1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?
As far as I can remember I have loved story telling—in all forms. As a child I would spend every Saturday at the library, devouring books like there was no tomorrow! This quickly led to writing short stories wherever that had a surface! I think there is so much beauty in the world with many stories to tell and feel like there are endless possibilities of ways to communicate them.
2) What inspired you to write your book?
I love creating different worlds in my head. There is such a freedom in writing. A lot of inspiration was drawn from real life experiences, lived out by fictional characters, and of course, the fictional town of ‘Aringdale’.
3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?
This book weaves together themes of self-identity and toxic relationships— issues I feel are prevalent in society that many people can relate to. It is my hope that my readers know that who they are is enough, that no battlelife has thrown at them defines them or their worth. We are strong, brave, resilient and capable of anything we set our mind to.
4) What drew you into this particular genre?
I have always been a bit of romantic. In saying that I realise that life doesn’t always end in ‘happily ever after’ the way most romance movies and fairy-tale books lead us to believe. Let’s face it, Life is complicated, relationships are complicated. I wanted to create a story that highlights this, but in a way that stirs faith and hope within the reader.
5) If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?
I think it’s safe to say that there are a few readers that have been frustrated with Sienna’s decision in tolerating a toxic relationship for so long. Instead of asking Sienna why she didn’t leave, I would ask her what she would be most afraid about if she did.
6) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?
Facebook has been the most beneficial. I started promotion my book months before its release. I found that Facebook ads have really helped drive people to my website and subscribe to my newsletter which is wonderful.
7) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?
Read, read, read! The more you read, the better you will be able to refine your craft and gain a deeper insight into the genre that most inspires you. Also know that your writing will never be perfect and that there will always be someone who doesn’t like your work. You could be the juiciest, sweetest, ripest peach in the world, but not everyone likes peaches! This is true with writing, too. Understand that your debut book will not be your best, which is actually exciting because it means you will only continue to grow as a writer!
8) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?
I have very recently launched my debut novel NINE YEARS and about to embark on the sequel; HERE I STAND. I will be spending a lot of the summer in hibernation, writing! Stay tuned. 🙂
About the Author
Jessica is a 30-year-old school teacher, former fitness professional and dancer. She was born and raised in Bendigo, Victoria before moving to Melbourne in 2008. For as long as she can remember she has had a passion for storytelling—in all forms.
From writing countless short stories as a child to later completing a creative writing course, written by her favourite and best-selling author, Karen Kingsbury, Jessica was adamant to become a published author. NINE YEARS is the first book in the two-part series BENEATH THE CLOUDS.