Please welcome Pippa Jay, who joins me today by the fire. Do help yourself to a cuppa and take a seat, Pippa.
Thanks. Ooo, latte – perfect. *grabs a cup and a cookie*
Now Pippa, could you tell us a bit about yourself, who you are, perhaps, or what makes you tick?
I’m Pippa Jay, a devoted fan of all things scifi, and I have this incurable habit called writing. I got addicted to science fiction after seeing Star Wars: A New Hope on TV for the first time and developing a crush on Luke Skywalker. I love chocolate, coffee, and spiced berry cordial, love to listen to alternative rock and, much to my family’s distress, sing along to it too. On the odd occasions I can drag myself away from my computer, I like to sew, draw a bit, take walks in the woods or on the beach, and I dance to keep fit.
I know you’ve been around the writing world for a while. How long have you been writing for?
Oh, I’ve been writing forever! I can remember badgering my dad to teach me how to write out my full name (quite a long, complicated affair), and I think once I’d got the hang of that I wrote all the time. Shaping letters, making those into words and then stories has been a lifelong obsession. But I only looked at possible publication in 2009.
When did you first publish anything?
It depends what you define as publish. In terms of stories, then technically it was a 3000 word scifi short called The Bones of the Sea. which I wrote it after complaining I didn’t seem to have the knack of writing shorts. Once it was done I felt it was too long to post on my blog. I’d been looking at ways of self-publishing, and decided Bones would be good to experiment with so I put it on Smashwords. It taught me a lot about the whole process of formatting, creating a cover, and the lengthy complications of satisfying the Smashwords Meatgrinder. That was in May 2011, a year before my debut novel released (which is the work I really consider my first official publication).
What genre or genres do you publish in?
Speculative fiction, with a preference for scifi with or without romance. Right now I have adult and young adult titles in SF, SFR, urban fantasy, superhero romance, cyberpunk and paranormal, and I’ll be releasing a YA dystopian romance in April. But after that I’m returning to home turf – science fiction romance, and lots of it!
Can you tell us some of what led you to those genres?
I think I mostly put it down to boredom and outside influences. As a teen, a lot of stories I started never got finished because I’d lose interest in them and move onto the next shiny idea. As an adult, I’ve learned to get that first complete draft down quick, then take my time turning it into a polished project. Boredom means I often switch genres for variety – I do worry this might put off some of my readers if they lean toward a particular genre, but on the other hand I hope it’ll attract some new readers to my books. And the challenge of writing new things will hopefully stop me ever getting stale and being boring. But I can never be sure that something I read or see or learn won’t set muse off on another mad, random project – like watching Warm Bodies set off a zombie book when I’ve hated zombies most of my life, or a new music album turning a SF story into a decopunk superhero one instead. I can’t predict things like that. There’s no way I could tell you for sure what I might be working on tomorrow, and I kind of like that about my life.
I heard you’re working on a pretty big project at the moment. What is it, and are we expecting to see anything soon?
Ah, fishing for hints? If you mean the super-secret, writing-related-but-not-writing project…well, it’s going surprisingly quickly but I’ve reached a critical stage where it could all go horribly wrong (actually, I’m amazed it’s gone so well because I’m really winging it and doing new things) so it’s going to take a lot of time and focus. Which I may not have for a few weeks with all the publishing stuff going on for the next four months. I do have a self-imposed deadline of September for it though. Other than that I really can’t give a date for when the big reveal will happen, and just in case it’s a disaster I’m not giving any details away either!
It’s been great to have you stop by, and I know I’m looking forward to seeing the cover of Keir. Do wrap up against the cold on your way out!
Thanks for having me!