Today we have an interview with published writer, Jessica Beale-Roberts. She contacted me after I posted a request in one of the Facebook pages I am part of. Jessica came across as humble and persistent, and offers some great advice. I am delighted for the opportunity to have her on my blog.
On to the interview!
Short Bio: Jessica is a 35-year- old former paramedic turned full time freelance writer and the author of “Paramedic Girl”. She lives in South Africa with her husband.
Published Works: Paramedic Girl (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MY4QKV2)
- Depressed Girls Deserve Happiness Too (Self-Help)
- Africa After Dark (Speculative fiction)
When did you begin writing?
I started writing as a diarist at the age of about 10. I began writing short stories and poetry in my
teens and started work on my first book, Paramedic Girl, in my twenties.
Did you receive any special training or attend a school?
The short answer is no, I did not receive any special qualifications but I educated myself by devouring books. I read across all genres and I believe the best way to learn to write is to read. You must never think that you know everything, as a writer you must commit yourself to lifelong learning – you can ALWAYS improve.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I find inspiration in daily life, people I meet, the internet, books, movies, TV shows, nature – just
about everywhere. What keeps me motivated is the chance to leave a legacy by doing something that I love.
Do you use any special resources when writing?
A good old-fashioned dictionary and a thesaurus. And Grammarly – a lifesaver!
What is (in your opinion) the most important thing to remember when writing, and why is it so important?
I think the most important thing is just to keep writing. You may not write a best-seller first time
around, you may struggle to sell your book, you might get bad reviews, and will probably get stuck. You will feel like a drop in the ocean, and you will see other writers with less talent become more successful than you. Writing is not for sissies. You only fail when you stop writing, so my advice is just to keep going. Amazing writing doesn’t just happen – it takes practise but every sentence you write brings you one step closer.
What is (in your opinion) the most challenging part of writing, and how do you overcome it?
I think overcoming your own inner critic is the hardest part of writing. I remind myself constantly
that what I think is not necessarily true.
Did you use an Editor? If not, what process did you use to edit your work?
Yes, I did. I edited my work first and then I sent it to an editor. I think this is essential because you don’t want your readers finding errors in your book.
How did you get your book published? (self-published, Vanity publishing, Mainstream publisher).
I self-published – first on Smashwords and then on Amazon.
Do you handle your own marketing?
What is your best marketing tip?
Well, I’m still a beginner when it comes to marketing but here are my tips:
- Spend some money on Facebook ads, these are very effective
- Search for Facebook groups that allow you to advertise your book but always ask first
- Approach your local newspaper – I did this and they did an article about me and my ebook
- Canva is an awesome tool for creating graphics for ads
Do you have any advice for other writers?
- If you are having fun writing then your readers will have fun too.
- The first draft is you telling yourself the story so don’t get too hung up on the details with first drafts – just get the story out.
- Not everyone will enjoy your work and that’s fine.
- People WILL criticize you – try to take it in your stride and improve where you can but don’t take the haters to heart.
- Writing is a skill, the more you write the better you get so just keep going.
I hope everyone found this interview as helpful and informative as I did. I would also like to thank Jessica Beale-Roberts for taking this interview, her participation was very much appreciated.
Until Next time,