This is Jessica Bell’s blog tour for her new novel String Bridge. Yay! I’ve interviewed her so you can all get to know her better. This is also a giveaway for a signed copy of String Bridge so make sure you read until the end and fill out the form! The giveaway is open until Thursday when I will announce the winner.
Is there something specific you have to do before you begin writing each day? Like having a cup of tea or straightening the pencils on your desk?
I have to have everything tidy on my desk otherwise I feel like the mess will disorganize my thoughts. I also need to know I have as much time as I want. I can’t write in a time slot.
Margaret Atwood is one of your favorite authors, which of her books is your favorite and why?
The Robber Bride comes to mind first because it is primarily character-driven. It’s told in the POV of four different women, three who are connected by knowing the fourth. I read it a long time ago, but since the day I read it, nothing has really topped it. But I do still LOVE everything I’ve read of hers. Some of my other favorites are The Handmaid’s Tale, Alias Grace, Life Before Man and The Edible Woman.
Is most of your writing character-driven or plot-driven?
Definitely character-driven, but I do think I maintain a decent amount of plot to keep the pages turning.
Do you have any general advice you can give writers for getting to this point in their careers?
Take criticism and feedback on your writing with a grain of salt. Ultimately YOU have to decide what works. And listen to your heart. Learn the rules and then break them intelligently. I learnt that the hard way. In the early days, I was told by an editor at a professional and very well-established critique service that I had a perfect voice for women’s fiction even though my heart kept saying to strive for literary fiction. I listened. I rewrote and rewrote and rewrote until my story didn’t sound like it was written by me anymore. Despite hating what it turned out to be, I tried to get it published. Then Janice, from Lucky Press, came along and read between the lines. She understood me because she read other material I had posted online, etc. She understood that my real voice wasn’t shining through in this story. But she gave me a chance to rewrite it and it all worked out brilliantly. I can’t thank Janice enough. String Bridge would have been shelved for good if it wasn’t for her generosity and encouragement.
What is your favorite sound?
Now be sure to enter the giveaway and go to the other blogs on the tour. Next Monday I’ll have a review of the book so be sure to come back and check that out as well.