We welcome author JE Nice to talk about writing. Find her books on Amazon, link below.
For you what has been the most difficult part of being a writer?
From a practical point of view, the most difficult part is actually sitting down, getting my brain to work and writing words. Although once I get into it I tend to fly along.
But I think equally as difficult, when you’re a writer, is deciding how to publish. I spent a good few years deliberating and finally I went the self-publishing route without even trying the traditional route.
How much of your writing is inspired by real life?
This depends on the book. In my trilogy, only the setting is inspired by real life. But, of course, the emotions of certain characters are based on how I would feel in that situation.
My latest work in progress, which will hopefully be out in late 2018, is much closer to home. My two main characters work in marketing, which I also did for a few years. I needed them to hate their jobs and I needed their jobs to be something I understood – the marketing industry fit the bill perfectly so I’m using my personal experience for that.
But so far, thankfully, I haven’t experienced the hauntings that they’ll come to experience, or the man-eating dragons of my The Last War trilogy.
What genre do you write?
I write fantasy mostly, although sometimes I dip into sci-fi. My trilogy features a new world with dragons and my current novel-in-progress is a paranormal-fantasy.
Has writer’s block been a problem for you?
I suffered horrible writer’s block when I was a teenager, but since being an adult I don’t tend to get it. I think I’ve accrued enough ideas over the years that if something isn’t working I just start work on something else.
How did you overcome it?
Back when I was a teenager and I was stuck, I would read about the craft of writing. I would search articles on how to write, develop characters, structure, pacing, etc. It would fire me up and make me want to write.
But when I was really stuck, it was actually a film that unstuck me. I’d spent months wanting to write fantasy and not having a story to tell. Then I went to see The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring at the cinema and my mind was blown. I started writing the moment I got home.
I think when you get blocked, you need a heavy jolt and some inspiration.
When do you write?
I’ve tried to teach myself to write at any time of the day and from anywhere, but it’s hard. I’m a night owl so I want to write at night, but family life now makes that difficult. I now have to be up so early and I love my sleep, so that means early nights. I’m trying to write in the mornings so it gets done and doesn’t get forgotten. So far, it’s a struggle!
Do you have a schedule?
I try to write every day and ideally I want to write 1,000 words every day, but sometimes it’s only 100.
What have you published?
My fantasy trilogy, The Last War, is available now.
The trilogy is set in another world, mostly in the city of Drummbek, where dragons and humans live and work side by side.
In the middle of the city is a castle on top of a hill, and screams echo through it. Tabitha is a maid at the castle, and while the other staff try to ignore the screaming, she can’t. She needs to find out what’s going on.
Outside of the city walls, exiled veteran dragonslayer, Del knows exactly what’s going on and is making her way back home.
The trilogy follows Tabitha and Del, and other characters, as they bring peace to Drummbek castle and deal with the following aftermath that could destroy their city.
Where can people find it?
And you can get the first book, Matter of Time, for free right here.
What writers do you admire?
I tend to prefer individual books or series rather than an author’s whole back catalogue. The only author who I will read anything by is Terry Pratchett.
But I love V.E.Schwab’s Vicious, and am anxiously awaiting the sequel due later this year. Chris Wooding’s The Ketty Jay series is also a firm favourite, as well as Joe Abercrombie’s The First Law trilogy, and Raid by K.S.Merbeth.
Is there a theme in your writing?
There does tend to be a theme of strong women in my writing. My main characters are usually female. And something strange always has to happen. I tried to write normal stories, but ghosts or dragons or fairies always tend to pop up somewhere.
What are you currently reading?
A few months ago we got a puppy, so it’s been a while since I read anything properly. I’ve been too busy trying to find a routine that works for us and where I can get work done! It’s especially hard as I usually read before bed. I’m trying to read Sarah Pinborough’s Mayhem when I get the chance.
What else inspires you to write?
Over the years I’ve come to recognise that I simply love storytelling, whatever its format. A good story will always inspire me to write. But otherwise, personally, it’s something I was born with. I need to write otherwise my brain doesn’t function properly.
I find inspiration for stories everywhere. My current novel-in-progress was inspired by an episode of Castle, re-watching a series of Jonathan Creek, reading a short story about fairies, my mum working on our family history and a dream I had!
What advice do you have for new writers?
Writers will tell you to read, read, read. But doing that just makes you a reader. If you want to write, you need to write, write, write. That’s all there is to it.
Publishing choices can wait until the words are written, and now there are so many choices open to writers.