My debut novel is entitled New Beginnings. It’s the first of three books in a series, presented in blog/diary form, and is written from the perspective of Natasha Arden, a 31-year-old single woman living in Cheshire. Tasha may write in a chatty, light-hearted way, but her story is not a romantic comedy: she faces moral dilemmas, heartache, and difficult choices. You may laugh with her at times, but you’ll also cry with and for her as she tries to make the best of what life throws her way. The book includes adult themes and unresolved conflicts; it’s not a happy-skippy dance in the park, but then neither is real life, is it?
Tell us something about yourself.
I’m Welsh and have lived in North Wales all my life. I’ve been writing for pleasure since the age of ten, but I’ve only recently plucked up the courage to share my work.
What inspired you to write this book?
It was a combination of three things: a song, a snippet of dialogue that popped into my head whilst working on another piece, and a series of events that happened to some people that I know.
How did you publish this book?
At the moment, the book is available in e-book format via Amazon. I’m looking into other avenues of publishing, and also approaching agents and publishers in the more traditional way.
How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?
I won two prizes for ‘Creative Writing’ whilst in primary school, and that fired both my imagination and my enthusiasm. I knew then that I loved to write, whether or not anyone else was going to read my work. I began writing short stories and what would today be recognised as ‘fanfic’ for my own entertainment, and in my twenties I penned my first full-length novel. I didn’t do anything with it, but I’ve continued to write in my spare time.
What do you believe is the hardest part of writing?
Finding enough spare time to write!
How do you do research for your books?
I usually write what I know, but for “New Beginnings” I used internet resources for some aspects of the story to ensure medical accuracy.
Did you learn anything from writing this book? What?
I learned a lot about epilepsy, brain injury, and depression. I also learned that a story can sometimes end in an entirely different way from the original plan.
What are you reading now?
“Life’s That Way” by Jim Beaver
What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors? Why?
I’m a very eclectic reader. The genre is less important to me than the characters and their journey.
Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?
I’m working on two books that will tie in with the series – one is a sequel, the other is the same story from a different viewpoint – and I’ve also started sketching plans for an entirely different story.
What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?
Have faith in yourself. Enjoy what you do. Don’t give up.
What are you doing to promote your latest book?
I have profiles on Facebook and Twitter, and a blog on Essential Writers, all of which are regularly updated. Extracts from my book are available free on Authonomy, Night Reading, and Authors on Show, and I’m looking at showcasing my work on other similar sites. I’ve recently approached several online reviewers with a request for them to read and review my book (I’m awaiting their responses). I’ve also created a signature stamp for all outgoing emails (see below).
Where can readers learn more about you and your book?
My website: http://www.johannanield.co.uk