Hi, folks! Today, we’re taking a few moments to chat to Jenni Regan, the author of The Girl Who Just Wanted to Have Fun. Click here to check out her books on Amazon or read on to find out what we talked about…
Hi, Jenni! Please introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about your work.
I have been writing for around fifteen years but have only just published my first novel. My day job is working as a senior media advisor for the charity Mind where I help drama writers to create realistic characters with mental health problems. My novel deals with the issue of mental health and addiction but is also inspired by my previous job as a producer for BBC Business. The story follows three women against the backdrop of the world financial crisis around ten years ago. It’s hard to place my novel in a particular genre – it’s contemporary woman’s fiction that could also be called a psychological drama.
Which gives you more satisfaction – to write a first draft, or to finish the last round of editing?
Definitely the first draft, I love the process of getting all of my words down on paper. My books have usually been living and growing in my head for years before I actually get around to writing them. Even so I am often surprised (and delighted or horrified!) by what happens to my characters as I am writing. I hate editing which is probably why it generally takes me years between finishing a book and editing it!
What inspires you? Where do you get your ideas from?
They say write about what you know and a lot of my writing is definitely based on people I know or stories I hear. As an ex-journalist the news definitely inspires me. My degree was in communication and cultural studies and I am still a bit obsessed with people watching.
Pick a random piece of writing that you worked on ages ago and that never saw the light of day. Now tell us about it!
I can’t find anything that I could share!
Do you have a writing routine? If so, can you tell us about it?
Sadly as a mother and someone who works I have no routine. My writing will get ignored for months and then I will find my creativity again and write solidly! I also have bipolar disorder which has a strange effect on my writing. Depending on which way my mood has headed I can either be incredibly proactive and productive or find myself unable to even open the laptop. Luckily my illness is pretty well managed and when I am well I guess I have the same ups and downs as any other author.
What was the last book that you read and what did you think of it?
I read and loved Mad Girl by Bryony Gordon. Not my usual thing at all, I am usually a pure fiction reader, but the memoir was so full of comedy and insight that it had me hooked. As a mental health book it was a bit of a bus man’s holiday but I recognised a lot of myself in the book! I was lucky enough to spend a month in Sri Lanka earlier this year and read lots of books based on the country such as Wave: A Memoir of Life After the Tsunami by Sonali Deraniyagala, Elephant Complex: Travels in Sri Lanka by John Gimlette and Running in the Family by Michael Ondaatje. I love immersing myself in a country through books.
Who are some of your favourite unsigned and indie authors?
I have just started reading Chantelle Atkins after I saw a couple of articles written by her. She writes YA which again isn’t usually my thing but I am really enjoying it so far.
What’s the best bit of writing advice that you’ve ever received?
To switch off the WiFi and just write!
If you could go out for dinner with any three authors, living or dead, who would you pick?
Hunter S Thompson, Matt Haig and JoJo Moyes!
How do you get the word out about your work?
I am still learning that bit. I think most indie authors soon realise that writing a book is the easy part of the job! Marketing and promoting when you are not known is very hard. I am using social media a lot and reaching out to book bloggers.
Thanks again to Jenni Regan for stopping by the site. Be sure to click here to check out her books and to follow her on Twitter for further updates. You can also follow SocialBookshelves.com on Facebook and Twitter for further book news. I’ll see you soon!