About Jessica M. Simpkiss:
Jessica Simpkiss was a student of Art History at George Mason University and now lives in Virginia Beach with her husband and young daughter. Other than writing, she enjoys traveling, camping and antiquing. Her work has most recently been published or is forthcoming in The Hartskill Review, The West Trade Review, The Bookends Review and the Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, amongst others. This author’s debut novel, The Spaewife’s Secret, was published by Solstice Publishing and released in November of 2018. She also self-published a book of short-stories and other fiction in May of 2020. Her second novel, Bone in the Blood, is due out in the fall of 2020. To view more of her work and get updates on release information, please visit her website at www.jessicamsimpkiss.com
What inspires you to write?
Everything and anything! Sometimes it's as simple as a string of words, a song lyric, a spinoff of something in a tv show or movie – something bold enough that my creative mind finds value in, and runs with it.
What authors do you read when you aren’t writing?
I don't think I have a favorite author, more like a favorite genre. I'm partial to a good suspense or thriller and currently, I'm hooked on Lisa Jewell. I've also recently enjoyed works by Peter May and S.K. Tremayne.
Tell us about your writing process.
I think my writing process works a little backwards, comparatively speaking. I search out a title and work from there. I've found that any substantial piece of work I've begin without a title seems to fail. Self sabotage; perhaps, but this is my process. I must have a title, and from there the story begins to unfold.
Outline, outline and outline again. I learned the hard way with my first book the importance of outlining. because I didn't outline the plot for The Spaewife's Secret, when I finished my first draft, I ended up going backhand forth end to beginning to fix small details that I'd either forgotten about or over looked. Now, before I even start writing, I outline, sometimes so detailed that when I finally sit down to write, I think to myself, didn't I already write this scene. It's a good problem to have!
Start at the end. I learned the significance of this part of the writing process in my third do over of my second novel, which is still a work in progress. I had a general idea of how I wanted the story to go and what my ending was, but every time I got to the 3/4 point, the story fell apart, and if for nothing else, because I had not worked out the details. Before my current attempt, I wrote the last chapter and the epilogue and it's been smooth sailing ever since.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I don't think I talk to my characters, but sometimes it feels more like I'm living through them. I try to put myself in their shoes and feel what they feel so the action and reaction can be as authentic as possible.
What advice would you give other writers?
Don't give up! Don't lose sight of what you enjoy about your craft. Pursue your dreams and goals until the bitter end! You'll never know how close you came if you throw in the towel too early.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
My first novel was published through a small, independent publisher in the States. I was just excited someone other than my mother liked my story. The process was a learning experience, and I've taken what I learned and have applied this new found knowledge to subsequent publications. My second book I self-published through Amazon, as I wanted more control over the work itself, cover to cover. I had a friend draw the cover art for me, and after a few revisions, it came out exactly as I pictured it in my mind. Going the traditional route of publishing took some of the creative control away from me in the first go round, so I enjoyed the freedom aspect of self-publishing. With book number three, I'm back to Indi publishing with a small London-based publisher. Because the storyline of this book takes place in the UK I was delighted that a UK publisher saw enough merit with the work to want to publish it, and so here I am, struggling the relinquishing creative control, but hopefully for the greater good.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Obviously as a writer, I can only hope that the book publishing industry continues to thrive, and I think it will, both in print and in digital content. I believe there are enough readers and dreamers in the world to sustain the industry well into our futures.
What genres do you write?: suspenseful thriller
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.