Author Interview: Josie Jaffrey
Today I am lucky enough to be joined by Josie Jaffrey, the author of the Solis Invicti series and The Gilded King (see my review here).
About the Author
I have always written stories, but it wasn’t until I started the first book in the Solis Invicti series in 2014 that I really became obsessed with writing. I love to read, particularly where the escapism of the story is enhanced with an element of fantasy or science fiction. For me, writing is simply an extension of that journey, but I get to decide what happens next (though it’s amazing how often the characters seem to decide for themselves what I’m going to write!).
These days, bookishness has expanded to fill my life. I write novels and short stories (mostly Young Adult and Paranormal Romance), I blog and vlog about writing and the publication process, and I run a book review website called The Gin Book Club, which posts monthly video reviews (you can find the link in the menu above).
I love to hear from readers with their comments and feedback on the books, so please do get in touch through the website or social media.
Thank you for joining me today Josie!
1) Can you tell me about your journey to becoming an author?
I sort of think I’m still on it!
I’ve started and abandoned several projects over the past few decades, and it was only in 2014 (when I wrote the first book in the Solis Invicti series) that I finally had the motivation to finish an entire novel. That then turned into a series of four books. I attempted to get my first book agented (which was a mistake, in retrospect – it was a genre that simply wasn’t selling in the trad-pub market at the time), but decided to self-publish in the meantime.
I’m about to self-publish my sixth novel, but I have a separate manuscript that I’m currently shopping around to agents, because ultimately I’d like to be a hybrid author (part self-published, part traditionally-published).
2) What is your writing routine like?
I write at home, on my laptop, usually with one of my cats curled up beside me, gradually trying to inch his way onto the keyboard. I really need silence when I’m writing, so I don’t listen to music during, though I do often listen to it beforehand to get me into the right mood for the scene I’m about to write.
In terms of snacks… well, it’s mostly chocolate if I’m honest. My writing diet is APPALLING.
(Yup, can totally relate to that – the harder I work on something creative the worse my diet gets…it’s like an inverse relationship!)
3) What would you say are the pros and cons of self-publishing? What should someone know if they’re thinking about it?
The big pro is control. If you’re a control freak like me, then you’ll love having control over the writing, editing, formatting, cover, marketing and publicity.
The big con is that you then have to do everything yourself, and it’s so easy to go wrong. I still sell very few books, because I haven’t really figured out the marketing side of things yet, and it requires considerable capital expenditure before you see any returns at all.
The most important thing to know is that you’re very unlikely to make a living from self-publishing without substantial financial outlay, an excellent book and a ridiculous amount of hard work. It’s not an easy road, but for some genres it really is rewarding. If you’re not writing genre, but something of wider commercial appeal, trad-publishing is possibly the better route.
If you’re even starting to consider it, I’d point you towards David Gaughran’s excellent books on the subject. He’s extremely savvy about the whole process, and Amazon in particular.
4) If you lived in the world of your books, who would you be and why?
I’d love to think that I’d be one of the kickass Silver, but I have the eyesight of a mole so I would never have survived the zombie apocalypse. I would have died in the first chapter, kneeling on the floor, desperately groping for my glasses.
(That would be me too! I have always felt that in the event of a zombie apocalypse my glasses would be my downfall!)
5) What’s next for you?
I’m currently finalising the manuscript for THE SILVER QUEEN (sequel to The Gilded King), which I’ll be publishing on 17th October 2018. After that, I have one more book to write in the Sovereign series before I move onto a new project destined for traditional publishing.
Book: Carpe Jugulum by Terry Pratchett
Film: Last Holiday (excellent comfort viewing)
Thank you for your answers and I look forward to reading the next book in the Sovereign series!
Thanks for reading!