Saturday, October 30, 2010

Author of 'Voice on the Waves,' Jessica Chambers

Scribal Love Welcomes Jessica Chambers

Jessica Chambers is an author of contemporary women’s fiction. Her debut novel Voices On The Waves is now available from Red Rose Publishing.

Thanks, Clare. It’s great to be here for my final stop on the Voices On The Waves Blog Tour. .

And it’s great to have you. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

Clichéd as it sounds, I’ve harboured an ambition to be a writer ever since I was old enough to think about my future. Even when I was seven-years-old and wrote my first novel, a 30-page piece Entitled The Mystery Of The Strange Telephone Calls, I knew that was how I wanted to earn my living. So, ever since completing my education, I’ve been working towards making my dream a reality.

Tell us about Voices On The Waves.

It’s a sweet women’s fiction novel set against the stunning backdrop of rural Cornwall. The idea for the book came from my fascination with people and the ways in which they interact. What would happen, I asked myself, if you forced a group of strangers together in one place for a set length of time, and then left them to their own devices?

Well, this is precisely what happens in Voices On The Waves, where nine individuals from all walks of life win a two-week holiday in a beautiful farmhouse retreat. Having gathered such diverse personalities under one roof, all I had to do was let my imagination flow and the sparks fly! With new found love, illicit affairs and the sharing of long-buried secrets, Voices on the Waves really does have it all.

What is your writing process? Has it changed since writing your first book?

Very much so. When I first began Voices On The Waves, I felt I had to have every little detail planned out beforehand. Since then, though, I’ve discovered that too much planning dampens my creativity. Now, I tend to have the main plot line worked out, but let the characters and sub plots find their own way.

Do you ever suffer from writer's block? If so, what do you do about it?

Believe me, writer’s block is the bane of my life. In the early days, this used to terrify me. What if I woke up one morning and could never write again? Now, though, I accept it as a natural part of my writing process. All I have to do is take a break, go for a walk or read another author’s novel, and I’m able to return fresh to my computer the following morning.

Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?

Study your craft. Most of us, unless we happen to be a literary genius, won’t become a best-selling writer overnight. Read every book you can lay your hands on about creating believable, unforgettable characters and how to weave page-turning plots. Join a writing critique group, whether online or face-to-face, to get feedback on your progress that will help you improve. Most of all, write the sort of novels you would enjoy reading.

What are you working on at the moment?

I’ve just started work on a novella, which will be written as part of a series with a group of my fellow authors at Red Rose. The idea is that we each write a book based on a reality TV show, and I’m taking the inspiration for mine from talent shows such as American Idol and The X Factor. It’s shaping up to be really great fun!

I’m also in the throes of editing a novel called Painting The Summer. More of a mystery than Voices On The Waves, Painting The Summer centers around a wealthy English family whose lives are torn apart when they invite a handsome young artist into their home to paint their portraits. All is going well, I’m hoping both novels will be published some time in 2011.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

Of course. In this scene, my heroine struggles with her heartache.

     After rereading the same passage for the fifth time, Leah admitted defeat.   Normally, losing herself in a novel was an unfailing means of escape, but not today.   In her present mood, the author's humorous style held no charm for her, and the budding romance between the reclusive writer and the heroine, who reminded Leah poignantly of herself, simply caused her a pang.   With a leaden heart, she continued to stare at the page until a shadow fell across it.

    “Thought I might find you here,” Anjum said, joining her in the arbor.  “Not disturbing you, am I?”
     Leah shook her head and laid her book aside. They sat in silence for a while, gazing out over the sun-dazzled grounds.

      “You going to tell me what’s happened between you and Will?” Anjum asked at length.

      “What makes you think anything’s happened?”

      “Hmmm, the fact that you’re both behaving as if the world’s about to end is a bit of a giveaway.”

      Leah blushed.   “Okay, say we did have a row, Will doesn’t seem too bothered about it.”

      “Are you kidding?” Anjum said. “It was a close call to say which one was more miserable yesterday, Will or the weather.”

       Leah didn’t answer.  Will may have been hurt to begin with, but he had certainly got over it by this morning.   Doubtless Tiffany was comforting him at this very moment; her stomach twisted at the thought.   She knew she should be relieved Will had been so unaffected by the quarrel.   She wasn’t vindictive, after all.  Why then did she find his indifference so hard to bear?

     Without warning, anger welled up inside her.  This was all Alan’s doing.   Everything was his fault.   It was Alan who had made her bitter and mistrustful, so different from the easy-going person she’d once been.    It was Alan whose eyes perpetually spied over her, taunting her by day and filling her dreams by night.   And it was Alan, with his ensnaring smile and silver tongue, who had tricked her into a situation from which she could see no way out.

      At a gentle touch on her arm, she raised her head to find Anjum regarding her with concern.

    “You okay?”

      Leah nodded.   As suddenly as it had arisen, her rage evaporated and she slumped against the bench, depressed and exhausted.

      Anjum continued to study her, clearly unconvinced.   Finally, he said, “Listen, I know what it must look like, Will going off with Tiffany, but it doesn’t mean anything.”

      Leah shot him a skeptical glance.   How did he expect her to believe Will wasn’t besotted with Tiffany?  What man in their right mind wouldn’t be?  No, just as in the legend the mermaid had captivated Matthew Trewhella, so Tiffany had cast Will under her spell.

      “Trust me,” Anjum urged, “there’s nothing going on there.   If you would just talk to him…”

      “No,” Leah said, and her voice rang with a stubbornness that brooked no argument.
End Excerpt...
Buy Voices On The Waves now from Red Rose Publishing

Thank you Jessica for stopping by.

Thank you again, Clare, for having me, and to all of you for stopping by. Anyone kind enough to leave a comment here, or at any point during my blog tour, will automatically be entered into the draw to win a $15 gift voucher for either Amazon or Barnes & Noble, so don’t forget to provide an email address in case I need to contact you. I’ll be announcing the five winners tomorrow over at my blog so good luck and hope to see you there!

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