About Darlene Jones:
Many years ago a young girl left the safety of Canada for adventure in Africa. This was in a generation when young girls didn’t go anywhere on their own and certainly not to the “the dark continent.”
I had to adapt to the climate, the culture, the language, and above all time travel, for most Malians lived the way they always had. Modern conveniences consisted of basic items such as kerosene lanterns and little else.
It was the plight of Malians that inspired my novel series. Since I couldn’t wave a magic wand to make life better in Mali, I chose to do that fictitiously. I wrote my books to entertain, but also to offer a different perspective of life and what it could be. The wide warm smiles of Malians stay with me always. I hope that warmth and positive outlook is conveyed in my stories.
What inspires you to write?
I don’t know how often I’ve heard my self say, “Let me tell you a story.” That desire, coupled with reading voraciously, led me to write. I believe that novels should open a broader perspective to readers, offer new insights, and take readers on a journey to worlds they may not have experienced or thought of. I know that the books I love best are the ones that offer me opportunities to learn and I hope I have done that for my readers.
Tell us about your writing process.
My writing style has evolved with practice. I started with a hit and miss stab at putting a novel together. Now I start with the nugget of an idea and write a rough draft, a draft that changes as I go, but offers me a map to work with. I’ve learned that I have to be flexible to the demands of the story line and to the characters taking over.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Definitely listen. I’ll be writing and have an idea and suddenly the character is doing something totally unexpected. The words just come out of no where. That’s what I mean when I say the little devils take over. It’s as if they think the book is about them or something.
What advice would you give other writers?
Join a critiquing group. Have a writing partner. You need feedback and it’s best coming from fellow authors who know what you need, not from family and friends who want to be careful not to hurt your feelings. AND hire and editor. You want you manuscript to be as perfect as possible before you publish.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
My friend and I pitched to an agent at a conference. Two different writing styles, two different genres. We received identical rejection emails. At that same conference we were encouraged by several presenters to self-publish. We did and are happy with the results.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Marketing is the hardest part of the process and I think it will continue to be so for a long time. There are millions of books out there. How to make yours stand out is the big question. I wish I had a magic answer, but I don’t and I don’t think anyone else does either.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer
What genres do you write?: My Em and Yves series is sci-fi, but my new novel coming out soon is contemporary fiction.
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit, to allow you, the reader, to hear the author in their own voice.