Interview with Janet Stock…..
Q For those who don’t know already, could you tell us about yourself and your book(s) please?
A I’m a 51 year old mum of a teenage son, who after dithering about for years decided last year, to take my writing seriously and self-publish at least one book. I ended up self-publishing 3 books last year, Dark & Fluffy, Dark & Fluffy Vol II and 500 Words. The Dark & Fluffy 1 & 2 are an assortment of short fiction works, and 500 Words consists of 5 flash fiction pieces that I wrote for my website. I am currently promoting Dark & Fluffy II.
Q Where did/do you get your ideas from?
A My ideas are always floating around in my head, and I don’t always know where they come from, they just pop in, or alternatively I deliberately take a topical subject such as the Windrush scandal and the suffragette commemorations and write stories around those themes.
Q Are any of your characters based (however loosely) on anyone you know?
A I think most of my characters are based on people I know, either consciously or sub-consciously. I have a couple of teenage characters in my short stories that have reacted the same way my own teenage son would. The main character in the novel that I am currently working on reacts to some situations in the same way I think I would have done at a younger age.
Q How do you pick your characters names?
A Some names are ones that I think fit the character or the time period, some are influenced by family, and some are just there, the right name for the character, like Benedict the main character in my novel. There’s no reason for that name other than he is Benedict.
Q Can you share your writing process with us, in a nutshell?
A When I sit down in front of my computer, I always write something, it doesn’t matter what I write, it doesn’t need to be perfect first time. Getting words on paper is the important thing. If I’m writing a short story, I just get it all down, normally in one sitting, then edit it afterwards. For a novel, I plan the story then spilt that into chapters. I then get to know my main characters inside out. Then I use my plan to write the book. If it’s a historical work, I get the story down first then overlay the historical details on top.
Q Who are your top 5 favourite authors?
A Stephen King; Bernard Cornwell; J K Rowling; Edward Rutherford; William Shakespeare.
Q If you could meet any author, who would it be and what would you ask them?
A Stephen King. I’d ask him if I could collaborate on a novella with him, or the same with David Walliams, I think he’s the modern day Roald Dahl, I should imagine it would be great fun to write a book with him. I’m in awe of J K Rowling, if I met her, I’d ask her how it feels to be a celebrity author, and if the pressure of being so successful is a strain on her. It must be nice having the money etc but there must be enormous pressure as well. How do you top something as successful as Harry Potter?
Q Were you a big reader as a child?
A Yes, I was always reading. I read Enid Blyton, Tove Jansson and Ursula le Guin.
Q When did you start to write?
A I started writing as a young child. I took it up again about 10 years ago, and then last year I decided to try and make this my career.
Q If you could re-write the ending to any book what would it be and what would you change?
A I wouldn’t so much re-write, but maybe add to the end of Pride & Prejudice. It would be nice to have a final scene say a year or so after Elizabeth and Mr Darcy are married and see how life is for them. Is Elizabeth happy with the life she has chosen, is it all she thought it would be?
Q Is there a book you wish you had written?
A Harry Potter.
Q If you wrote an autobiography, what would your title be?
A She Got There Eventually!
Q If you could invite any fictional character for coffee who would it be and where would you take them?
A See the answer above reference Pride & Prejudice – probably Elizabeth Bennett, later in her life. I’d take her to a cocktail bar and get her to really open up about her married life as Mrs Darcy.
Q What are you working on right now?
A Right now I am working on the first of 3 medieval historical fiction novels. It’s the story of a young boy’s ambition to become one of the most famous and powerful minstrels ever known.
Q Do you have a new release due?
A My focus this year is to complete book 1 of my 12th century trilogy mentioned above, I intend finishing it this year. I have been writing this book on and off for 10 years, and self-publishing Dark & Fluffy II has given me the confidence to pursue bigger things. I hope to publish my novel the traditional way, i.e. with an agent and a publishing house. This is my ultimate dream.
I will also be self-publishing Alternative Histories later this year, a book that takes pivotal moments in history and looks at what-if scenarios. I have already showcased this idea in Dark & Fluffy II, in the story Queens of England. This is a story based around the idea of what could have happened if Queen Elizabeth I had not executed Mary Queen of Scots.
Looking further into the future, I will be self-publishing a novella called The Rue Stone. I have already self-published this as a short story, in the first Dark & Fluffy, and I have had lots of feedback all with a common thread; people felt a bit short changed after finishing the story and they would like to read more. I’ve taken on this feedback, which I agree with, and will now work on this to extend the story into a longer format.
After that, then it will be back to books 2 and 3 of my historical trilogy.
Interwoven with completing these books is an idea I have for a novella called A Tale of Two. This will be a story of two people, a man and a woman, who have an affair. The story will be told in two distinct parts, one from his point of view and one from hers.
Q What do you generally do to celebrate on publication day?
Q How can readers keep in touch with you?
A fb Janetstockwriter www.janetstockwriter.wordpress.com
Q Is there anything else you would like us to know?
A Now I’ve started writing I don’t intend to stop, I have a very large ideas folder so will be writing for many years to come. Look out for me!
Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, Janet 🙂
Dark & Fluffy: Volume II
Following on from Dark & Fluffy, this collection is a further nine short fiction pieces. The title Dark & Fluffy II, reflects the general styles of the stories/prose in the book. Some are a bit darker, and may be a bit uncomfortable to read, Death by Testing and The Broken Arrangement fall into this category. Others are happier, feel good pieces like The Disney Club. Whatever your preference, I’m sure you’ll find something that will grab your attention.
I am married with one teenage son and have always been a keen reader and writer since being young. I was born in Lancashire but have lived in Lincoln for over 30 years.
Several years ago I decided to take my writing seriously. I completed an OU course in creative writing and a Writers Bureau course. Initially I concentrated on short story writing, and when I turned fifty this year, I self-published my first book, Dark and Fluffy.
I love writing short stories, but my main goal is to have a novel published. Ten years ago, I started the first book of a trilogy of novels called The Little Servant (The Wait’s Son). I am still working on this, but now I have a serious intent to get this finished this year.
My favourite genre is medieval fiction, Bernard Cornwell is my favourite author. I also like to read Edward Rutherford, Stephen King, and Dean Coontz.
Check out the rest of the blog blitz for reviews, and more, with these awesome book bloggers…..
With thanks as always to Rachel.
happy reading 🙂