Thursday, February 21, 2013

Author Interview: Holly Goddard Jones

Yesterday I reviewed a wonderful debut novel by Holly Goddard Jones - The Next Time You See Me.  Today I have the great opportunity to interview the author and share her answers, so here we go . . . 

1.  What do you find yourself rambling about?

I tend to ramble out of nervousness, which means that there’s no real about—I’m just trying to fill a silence with some inanity. Well, I guess there’s a nice kind of rambling I sometimes do with my husband, when we’re on a long car ride together or a couple of drinks into an evening out, and I start yammering without a filter about a new writing project or a book I’m reading.

2.       What part of this debut novel process have you most enjoyed experiencing?

 The nicest part for me is that safe space of anticipation, when I’m not yet contending with reviews or sales and can just enjoy the little thrills, like seeing the cover for the first time or getting a blurb.

3.       Before becoming a published author, did you have any speed bumps along the way?  If so, how did you overcome them?

 Oh, of course. Plenty of rejections from literary journals, to start. One failed novel attempt. Work and life problems. I don’t know if I overcame those bumps in the road so much as I trusted—perhaps stupidly—that it was all part of the process. I’ve been lucky, too, in the sense that I’ve often had something hopeful happen in close proximity with a rejection that might otherwise have set me to despairing. I won a writing award at about the same time I finally scrapped my first bad novel, for instance.

4.       If you could put your book into any one person’s hands, who would it be?

 Probably Stephen King’s, because he’s the writer I loved when I was first reading adult fiction and first thinking that this is something I’d like to do with my life. I’d be fulfilling the dream of a younger, more wide-eyed, less cynical me. Plus, he strikes me as one of those readers who genuinely goes to a book with the hope of loving it instead of judging it.

5.       I don’t want to spoil any endings - but did you know that these characters would end up where they did when you started writing?

 Not exactly. I had a general sense of where each of the three main characters would end up, and those trajectories became clearer and clearer to me as I made my way through the draft. But I’ve never, for short fiction or long, done much in the way of outlining or formally planning the plot. I rely on the process to teach me what I need to know about the characters.

6.       What is next on your plate?

I’ve started a new novel, and I have an unfinished short story hanging over my head. 

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