Author of Keep Her Safe
-What are your top 5 writing essentials?
Put simply – my laptop, some snacks, a drink, loud music (although sometimes silence), and several notebooks. The type of snacks I have vary depending on what time of day I write and how virtuous I am feeling. They can be anything from nuts to fruit to crisps or chocolates. The same goes for the drinks – green tea or Green Cola or, when I’m on holiday, wine. I like having something to make it feel like a treat when I am settling into a session.
-Who or what are your biggest influences in writing?
This is such an interesting question. And to be honest I don’t now how to answer succinctly. Everyone I’ve ever read is probably the easiest way to sum it up. As a writer I am inspired and influenced all of the time, I think when you are a writer you do read books as a writer and that changes everything. I’m always learning. But it’s not just authors and poets who influence me, conversations with friends, disagreements, chance encounters, human behaviours, they all play a part in making my writing what it is.
-What do you find most enjoyable about writing?
I LOVE the first write of a new draft where the story is unfolding and even though I’ve planned it, new and exciting things always emerge. I think for me, once I get going I do like the editing process and fixing issues and plot holes, but it’s definitely the part I find the hardest. Responding to (often brilliant) feedback takes time and sometimes I find it overwhelming, even though I know I always do find a solution in the end. I find taking time to process feedback is important too. I’ll have a mini strop that I haven’t nailed something and that it needs yet more input, but then I’ll go for a dog walk or chat to a friend, and I’ll snap out of my mood and knuckle down to work everything out. Editing is not as much fun as writing, but it is where the magic happens.
-Where do you get the inspiration to create your characters?
From various places and people. I’m always observing! For Keep her Safe the daughter, Anya, was inspired by a painting in a hotel I was staying at in Wales. As soon as I saw the image I knew it was her. I do lots of writing exercises at the start of a novel to really get to know each character inside out and make them fully formed. People often ask me where I get their names from or if they are people I know and the answer is no. They are their own people, and always brand new!
-What are you working on next?
My next novel is another psychological suspense book. It follows two friends after they’ve suffered a shared trauma, and looks at how their behaviours are affected. Here’s the blurb so far; it may very well change…
What if, after a shared traumatic event, one person vows to live by the rules, while the other goes out of her way to break them?
Her accident was their fault. After all, they broke the rules.
Lucy follows the rules, both big and small. But recently she is frustrated by how other people always get away with their rule breaking. She takes it upon herself to deliver karma to everyone who pushes the boundaries. At first it’s fun, but dishing out karma has consequences of its own.
Emily does as she pleases. As far as she’s concerned life is too short. She parks on double yellow lines. She doesn’t give way. And she steals anything she likes the look of, until someone starts sending her messages telling her they know what she did and that she must own up.
With the differences in their values and beliefs widening, will the guilt of surviving an accident from their teenage years prove too much for their friendship? Or will they finally tell everyone the truth about what happened the day they skipped school and broke the rules?
Rules are there to be followed, and when they’re not, the consequences can last a lifetime.
For more information on Jen visit her website: http://jenfaulkner.co.uk/