Wednesday, 6 May 2015

OFF BOOK - Blog Tour

It gives me great pleasure to have Jessica Dall with me today on her blog tour.

I managed to ask her a few questions about her writing and what else she gets up to.

What inspired you to write your first book?
I’ve always more or less been a writer, scribbling ideas down here and there and writing little stories. My first book I wrote, though, actually came from a bunch of my friends writing fan fiction. It’s a bit of a train wreck and will forever be buried deep on my hard drive (though I admit I used a small clip in my most recent novel Off Book as an example of a bad first novel) but I ended up taking the idea of a Harry Potter fan fic and turned it into my own (pretty awful) novel.

What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing it to life?
I’ve been lucky to have a pretty smooth run of things when it comes to my writing. I’ve always had supportive people around who have helped me every step of the way. I was also very lucky to marry a wonderful man who happens to come from a family of academics who all love research so I’ve had amazing added support there for the past few years. For Off Book, my largest struggle likely was making sure every non-original character used (the characters run into a few from other books) was public domain. That took some time looking into.

Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?

I tend to have a really hard time putting actors to my characters since they tend to look a certain way in my head and it’s rare to find someone who matches up exactly. For Off Book, though, I’d rather like to see some fresh faces playing the leads. Actors that aren’t really know yet.

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?

I’ve always loved writing, so I’ve never had a problem with starting things. Starting is relatively easy. Sticking with a story all the way through to the end—even when I start hitting that bad slump in the middle that always seems to come—has been the hard part. That I’ve just started to force my way through saying I’ll fix the bad parts in editing.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?

Even when I try to outline, I find myself going off the rails quite a bit, so ninety-nine percent of the time I just start writing and see what happens. I’ve always said that if I’ve created characters realistic enough that they can direct the plot without me I’ve created good characters.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

I find writing to be the easy part of the process. I’ve done NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) since college, so I’ve gotten used to writing quickly. Getting a first draft normally only takes me a couple of months. Getting from a first draft to what is published, however, can take much, much longer.

Where can you see yourself in five years time?

I’m rather lucky in that I’m already doing most of what I hope to be doing in the long term. In five years I hope I’m still writing and editing and teaching and, ideally, making a good living from it.

How do you relax?

It’s a rather boring (or perhaps expected) answer, but I write. If I get stressed, being able to escape into another world is great to relax. Outside of writing, I knit and am a singer (though the second one has dropped off more than I might like).

Many thanks to Jessica for taking the time to chat.

Twenty-year-old Eloise has learned all she can from the School, where characters live until joining their novels. No one knows genre and plot structure better than her, but despite her knowledge, she’s yet to be assigned to her own story. All her friends are off starting their lives with their authors—and if Eloise doesn’t get assigned soon, she’ll fade away, forgotten by all.

When she is suddenly offered a job at the Recording Office, she takes the chance to write her own future. Suddenly living among the post-storied, Eloise meets Barnaby Fitzwilliam, a former romance novel hero who hasn’t lost any of his in-story charm. But just as their relationship begins to get serious, everything Eloise has been taught gets turned upside down when she’s sucked into a novel she was never meant to be part of.

Now, caught where the only rules are made by the authors and truly anything is possible, Eloise must find her way back home—or else her life might end before she ever gets the chance to live it.

Set in a world dictated by Authors, OFF BOOK explores the story beneath the stories we all know and love, taking readers and characters alike on an adventure just waiting to be written.

About the author:
Jessica Dall finished her first novel at age 15 and been writing ever since. She is the author of such novels as Grey Areas and The Bleeding Crowd, the Broken Line Series, and a number of short stories which have appeared in both literary magazines and anthologies. When not writing, she works as a freelance editor and creative writing teacher in Washington, DC.

Find Jessica Dall on twitter, facebook, and goodreads. 

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