Justine M Dunn is British and currently living in Ljubljana, Slovenia, has previously lived in California and one day hopes to live in Spain. She is (very slowly) learning the Slovene language. Justine writes flash and micro fiction and her stories have been featured in various online magazines including; Smashed Cat, Linguistic Erosion, The Pygmy Giant and The Short Humour Site. Beach Lanes is her first full length novel.
What inspires you to write?
Anything and everything! My stories tend to have a quirky edge to them, and skirt around the edges of reality. Ideas may come from someone or something I’ve seen out and about, or quite often just straight out of nowhere.
Tell us about your writing process
Whenever an idea springs to mind, it’s often the basis for either the middle of a story or an ending. From that, I’ll think about what needs to happen in order for a character to reach that point, whether it’s more suited for a male or female main character and what their background is.
For my short stories I don’t tend to do much planning, I just get stuck straight in and see where it takes me. With longer projects, and certainly for Beach Lanes, I did plan a lot more. I had a spreadsheet that I mostly worked from which dated each chapter and a brief outline of what happened, and where certain characters were. I found this particularly helpful as the main character in Beach Lanes keeps slipping into a parallel universe. There’s twists and turns along the way, so I needed to make sure that I’d tied up all the loose ends and constructed it correctly in order for certain things to happen in the storyline later on.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Definitely listen. I’ll know what I want to achieve by the end of a chapter and where the story needs to get to, but sometimes it changes along the way – especially if I’m writing conversations between certain characters. I’ll often read over what I’ve typed and think, would he/she really say that? Their response to situations needs to be believable for the reader to connect with them. Having said that, giving the reader a few surprises here and there will keep them interested.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I had the idea for Beach Lanes a few years ago and made a start writing it without really knowing what I was going to do with it. I took my time with it and let the story develop at its own pace, and it turned a few unexpected corners along the way. It’s only as self-publishing has become so much more popular and user-friendly that I decided to give it a go.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
E-readers are compact and convenient and with so many indie-authors out there, there are a lot of free e-books to take your pick from. But, I think we all still dream about seeing our work in print.
What genres do you write?
Contemporary fiction, general fiction
What formats are your books in?