Meet the Author Monday: J.J. Green

J.J. Green

It’s Meet the Author Monday! Each week we meet a new author and get to know a little about them, their writing process, publishing experience, and tips for other writers. Today we’re talking to J.J. Green, author of The Last Good Summer.

About J.J. Green:

J. J. Green is an Irish writer who hails from Donegal and lives in Derry. She’s had a passion for writing fiction from childhood and has honed her creative writing skills throughout her adult life. As a social and environmental activist, she also writes non-fiction in the form of political essays that mainly focus on economic and environmental injustice. The Last Good Summer is her debut novel.

About The Last Good Summer:

In the summer of 1986, Belle McGee is thirteen. The arrival of Fionn Power at her family home sets in motion a tragic chain of events. Now a forty-something investigative journalist living in Dublin, Belle returns home one night to find Fionn standing in the hallway before inexplicably vanishing. Unsettled, Belle immediately phones her sister, who tells her that Fionn was found dead that very morning. In her journey to find answers, Belle exposes corruption and scandal and is forced to stop running from the shameful truth of 1986.

Author Interview with J.J. Green:

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  1. What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

I am friends with a recently published author called PN Johnson. Phil and I did a course together with Curtis Brown Creative and stayed in touch afterwards. He’s been an amazing support and inspiration to me and I hope I’ve been able to do a little of the same for him. Writer / author friends are good sounding boards for ideas, for teasing out plot points, for what works and what doesn’t, and for being a shoulder to cry on. They understand what you’re going through, both the highs and the lows, because they’ve been there too so when you hit a slump or setback, you don’t have to explain, they just get it. Phil told me about an editor that he used for his manuscripts called Lynsey White and it really was a turning point for me to enlist her services.

  1. Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

I do want any future work to be stand-alone novels but I plan for most of them to be set in the same part of the world so I expect to have references to the same places; maybe even to some of the same characters.

  1. If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

I made every mistake possible on my long, painful journey to publication and looking back I can see where I could have avoided some of those mistakes. I’d probably tell myself to do some good quality online creative writing courses in order to learn the craft of writing and become as good a writer as I can be. I’d also say to her that slow and steady wins the day: getting published will probably not happen quickly so you have to be prepared to persevere with your craft, to never give up no matter how many rejection emails you get, to believe you can be good enough. My last piece of advice would be to tell her to find an excellent editor. The right editor can make all the difference and actually give you confidence in your work. I struck gold when Phil introduced me to Lynsey but there are a lot of awful editors out there who charge an arm and a leg for very poor feedback.

  1. Do you view writing as a kind of spiritual practice?

I don’t know if I see writing as a kind of spiritual practice but for me, writing is something I have to do. I could never see myself not writing. I have things I want to say, stories I want to tell, and writing is my medium for doing that. I get great satisfaction and joy out of writing, out of knowing that regardless of whether my writing is good or bad or a thing that anybody wants to read, it’s my very own creation and nobody else could have written it exactly as I did. A few years ago, I made a distinction in my mind between writing and getting published. I’d always wanted to be a writer and I was dejected that it had never happened. But then I came to the realisation that actually I was a writer; I just wasn’t a published writer. Then, I asked myself, would I keep writing even if I were never published? The answer was yes. So, on I went and now here I am.

  1. Where can readers purchase your books?

The Last Good Summer is available to buy online from Murder at the Bookshop, Blackwells, Wordery, and Amazon. I think it’s nice to support smaller outlets when possible.

  1. Tell us about the process for coming up with the cover.

A key scene in The Last Good Summer is set by a river in the woods so I wanted the cover to represent that; but the scene is dark and suspenseful so I wanted the image to convey a kind of brooding mood, that there was something dangerous lurking.

  1. Do you write listening to music? If so, what music inspired or accompanied this current book?

I’ve never been able to understand how people can listen to music and write at the same time. I need to be able to block out the world when I write and if I had music playing in the background, I’d just end up singing along all the time.

  1. Are you working on anything at the present you would like to share with your readers about?

I’m currently writing, and almost finished, my next novel which is about a poison pen at work in an unsuspecting village.

  1. How many plot ideas are just waiting to be written? Can you tell us about one?

I have about three plot ideas simmering away on the back burner; one of them is a mystery thriller set in the near future at the time when humankind is managing to avert ecological collapse and end corporate greed and is trying to create a new safer, fairer world. But something isn’t quite right and the hero of the story stumbles on why.

  1. What famous author do you wish would be your mentor?

I’d love to have Stephen King as my mentor. He’s a great storyteller and world-builder and his books have given me such enjoyment over the years.

Meet the Author Book Promotion

Published by Kelly Schuknecht

Kelly Schuknecht is a marketer with a background in the publishing industry. She is passionate about all things related to books and loves helping authors navigate the world of social media for book promotion. She recently launched the course Marketing Your Book on TikTok.

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