Jennifer Young has been one of my writing buddies for some years now. We know each other’s work well – although I don’t think I have read the whole of Looking for Charlotte – so that’s a treat in store for me! I know she writes extremely well, but I need to find out more about Charlotte, and about Jennifer’s writing world.
Somewhere in one of my files I have a piece which I tore out of a newspaper It’s a short news report from the States, about a woman who spent six months hunting for the bodies of two murdered teenagers because she wanted to help the children’s mother come to terms with her loss. The story, with its overwhelming sense of tragedy and yet with a positive message about helping strangers, immediately appealed to me. I took it and played around with it, shifted it to Scotland…and it became Looking For Charlotte.
It sounds intriguing! I’m really looking forward to reading it. So now, tell us about your route to publication…
‘Route’ sounds little bit too organised, Jenny — you surely know me well enough by now! It was more that I stumbled about in a strange land for many years, trying and failing, trying and failing. Much of the time I failed because I wasn’t good enough and the rest of the time I failed because I didn’t match the product to the market. I’d had a few short stories published over the years but it wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I struck lucky with Tirgearr Publishing, who accepted Thank You For The Music, which was published last year.
I sometimes ask guests whether they have writing buddies or beta readers, but I’ve already given away one of Jennifer’s little secrets!
I dearly love my writing buddies! I find it helpful at all stages to have someone to bounce things off — and as I work with an editor I’m finding that she often has the same comments that my writing buddies have. I don’t always agree with them and sometimes I ignore their advice even when I know, deep down, that they’re right (that’s my pigheaded streak). But I would always advise an aspiring writer, or a published writer, to find some writing buddies if they don’t already have some.
Are you a plotter or a pantster?
Oh, I’m a plotting convert (and I blame my writing buddies for that, too). Once upon a time I believed in wandering the highways and byways of creativity but I’ve rewritten too many books for that to be an efficient way of doing things. Now I don’t start writing in earnest until I have a detailed, chapter by chapter synopsis and even then I often find that the story changes dramatically by the time I’ve finished the first draft. But overall I find that plotting makes the whole process much quicker — and I’m always desperate to get on and write the next book.
You’ve mention other published books …
Looking For Charlotte is my third book. My debut novel, Thank You For The Music, is a contemporary romance set in Majorca. My second, No Time Like Now, is also set in Majorca but is romantic suspense. Looking For Charlotte is a little different from both — it’s set in Scotland and is part romance and part contemporary women’s fiction.
Thank you Jennifer – and good luck with the new novel!
Jennifer lives in Edinburgh and writes romance and contemporary women’s fiction. She has been writing all her life and her first book was published in February 2014, though she had short stories published before then. An interest in the world around her is a theme that runs through all her writing. She loves travel and geography and the locations of her stories is always important to her. And, of course, she loves reading — anything and everything.
Divorced and lonely, Flora Wilson is distraught when she hears news of the death of little Charlotte Anderson. Charlotte’s father killed her and then himself, and although he left a letter with clues to her grave, his two-year-old daughter still hasn’t been found. Convinced that she failed her own children, now grown up and seldom at home, Flora embarks on a quest to find Charlotte’s body to give the child’s mother closure, believing that by doing so she can somehow atone for her own failings. As she hunts in winter through the remote moors of the Scottish Highlands, her obsession comes to challenge the very fabric of her life — her job, her friendship with her colleague Philip Metcalfe, and her relationships with her three children.
Looking For Charlotte is available for preorder and will be published on 22 April.
Website and blog http://www.jenniferyoungauthor.com/
Novel Points of View blog http://novelpointsofview.blogspot.co.uk/