenge, but that is my favourite part of the creative process. And good reviews!

And the least?
Not writers block, strangely, because it can give you time out to step away from the problem. Then when you go back to it, you’re fresh and the answer can present itself. What I hate most is the relentless self-publicising you have to do in order to be heard. Sometimes I feel as if I am howling at the wind. Is anyone out there? Does anyone care? It’s a lonely feeling at times.

What advice would you give new and aspiring writers?
First off, don’t try too hard. Be confident in your own voice. I’ve always avoided creative writing courses or too much advice. Having said that, the technicalities, especially proofreading, should be done by someone else. You can never see your own mistakes. Secondly, don’t expect to make a living at it. Have a go, but be prepared to struggle. There are a lot of us out there. We’re a bit like sperm, fighting towards a precious egg that is a publishing deal to rival JK Rowlings. Do the math...

What are you working on at the moment?
At the minute I’m working on Closer Than Blood Part 1: Dealbreaker. It’s the first half of a trilogy, based on a manuscript I first wrote over ten years ago. It’s turning into a noirish story of murder, incest and double-dealing, and I’m very excited about it. The dialogue between the two main characters is very savage. I’m hoping to publish it by the end of April.

Tell us about your latest work and how we can find out more.
The Cloud Seeker evolved over the years since 9/11, and deals in part with affect of that atrocity on one man, Max O’Donnell, who moves into an English village to be near his estranged son. He meets Cat Cartwright, who has had her own difficulties to overcome; divorce, the loss of her only child and subsequent depression.

Cat is my main character, a strong, emotionally bruised woman who does not need a man in her life. And Max is not a typical hero. He’s a liar and a fraud. He swears, drinks too much and is tormented by nightmares and flashbacks. Surely any relationship between such apposite people can only lead to disaster?

The Cloud Seeker is available as an ebook on Kindle

My website and blog:

Buy now from Amazon (US) | Buy now from Amazon (UK) 

Thanks to Jayne for sharing her thoughts with us, on Friday  Martin Hill takes his turn in the hot seat.

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