Thanet Writers Question Janet Gogerty

Author, blogger and traveller Janet Gogerty answers the Thanet Writers Discourse Questions.

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© 2017 Janet Gogerty / Thanet Writers / Fair Use / Images Combined

I have lived on both sides of the world and done many different jobs, a few of them successfully. I have family on several continents including Australia, USA and the Isle of Thanet. My earliest holiday memory is of Broadstairs; Mum and Dad picked a hotel that was supposed to offer babysitting. While they were out one evening I took all the clean clothes out of the suitcase and washed them in the basin. That was the last time we ever stayed in a hotel. The next holiday after my brother arrived was a chalet on the Isle of Sheppey and it rained most of the time.

Though I was born in London I’ve always had a yearning for the sea; I swim in it, but not under it, nor do I surf or sail upon it, but I never tire of exploring the British coast, it is so varied.

My interests are many and spark ideas for my stories; music, art, photography, walking and gardening.

Origins

I began writing seriously when I joined a weekly group ten years ago, we had to write something every week and I haven’t stopped since. Like most aspiring authors I tried the various routes to publishing; subscribing to writing magazines, competitions, writers’ conferences, chapters and synopses sent off to agents. I knew little about the traditional publishing world, but gleaned two important facts: it was almost impossible to get into and it was changing; self publishing was becoming a valid option.

Influences

Everything around me influences my writing: people and places, events in the news, my own experiences; add to that a liberal dose of imagination.

Motivations

Motivation to write is never hard to find; I love developing new ideas and characters.

Habits

I don’t have a writing routine; I write at every possible opportunity, scribbling first drafts on paper; if the weather’s good I will be in the garden or at the beach hut, but I also like sitting around in cafés or unusual places when we are away. If I haven’t got pen and paper in my handbag or rucksack I panic!

At ‘Command Control Centre’ – my desktop computer in the bedroom – I type away at my novels, short stories and blogs; darting onto the internet at frequent intervals to see what family, friends and other authors are up to.

Inspirations

Life in general inspires my writing; people, places and situations. My favourite theme is putting ordinary people in strange situations and seeing what happens!

Barriers

I love gardening so now spring has arrived I enjoy getting back outside, but part of me longs for it to rain so I can get back indoors to write. Daily chores get in the way of writing, but mentally nothing holds me back.

Achievements

My greatest achievement so far is completing my novels and short story collections and publishing them as an independent author on Amazon. As a technophobe I am still on the steep learning curve this involves; creating websites, blogs, Facebook Author Pages, etc. My most recent venture is to start publishing my new and past books as print-on-demand paperbacks, so at last my 91 year-old mother was able to hold a real book of mine in her hands.

My long-suffering husband designs my covers and provides technical expertise, so you could say it is real “In-House” publishing.

Advice

Write what you enjoy and keep writing, whatever happens.

Writing groups are not for everyone, but if you find one you enjoy it is good to have a sounding board. Meeting regularly with other people who share your interests is important because writing is a solitary business.

Writers’ forums on the internet are also great to join and expand your horizons; indie authors are very supportive and generous.

Now

Right now I am editing two very different novellas which I plan to put in one volume with a couple of short stories and some flash fiction.

Next

This year I hope to finish my fifth novel ‘At The Seaside Nobody Hears You Scream.’ This will be different again from my other novels as the lead character is a private detective who specialises in searching for missing persons; each chapter or part of the novel will be a complete story, but of course the hero also has his own dark agenda to follow… The fun of being a self publisher is writing what you like and trying out your own ideas.

Janet loves writing novels, short stories and blogging. Her favourite theme is how ordinary people cope when strange things happen to them.

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