I hated every minute of training, but I said, 'Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.' Muhammad Ali

Tell us about your life and your struggles.

After attending university in England, I worked in Paris for years as a translator. Struggles? I have been lucky and should not complain. I might say that it’s a minor struggle to find enough time to write.

How passionate are you about writing?

I am indeed passionate about writing and reading and always feel better when I am able to do both, but I think I may lack the self-discipline of a really dedicated writer.

How long have you been writing and what inspired you to become a writer?

I began to write stories as a child, as soon as I had learned my letters. I didn’t realize at first that one normally began at the top of the page and worked one’s way down. I started my first story at the bottom of the page and ended it at the top, causing some confusion when my mother tried to read it. It was my mother who first inspired me to tell stories and gave me a lifelong love of books by reading aloud to me.

How did you get the idea for your first book?

My first book was very derivative, imitating the children’s books that I used to borrow from the public library. That manuscript is languishing in a cupboard.

While choosing a name for your character, what aspects do you consider that determines what you finally call them?

Names of characters are sometimes changed more than once as a book gets written. Certain names seem to suit the characters better as they develop. The “search and replace” function should be used with caution, however. I read about a character who started out as David and was later changed to Jeff. Unfortunately the author forgot that one scene featured Michelangelo’s David.

Do authors in general and you in particular plan series beforehand or do they just happen?

I have not yet written a series.

How do you choose which stories to tell?

I tend to invent stories with a paranormal element. Something slightly weird and spooky is going on, but there is no gore or horror, just a cold finger on the back of the neck.

Do you ever get writer’s block?

I haven’t yet experienced writer’s block, but I have sometimes been too preoccupied by personal problems to continue writing.

Do you have a “reader” in mind while writing?

My preferred reader would be anybody with an open mind.

Who is the first person to read the first draft of your books?

The first person to read the first draft is usually a friend, or else a fellow-writer who is willing to be a beta reader.

How do you get reviews? Which was the best review you ever got?

Reviews are so hard to get! In my experience, people promise to write a review and then, somehow, they don’t do it. My most perceptive review so far was written by a man whom I have never met and who lives in another country.

What does the word “story” signifies for you?

The word “story” signifies a tale that holds a reader’s full attention. You identify with the characters and feel you must find out what happens next and how the problems are resolved.

Do you think an author should be bound by Genre?

No, I don’t think that an author should be bound by genre. I have written three novels, three children’s books and a memoir. It’s a good idea to explore different directions.

Are you currently working on anything?

I am currently working on a sequel to my novel Candlepower.

Do you have a special time or place for writing?

My place for writing is my study, at my computer, and I tend to do it in the evenings because the day-time fills up with all kinds of other tasks.

How do you promote your work? How will QuotesRain help you in your book promotion and sales, would you like to refer this platform to your author friends?

I haven’t yet found the ideal way to promote my work. I use social media, and I am hoping that QuotesRain will make a difference. I have had some bookmarks printed, showing the covers of my books, and I hand them out at every opportunity.

Would you like to share something with your readers and fans?

I would like to share with my readers and fans the news that my latest novel, Woman in Blue and White, is now available in paperback and can be ordered online or from all good bookshops. Meanwhile, if anyone would like to buy a signed copy, I have a few that I can send out at a reduced price – with a free bookmark! I can be contacted at jandoo47-writing@yahoo.fr