Wednesday 20 June 2018

BLOG TOUR ~ Toxic by Jacqui Rose - Q&A Session

Hi Everyone,

Today is my stop on the Blog Tour for Toxic by Jacqui Rose where I welcome Jacqui to my blog where she has kindly provided me with a super Q&A session. I was thrilled to be asked by Sabah Khan from Avon Books to take part along with some other fab book bloggers. You can find out who else is taking part in this fabulous Blog Tour at the end of this piece so without further ado, here it is:

Hi Celeste, I’m delighted you’re part of my blog tour. Thank you for having me. It’s very exciting to be back!

When did you first realise you wanted to be a writer?
It didn’t dawn on me for a long time as I always associated writing with really studious people. I went to a very academic school where if you didn’t go to Oxford or Cambridge you were seen as somewhat of a failure! It was a boarding school and it was really strict to the point we were only allowed to read certain books. The books we were given were really hard going – Ulysses, War and peace or books written by authors such as Fyodor Dostoyevsky! Not something you wanted to read at 13yrs old! So I wrote my own stories and sold them to the girls at school, always leaving a cliff-hanger so they’d want to buy the next instalment, though I didn’t get rich on it, it was either in exchange for contraband sweets (we were only allowed sweets once a week and I’m greedy!) or it was getting them to do my Latin homework for me. But I did love it, writing gave me a freedom of mind that I didn’t get in everyday life, creating characters, hearing and seeing them so vividly in my head was like someone had handed me a box of magic. Though it was years later when I got frustrated with all these stories piling up in head that I thought I’d put pen to paper and do something about it. And I was very lucky it happened really quickly. And although for my day job I write crime thrillers which are so much fun, in my downtime for myself I write quirky accessible literary fiction (think it must be all those years of having to read the classics.)

What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
Well I don’t really plot my books or make notes, I write organically, but I do try to spread the writing of the book over a balanced period of time but if the idea doesn’t form in my head I just have to sit tight until it does. So I might start off thinking over a three month period I’ll write a thousand words a day but if I don’t hear the voice of the characters clearly then I have to wait until I do which means sometimes I’ll be writing a book in just six weeks – not something I recommend! But if everything is equal I like to get up early, say six thirty and write till about 8 o clock. When I’m writing I just feel like a secretary to my characters as all I feel like I’m doing is typing up what I’m seeing and hearing in my head. I edit as I go along as I can’t stand messy or chaos in my writing, then I’ll have a nice cup of coffee and spend the rest of the day riding and looking after my horses. At the end of the book it gets intense so I write in the afternoon for a couple of hours as well. I like to break it up so my head’s not spinning!

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I think that I have to keep changing rooms whilst I’m writing. I’ll start off in my study then twenty minutes later I’ll get restless then move to the laptop downstairs then after half an hour or so I’ll get restless again and I’ll move into another room or the summer house. It’s odd but it happens all the time. I can’t ever stay in the same room.

 What is your favourite and least favourite thing about writing?
The best part is the excitement of hearing and seeing new characters and the journey they’re going to take me on because I have no idea from day to day, so it’s a real adventure. I love it. I feel very lucky that this is how I earn my living, I can take my laptop into the fields or stables with my horses and write my story there – it’s an incredible feeling. Writing and horses – the most perfect combination! The worst part of writing is when something happens in your life that influences how you think. In early October my mum was diagnosed with cancer and then a month later she died, it was really tough to keep writing and doing your edits when your head is all over the place but I just had to keep pushing through and digging deep. But that’s the worst part when you need to write and your brain isn’t functioning the way it should!    

What's the one thing your readers don't know about you?
That I was taught to play golf by the Duchess of Devonshire – at school it was a choice between double maths or golf, of course I chose the golf but oddly I was the only one in my form who did! So once a week I was driven to Chatsworth House and spent the afternoon with the Duchess trying to play golf!  

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