I'd like to welcome you to my interview with writer, Maggie Jones. Enjoy.
Hello Maggie. Can you please introduce yourself?
My name is Maggie Jones and I am based on the Isle of Wight.
How long have you been writing?
I have been writing for well over nine years.
What first got you interested in writing?
I have always loved writing, but when I found I had time on my hands, I decided to explore my creative side. I went to several college courses here on the IOW.
Do you attend a writing group?
I am now very pleased to say that recently I became the Chairperson of the Wight Fair Writing Circle, which I have been involved with since it started in September 2008.
Why do you attend a writing group?
I attend a writing group, because being a writer is a very lonely business. With my colleagues from the group, we interact with one another, giving ideas and suggestions with each other’s writing.
What types of things do you write?
I have written a little poetry, and have just finished one that I am going to enter into a competition shortly. I mostly write short stories, but have also written four novels. My last one I have just finished and am about to start trying to find a publisher for it. Fingers crossed.
Good luck with that. Have you had your previous novels published?
Last year I was very lucky that e-book publishers Lysandra Press were very interested in two of my novels. They were great with their feedback and ideas with them, but before they could publish my novels, unfortunately, they had to close due to the publisher’s parent’s ill health. So coming so very close to almost becoming a published author has made me want to become published even more.
Perhaps you could consider Smashwords or Createspace for your publishing needs. Have you sent your writing to agents/publishers?
Over the years I have sent many stories to both agents/publishers and received many rejections. It is sometime heart breaking, when you send a story thinking it might be the one, only to have it returned with the bog standard letter they send to everyone. Although saying that, I did receive a very encouraging letter back from The People’s Friend last year, which I found very helpful with my writing.
How do you come up with your characters' names and personalities?
Sometimes names just pop into my head, or I might ask my daughters for a boy/girl’s name. One of my characters in the novel I have just completed is Jewish and had red hair. I looked at Jewish boy’s names and Edom means red hair in Jewish. So that character has the surname Edom. Believe it or not, a lot of the characters and their personalities just come to me as I am writing them.
What advice could you give to a new writer?
Go with your gut. If you write something and truly like it, then stick with it. Not everyone’s genre is the same, thank goodness. Don’t be afraid to try something, and remember that not everyone is perfect with their writing. It takes time to perfect what you have written.
Have you ever entered any writing competitions? Have you ever won?
I have entered a few competitions, and have been lucky enough to win a couple of prizes with our groups very own in-house competitions.
What do you enjoy the most/least about writing?
I love writing as it takes you away to another world, one that you can create from start to finish. The least thing I like about writing is that it can be very lonely. And if you are half way through something and you get interrupted, that can be really annoying.
Thank you very much, Maggie.