I'd like to welcome you to my interview with writer, Tash Jones. Enjoy.
Hello Tash, can you please introduce yourself?
My name is Natasha Jones and I reside in Portsmouth, by the seaside, supposedly one of the warmest places in Britain, supposedly!
I live by the sea, and it's never warm! How long have you been writing?
Officially about 8 years, but I do remember writing back in Junior School for a *made-up* magazine. When I say *made-up*, I mean, me and my friend made our own magazine each based on wrestling figures we used to own! We were so cool. I would have been 8 or 9 years old then.
What first got you interested in writing?
In terms of fiction, it was a band that gave me the enthusiasm to want to start writing. I used to read the lyrics out of the booklet when I would listen to an album, and for the first time, this specific band had lyrics that stood alone as poetry. I had never really read for pleasure before, or tried to. I worked in a language college as a Marketing Assistant, and on my lunch-breaks I would sit in a nearby park with a notepad. I would watch the squirrels, the children with their parents and the world go by whilst I would write the beginnings of what would become my debut novel. It started as something to do on my lunch and turned into an over-powering passion.
How do you come up with your characters’ names and personalities?
For their names, I used a couple of anagrams for the characters surnames. Vile (Evil), Tsar (for star) . For their personalities, I tried to keep a mix of the extremities and natural characteristics.
What do you enjoy the most/least about writing?
I love everything about it that isn’t writers block! Editing for me is both fantastic and monotonous. On the one hand, you get to read and be excited by something which you have produced, and on the other hand you’re staring at a computer screen for hours.
What is the most valuable piece of advice you’ve been given with regards to writing?
‘If this isn’t the one, keep working, you’ll get there’, my Mum said that to me!
Mums are great sources of advice! What advice could you give to a new writer?
To make a plan before you write. It makes the process a lot less stressful. Also, share your work with people, I was too afraid to until recently and now find that their advice and critique is invaluable and something that would have helped me grow as a writer a lot quicker than I have.
If you could have written anything, what do you wish that could have been?
The Picture of Dorian Gray, if I could ever write anything to that standard then I would feel a sense of achievement.
What types of things do you read? Do you think your writing reflects your book tastes?
I try to read an array of literature. My favourite books are written by Oscar Wilde, Jeff Lindsay, Stieg Larsson and Jane Austen.
Do you have a website/blog/twitter/facebook dedicated to your writing?
Would you be able to provide a short piece of your work?
From the first chapter on my debut novel:
To my dear Joanna,
This letter bares your name more than you will ever believe; you are the source of everything beneath my veins, the tangle of my broken twisted heart. Most importantly, you are the death of me. I love you Joanna. Eventually I reached the point of no return, where I had to answer the question: life or you? I couldn’t keep strangling both and losing you would be the loss of life itself. Forgive me if you grieve from this but know that you should continue in the same manner as you were prior to reviewing this. The ingenuity you hold fills my blood with proof that you will keep this unknown to the simpletons who enquire. They’ll never understand the complications of our working relationship; never fully acknowledge what we shared. Thinking of it, Joanna, neither will you. Dream your worst nightmare and my essence will be there, trying to rid you of your comfortable position, trying to make you bleed. You aren’t worthy of a poem or a song, you are worthy of anything that will degrade you. I always lie.
I trudged through the spoken thoughts, through the toothpaste smiles I held upon you, to reach the substantial amounts of evidence that I am best placed here; beside Shakespeare, beside Mozart, beside my only thoughts. Even being among you though, you’ll never compare. You are just a temporary transaction; you’re useless, nothing special, nothing. I always lie. I am not lying now / I am: you’ll have to distinguish. My pasted yells will trap you, my rugged beard will scratch you and my shrivelled hands will attach to you - for if we are what we aren’t, you are ugly, you are dead, and I was grinning. I never lie.
© Natasha Jones
Thank you very much Natasha.