Hi Joy, welcome my blog. I see you write romance, what made you decide to write in that particular genre?
I’ve always loved reading romance and grew up on Mills & Boon. When I was a young teenager, my father worked abroad and I used to have to go with my mother for the summer holidays to visit him. I look back now at the fabulous countries I visited, and I’m gutted that I spent so much time in my room reading romantic novels – I missed so much culture!
Where are you most comfortable writing?
Usually sat at my laptop in the kitchen where I have instant access to tea and biscuits!
Tell me a little about a typical writing day for you…
I’m not a dedicated writer sat at a desk each day with a goal of so many thousand words. It’s more of a hobby to me, so I tend to sit with my laptop whenever really. I’m not a great television fan, so unless there’s something specific on I want to watch, I tend to sit quietly writing while my husband watches TV.
Which authors have most influenced your life and why?
When I was 10 years old, my mother and her friends were talking about a book they’d read. I’m guessing it perhaps was very much a ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ of that particular time in terms of popularity. Each time I asked if I could read it, my mother kept saying “when you’re older.” I did eventually read it (when I wasn’t much older really, I just sneaked it when she wasn’t looking!). I don’t honestly know why she was reluctant for me to read it as it didn’t particularly have loads of sex in it, but in those days I think parents wanted children to be children for much longer than they are today. (I remember once asking what pregnant meant as I heard it at school and being told to ‘mind my business!’). Anyway, the book was by Sidney Sheldon and called ‘The Other Side of Midnight.’ Sadly he has long since died and many of his books have been rewritten and modernised, but that particular book transported me like no other. It could well have been my impressionable young age, but the actual storytelling was sensational. The ending was so unpredictable and stayed with me for years. I knew it was fiction, but it felt real. I think Jeffrey Archer wrote in a similar way with ‘Kane and Abel’ – to me, this was another brilliant read. I could go on……!
Could you tell people a little about your latest release, please?
Kathryn Knight has it all – a beautiful home, a loving husband, and successful job as a theatre sister at St Anne’s hospital. Her life is good, until Finley Dey comes to work as a surgeon at the hospital. They are thrown together passionately, but a psychic prediction unnerves Kathryn and soon, deceit, denial and ultimately death knock her world off its axis turning her perfect life upside down.
Does your book have a particular theme?
When I wrote my debut novel last year, ‘For the love of Emily,’ I was very lucky with the support I received locally. At various book signings, people would ask if I was ‘the nurse in the newspaper.’ When I answered it was me, they would ask if my book was about a nurse and a doctor. It wasn’t, but I did ask if they’d like that sort of book, and without fail, each one said they would. So I decided to write a medical romance and we shall see if they lied by how many buy it!
Who is your favourite character in the book and why?
My favourite character is Kathryn who is depicted on the front cover. She’s is a beautiful young woman with a controlling husband. She might appear to the reader as initially being slightly weak, but she gains strength throughout the book and I enjoyed developing her. Having an affair was totally against her moral compass initially, but however hard she tries, she cannot resist Finley Dey and questions if it’s possible to love two men at the same time…..?
Is there a villain/antagonist in your book?
Hmmm, it’s hard to answer that. The Prologue paints a picture of one certainly.
Do you outline your books before you begin writing or do you write very much by the seat-of-your-pants?
I have an idea in my head, but it does change as I go along. My first novel was in my head for a couple of years, but Knight & Dey I started from ‘I need to write a story about a surgeon and a nurse,’ and took it from there. The first draft was nothing like it ended up though. I have a fabulous editor who tells me all the time to “cut the fluff” and I’m afraid I always end up with loads of fluff to cut.
What was the hardest part of writing this book?
I think it’s the same old questions, is it good enough, will it keep the reader interested and is it a page turner? I can write reams and reams (just like I can talk really!) but it’s whether it will keep the reader engrossed. So the hardest part has to be, what to take out of the story that isn’t adding value.
What was your favourite part of this book to write and why?
I think my favourite part (but equally the hardest) was the prologue which I changed so many times. Even when the book was finished, I still went back to it and changed it again. It was so hard to write which will be evident to anyone reading it. I had to ‘set a scene’ without giving anything away about which characters in the book were interacting. It’s really the nucleus of the whole book, and I want the reader to be thinking all the way through the book about the prologue. Who? Why?
How long did it take to write and how did you research for it?
The book has taken me a year to write. I write the whole book initially, and then send 3 chapters a time to my editor. I’m sure he has quite a chuckle and a few raised eyebrows at my first offerings!
Do you have any plans for any future novels?
Yes. I am thinking about a 3rd novel which I’ll be starting shortly. I’ve just released Knight & Dey so I’m doing a lot of book signings/talks at book clubs (which I love) and online promotions (which I hate!) I think marketing is the hardest part of writing a book. If I could just get it in the hands of The Duchess of Cambridge, and the paparazzi snapped it, then I’d sell millions I’m sure!
If you couldn’t be an author, what would your ideal career be?
As I said earlier, I’m a nurse and I wouldn’t change that for the world. I’ve loved nursing all my life. Sadly the NHS is failing now, but I still believe with the right people leading it, and going back to ‘basic nursing care’ – we could revitalise it. The service has been seriously eroded and currently, the demand outweighs the provision. Nurses are still doing a brilliant job, but there are so few of them and there has not been sufficient forward planning. Seemingly the bursary for nurse training is to be cut, so quite how they are going to recruit to the profession I do not know. Sorry, I digressed…..!
What is your preferred method for readers to get in touch with or follow you (i.e., website, personal blog, Facebook page, Goodreads, etc.) and link(s)?
On both of my books, I’ve given out my email on the back cover and I’ve received some wonderful supportive messages. I keep them all, then on days that sales are not brilliant, I read the messages and it gives me a buzz. So, email is fine, but Facebook is good also. I wasn’t even on it until last year, and it’s now opened up a whole new world for me – I love it!
And finally, where can readers buy a copy of your latest book?
It can be ordered from any branch of Waterstones. Or online here at Amazon:
Facebook Author Page: www.facebook.com/joywoodauthor
Many thanks for an interesting interview, Joy!
No, thank you Lynette, I’ve loved answering the questions. Also, just to say warmest congratulations on your recent success, I am so thrilled for you. Long may it continue xx