I had the wonderful opportunity to speak with a debuting author, Jana Floyd. Floyd recently published her book, REBEKAH: A Ghost Story. I picked up my copy and recommend you do too!
What inspired you to write a book?
Ever since I was a wee little kid, I’ve made up stories in my head. I would spend hours outside in the treehouse, or trying to dig a fort, or running around my grandparent’s cherry orchard living out the characters and situations I had made up in my head. At seven, or so, I discovered how wonderful books could be – my cousins read me Escape from the Island of Aquarius by Frank E. Peretti at a family reunion, all of us huddled together in a tiny tent. I was hooked. Over the years, I would try my hand at writing every now and again. And for one reason or another, I would end up tucking my dream of being an author away, keeping it safe for a different time and place. Seven months before my 30th birthday, I knew it was finally time. It was do or die. I would either write a book or finally let the dream go forever.
Was there a book or author that you admired that played a role when developing your book?
Before finally deciding to take the plunge, to actually try and write a book, I went through Ted Dekker’s ‘The Creative Way’ writing course. It was incredible. I had been reading Dekker for years, only wishing I could bring my ideas to life like he did. His encouragement and knowledge were invaluable to me. I still go back and listen to the lessons, over and over again.
It is often said that in order to write something, you must believe in what you are writing. Do you agree with that?
I think it depends on what you write. Granted, I currently have one published work. But for me, writing helps me work through what I am thinking and feeling. It clarifies what feels all jumbled up inside – like rolling a desperately tangled skein of yarn before you can keep crocheting. It takes work, patience, and time. Sometimes you come out the other end with something you were expecting, a belief that holds true. And sometimes, your whole world perspective shifts. But then, that is the magic of books. Is it not?
Do you have a set schedule for writing, or are you one of those who write only when they feel inspired?
When I am first drafting, I get up in the wee hours of the morning to write. I feel this is when my mind is most creative and focused. While I see inspiration in so many things in the world (For example: I bought a super weird looking plant at Aldi just because I found it fascinating. I’m sure it will appear in some writing of mine at some point), if I only followed that inspiration there would be a billion have finished thoughts and sentences spread throughout hundreds of word documents. Therefore, I try to write most days rather than following my ever flighty muse.
What, according to you, is the hardest thing about writing? What would you say is the easiest aspect of writing?
The hardest part about writing is the blank page. It is also the most exciting part. All the worlds and people and plots, just waiting to be etched into existence. The feeling is quite thrilling. But you have to write the first word. You have to take the chance to start something that is new and (most of the time) scary. It’s the hardest thing to do. It is also the easiest.
Have you ever experienced “Writer’s Block”? How long do they usually last? Any tips you would like to share to overcome it?
Most of the time, if I am experiencing “Writer’s Block’ it is because I have not gotten enough sleep or there is something else going on in my life that is stressing me out to the max (ie: house hunting this spring). Typically, I try to force myself out of it with a rather large amount of coffee. I have had mixed results with this method. However, I find that I work best when I can deal with the stress and get myself to bed early. And then more coffee. Because coffee solves everything. Always.
Any advice you would like to give to aspiring writers?
My only advice is to let your dreams take flight. Stop hoarding them inside, waiting for the perfect time to release them. Life is too short, my friends.
Are you working on something new at the moment?
I am currently working on a romance project (hopefully a series, fingers crossed) under a pen name. I think I needed something a little lighter after what Rebekah and Ingrid put me through in my first novel. I do have an idea for a new paranormal book, but I need let the idea flesh out a little bit.
Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
If you are interested in my book, Rebekah: A Ghost Story, it is available for purchase through my website or Amazon. My website is www.janamfloyd.com. You can find me on social media @janamfloyd. Beware, 75% of my posts are of my mopey pitbull.
Thanks Jana for sharing your book and your story with us! If you would like to do the same, please contact me for further information.