WRITER/AUTHOR: ELEVEN INTERVIEW QUESTIONS
Author name: Jan Morrill
Latest title: Broken Dolls
1. I’m always interested in the writer’s process. How often do you write? Do you have a daily word count goal? Give me an overview (or detailed if you really want to go there) of your writing life.
I find I do my best writing early in the morning, usually around 5:30 a.m. until 7:30 a.m., before the rest of the world wakes, before anything comes up to get in my way. Since getting a new puppy, however, that schedule doesn’t always work.
2. Do you also work a full-time non-writer job or career?
I work part-time for my husband, which means my hours are flexible. If I’m disciplined, I can still manage to write 3+ hours per day.
3. How supportive has your family been of your writing time? Have you ever had to fight for your right to write?
My husband tries to be supportive, but we often have other things that need to be done, since we live on a farm. He rarely asks me to help him, but I can’t write while he’s outside working by himself. Also, my parents live in Tulsa and caring for them requires me to make frequent trips to see them. So, as with many writers, life often gets in the way.
4. How long did it take to write (from start to finish) your novel?
It took me approximately 4 years to finish Broken Dolls. The book involved a lot of research, and over the four year period, it went through many changes and edits. I’m hoping it doesn’t take that long to finish Broken Dreams.
5. What route to publishing did you take (agent, traditional, self-pub), and how long did it take from finish to publication?
I’m in the process of taking the “traditional” route, that is through an agent to a publisher. Kathleen Anderson with Anderson Literary Management recently accepted me for representation, and she is now helping me with edits before she sends it to publishing companies. It’s a long process, and requires patience and faith. In the mean time, I’m working on the sequel, Broken Dreams.
6. Is there a theme, or premise you’d really like readers to connect with in your latest book?
The main theme to Broken Dolls is the tragedy that can arise when one judges a book by its cover. Too often, even today, we judge others by the color of their skin, their religion – by the group they “belong” to, rather than trying to get to know the individual. In Broken Dolls, the tragedy of judging takes all forms: violence, revenge, lost friendships.
7. Where are you going now, are you working on a sequel, or something entirely different?
I am currently working on the sequel, which will take place 15 years after Broken Dolls, from 1957-1963. The sequel will take the reader through several events of the Civil Rights era. Its theme will be the importance of honesty, being genuine, and what happens when one holds his true feelings inside. After I complete Broken Dreams, I anticipate another two books in this series.
8. Where do you find inspiration for your stories and novels?
For my novels in this series, the inspiration came from my mother’s history. She is Japanese-American and she and her family were sent to internment camps during World War II. However, for short stories, I find inspiration everywhere – in a conversation I may have overheard, in news stories, in combinations of words, in a scent that draws a memory. I’m always, always watching for story opportunities.
9. With all the focus lately on authors providing a lot of their own self-promotion, what are you doing in this respect?
It’s a real balancing act, trying to promote myself and write. I think the promotion is something that really needs to be started years before you’re ready to sell a book. For the last two years, I’ve been blogging and establishing an online presence with Facebook, Twitter and a website. (www.janmorrill.com) It’s a long, slow and distracting process. Recently, I’ve started doing book signings for some of the anthologies in which my stories appear. If nothing else, it’s a “warm-up” for when I have a full novel.
10. Who or what would you say has been the biggest influence on you as a writer?
It has definitely been my critique group. Our mentors, Dusty Richards and Velda Brotherton have set the standard for openness in helping writers in any and every way possible. They have created a group of writers who have shared their knowledge and support every step of the way.
11. Where can we find your book? Is it available in e-format as well?
In the world of positive thinking and visualization, you can find my book in the future – maybe even on a bestsellers’ list somewhere.
BOOK TRAILER FOR BROKEN DOLLS: