About Jule Owen:
I was born in the North of England, in a small town somewhere between Snowdonia, the Irish Sea and the Pennines. I now lives in London, but I miss the warm people and the wild places. I spent many years working in online technology, latterly in the video games industry and am fascinated by science, technology and futurology.
What inspires you to write?
About 10 years ago, I started reading The New Scientist. I worked for many years in online businesses and I love technology – I’m a typical gadget geek. But reading The New Scientist I was being fed this weekly diet of the wonderful and miraculous. Really, before then, I had no idea of the pace of scientific innovation that is going on around us and the crazy stuff that physicists think up, like string theory and multiverses. I just fell in love with the ideas. I discovered there’s this whole community of people who think about the future, the futurists, or futurologists. I started to read their books and their blogs and anything I could get my hands on, really. The New Scientist also covers climate change quite closely. I wanted to know more, so I read a lot about the subject, books by people like James Lovelock and James Hansen and started to become more and more concerned.
I enjoy books like The Hunger Games and Divergent. I also love books like Patrick Ness’s Chaos Walking and Chuck Wendig’s Heartland Trilogy. They are all exciting, deeply engaging dystopian action adventure series. Literary catnip. So I wanted to write something similar, something fun but also something that brought a bit of this science I’d been reading into the mix. I liked the idea of exploring possible futures based on the non-fiction I’d be reading. Fiction has always been a good way of testing out “what if” scenarios, our old version of virtual reality. In my stories, I am trying to do that. I don’t write “hard science fiction”, but I try as best I can, to explore versions of what might happen based on good sources.
Tell us about your writing process.
I write down the initial idea on one side of paper. I rework that until I’m happy and then I start to expand it until I can write a few lines about what is going to happen in each chapter of the book. It changes when I write, but it gets me started. Then I write the first draft quickly. I’ll probably do 60-70,000 words in 3-4 weeks. I set it aside for a few weeks and go back to it and re-write it. Then I start my own edits, which will mainly be for stylistic issues. After that it will go off to beta readers. I will make changes based on their feedback and then it will go through another round of stylistic edits. From there it goes to an editor. Once the book comes back, I’ll do another few read throughs, aloud and in different formats. I’ll print it out and read, I’ll build a Kindle file and read. Then it goes off to be printed and I’ll read through the proofs once more and make the final changes before it’s signed off.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I listen to the characters, definitely. I’m the servant of the story.
What advice would you give other writers?
1) Read. A LOT. Especially in your own genre.
2) Writing is hard work. Get over it.
3) It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
4) Get the best editor you can find.
5) Get your work in front of people as soon as possible and learn to take feedback
How did you decide how to publish your books?
If you go through the traditional publishing process you have to submit to an agent (usually), wait for them to get back to you, suggest changes possibly before they’ll accept you.
Then they submit to publishing houses who may or may not want your book. You may have to change it some more.
If they accept it, you may get a small advance (some people do get large advances but they are few and far between).
Then they will decide on your book cover, will edit your book, make changes as they see fit.
Then there’s a long process before that book will get published. It can be up to 18 months – once you’ve already jumped through all the hoops. For anyone writing in a fashionable or time sensitive market that is too long.
Once the book is ready to go a traditional publisher may or may not get behind your book – there’s no guarantee. Given the market, it’s highly possible it will go out with little or no marketing. Many traditional publishers don’t have the resources or know how to deal with the digital book market.
I hired professional editors, joined a number of indie groups, got as much advice as possible, got Beta readers and went for it myself. If you go the indie route you have to be prepared for the fact that it is a LOT of work. You have to do everything yourself. It’s not for everyone. It’s a personal choice.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Even though there’s a rebound in paperback sales right now, it’s inevitable it will be more and more digital. Probably eventually there will be different monetisation models. I can’t see traditional publishers lasting in their current form into the distant future, but you never know.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Young adult dystopian science fiction time travel
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.