This weekend I bring you my first interview with a self-published author! This week I am speaking to the lovely Josephine Boyce, self-published author of Rebellion which I am currently reading and really enjoying!
I am always motivated by Josephine and I’m sure you will be too. Enjoy!
1. Introduce yourself! Who are you? What do you write / what genre? What are you currently working on? Do you have any published works?
I’m Josephine Boyce, self-pub author of Rebellion, a YA dystopian novel. I’m currently working on the sequel to Rebellion, which is called Resistance and another book, which isn’t YA but SciFi, called More Than Human.
2. When did you first start writing and what motivated you to start?
I started writing quite young and it was mainly poetry. Terrible poetry. Then, in my teens I wrote a terrible novella. After that I kept starting stories but never got very far, until I had the idea for More Than Human (I’m now totally re-writing it, again, it was terrible). I don’t really know what motivated me, just a need to get thoughts and feelings down on paper. My first story was born out of frustration over weak female characters who needed men to rescue them all the time, it was a fairy-tale of sorts.
3. What inspires you to write? Can you tell us about the inspiration for any specific pieces of writing you have completed / are working on?
Different things inspire me. Rebellion was motivated by the political climate at the time and I had the idea for More Than Human after watching Superman Returns; two VERY different sources of inspiration.
4. How important is the planning stage for you? Do you like to plan everything before you start or do you simply start writing with a vague idea in mind?
Before I can start writing I have to know my end point, I have to know where my character is going otherwise I don’t feel like I have a book. However, I’m very much a discovery writer, which basically means I just write with very little planning. I do research as I go and I do have a very loose outline, but that’s about as far as it goes. However, if I had to develop a magic system or more in-depth world-building I would definitely plan.
5. What is your writing process like?
Not disciplined enough! I use the excuse that I still have to work in an office 4 days a week but it’s not really the reason I don’t write often. I’m lazy! I tend to write in bursts, if I’m in the zone I can write an awful lot in one day. Sadly, those days are very rare.
6. What are your writing essentials / what do you use when you write?
I have a notepad with bits of information, like place names, characters date of birth, that sort of thing. I write best with my headphones in and music on loudly as I distract really easily. I currently write in Word but I’ve heard great things about Scrivener so I’m thinking of trying it out.
7. What is your favourite thing to write? E.g. Dialogue, action scenes, saucy scenes…
Dialogue, definitely. Because I write in a “let’s see where this goes” way I let the characters lead the way (sometimes this can be detrimental to the plot I’d planned), this means they are usually talking. My first drafts are a bit dialogue heavy.
8. What do you think is the most difficult part of writing?
Personally, my motivation is terrible but actual writing difficulties – plot. Rebellion’s lead character, Cassia, has a really strategic mind, and I don’t! Developing a believable plot that isn’t too convenient is always a challenge.
If you love something, never give up on it. Remember: the more you write, the better you get.
9. It is always interesting to know what other writers listen to when writing. Do you listen to music whilst you write? If so, let us know some of the songs which have inspired you the most!
Yes, as I mentioned before, I need my headphones in. I actually wrote the song Luca sings near the end of Rebellion when I was listening to Bill Withers, it very much has a blues/soul feel to it. Generally I’ll listen to music by Hozier, Fleetwood Mac, Lorde and Tove Lo works well for More Than Human.
10. Do you ever struggle with writer’s block? What do you do to overcome it?
I struggle more from writer’s laziness. If I ever have a block I just let the characters play out the scene, question how they’ll get from ‘a’ to ‘b’ within the story and then take them there. I cut it out later but it helps me keep moving the story along.
11. How do you go about researching for a new book? Do you have any tips for others who are researching for a book?
I haven’t had to do much research, yet. Rebellion is very much based in current affairs, and I read about those anyway. I’m always saving articles and op-ed pieces for reference later. More Than Human is quite science based and that’s what I use my sister and one of my best friends for! They just tell me if something does or doesn’t work (which is kind of cheating).
12. Where do you find your inspiration for character names and place names? Do you ever name characters after people you know?
Cassia’s name was inspired by a George Ezra song I couldn’t get out of my head. I’m bit annoyed about it because I read The 5th Wave a few months ago and Cassia’s a main character in it – it’s hard to be original! I spend a lot of time on Nameberry and make lists until I feel a name fits. Place names are harder, I hate choosing them and I need to come up with some more for Resistance and I am not looking forward to it! I never name characters after people I know, I wouldn’t want someone to think they were reflected in that person, it could get ugly…
13. What are your future plans when it comes to writing or even publishing?
I’m going to self-pub Resistance but I’m going to see if I can get More Than Human picked up the traditional way.
14. As we all love books I wondered, what are your five favourite books?
- A Fraction of the Whole by Steve Toltz
- The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje
- To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
- The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
- I’m really struggling with the 5th as there are so many good ones!
15. Can you tell us a little more about your experience with self-publishing? And do you have any advice for others planning to self publish?
First and foremost, please, please use an editor. Then, have your book proof read.
I write a lot about my experiences (here) and I think one of the hardest things (other than my hatred of formatting for print) is marketing. If you’re fortunate to already have a large number of followers on Twitter / Instagram / Tumblr / your blog then you have a brilliant head start. Getting reviews is really important as it helps encourage new people to read your book and your followers are more likely to read and review your work. If you have 50 reviews on Amazon they start to promote your book for you, so there is real worth in it. It’s a lot of work but there’s nothing more rewarding than a positive review when you’ve put so much into writing, publishing and marketing your own book.
16.Finally, where can we find you on social media?
- Twitter – josephineLDN
- Facebook – Josephine Boyce Author
- Instagram – JosephineBoyce
- Blog – JosephineBoyce.com
I hope you enjoyed this weeks interview! Go show Josephine some support on her social media and I really recommend buying her book. It’s great to support self-published authors! You can find Rebellion here: Wordery / Book Depository / UK Amazon
Thanks for reading, I’ll have my next interview up next weekend! Feel free to share and leave me a comment and let me know what you thought!