Half an year is going to be over in a few years and I am definitely start to freak out. Anyone else experiencing mid year freak out? I hope to pull up my socks and get a few more books done this year.
A huge Thank You and a Loud Shout out to the Author Jennifer Kay Davies – for agreeing to participate and kind enough to send prompt response to all my questions.
Jennifer Kay Davies – A First for us Both. (Available on Amazon for purchase.)
–> A Brief Bio (As is written by the Author)
Reading and writing were important forms of escapism for me as a teenager. I was always writing something: whether that be diary entries, short stories, various attempts at novels. English was my strongest subject at school, and I ended up studying it at university. I read a lot of horror as a pre-teen and teen in the 90’s – the Point Horror series was very popular back then. My favorite book from my childhood though was ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’. We studied it at school. I’ve read it so many times since then. It really opened my eyes to racial injustice, something that, as a white person, I’d never even realized existed.
Question 1: Can you share with us something about the book that isn’t in the blurb? What was the inspiration for the story?
Author’s Response: My novel, ‘ A First For Us Both’, is a story about a single mother who is convinced she is a terrible parent and feels so guilty about it that she doesn’t feel like she deserves to continue living. Single mothers can have such a bad reputation, but no one ever questions the absent father: why did he leave a partner with his child to raise alone? Why isn’t he offering any support? What gives him the right to do that? Instead, people make assumptions about single mothers: that they chose that way of life, that they want children just for the benefits that come with them, that they must be promiscuous, etc. But in the end, she is the one left raising the child with, often, limited resources, while the absent father gets to live his life however he chooses and without blame. This novel sheds a light on yet another aspect in which women are blamed entirely for something which isn’t always their own fault. The novel is semi-autobiographical. I would find it difficult to refer to myself as a single mother: although I am a mother, and single, my daughter has a wonderful relationship with her father who is extremely supportive. However, there have been difficult situations that I’ve had to go through as a mother living alone which are reflected within my novel, although exaggerated as I certainly didn’t have many of the issues that the main character, Emma, has to face.
Question 2: When did you first consider yourself a writer? How much ‘world building’ takes place before you start writing?
Author’s Response: I think for me personally, I first considered myself a writer once I’d finished a first draft and new that I could actually write a book. Writing a book is something that a lot of people want to do, but never quite finish. Now that I know I can do it, I’ll go on to write others. My method of writing tends to be less ‘planning’, more ‘pantsing’. For example, with my new novel that I’m currently writing, I have a vague plot with some vague characters, but as I write more, the plot and the characters become more defined. I’m too impatient to plan everything in advance. I just want to get on with writing!
Question 3: Writing can be an emotionally draining and stressful pursuit. Any tips for aspiring writers?
Author’s Response: I’m not sure if I’m really experienced enough to be giving advice to other writers yet, but the one thing I would say is to just get that first draft done. Once you have a first draft, you’ve done the hard bit. Editing it and creating it into something linear and structured is much easier than writing a first draft.
Question 4: Do you write while listening to music? If so, what music inspired or accompanied this current book? What book is currently on your bedside table?
Author’s Response: I need complete silence while I’m writing, otherwise I can’t concentrate. The TV is off, the music is off, and there is no noise whatsoever. I would love to be able to write with music in the background, but I just can’t do it. I’m currently reading ‘The Guest List’ by Lucy Foley. I’m about half way through and it gripped me right from the very beginning, which I love in a book. The ‘whodunnit’ scenario never seems to get old.
Question 5: Recommend three of your favorite books to the readers.
Author’s Response: I’ve read so many amazing books over the years, but I do definitely have some clear favourites:
The Winter Rose by Jennifer Donnelly – this is the second book in a trilogy (The Tea Rose, The Winter Rose and The Wild Rose), and it is absolutely my most favourite book ever. It is set in the early 1920’s between London and New York. It follows the journey of one of the country’s first female doctors working in Whitechapel. She seeks to halt the sale of opioids, believing that they are oppressing the poor and, therefore, stopping them from having any chance of living without preventable illnesses. Little does she know that she’ll end up falling in love with the biggest dealer in London, as does the reader. How this hasn’t been picked up by Netflix yet, I don’t understand!
On the Island by Tracey Garvis Graves – the story of how a private tutor and her student end up castaway on a desert island after a plane crash, with only each other for company. This book just sucks you right in and is impossible to put down. Such a unique storyline, with beautiful scenery – just what you need during lockdown!
Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult – it’s difficult to choose from all of her books as they are all incredible, but this one is particularly beautiful. Jodi’s prose is almost poetic. In this story, a girl tries to trace her mother who disappeared a decade ago or so. There’s a chance she may have murdered, but she doesn’t believe her mother is dead. She appoints a psychic and a retired policeman to help her in her search. This book has the most amazing twist to it which completely turns the story on its head.
Author’s Favorite Quote: I think Roald Dahl captured perfectly why people enjoy reading: ‘The books transported her into new worlds and introduced her to amazing people who lived exciting lives’.
Lots of love,