Broken Pieces

Jack Canon's American Destiny

Author Interview – Jessica Bell

imageHow has your upbringing influenced your writing? Being the daughter of a semi-famous rock ‘n’ roll duo from Melbourne, Australia, I grew up surrounded by song. For a while it seemed logical to travel the musician’s path, especially when my first band, spAnk, hit it off in the Melbourne indie music scene back in the late 90s. Although I spent years writing and recording dozens of songs I decided I also had a love for the written word. So I guess music started everything off.

When and why did you begin writing? I started writing poetry first. I must have been about eleven, sitting on a rock by the sea in a little place in Greece called Monemvasia. I was so inspired by my surroundings that I needed a way to express it. Not long after, I started writing songs. My mother had decided to sell her twelve-string acoustic guitar to get a bit of extra cash. I saw it sitting by the front door. I think someone was coming over to take a look at it. I remember opening the case and thinking that it just looked so beautiful, and why would Mum want to get rid of it? I think she was in the music room at the time and I interrupted one of her recording sessions to ask about the guitar. When she told me she was selling it, I asked her whether I could have it. She said that I could if I learnt to play. From that day I had that guitar in my hands every single day until I moved to Greece in 2002. I taught myself how to play. The first song I ever wrote was played on one string and sung in a very high-pitched awful voice. I hope that cassette never gets dug up!

What genre are you most comfortable writing? Contemporary fiction. Realistic. Not into fantasy or paranormal at all.

What made you want to be a writer? I just realized one day that I couldn’t live without it. And figured, if I’m going to be writing all the time, I might as well try to get published.

What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general? If I’m too influenced by other people’s ideas it will skew my own. So I only ever seek an opinion once I’m confident about the final result. And I will only ever change something, then, if the suggestion completely resonates with me. Of course, I always keep an open mind. Nothing is ever set in stone. But I find this a challenge because it’s so hard to keep things to myself when I’m excited about them. I just want to share it with everybody.

Did writing this book teach you anything and what was it? That sometimes bite-sized ideas can also become bite-sized books!

Do you intend to make writing a career? Absolutely. But I try to be realistic about it. I do it because I can’t not do it. Not to make money.

Have you developed a specific writing style? Yes. My writing is quite literary in nature, but I also think it has a decent amount of commercial appeal; a balance of both.

What is your greatest strength as a writer? I have a real knack for cinematic writing. I’d probably beat you in a “show-off”. ;-)

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Genre – Non-Fiction / Writing Skills Reference

Rating – PG

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