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 Jessie Wells, author of Saving The Good News Gazette.
About Jessie Wells:
Jessie Wells lives with her husband and two children in Merseyside. She has always written in some form, and previously worked as a journalist on the Liverpool Echo and Sunday Mirror and as a freelancer for various national women’s magazines and newspapers before moving into finance. She loves nothing more than getting lost in her imaginary worlds, which are largely filled with romance, communities bursting with character and a large dose of positivity.
Zoe has a special talent for saving lost causes…but she’ll need a miracle to save herself from this mess!
When her biggest advertising account cancels their contract, single mum Zoe Taylor’s Good News Gazette – Westholme’s pre-eminent feel-good news source – faces an uncertain future.
Determined to save her paper, Zoe strikes a bargain with millionaire developer Daniel Lewis – he’ll help her find advertisers and in exchange she’ll spearhead his campaign to save the Art Deco cinema from destruction.
But with her boyfriend Sam no fan of her new business partner, an unexpected job offer from her old boss, and an unshakeable feeling that there’s something more between her and Daniel than there should be, Zoe’s future soon feels as uncertain as her paper’s…and she’ll be forced to make a decision that changes everything for her and her son Charlie.
Author Interview with Jessie Wells:
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- Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Both! One of the best things for writers about creating another world through their books is that they’re able to escape into it every time they write. When I’m writing, I’m not thinking about my day job, the house that needs tidying, the ironing that needs doing, or any one of the million tasks that most of us have to get through in a day. Instead, I’m in a world filled with funny characters, swoon-worthy men, and a heroine who’s become like a best friend to me. So, in that sense, every time I write it’s like a mini-break into another world. That said, on days when the words just aren’t coming easily, or there’s a plot point I’m struggling with, the process can feel completely exhausting. Creating another world that’s both realistic and enticing is hard work!
- What are common traps for aspiring writers?
Believing that a lack of time is a viable reason for not being able to write that book. I used that excuse – and believed it – for so many years. And to some extent, it was true. I didn’t have the time. But that was because I wasn’t making it. Eventually, lockdown gave me all the time I needed, and I was finally able to make some real headway with my first novel, Saving The Good News Gazette. And when the world became a little bit more normal again and spare time was a currency I no longer had, I had to find a way of squeezing writing into my day. By that point, my desire to write had become stronger than my desire to sleep. I started setting my alarm clock for 5pm so that I could write for an hour or so before my children woke up, and never looked back.
- 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?
My Good News Gazette series is interconnected, so each book leads on to the next. That was how I always intended to write the series, while ensuring that each novel had a story arc of its own. However, I’ve been really pleased at how many early reviewers of book two came to it having not read book one and enjoyed it as a standalone. Although the cliffhanger at the end of Saving The Good News Gazette means that it couldn’t claim to be completely self-contained.
- If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Stop procrastinating, stop making excuses and just do it. You’re going to make mistakes, some of what you write will be absolute rubbish, but you’ll learn. You’ll get better. And then one day you’ll hold your own book in your hands, people will say nice things about it, and you’ll be absolutely over the moon.
- How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
I have numerous random first, second and third chapters, but only one other book that I really made some headway into. I first came up with the idea for it when I was in my early twenties, but sadly when I eventually pitched it to my now editor two decades later, the premise was no longer an attractive one. It was a great idea in its time, but had been done to death by the time I eventually got round to trying to get anywhere with it.
- What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
As a former journalist, it seems unnatural to me to not do any research before writing. So far, most of the research I’ve had to do for my books has been low level, and has mostly involved making sure that my characters have been realistic and not misappropriated in any way. However, I’m currently writing the third installment in The Good News Gazette series in which a fairly dramatic event takes place in the town. It’s an area in which I have relatively no knowledge and very little experience, so I’m having to research the topic far more than I would usually need to.