Today we have Johanna Nield, romance author of NEW BEGINNINGS, stopping by for an interview. Read on for some wonderful answers about Johanna herself, her book and her continuing publishing journey! Please leave a comment and feel free to post questions for Johanna!
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m Welsh, a long way over 21 but very young at heart, happily married, and I work for a British children’s charity. I have a wide and very diverse circle of friends both local and abroad, and a close but entertainingly dysfunctional family. My hobbies include writing, reading, photography, web design, online social networking, and collecting ‘Doctor Who’ merchandise.
I’ve been writing for my own pleasure since the age of ten, when I won two ‘Creative Writing’ competitions in school. At that time, I wrote short stories and poems, and during my teens I also wrote what would today be recognised as fanfic.
I wrote my first novel in my late twenties, attempted another in my thirties whilst continuing to write short stories and poems, and rediscovered fanfic in my forties. For the last two years, I’ve concentrated almost exclusively on my current project, a fictional trilogy.
Can you tell us about your initial challenges in getting your work published? Is there anything you would change if you could?
I’m not yet published in the traditional way, so the challenges keep coming!
I recently won the monthly poll at Night Reading, which has resulted in my being offered a publishing contract for ‘New Beginnings’. It’s with their editors at the moment, and hopefully will be published next year.
In the meantime, I’m still persuing publication via the traditional publishing houses. I began by researching agents and publishers online, and selected those that had worked with similar books and would accept online queries. I then bought The Writers Handbook and went though the same selection process before sending out written queries; I’m about half-way through both lists. I’ve revised my pitch several times, and I feel that it’s an ongoing learning process.
I’ve self-published my book in digital format via Amazon Kindle, and found that process extremely simple.
I have so far only explored and used online resources – Twitter, Facebook, my own website and blog, and a lot of sites dedicated to new authors.
They’re all very easy to use but I’d like a way of finding out which ones generate the most interest in my book.
‘New Beginnings’ began as a temporary title for part one of the trilogy, but it seems to have stuck!
The story is presented in blog form, from the point of view of Tasha, a young woman in her thirties who has a crush on her married boss. A twist of fate brings them together, but there’s no ‘happily ever after’ because of the circumstances.
Books two and three chart their relationship through a series of further life changes, and both are complete, although I’m in the process of editing them. Ideally, I’d love to publish the whole story in one volume but at over 270000 words, I recognise that that would be a very heavy book!
Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
The twist of fate was inspired by real events, all but one of the locations are real places, and a lot of the background incidents are based on real life, but the crux of the story came from my imagination. I spent a lot of time researching certain aspects of the story, to ensure accuracy.
What writing project are you working on now?
I’m working on three projects at the moment. Two are linked to the trilogy – one is the same story from a different point of view, the other is a sequel – and the other is a totally new story, probably a short.
Do you plan to keep writing romance, or will you ever jump into other genres as well?
I didn’t plan on writing romance, but I seem to have ended up here! I never set out to write a particular genre of story: the characters and their journey are far more important to me, particularly at the beginning.
Do you have any advice to give to inspiring writers?
Keep writing. Have faith in yourself and your story. Never give up.
Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
I’d like to say a huge “Thank you” for their support and encouragement, and to remind anyone who reads my work that I truly welcome feedback (even the negative kind) because I’m always striving to make it better.
You can buy New Beginnings in Kindle format at Amazon.