As a former reporter who has segued into fiction writing, I can definitely relate to YA author Jacqui Castle. In her debut dystopian novel, The Seclusion, Jacqui explores themes that will resonate with anyone following today’s headlines.
When did you first realize you were a storyteller?
When I was a child, as young as four or five, I loved to tell stories. I would often act out complex scenes for my extended family in my grandparent's living room, and as I got older I was incredibly involved with theater. But, for some reason, I didn't attempt to write fiction until just a couple of years ago. I've been a writer for most of my adult life - mainly journalism and freelance content writing. However, the world of fiction is somewhat new to me. The Seclusion was my first foray into fiction, and I'm not looking back.
What do you love about the writing process?
One of my favorite things about the writing process is solving complex puzzles. I'm working on being better at plotting my stories before diving in, but in reality, my writing style often lends itself to writing several scenes that don't have anything to do with each other quite yet. I then enjoy the challenge of getting my characters from point A to point B, and on to point C.
What is the hardest part of being a writer?
I think the hardest part is holding yourself accountable, and writing even when you might not feel like it. There are days when all I want to do is work on a story, but there are also times when that's not true at all. Even so, most of the time once I sit down and get a few words on the page, everything starts to flow. I have come up with some of my favorite scenes when I didn't think I was in the mood to write.
Where do you find your inspiration?
I find that it's not so much looking for inspiration, but giving myself the time and space to reflect and play with a story until it works itself out. One of my favorite ways to begin my writing sessions is by soaking in the words of other authors. If I spend ten to twenty minutes reading before I open my computer, I'm often motivated to dive back into my own story.
What are you working on right now?
Right now a lot of my energy is tied up in preparing for the launch of The Seclusion on September 4th. But, in my spare time, I'm working on two other projects - The second book in The Seclusion series, as well as another project titled Apate after the Greek goddess of deceit. This story will involve a member of Congress, an asteroid, and a few fed-up NASA scientists with a secret. The story is still taking shape, and I can share more soon.
For more information about Jacqui, check out her page on Inkshares.
I've been writing stories and taking photos since I was old enough to hold a pencil and stand behind a tripod.