I'm sooooo excited to be able to welcome Joanne Harris to this blog. I enjoyed reading Chocolat well before I started writing this blog. She has written 15 books so far and is still writing. Thanks to Mozette for sending her the questions.
So, without further ado, the interview:
Please introduce yourself to our readers
I’m a 47-year-old former teacher living in Yorkshire. I have an 18-year-old daughter and a husband I met via graffiti on a school desk when I was just 16. I ‘m addicted to Haribo, Diet Coke and musical theatre.
Oh, yes - and I write a bit.
What book do you think you are most like?
Parts of me are in all my books and all my characters. I don’t think you can write a convincing fiction unless some of it is supported by experience and emotional investment.
What sort of books do you write?
I don’t like categorizing what I write. My books are often very different from each other. Loosely speaking, I appear under general fiction, but I’ve written crime novels, fantasy, historical, cookbooks, short stories. Most of my books have an element of suspense, and many of them focus on the senses in some way – often those of scent and taste.
Can you tell us a bit about your favourite character from your own writing.
It’s hard to choose a favourite character when there are so many to choose from. One of my readers’ favourites is Vianne Rocher, who has appeared in two of my books so far; a mother, a traveller, a reluctant witch and of course, a maker of chocolates. I’m writing another book about her now, because I sense that her journey isn’t done.
What books/authors have influenced your writing the most?
Ray Bradbury; Jules Verne; Victor Hugo; P.G.Wodehouse; John Mortimer; Mervyn Peake; Vladimir Nabokov.
Tell us about the place where you write.
I used to write at home, but now I have a shed in the garden. It’s made of stone and it’s quite spare inside, with just the basics; a chair, a desk; a kettle. I don’t like distractions when I’m working, so it’s good to have somewhere to go where I know I won’t be disturbed too often.
Do you have any techniques that you use if you get writer's block
I’m not sure I believe in writer’s block. The idea presupposes that a writer can always write whenever they feel like it. Some days I can write, others not. On the others I do something else.
What are your top 5 tips for writing?
Read as much as you can, in as many different areas.
Pay attention to current events. Newspapers are full of ideas.
Talk to as many different kinds of people as you can. Everyone has a story.
Don’t try to copy trends. Be yourself, and be honest.
Enjoy what you do, and keep trying to improve. That in itself is already success.
Thankyou to Joanna Harris for the useful tips. I must say that I for one am very glad to hear an author saying that you don't have to write every day. You can find more tips for writing on Joanne Harris' website.
Over to you:
What is your favourite Joanne Harris book?
Tomorrow I'll be interviewing blogger Hilde of 'Turn of The Page' over at 'The Story Factory Reading Zone'.