Author Interview with J. New on her Latest Book – ‘Sophia – Stone Magic Book One’
- First, tell me a little about your book and why you wanted to write this particular story….
I’ve always been a lover of magic and fantasy, in both the written word and on the big and small screens. I grew up with the likes of Mary Poppins, Bedknobs and Broomsticks and Witch Mountain. Now of course, there’s Nanny McPhee, Harry Potter and a wealth of other magically inspired books and films, and a series about sisters who are witches is something I have always wanted to write.
Sophia ~ Stone Magic Book One, is the first of those, with Tabitha and Ophelia hopefully also due out this year, and the remaining two, Nadia and Elissa due out early next year (2016).
Each of the YA Novella’s is the individual story of one sister and her gift, with a touch of romance as they all meet their soul-mates in their stories. Whilst each one can be read as a stand-alone and are complete stories with no cliff-hangers, they are better read in order, as some details from prior books will be mentioned in those that follow.
Sophia is running away from a tragedy for which she blames herself and has chosen a relatively solitary life in London, where she only uses her gift for good. But a chance meeting with a stranger leads them both on the run for their lives, from a centuries old organisation hell-bent on erradicating witch craft. It’s full of suspense and excitement, but will they make it out alive?
- Do you recall how your interest in writing originated or did you always just know?
My interest in writing has been lifelong, and was borne from the fact that I am a voracious reader. Some of my earliest and happiest memories are from being completely immersed in a book, and I think writing is a natural extension of that. I write what I love to read, and my other series, a cosy paranormal mystery is another of my favourite genres. I’m a huge Agatha Christie fan. An Accidental Murder, the first of my Yellow Cottage Cosy Mysteries, has been in the top one hundred in it’s categories since it’s publication in March 2015, and I have received many a message from readers saying how much they loved it. Once the Stone Magic series is completed, I will be concentrating my efforts on subsequent adventures with Ella and Phantom the cat, plus the starts of a new Cosy mystery series.
- Is your book part of a series, and if so, how many will there be?
Yes, Sophia is the first in a series of five, all following one of the sisters. In order they will be: Sophia, Tabitha, Ophelia, Nadia and Elissa. The end of Sophia has also been left open for a possible spin-off series, but I have other projects ahead of that, and of course it will depend on how the Stone Magic series is received by readers, as to whether that goes ahead.
- What are you working on now?
Currently I’m working on Tabitha, the second of the Stone Magic series, but I also have two partially completed manuscripts for stand alone novels, which I am hoping to publish toward the middle/end of next year. Plus of course the second Yellow Cottage Cosy Mystery. I’ve also been approached recently to become part of a multi-author box set ear-marked for publication in time for Christmas, so I’m very excited about that.
- Who do you look up to as a writer?
As I mentioned previously I adore Agatha Christie, but I also have several authors whose books I also read avidly. Terry Pratchett is an author I’ve been reading for over twenty years and I have all of his published works. It was a huge loss to the literary world when he passed away. Dean Koontz is another, particularly the Odd Thomas series, as is Stephen King, both as an author of fiction and non-fiction, particularly his ‘On Writing’ book. Tolkien in my opinion is a must have addition for any home library. And as a mystery fan Arthur Conan Doyle has plenty of space on my bookshelf. I am also a fan of Neil Gaiman, Carole Hedges, Jodi Taylor and Estelle Ryan.
- Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I am challenged every day in my writing, that’s what makes it such an interesting and stimulating profession. To have the kernal of an idea in your mind, to getting into book form, in a way that readers can understand an immerse themselves in, is intensely satisfying, especially when you receive messages from readers saying how much they enjoyed it. If there was no challenge then I don’t think the work would be half as exciting for either myself as the writer, or the reader.
- Who designed the cover? And do you help with them?
My book cover designer is Ida Jannson from Amygdala Design. She also designs my social media covers. She is an absolute gem to work with, very knowledgeable and immensly talented. I give her the synopsis of the book and the genre / setting, with a brief idea of what I’m looking for and she always comes up with something perfect. I can’t recommend her highly enough.
- Did you learn anything from writing your books and what was it?
I’m constantly learning actually, the book publishing industry is in a constant state of flux, particularly for indie-author’s, and consequently if you don’t keep your finger on the pulse of the market, then you will be left behind. For a beginner this can be a difficult place to navigate, but my advice would be to, write the absolute best work you can, get a professional editor and a professional cover. Learn from those who are successful in the industry and are willing to share their knowledge. But most important of all, enjoy what you do.
- If you could be one of your characters, who would you chose?
I think it would have to be Ella Bridges from my Yellow Cottage Cosy mystery series. It’s set in England in the 1930s and is an era in which I would have loved to have lived.
- Are there any books you think some of us should read, just because?
Well it would depend upon the type of books you like, but a couple I’ve come across recently and very much enjoyed are, The House at the End of Hope Street by Menna van Praag and The Paper Magician series by Charlie N. Holmberg.
- Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you! – Thank you for reading and reviewing my work. If it wasn’t for readers and fans, then my work probably would never see the light of day. I’m truly grateful for every single reader out there.
J. New is the British author of Cosy Mysteries and YA Magical suspense. You can find her online at all the usual places including her website: www.jnewwrites.com / and Facebook: www.facebook.com/jnewwrites /
All her books are available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/J.-New/e/B00SLHW83G/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1436965780&sr=8-1