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Interview with Australian author and blogger - Jayne Fordham
My guest today is Jayne Fordham. Jayne is an Australian writer and psychologist who has just released her YA fantasy romance - A Season of Transformation. She is also a freelance writer specializing in health, lifestyle, and travel. On her blog The Australian Bookshelf - she promotes the Australian book and publishing industry as well as highlighting well established and upcoming Australian authors - Jayne doesn't limit herself to Australia - she enjoys books from Irish, American and English authors as well.
Years and years of reading! During my first couple of years at University I didn’t read very much because I was studying and then finally I really got back into it. I remember finishing a book one day and thinking, I could write a book. I loved to write as a child and just threw myself back into it. After testing out a couple of genres and writing short stories, I had some ideas come to mind and A Season Of Transformation just came alive.
Is there a theme that runs through your writing?
Definitely romance. It is unlikely that a story (unless it is outstanding) will hold my attention unless it has a hint of romance whether it is the main storyline or a sub-plot. In recent years, my writing seems to have taken on the fantasy, paranormal and scifi elements which have opened up many exciting areas to explore.
What writers influenced you?
I have such an eclectic reading style that it would be difficult to pinpoint specific writers that influence me. Those that stand out for me are Jane Austen and various Australian authors whom I respect such as Monica McInerney, John Marsden and Maureen McCarthy.
How has your writing evolved over time?
Well I hope that it has improved over time! I am not a ‘trained writer,’ I am a professional and so almost everything I have learnt about writing has been self-taught. I have also undergone short writing workshops and for my novel A Season Of Transformation I also sought the help of a mentor and manuscript assessor which provided me with invaluable feedback to improve my writing style. I am working on an adult fantasy, scifi novel at the moment and I can already see how my writing has changed since writing the YA novel.
You are a professional and a writer. How do you manage to find the time for both of these time consuming aspects of your life?
This is definitely the hardest part! I work full-time as a psychologist and then I come home at the end of the day, spend up to an hour writing and another hour responding to emails, blogging and networking. Most of my weekends are taken up doing this. When I get the chance I also do some freelance writing on the side, but I haven’t been able to do this lately because of my schedule. Although book promotion, marketing and networking can be hard work at times, I don’t see writing that way. It can be difficult for me to get into a routine where I do write regularly, but when I do I find it very rewarding. I guess it is a form of ‘self-care’ for me as a professional but it comes with many other benefits. I hope that one day I will be able to find a better balance and spend more time writing, perhaps drop hours in my professional role.
How do you promote your books?
I use various social networking platforms, but I have found the best way to promote my book is to enlist reviewers and have them promote it for me on their blogs- that way I reach plenty more readers. To do this I organised a two month long book blog tour (currently running) by contacting over 20 bloggers who have agreed to do reviews, giveaways, interviews and/ or guest posts during the tour. This has been very time consuming but I hope it will pay off in the long run with more and more people being exposed to my book.
How do you promote your blog?
Well I have definitely gotten on the social marketing bandwagon! I promote my blog via Twitter Facebook, Goodreads & Bookblogs.
Please add anything else you think would interest the readers including pictures of you.
Thank you for having me Brenda; it has been so nice talking with another writer who has a similar professional background. It is lovely to see that we writers come from various backgrounds and walks of life.