Sunday, 30 June 2013

Crime Fiction Week Interview: Jacqui Rose

Today I'm delighted to be able to bring you my interview with Jacqui Rose, as well as bring you news of an exciting new innovative version of Trapped that has just been published.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you came to be a crime writer? 
I didn’t set out to be a crime writer nor particularly an author, though I had always written bits and pieces over the years but it was more about escapism than anything else really. I trained as an actress during which time I didn’t write at all but then I moved into stand-up comedy which I must say I was hopeless at but it reignited by love of writing and from there I wrote a radio play which was shortlisted for the BBC Alfred Bursary award, after that I decided to give writing a serious go, so I sat down and wrote a book and sent it to an agent, Judith Murdoch, who is wonderful.  She took me on and then within months sold my ms to Avon which is an imprint of HarperCollins.  They gave me a two book deal initially then I got a further four book deal which is just amazing.    

Tell us something about yourself that your readers probably don’t already know?
Mmmmm  ???  Let’s see what can I share which readers don’t know? Well, even though I’m a crime writer and my books are filled with a lot of violence I’m actually the biggest romantic going.  I don’t read in the genre I write I just fill my head with sweeping romantic classics and poetry. I often feel I was born in the wrong century. Oh and I’m a pretty mean tap dancer as well.

Can you tell us a little bit about your latest book?
Well, I have two books out a year and Trapped came out in March and it’s kind of a gritty Romeo and Juliet  set in Soho, also interweaved into the story are the destructive repercussions of violence within a family.  The cool thing is that HarperCollins have just released a geo-location version of Trapped which basically means its interactive and readers can see the locations of the story and track the routes of characters journey as they read the book. My next book, Dishonour is coming out in August and I’m really excited about it, it’s about a young girl, Laila Khan who’s forced into marriage after being seen with Ray-Ray Thompson, the son of a number one face. It’s got lots of twists and turns and I absolutely loved writing it.    

Where do you get your ideas from for your stories? 
Partly the inspiration for my stories are from my own experiences and partly from my imagination.  Since I can remember my head has always been filled with stories of one kind or another.

Percentage-wise, how much time do you spend researching and how much time do you spend writing? 
95% writing, the other 5% researching.  I had a bit more research to do with Dishonour as part of the plot is set just outside Islamabad.

Are there any writers that have influenced you as a writer? 
No not really, it’s more the stories than an individual writer. The idea of taking a reader on a journey as well as yourself excites me, though in saying that when I was nine or ten I read ‘Flowers in the attic’ by Virginia Andrews and I’d never read something like that before and it gave me an understanding how varied books could be. It showed me about  the beauty of real storytelling.

How hard is it to keep coming up with different/alternative ways to kill someone off?
Well I don’t think of it like that, for me it’s more about how would the character kill someone, how would he/she feel etc, rather than conjuring up a clever or alternative way of killing someone. It’s more the build up to it rather than the actual act of killing.  

How do you relax/unwind after writing gruesome scenes? 
Most of the time it doesn’t affect me and it’s no different from writing scenes about anything else. I think it’s only been on a  few occasions when I’ve written certain violent scenes that’s its triggered memories within me and I’ve had to relax by watching a rom-com or a period drama.

Are you one of those writers who wake in the middle of the night with ideas for plots, new story etc.?
No, thankfully I sleep well as when I’m awake my mind has a constant stream of ideas. It’s like someone’s pressed play on a DVD player and your watching trailers of different films. That’s what my heads like. Just a flow of trailers. LOL

Have you ever had writer’s block? 
No, not at all, I couldn’t imagine what that would be like.

If you weren’t a writer, what career path would you have chosen to follow? 
Something in film and television. I love that world.

How long did it take you to get your first book published? 
I was lucky it wasn’t long at all. I only approached one agent and she took me on and then within a few months she’d sold my ms to Avon/HarperCollins.

Do you have a set daily writing routine? 
usually do a ‘Dickens morning,’ which is start to write after breakfast and finish at lunchtime. Apparently that’s what Charles Dickens did, and if it was good enough for him.......

If you could write another style of genre, what would it be and why? 
Oh well it would be either comedy or romance or a combination of both.  Love and comedy two of my great delights.

If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring author, what would it be? 
Just keep on believing. Find your own writing voice. Don’t try to be the next anyone. Be the first you.

Are there any crime fiction books that you wish you’d written? 
No, LOL. When I read a good book, I’m thrilled for the author and admire what they’ve done but I never wish I’d written something someone else has written.

When you’ve finished writing a book, do you treat yourself to a reward? 
Oh god yes, whether it’s deserved or not. I always go out for drinks and a meal in Soho with friends then I hit the shops and as the saying goes I shop till I drop....

Avon and the digital team at HarperCollins have teamed up to produce a geo-located version of TRAPPED by Jacqui Rose.  Jacqui is one of Avon’s bestselling authors and an ebook sensation and heard about geo-location when she attended an Avon digital innovation day.  This will be the first time that geo-location has been deployed in a Harper Collins fiction book and will be available across all e-readers and tablets.  .

Jacqui commented:

‘Digital is the perfect format for keeping content alive and up-to-date and is a wonderful way to win over a whole group of new readers.  There are lots of digital innovations that the team at Avon have been trialling but one that I thought would work well for my book TRAPPED was geolocation.  Geo-location in this sense has been used to allow readers to highlight specific locations in a book and allow the reader to ‘visit’ them, viewing them either layered onto a map or in even more detail in street-view.  So for example, much of my book TRAPPED is set in Soho so I highlighted some key shops, streets and clubs that were integral to the plot of TRAPPED and then the digital team at Harper Collins set up a function to allow readers to see these locations on a map or in street-view. We’re still exploring further, potentially even looking at allowing readers to see the full route taken by a character layered on top of a map.  It’s a lovely added extra that enables readers to see the real world geographic location of key places and locations in my novel.’ 

This special edition can be found on Amazon here.

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