Fifth blog tour of the day! Thank you for all of the shares and support for the previous blog posts today – much appreciated. I am back with my second RaRaResources blog tour of the day, a Q&A with author of Dark and Fluffy, Janet Stock. Before all of that, here is a little more information about the book:
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.
Q&A with Janet Stock
Could you tell us a bit about you and your background before you began writing?
I’m a 51 year old mum of a teenage son. I started writing as a child and took it up again about 10 years ago. I 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. I work part-time in an engineering company in Lincoln, but I hope to become a writer full-time in the near future.
Have you always wanted to become a published writer?
Yes, that’s always been my dream
What made you decide to write your new novel?
I always promised myself that I would become a writer and get something out into the public domain. I turned 50 last year and decided to do it then. My current book is a collection of short fiction works. Some of the stories in the books have been on my computer for many years, and I decided to dust them off and publish them in an anthology. There are also some new pieces and a couple of stories actually showcase future works of mine, Queens of England and Gisella in Dark & Fluffy II are examples of these.
How hard was it to find the inspiration for your book?
I always have ideas for stories, ideas are always floating around in my head, and I don’t always know where they come from, they just pop in. Alternatively, I deliberately take a topical subject such as the Windrush scandal and the suffragette commemorations and write stories around those themes.
If you could pick a favourite character from your novel, who would it be and why?
I think Elizabeth Bennet is a timeless character. I think that whatever kind of woman you are, you can identify with and recognise some of her characteristics in yourself.
Did you ever regret writing a character into your story after it was published?
That hasn’t happened yet! I think getting to know your characters is key, especially when writing a novel, if you know them inside out you shouldn’t really have cause for regretting adding them.
Did you find yourself under any personal pressure for your debut novel to succeed and be liked by many?
I try not to worry too much about whether people will like what I write. That may sound funny as we all want our writing to be well-received, but if I worried too much about what people thought I probably wouldn’t write at all. I have put quite a punishing plan in place with regards to getting my first novel finished. I always give myself deadlines, I find I work better that way, my writing become the priority then.
Time for a tough one, if you could choose any book that has already been published to be the author of, which one would you choose and why?
That’s not too tough. I would choose to be the author of the Harry Potter series of books. To be that successful, famous and rich from writing books, doing something that you love has surely got to be every writers dream!
What does your ‘writing space’ look like?
A laptop surrounded by notebooks, folders, bits of paper and reference books. With a pot of coffee in there somewhere.
Were there any authors you wanted to be like, when you were a child?
Probably Enid Blyton. I loved her imagination and the fact that she wrote so many successful books.
If you had to sum up your book to a stranger in five words, what would they be and why?
Quirky, amusing, historical, dark and universal.
What’s coming up next for you? Any exclusives?
My main 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.
And..I have literally just found a synopsis for a novel set in the dark ages that I must have wrote years ago. So, after all ofthe above, look out for a character called Morjena in the future!
One final question. What advice would you give to a writer that wants to be published? Any words of wisdom?
Just write. If you want to do it, just sit down, write, and then just write some more.