About Jennifer Barraclough:
I come from England, where I worked as a medical doctor specialising in psycho-oncology. In 2000 I moved with my husband and cats to New Zealand and developed a new career as a Bach flower practitioner, life coach and author. Having published several academic medical books in the past, I recently returned to my childhood passion for writing fiction. The trilogy which began with ‘Carmen’s Roses’ and ‘Blue Moon for Bombers’ has been completed with ‘The Windflower Vibration’, and these books are available individually or as the box set ‘Three Novellas’. My next novel ‘Overdose: a psychiatric tragicomedy’ will be available in 2015. My interests besides writing include choral singing and animal welfare.
What inspires you to write?
Ideas can come from my own life experience past and present, from dreams, sometimes apparently from nowhere. I’ve loved writing ever since I was a small girl – it’s what brings me ‘into the flow’ and is perhaps part of my ‘soul purpose’. But much as I love the actual writing process, it’s ultimately only worthwhile if the results can be read by others and hopefully have some positive impact on their lives.
Tell us about your writing process.
I start with a broad outline of each book, but this frequently changes as the work progresses. I like to write each chapter in a separate file and experiment with changing their sequence. To avoid mistakes in continuity I make a list of my characters’ names and ages, and the timeline of events. I try to find time to write every day, but have to fit around other activities so I’ve never managed to establish a regular routine.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Not exactly, but they do become very real to me and they have minds of their own.
What advice would you give other writers?
Write what you want to write, rather than what you think is going to sell. Ask a few trusted people to review your manuscript before you publish it. Check, check and check again for typos at every stage. Don’t be too sensitive to criticism – not everyone will like your work.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I had traditional publishers for the medical books I wrote in the UK. It was easy to get them accepted because in those days I had a professional reputation in my specialised field of work. But after moving to New Zealand where I was not known, and turning to fiction writing, I realised that my chances of being taken on by an agent or publishing firm were fairly slim. I was keen to get my books ‘out there’ reasonably fast, and excited by the new opportunities offered by platforms such as Smashwords and CreateSpace, so decided to go with self-publishing. I enjoy the freedom and control it provides, and will probably continue as an indie author.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Unpredictable! I expect that the field will continue to be shared between print books and ebooks, and between traditional publishers and indie authors. Ideally I would like to see the recent torrent of self-published titles slowing down, with new ones being fewer in number but higher in quality; and easier ways for authors to market their work and for readers to find the books which interest them.
What do you use?: Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: mystery, romance, psychological thriller, medical, self help
What formats are your books in?: eBook, Print, Both eBook and Print