Guest Blog & Author Q&A – Jams N. Roses

So, I think he’s my new favorite French resident author. I’ve always fantasized that resident French authors hang out on balconies, smoking cigarettes, and handwriting witty prose. From talking with Jams, this is only partially true — but who am I to burst my own bubble?

Anyhow, Jams is a crime fiction author with a lot of things to say and interesting quips on the craft of writing. Check out his guest blog and then some Q&A from one writer to another.

I advise that you enjoy this with a French-pressed cup of French Roast coffee. Two lumps, please!

– A.W.

It Starts as an Idea…

What came first, the chicken or the egg? How about, what came first, the desire to write a book, or
the idea for content of a book?

Some people know that they want to write a novel, it’s a lifelong dream for some; it’s on the list of
things to do before they die.

For me, it’s the other way around. Every now and again, an idea will pop into my brain, the
proverbial light bulb will switch on and glow above my head and I’ll feel the need to do something
about it. But let me get this straight, neither of my novels miraculously appeared in my mind,
complete and ready for typing up and presenting to the world.

It literally starts as an idea, a character that would be interesting to write about is conjured up,
maybe a mixture of people I know or have read about. Maybe it’s a situation that I’d just witnessed
in the real world, and it was so bizarre or funny or dangerous that just letting it slip away into history
would be a shame without sharing the experience.

And as fun as these initial ideas for a story are to have, the reality of turning them into a novel, or
novella, even just a short story is hard as nails!

But, if you are considering writing a manuscript, don’t let that out you off.

Once you have identified one or two characters that you want to write about, and you have an idea
as to what the story’s subject matter is, you’ll know how you want it to end, and probably how it will
begin, but connecting the two ends of a story is where the real graft begins.

Creating a story, placing layer upon layer to give your story depth, and to make the characters come
across as believable is tricky, time consuming, but achievable.

Once you’ve got an idea as to how your characters and the plot go hand in hand, you’ve then got to
think about how you want to tell the story. In what voice will you engaging your reader? I’m talking
about your style of writing.

My first two novels ‘Get Clean’ and ‘Son of a Serial Killer’ are both crime related, not the same exact
genre, but both similar in that they are dark, and set in the real world, contemporary fiction if you
will.

I use short, sharp chapters, jumping from scene to scene to create a fast-paced feel to proceedings.
I’m also awfully blunt with my words, descriptions of deaths or sex (never mixed thus far!) are fine
with me, but won’t be suitable for children or those who are easily offended, so having an idea as
to who will be reading the sort of book you’re writing is something to consider when choosing your
diction, and the general tone and mood of the piece.

Also, like a character actor, but not quite as extreme, it is good to get into the spirit of your book,
maintain the same mood as you write each chapter. I do this by reading the last chapter or two
from my last writing session before writing the next one, hoping to carry on the tone of the writing
seamlessly. Although, saying that, any obvious problems should be picked up when editing.

Yeah, I said editing.

And don’t worry, editing isn’t the chore that you may think (well, it is a little bit), it is an opportunity
to correct any mistakes, yes, but also to improve the story overall, and will increase your level of
satisfaction no end, especially when you start getting those positive reviews from your first readers.

So if you have that initial idea for a book, then spare some time, sit down and give it a go.

And if you are someone that has always dreamt of being an author, then take a look around you,
watch the news, listen to others when you are out and about, and sooner or later that spark will
come.

There are more and more avenues for publication and promotional tools for writers becoming
available than ever before, so there’s no excuse, now is the time to learn the craft.

Q&A with Author Jams. N. Roses

 

What is your writing genre? Any tips for fellow in-your-genre writers?
My books are contemporary fiction, under that, they would be labeled as crime. For me it was the obvious choice, due to bad decisions and stupid situations I’d put myself in back in the day. I had quite a bit of experience in certain elements of the crime world, nothing too heavy, but enough to give me an air of authority when writing about it. My advice would be to know your subject, whatever genre you choose to write in.
Who influenced you the most as a writer?
I am a big film fan, and in truth, I’ll know I’ve been successful when I can watch one of my books on screen, in the form of a movie. So I guess my influences, the people who made me want to write, have been actors and directors such Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe, Guy Ritchie, Tarantino, Pacino, the list goes on and on… Anybody who brings a story to life makes me want to be a part of that creative world. I love it.
Easiest part of writing for you would be….?
Other than the initial ‘eureka’ moment, that instant when the next great idea for a story pops into your head, there is no easy part of writing! Some of it is fun, but after that initial excitement has passed, you realize that you have another 40,000+ words to write and already your back is aching and eyes are straining to focus on the computer screen! But at the same time, this is why when you finally finish your manuscript, the sense of achievement is awesome.
If you could have dinner (& dessert) with any fictional character who would it be and why?
I recently watched ‘Silver Linings Playbook‘, the movie adaptation from the Matthew Quick novel, and I kind of fell in love with Tiffany (played by Jennifer Lawrence). Her perceived weakness and her innocence just made me want to hug her. And I would have danced for her too if she asked me, no problem. I found her utterly charming.
Any sage advice you can pass on to fellow writers that you wish someone had told you sooner?
If anything, start putting your name out there, even if you are nowhere near finishing your book. Join the forums, start a blog, do anything that could help build a following. Writing a book is half the battle, getting people to read it it the other half, and you can start winning that fight just by being social online.
Do you have any weird or necessary writing habits or rituals? How do you write?
I live in the south of France, in an apartment block that is opposite another block. Sometimes in the summer, when it gets very hot, I can be seen by my neighbors, sitting at my desk wearing just my underwear and flip-flops. The message there would be, get comfortable, writing takes time.
Do you believe in Writer’s Block? If so, how do you break through it?
Yes, I do. For me, I have to plan what I am doing, I even note down on a pad what I need to achieve for the day, then if I don’t complete all my tasks, I lock myself in the cupboard without dinner. No, seriously, you’ve just got to plough through the hard times. Just keep writing, even it appears to be nonsense at first, just get whatever you can down on paper or onto the screen, there will be plenty of time to erase and edit later.
There’s all the hoopla over being a Pantser or a Plotter – which team are you a part of or are you somewhere in between?
I guess I would be a ‘Plotter’ at first, as I spend a lot of time thinking about my work before even jotting a thing down, but then when I have the general story mapped out, I become a bit of a ‘Pantser’ and just go for it.

Jams N. Roses – Books & Blogs

Get Clean Alternative Cover-1

 

 

Get Clean available for purchase >>here<<

 

 

SoaSK Front Cover

 

 

Son of a Serial Killer available for purchase >>here<<

 

 

Jam N. Roses’ Blog viewable >>here<<


Interested in being a Guest Blogger? Interested in participating in an Author Interview or Author Q&A? Contact A.W. directly by clicking >>here<<

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