Happy Saturday friends! I have a Q & A with author Marie Jones, but first let me share a little information about her book, Into the Shadows.
Arriving home from a short holiday in Dingle, Lily Crossways makes a staggering discovery – on one of her photos taken on ‘Inch Beach’, a woman’s desperate face is staring directly at her. Yet Lily knows she was alone that day on the beach. Who is she, is she even real, and why has she appeared to Lily? Unable to let the woman go, Lily makes the uncharacteristic decision to leave behind her safe world in England and return to Dingle to try and find her. Her search eventually leads her to cafe owner David Carson, this woman’s brother, who hasn’t seen his ‘missing’ sister in five years. Lily must now convince him to trust in her, taking bold steps to prove herself to him, and together track down his sister before it’s too late. Yet are either prepared for the hidden secrets they are about to uncover in their earnest desire to find her, and the impact it will have on those they love?
Q & A
1. What’s a typical writing day for you look like? Describe your perfect writing environment.
My typical writing day is trying to squeeze in an hour or two between finishing working around lunchtime at a local primary school (as a teaching assistant) and picking up my children from school. It means I have to be very disciplined and turn the computer on as soon as I get home. No time to even have a cup of tea! Sometimes I write in the evening if I my husband is out.
My perfect writing environment would be to have all morning to write – what bliss that would be! I do prefer the house to myself, as I can get distracted by my children and what they are up to.
2. How did you get started writing? Was it something that you’ve always loved?
Yes, I have always loved writing from a very young age, as soon as I could read and write. I’ve always loved reading, and I think writing flows from that. I used to love nothing more than writing into my A4 lined notebook. I remember one of my stories being read out to the whole class in my secondary class and my teacher really encouraging me. That meant so much to me.
3. Who are your favorite writers/inspirations?
My greatest inspiration was Barbara Taylor Bradford who most famously wrote ‘A Woman of Substance’. I wrote to her when I was about 11 as I wa studying her life and work, and she wrote back to me personally. I couldn’t have been more excited to receive a letter all the way from New York!
4. Anything you can tell us about upcoming projects?
I’m working on my second novel, working title of The Perfect Storm, set in the highlands of Scotland, again a romantic suspense/mystery, which is my favourite genre to write. I’m also hoping to break into the stage and screenplay world – fingers crossed.
5. Normally how do you develop plots/characters? Brief us on your process.
My other great passion is photography. Photography plays a huge part in sparking a story into first life. To me, writing and photography flow together, enriching the other. Words are so powerful, beautiful, haunting. They can transport you into a world so unlike your own, even into a different realm, time or space. They can express your thoughts, dreams, desires, with such great depth and power.
But when I take photos, my eye will be drawn immediately onto something beautiful or breathtaking. It’s a quick rush of feeling, different to what I experience when writing; which evolves over a longer timeframe.
For me, the photos I take of this beautiful world we live in will always inspire me in my writing. For my debut novel, Into The Shadows, the photo I took on Inch beach near Dingle in Ireland, had such a profound effect on me, literally taking my breath away, that once I’d returned home, the writer in me sparked into life and began to weave a story around this one photo, so much so I used the idea of a woman’s face on a photo to take my main character, Lily, on an extraordinary journey of her own. One image, one moment, one chance to take it.
For my new novel I’m writing, The Perfect Storm, again, it was the beauty of these raw, wild mountains alongside the calm beauty of the clear waters of the lochs that first drew me in as a photographer. I framed these images on my mind, and now setting to work on bringing a story to life around them.
6. Favorite character from one of your own novels?
I’m always rather drawn to my male leading role – for Into The Shadows that was David. Perhaps because he is strong yet vulnerable, flawed yet has a strength you can admire. Plus I rather like his looks!
7. Preferred method for readers to contact you?
Via my facebook page http://www.facebook.com/mariejoneswriter, or via my twitter @mariejones14057, or even my email address email@example.com. And of course the very best way is via a lovely review on amazon and goodreads. Every wonderful review is like Christmas to a writer, nothing beats reading a 4/5 star review where the reader has absolutely loved your story.
8. On average, how long does it take you to write a book?
Too long … I wish I had more time. It took me nearly three years to write Into The Shadows, and currently 18 months for this one, but I’m planning to finish in the next six months, all being well.
10. Which one of your characters do you relate to the most?
Lily, my main protagonist from Into The Shadows. She struggles in where she fits in the world and how to love and be loved, always doubting her own gifts and abilities, until she embarks on her own life journey throughout this story. I think, at heart, we all feel as she felt and can identify with her internal struggles.
11. If writing wasn’t your career what would you be doing?
Well, I do have another career as a Teaching Assistant. Otherwise I would be a travel photographer as I love travelling and exploring new countries.
12. What’s the best compliment that you’ve received about your work?
Any one of my amazing, incredible five star reviews, including one from ReadersFavorite would be the best compliment. Please feel free to go check them out on
and on goodreads:
Thank you so much for having me on your Saturday Shoutout Series x
About the Author:
Learn more about British writer, Marie Jones, here.
Her first novel, ‘Into The Shadows’, has been published and is available now on Amazon. The novel was awarded a special 5* Review on Readersfavorite.com
The busy mother of two has a strong creative streak and enjoys photography, drawing, as well as writing.
‘Into The Shadows’ is a romantic suspense, woven with mystery and family drama.
Click here to see this book on Amazon.
Marie was inspired to write the novel whilst visiting a stunning part of Ireland.