Blogs by L.T. Suzuki
Pippa Jay Interview
5/20/2012 8:05:48 AM
[ Flag as Inappropriate ]
Author Pippa Jay discusses her works and the writing life!
If you are a fan of science fiction that draws you in from that very first page, Iíd like to introduce you to author Pippa Jay, the creative mind behind Keir and The Bones of the Sea. Iíd like to begin by having you share a little information about yourself with our readers, Pippa. What do you enjoy doing when you are not writing?
PJ: Thanks for inviting me! Well, I do a little freestyle street dance, try to play guitar and I mock up covers for my WIPs. I also have three young children, so days out with them are a blast. Favourite family outings are a walk in the woods or a day at the beach.
Has writing stories always been a part of your life and becoming a published author a life long dream?
PJ: Writing stories has always been a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember. But the idea of publication was only a recent thing, one that came up after Iíd finished writing Keir at the end of 2009. I was faced with sticking it back in a drawer and doing nothing, or seeing if I could get it published. I decided to try for the latter.
I now make it a point of reading at the very least an excerpt from the works of the authors I select to feature here. To put it bluntly, after I read Keir I was blown away with your voice and powerful imagery! You have mastered the Ďshow, donít tellí technique needed to survive in this business. Your words drew me instantly into this imagined world, an incredible feat for a cynic like me as Iíve encountered so many novels that have such basic writing mistakes like the Ďgrocery listí description of the characters or misplaced modifiers, etc. So kudos to you! Now, can you tell me what was the inspiration behind this story and can you tell us a little bit about your protagonist, Keirlan de Corizi?
PJ: Thank you so much! Keir started out as a dream. I saw this man in my head, beaten and broken, clad in rags and locked in a dungeon. I knew what he looked like under the rags, and as soon as I woke up I knew what to call him. That led to me writing a short story that eventually became part of the first chapter. But itís also based on my lifelong love of science fiction films and books, and my heartfelt dislike for discrimination against someone on the basis of their looks/religion/race etc.
Keir was born into a medieval-style civilization to the ruling family, but his freakish appearance earned him exclusion from his own society. They labeled him a demon because they had no other way to explain his discoloured skin, even though his fearsome reputation had no basis in fact. At the beginning of the story, heís given up. Heís ready to die. Then he meets Quin, and his world is turned upside down. Heís handed a second chanceÖand he learns the truth of his heritage. He isnít a demon, but he feels under just as much of a curse with that knowledge, and he has to come to terms with it.
Without giving away too much, can you reveal whatís in store for the readers when they crack open Keir?
PJ: Thereís time travel, a tortured hero, a multitude of worlds and races, a feisty heroine with a dark past, a sweet romance, a lot of action, and a mysterious antagonist.
Can you tell us about your other title, The Bones of the Sea and how it differs from Keir?
PJ: The Bones of the Sea is a straight science fiction short story, set in the same universe as Keir but otherwise not related to the series. The main character - Myasi - is a demolition contractor whoís faced with a moral dilemma, and the decision she ultimately makes might shock a few people. I wrote it as an experiment - both in terms of writing a short story, and because I wanted to test out the whole process of self-publishing and marketing. I didnít have a contract for Keir at the time so Iíd been researching self-publishing as a possible option.
The road to publication is difficult at the best of times. Was it difficult for you to land an agent? Do you have any advice youíd like to share with the author struggling to find representation?
PJ: Itís certainly a long and twisted road! I donít actually have an agent. Iím in the UK, and there are only about a dozen agents here who actively specialize in speculative fiction - most agents who represent general fiction state they wonít take authors in that genre at all. I applied to those agents that seemed a good fit for my book (and to a few who took general fiction), but although I got feedback from some that my writing was good, no one took me on. My best friend is a published author in the US, and she encouraged me to submit to small presses in the States. She helped me to build a list of possible publishers, and after a bit of research I chose my top three and submitted to them. Iím still stunned that one of them chose to take me on.
I think there are three key things to achieving publication: practice, research and dedication. Hone your craft, and keep on working at it. Make sure you read up on potential agents and publishers, and keep an eye out for opportunities like open pitch sessions. And be stubborn! If this is your dream, you have to stick at it, often for years.
Can you share that moment when you sold your story to Lyrical Press?
PJ: Even thinking back to it now still leaves me speechless. Itís a bit of a clichť, but I really could not believe it. I must have read the email three or four times before I actually took it in that they were offering me a contract rather than a rejection. I cried a few times. Screamed a bit. Jumped around a lot! I called my husband at work and freaked him out by shrieking at him. Then I started contacting a few friends to tell them. It was one of the most deliriously happy and exciting days of my life.
What is the most important lesson youíve learned on the road to publication?
PJ: Persistence is a huge part of the process. No matter what knockbacks you get, if this is the goal thatís important to you, you have to be prepared to dig in and drive forward.
Still on the subject of writing styles, are you a plotter or pantser? The readers would like to know if you tend to plot out your story line in great detail or if your writing is more organic with the characters and events unfolding as you write.
PJ: Iím a pantser. Iíve tried to write even vague outlines, but my muse would rather dive in and get going with the story. Usually I have a few key scenes or characters in my head and I get those down. Then Iíll work the rest of the story around them.
Some authors meditate, others need to fuel up on coffee or listen to music. Do you have any rituals, ones that can be shared with the readers, that you must do before you hunker down for a writing session?
PJ: One thing Iíve gotten into the habit of doing is getting up early and going straight onto the computer, to spend an hour or two free-writing every morning no matter what. Otherwise itís too easy for me to get sucked into answering emails or checking out Twitter. I listen to music all the time when Iím writing - in fact, much of the feel of my stories is down to the tracks I favoured at the time of writing. And coffeeÖah, what would I do without coffee? Although Iím trying to cut down on that.
At one time or another, most writers hit the wall and their work stalls because of the dreaded writerís block. What do you do to get around or over this mental wall to resume writing?
PJ: I walk away. Go out and do something else. Walking or driving are both great for clearing my head and musing over anything thatís making the story stick. Sometimes Iíll do something else creative instead, like mocking up book covers or hunting through images on sites like Dreamstime.com for inspiration. Even housework if thatís all there is to do. Iíve found the worse thing you can do is to try and force it. Sometimes your muse just needs the break.
Who is your favourite author and how has he/she inspired you to write or influenced your writing style or choice of genre?
PJ: Oh, I canít pick just one! Again, Iíve always read speculative fiction, although more fantasy than scifi to begin with. Ursula Le Guin and Tolkien were early favourites, and then I moved to scifi with Anne McCaffrey. At the moment my top two authors are Neal Asher and Jaine Fenn. Both make me determined to write bigger and better.
What do you foresee in your future over the next five years and do you hope to branch out from science fiction into other genres? Can your fans expect a sequel to Keir in the near future?
PJ: Iím going to keep on writing, whether or not it gets published. Keir is the first book in a series of five, so Iíd like to have all of those out in that time. I also have a YA scifi that prequels the series, and a science fiction novella that isnít related that I plan to submit this year. I may even self-publish a few things - I have another short story to finish that will be self-published - one of Quinís earlier adventures. As for genres - I do have a dark fantasy amongst my WIPs, and muse even threw me an idea for a paranormal fantasy last month. But I canít see myself stepping outside speculative fiction. I wonít say never though. My main aim is to work on improving my skills - I still have faults that I need to cure myself of, and I want to expand on the universe Iíve begun building with Keir.
The sequel to Keir has just come back from my editor, so Iím planning to put some hours into that over the next week. Iím hoping that will be out early next year, providing Lyrical want to take it.
Thank you very much for taking the time to discuss your writings and publishing experience, Pippa!
For more information about Pippa Jay and her works, check out:
Follow Pippa on Twitter: .pippajaygreen
Where to buy the book:
Lyrical Press Inc
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/keir-pippa-jay/1110110646
More Blogs by L.T. Suzuki
Carlie Cullen Interview - Saturday, August 24, 2013
Kit Grindstaff Interview - Saturday, August 10, 2013
Shannon MacLeod Interview - Saturday, August 03, 2013
Brian Rathbone Interview - Saturday, July 27, 2013
Graeme Ing Interview - Saturday, July 20, 2013
Alison DeLuca Interview - Saturday, July 13, 2013
Christine Nolfi Interview - Saturday, July 06, 2013
Sara Furlong-Burr Interview - Saturday, June 29, 2013
Tamela Buhrke Interview - Saturday, June 22, 2013
Heidi Garrett Interview - Saturday, June 15, 2013
Loren Kleinman Interview - Saturday, June 08, 2013
Leanne Shirtliffe Interview - Saturday, June 01, 2013
Hannah Fielding Interview - Saturday, May 25, 2013
Erica Lucke Dean Interview - Saturday, May 18, 2013
Amber Lea Easton Interview - Sunday, May 12, 2013
Ruth Nestvold Interview - Saturday, May 04, 2013
Rose Garcia Interview - Saturday, April 20, 2013
Robert Pruneda Interview - Saturday, April 13, 2013
Lance Burson Interview - Saturday, April 06, 2013
Rachel Thompson Interview: - Saturday, March 23, 2013
Samantha Martin Interview - Saturday, March 16, 2013
Lisette Brodey Interview - Saturday, March 09, 2013
Jack Whyte Interview Part Two - Saturday, March 02, 2013
Jack Whyte Interview Part One - Saturday, February 23, 2013
Molly Greene Interview - Saturday, February 16, 2013
Dionne Lister Interview - Saturday, February 09, 2013
Anita Reynolds MacArthur Interview: - Saturday, February 02, 2013
Alicia Kat Dillman Interview - Saturday, January 26, 2013
John Gregory Hancock Interview - Saturday, January 19, 2013
Adriana Ryan Interview - Saturday, January 12, 2013
Jennifer McConnel Interview - Friday, January 04, 2013
S.M. Boyce Interview - Saturday, December 15, 2012
James Tallett Interview - Saturday, December 08, 2012
Melissa McPhail Interview - Saturday, December 01, 2012
Roz Morris Interview - Sunday, November 18, 2012
Tania Johansson Interview - Saturday, November 10, 2012
Dale Ivan Smith Interview - Sunday, November 04, 2012
Respect Your Readers - Sunday, October 28, 2012
Greta van der Rol Interview - Sunday, October 21, 2012
Justin Bog Interview - Saturday, October 13, 2012
Thanksgiving Day: Gratitude - Saturday, October 06, 2012
Steena Holmes Interview - Saturday, September 29, 2012
Kenneth Hoss Interview - Saturday, September 22, 2012
Patty Jansen Interview - Saturday, September 15, 2012
Joshua E. Bigger Interview - Saturday, September 08, 2012
Joyce Damask Interview - Saturday, September 01, 2012
Marketing & Twitter - Saturday, August 25, 2012
Henry Herz Interview - Saturday, August 18, 2012
Kristin Bair O'Keeffe Interview - Sunday, August 12, 2012
William Linde Interview - Saturday, August 04, 2012
Micheal Rivers Interview - Saturday, July 21, 2012
Robert James Russell Interview - Saturday, July 14, 2012
Becka Sutton Interview - Saturday, July 07, 2012
Canadian Authors Feature - Saturday, June 30, 2012
Gini Koch Interview - Sunday, June 17, 2012
M. Pax Interview - Saturday, June 09, 2012
Karina Halle Interview - Saturday, June 02, 2012
Novice Writing Mistakes - Sunday, May 27, 2012
Pippa Jay Interview - Sunday, May 20, 2012
Glenn Starkey Interview - Saturday, May 12, 2012
Maurice G. Nicholson Interview - Saturday, May 05, 2012
How I Select Followers on Twitter - Saturday, April 28, 2012
Shaun Allan Interview - Sunday, April 22, 2012
Darlene Foster Interview - Saturday, April 14, 2012
Kim Aleksander Interview - Saturday, April 07, 2012
Hope Collier Interview - Saturday, March 31, 2012
John Kolsonís Writeado: A New Online Writing Tool - Saturday, March 24, 2012
Jeff Shanley Interview - Saturday, March 17, 2012
Stephen England Interview - Saturday, March 10, 2012
Everett Powers Interview - Saturday, March 03, 2012
The Kindle Prime Experiment - Saturday, February 25, 2012
Edward Lazellari Interview - Saturday, February 18, 2012
Connie J. Jasperson Interview - Saturday, February 11, 2012
Sally Dubats - Saturday, February 04, 2012
Selecting Writers For My Author Feature - Sunday, January 29, 2012
Tarek Refaat Interview - Sunday, January 22, 2012
Toby Neal Interview: - Saturday, January 14, 2012
Thomas A. Knight Interview - Sunday, January 08, 2012
Linda Poitevin Interview - Sunday, January 01, 2012
2011: A Year in Review - Monday, December 26, 2011
Angeline Kace Interview - Sunday, December 18, 2011
Eden Baylee Interview - Saturday, December 10, 2011
Cyndi Tefft Interview - Saturday, December 03, 2011
The Conference Experience - Sunday, November 27, 2011
A.R. Silverberry Interview - Sunday, November 20, 2011
Suzy Turner Interview - Sunday, November 13, 2011
Patti Roberts Interview - Sunday, November 06, 2011
Raine Thomas Interview - Sunday, October 23, 2011
LK Gardner-Griffie Interview - Saturday, October 15, 2011
Jonathan Gould Interview - Saturday, October 08, 2011
Brian Rathbone Interview - Saturday, October 01, 2011
Matthew Merrick Interview - Sunday, September 25, 2011
Dean Lappi Interview - Saturday, September 17, 2011
J.T. Ellison Interview - Sunday, September 11, 2011
Carolyn Arnold Interview - Sunday, September 04, 2011
John Kolson Interview - Sunday, August 21, 2011
Megan Curd Interview - Saturday, August 06, 2011
Elena Aitken - Sunday, July 31, 2011
When Book Reviews are MisleadingÖ - Sunday, July 24, 2011
Deborah Riley-Magnus - Saturday, July 16, 2011
Jessica Subject Interview - Sunday, July 10, 2011
J. Alexander Greenwood Interview: - Sunday, July 03, 2011
When Social Networking is no so social... - Monday, June 27, 2011
Dannie C. Hill - Monday, June 20, 2011
Shay Fabbro Interview - Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Genevieve P. Ching Interview - Monday, June 06, 2011
Al Boudreau Interview - Monday, May 30, 2011
Jennifer Hudock Interview - Monday, May 23, 2011
Paul Mansfield Keefe Interview - Monday, May 16, 2011
Rusty Fischer Interview - Monday, May 09, 2011
Jason McIntyre Interview - Monday, May 02, 2011
Emlyn Chand & Novel Publicity - Monday, April 25, 2011
Steve Umstead Interview - Monday, April 18, 2011
John Betcher Interview - Monday, April 11, 2011
Kimberly Kinrade Interview - Monday, April 04, 2011
Inspiration & Where You Find It - Monday, March 28, 2011
Christie Yant - Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Amy J. Rose David Interview - Monday, March 14, 2011
George H. Sirois Interview - Monday, March 07, 2011
Linda Nagata Interview - Monday, February 28, 2011
Adventures in Editing or... Is it Done Yet? - Monday, February 21, 2011
Greg Messel Interview - Monday, February 14, 2011
Jen Wylie Interview - Monday, February 07, 2011
Katie M. John Interview - Monday, January 31, 2011
How Do You Measure Success: - Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Avery Tingle Interview - Monday, January 17, 2011
Kristie Cook Interview - Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Ren Cummins - Tuesday, January 04, 2011
A Wish For the New Year - Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Trish Wolfe Interview - Monday, December 20, 2010
Jesi Lea Ryan Interview - Monday, December 13, 2010
Cat Connor Interview - Monday, December 06, 2010
How to Make a Story Ring True - Monday, November 29, 2010
Sharon Bially Interview - Monday, November 22, 2010
Donna Carrick Interview - Monday, November 15, 2010
Brenda Sedore Interview - Tuesday, November 09, 2010
Robert Feagan Interview - Monday, November 01, 2010
Of Book Signings, Volunteering & Option AgreementsÖ - Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Daryl Sedore Interview - Monday, October 18, 2010
Seven Day Blog Tour Begins October 17th - Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Todd A. Ritter Interview - Monday, October 04, 2010
Cheryl Kaye Tardif Interview - Monday, September 27, 2010
Claude Bouchard Interview - Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Dr. Peter Clement Interview - Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Elizabeth Isaacs Interview - Monday, September 06, 2010
Introducing a New YA Fantasy - Monday, August 30, 2010
Interview with Author Gene Doucette - Monday, August 23, 2010
It's All About the Books Part 2 - Monday, August 16, 2010
It's All About the Books - Monday, August 09, 2010
When to Abandon Your Manuscript - Monday, August 02, 2010
1st Anniversary Blog: A Celebration of Authors - Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Kathy Chung & the SiWC Part Twp - Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Kathy Chung & the Surrey International Writers Conference Part One - Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Deanna Jewel Interview - Tuesday, July 06, 2010
The Happiest Indie Author (me) in the World! - Tuesday, June 29, 2010
The Author Effect - Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Jacqueline Pearce Interview - Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Peggy Richardson Interview - Tuesday, June 08, 2010
Wendy Nelson Tokunaga Interview - Tuesday, June 01, 2010
The Importance of a Critique Group - Saturday, May 29, 2010
Zoe Winters Interview - Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Zoe Winters Interview - Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Tonya R. Moore Interview - Monday, May 03, 2010
Write On Bowen! - Monday, April 26, 2010
Dayna Hester Interview - Monday, April 19, 2010
Luke Romyn Interview - Monday, April 12, 2010
Rhonda Carpenter Interview - Monday, March 29, 2010
Lacey Weatherford Interview - Monday, March 22, 2010
K.M. Weiland Interview - Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Mark Coker, CEO of Smashwords Interview! - Tuesday, March 09, 2010
Jo Lynne Valerie Interview - Tuesday, March 02, 2010
Dan McNeil Interview - Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Catherine McKenzie Interview - Tuesday, February 16, 2010
8 Years of Writing! 8 eBook Winners! - Sunday, February 07, 2010
Birthday Blog (or an Ode to Aging Gracelessly) - Monday, January 18, 2010
Interview with Paranormal Author Kate Austin - Monday, January 11, 2010
Riley Carney Interview - Tuesday, January 05, 2010
Ask an Editor - Monday, December 28, 2009
Lee Edward Fodi Interview - Monday, December 21, 2009
Interview with YA Author James McCann - Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Researching Historical Fiction with Diana Gabaldon - Tuesday, December 08, 2009
kc dyer Interview & Enter to Win an Autographed Novel! - Tuesday, December 01, 2009
Bev Katz Rosenbaum Interview - Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Writing Tips I Learned from Terry Brooks - Tuesday, November 17, 2009
An Interview with Tamara Sheehan - Monday, November 09, 2009
YA Author Loreena M. Lee Interview - Tuesday, November 03, 2009
Why Do I Blog About Other Authors? - Thursday, October 29, 2009
Critique by Author Jack Whyte - Tuesday, October 27, 2009
BookCamp 2009 - Monday, October 19, 2009
Participating at VCON 34 - Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Therese Walsh Interview - Tuesday, October 06, 2009
Interview with Debra Purdy Kong - Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Twitter Ė The Power of the Tweet - Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Part Two: Publishing in a Foreign Market - Tuesday, September 15, 2009
An Interview with author Christopher Belton - Tuesday, September 08, 2009
Part Two of the Caroline Leavitt Interview: - Thursday, September 03, 2009
An Interview with Author & Book Reviewer Caroline Leavitt - Tuesday, September 01, 2009
An Interview with Kathleen Bolton - Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Interview with author/artist Scott Kessman: - Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Interview with author/artist Scott Kessman: - Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Part 2 of the Kim Falconer Interview - Thursday, August 13, 2009
An Interview with Kim Falconer - Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Part 2 An Interview with Alan Baxter - Thursday, August 06, 2009
An Interview with Alan Baxter - Tuesday, August 04, 2009
If You Write It, They Will Come (buy it)Ö Not! - Sunday, July 26, 2009
Lori A. May: Author Extraordinaire - Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Merits of a Writers Conference - Sunday, July 19, 2009
Part 2 Publishing in the Digital Age - Thursday, July 16, 2009
Publishing in the Digital Age - Monday, July 13, 2009
Writing Tips for the Novice Novelist - Tuesday, July 07, 2009
Flog the Blog - Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Do's & Don't of a TV interview - Saturday, June 27, 2009
Mortality & Writing - Friday, June 26, 2009
The Art of Editing 101 - Tuesday, June 23, 2009
How To Write When Suffering from Bad Memory Retention - Saturday, June 20, 2009
Finding Inspiration from Others - Thursday, June 18, 2009
To Blog or Twitter... - Tuesday, June 16, 2009