Author’s Spotlight: J.E. Clarkson Interview

J.E. Clarkson, author of the The Nemo and Co. series.

1. First, introduce yourself a bit. What is your name (or pen name) and where are you from?

I’m Jayne, nice to meet you. My pen name’s J.E. Clarkson. Not too different and I’m from Yorkshire.

2. Next, tell us a bit about your most recent work. Is this your first published book? What is it about and what genre would you classify it as?

My most recent book, The Ghost Society, is my second published book in a dystopian series. I’m currently editing book #3 and have written 25,000+ words of draft one of book # 4. The whole series is dystopian sci-fi, I suppose but I would also say they have thriller elements to them too. They are about power, oppression, lies and how information is used and disseminated.

3. Tell us a bit about your main character; what are they like, how did they come about, and what are some of their strengths and weaknesses?

My main character is a young, ordinary woman who goes to work in a shady information storage company as a cleaner. Her positive qualities are that she is feisty, determined, resourceful and resilient but her negative qualities are that she can be a bit naïve and judgemental at times. In a sense, she’s an everywoman. She just appeared one day, I’m not sure how?

4. What was your hardest scene to write in this (or any) book?

In book #4, I was writing a scene trying to bring together some key plot strands from the first three books. It was like plaiting fog! I’m sure it’ll need writing again!

5. Did you go the traditional route when publishing your book or did you choose to self-publish?

I self-published it. Would I have got through the traditional process? I’m not sure, they might’ve thought it was a load of old cobblers. But I wanted to put it out there and so I did.

6. What would you say is the most difficult part of your writing journey and what advice would you give to other writers?

The hardest part is three words: Marketing, marketing, and marketing. Advice for writers? Start reading up on marketing before you publish because, by gum, it’ll make your life easier afterwards!

7. Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

I’d like my books to stand alone but they are part of a series, so obviously, there are parts of the later books that are trickier to understand if you haven’t read the earlier ones.

8. What are some of your favourite authors and books and what inspired you to become a writer in the first place?

My fave authors are Sylvia Plath, Poe, Jo Nesbo, Tolstoy, the Bronte’s, Dickens, Steig Larsson and George Orwell. Fave books are Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams, Ariel, Somebody’s Husband, Somebody’s Son, 1984 and Anna Karenina. I always loved words and how they fit together, simple as that!

9. What would you say has been the best way to market your books?

Two things have been the best way to market my books: chinwagging with people both in real life and on social media and secondly, promo sheets. Good lord, they are genius things!

10. Are there any tropes, clichés, or writing styles that you dislike and, if so, what are they and why?

I’m fairly open-minded about style, really. I’m not bothered about clichés if it’s a rip-roaring, good read. I prefer shorter sentences as a reader, though. I’m not mad keen on verbosity.

11. Do you read reviews of your book and, if so, how do you handle negative feedback?

I do read reviews. It’s good to get the feedback. Negative ones can be tricky but I try to suss out whether it’s constructive and if I can learn from it? If it’s just a person being snarky, I’d take no notice.

12. What are some of your quirks as a writer? Do you like to plot everything out or do you prefer to just “wing it” and see where the story takes you? Do you listen to music when writing and, if so, what do you listen to?

I wing it! Absolutely. I often have no idea where things are going to end up when I start writing. There’s freedom in that, I think. I nearly always listen to music. Stuff like The Lemonheads, The Clash, Sonic Youth, Billie Holliday, Nina Simone, Massive Attack, and The Sex Pistols. My grammar’s a wee bit quirky at times and I do write in dialect a bit.

13. What is the best advice you’ve ever had when it comes to writing and what advice would you give to new writers?

Best advice is don’t edit when you first write. It makes you freer and opens up your imagination. Advice for new writers is very simple. Just do it and keep at it!

14. What’s next for you? Are you currently working on any new books or stories?

I’ve got to finish The Nemo and Co. series. Then I’ve got a detective series brewing in my brain.

15. Finally, feel free to plug your social media, website, and links to Amazon, GoodReads, and other relevant sites below, and detail any current offers available for your book/s:

The Vanishing Office is free until 28th of May 2021 then 0.99c or 77p.

If you’d like to be featured in an interview, please check out the interview submissions page to submit your answers.

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