Joanne Phillips lives in Shropshire with her husband and daughter. She’s the author of contemporary women’s fiction novels Can’t Live Without and The Family Trap. Joanne is studying for a masters in creative writing at Manchester Metropolitan University and works part time as an indexer.
What inspires you to write?
I’m more compelled to write than inspired – if I’m not writing there’s something very wrong in my world! I get ideas from everywhere, from my past and issues and problems I’ve faced, and my fears for the future. I think writing is a way of working stuff out for many authors.
Tell us about your writing process.
I use Scrivenor, which is a brilliant bit of software for writers. I am a planner – I like to work from a detailed outline that I can refine and change as the need arises. All my attempts at writing novels without planning have resulted in 3/4 finished manuscripts – of which I have many! I like to write by hand too, making notes on characters, their backgrounds and inner lives. Oh, and post-it notes all over the wall of my office often make an appearance early on in the planning process!
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Listen. I have imaginary conversations, but never out loud.
What advice would you give other writers?
Write. I know that sounds obvious but I’ve had periods when I’ve been really focused on ‘being a writer’ but ended up doing very little actual writing! The writing must come first. Don’t be sidetracked by writing courses, groups, events, magazines, books, blogs, etc. Write every day.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I self-published my first two novels, but only after having interest from an agent and getting them extensively edited and beta-read. I think new writers should head down the traditional route first, not only because if you do manage to secure representation it leaves you more free to write, but also because it is a valuable learning process about how publishing works and getting used to rejection!
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think self-publishing will settle down a bit and stop being so controversial – readers don’t care how their books reach them, they just want a good read. With more routes to market the ebook world is huge – and I can’t see it getting any smaller! I’m not good at predictions, so I’ll just try and stay flexible and go with the flow.
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, and Beta Readers
What genres do you write?
contemporary romance and cosy mystery
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print.