Jessica Rhodes talks about her Debut Novel

Name: Jessica Rhodes

Age: 24

Where are you from? Ramsgate, Kent.

Tell us a little about yourself ie. education Family life etc.

I was born and raised in Ramsgate, and have always loved writing. My highest achievement to date is a BA (Hons) in Music from the University of East Anglia, which I received in 2013. I have a lovely baby son called Charlie, and I’m marrying my fiancé Josh in August 2016. We are also the proud owners of 3 gorgeous cats, who are mad as hatters but lovable with it!

When and why did you begin writing? I started writing in my GCSE year, so about 2007/2008. I did a piece about human grief in which the protagonist’s daughter passes away, shortly followed by her mother. It got a high grade and sparked my interest in the human psyche.

Do you have a novel/collection published? Would you like to tell us about it? I am currently publishing my debut novel, Lady Cannibal, with Immortal Publishing in America. It’s the first in a series of books, which is pretty exciting.

What inspired you to write your first book? I got the opening line for Chapter One of Lady Cannibal at 2 am! It was weird to wake up and have that line going round my head, but once it was down on paper that was it.

Do you have a favourite character from your book? If yes, who is it and why? My favourite character in my book has to be Serena Raymond. She’s feisty on the outside, but on the inside she’s fragile and hurting a great deal. Exploring her is one of my favourite things to do.

Is your book part of series? If so what can readers expect to find in your series? It is, and people can expect to find a lot of darkness, depravity and sexual tension as well as every range of emotions possible.

Do you have a specific writing style? Not really. I suppose my “style” is simply to sit down and ask the book what its story is. It sounds weird, but I literally think to myself “What does this book want to tell me? Whose story am I telling? What’s the story here?”

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? Starting a book! Once I’ve started a book, I’m away, but looking at that blank page is the most daunting thing I will ever face.

What are your current projects? I’m working on my second novel, Prison of the Angels, and editing my fiancé’s book Shadowborn.

Can you share a little of your current work with us? That would be telling! No spoilers!

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life? A lot of them are based on my own life experiences and events that have happened to me, especially the experiences that shape Serena. She is, to all intents and purposes, my twin. Just with a far better job!

What books have most influenced your life most? Do you have a mentor? I think it would be better to say which authors influenced my life! They are Patricia Cornwell, Kathy Reichs, Kate Rhodes, P D James, J K Rowling and the wonderful Sir Terry Pratchett. As for a mentor … I have a lot of friends who kick me up the backside when I’m slacking!

Have you ever been able to travel in regards to your books? What was it like? I’ve had the opportunity to travel, but not in regards to my books. Travel is a huge passion of mine, even though I’ve only been to Europe, and I hope to take my son abroad when we can afford it.

Do you have any advice for other writers? Always listen to yourself. Don’t listen to people who say you should write in a specific style, or with a set number of words, because it’s all a matter of opinion. As long as you are being true to the book and true to yourself, nothing else matters.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? Other than enjoy the book, nothing really!

What book are you reading now? I’m reading The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman for a website I review for. Juggling that and a baby is certainly fun!

Do you remember the first book you read? If not tell us what your favourite book is and why. Hmm … my favourite book has to be Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. I just love how feisty Jane is, how firm she is in her moral outlook, and how she stands by her decision not to marry Rochester and make him a bigamist. She is the older sister I wish I had.

Other than writing do you have any hobbies? I like keeping fit through a mix of Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred and martial arts, and I love cooking and baking. I also love reading when I get a chance, although playing with my son on his playmat is far more fun!

Do you have a day job? If so, what do you do? I used to work for the NHS as admin staff, but I’ve applied for Kent Police as an officer. I’ve passed shortlisting so just have vetting and medicals to pass before I can potentially be an officer!

What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching? I love Strictly Come Dancing and the Great British Bake Off, as well as Masterchef and Celebrity Masterchef. As for films … if I listed them all we’d be here all day!

Favourite foods /Colors/Music.

Foods is a hard one – I’m pescetarian so I love a lot of Asian flavours, and I also love a good Sunday roast! Just with fish rather than meat. Colours-wise, I like dark colours such as purple, red, black, blue and green. I’m not one for pastels and floral prints – you’re more likely to see me in jeans and a t-shirt than a fashionable dress! Music – again we’d be here all day! At the moment I’m loving Pentatonix, Peter Hollens, Evynne Hollens and Lindsey Stirling as well as Nathan Alef and Merlin Showalter.

Links: www.writersedit.com – Writer’s Edit, the site I do freelance reviewing for.

Blog: thehomegrownmum.blogspot.co.uk – my parenting blog.

theliteraturewhisperer.wordpress.com – my book review website.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/somethingtosaytoyou – author page.

www.facebook.com/theserenaraymondnovels – the book series page.

Twitter: @JLRhodes91

Instagram: jessica.rhodes91

Bio: I was born and raised in Ramsgate, and have always loved writing. My highest achievement to date is a BA (Hons) in Music from the University of East Anglia, which I received in 2013. I have a lovely baby son called Charlie, and I’m marrying my fiancé Josh in August 2016. We are also the proud owners of 3 gorgeous cats, who are mad as hatters but lovable with it!

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