Interview with Caylie Jeffery

What is your writing process?
I feel, I think and I write by the seat of my pants! My best work comes when I'm very tired, although I used to think my best writing was when I was super-passionate and enmeshed in the emotions. Not so, the calm after the storm is my best time to write.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The Little House on the Prairie series were my first reading books without assistance, and I still have them today. They were closely followed by Little Women. I loved the pride over poverty, the hard work and the triumph over adversity... themes I follow in my own jobs... parenting, writing and renovating!
How do you approach cover design?
I spend time with excellent artists who know me, and can create pictures with my thoughts!
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes, it was about a time when I cared for a dying child as a student nurse. I wrote it when I was 19, and won the Alf Kretschmar Award for it. Its pathos and light are not dissimilar to the type of stories I write today.
What do you read for pleasure?
Essays are my latest enjoyment. Anything by Sir Walter Murdoch or Nikki Gemmell. Short, sweet and intelligent, but not too intellectual that they lose me with grandiosity! I like to relate to my writers, and I'll put a book down after a chapter if I don't like the voice or don't identify with any of the characters.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
The Book Thief because Marcus Zuzack has found the perfect mix of prose and emotion... not too flowery and lets me, the reader, paint pictures of feelings with his perfectly positioned words.
Shantaram, for the juxtaposition of joy and pain, life and death, poverty and wealth that is life in India. Gregory David Roberts painted such vivid pictures and I fell deeply in love with his characters.
It by Stephen King, again for a fantastic story-line, wonderful character development and enough fear to keep me awake all night to finish it with the light on!
Mandy, by Julie Edwards, because I completely identified with that lonely little orphaned girl at a difficult time in my own life
All of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander books because of the great sex, oops, I mean charachters!
What is your e-reading device of choice?
iPad
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I haven't marketed my book yet as it's not printed yet, but I'm paving the way for its release via social networking (LinkedIN, FB and Twitter) and have been writing for free for a number of publications which will hopefully promote my book to a large readership.
Describe your desk
I sit at an L-shaped wodden desk built for me by my husband. It is slightly cluttered, but I tidy it every week to procrastinate. My lampshade is old, stained glass and I am surrounded by shelves groaning with books, games and musical instruments. My office is my favourite place.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Brisbane, Australia, as the daughter of an Indian boat-builder and nurse. My life really started to get interesting after they separated... life was not easy but it sure gives me a lot to write about now!
When did you first start writing?
I've always had diaries and journals, which I've kept here and there but wasn't 100% committed. I really started writing when my husband and I started our sailing adventure around the world in 2006 and haven't been able to stop since!
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest book is a collection of essays about life, parenthood, ageing and everything in between.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I am an independent woman who has never waited for life to come to me. I believe in hard work and if I can put so much time and effort into writing a book, then I should be the one to finish the job. Why would I wait until a stroke of luck or a greased palm get me in front of a publisher's eye? Life is too short for slush piles. I'm not trying to be J K Rowling, but I have some great stories to share with people who seem to think blog essays are just blogs. My stories are short enough to read in 5-10 minutes and digest for the rest of the night. By putting them into a book format will at least get my best friends reading my work!
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
It hasn't yet but I'm very excited to use this platform to start this journey! Smashwords will give me wings
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Reading my work the next day and wondering who was channelling through me the day before! Oh, and hearing from a reader who has connected with me through my words.
What do your fans mean to you?
Absolutely everything! I wouldn't be writing without people who enjoyed my work. The people who follow my blog have been the ones who've inspired me to keep writing.
What are you working on next?
A YA Novel, under the working title, Salt, about a girl who sails around the world with her family. Coming of age tale based on my own sailing adventures.
Who are your favorite authors?
Marcus Zuzack, Stephen King, Sir Walter Murdoch, Enid Blyton, Gregory David Roberts, Harper Lee, Shakespeare, Diana Gabaldon,
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My children and an internal combustion stove that always has lots of interesting projects bubbling on it!
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Parenting, sailing, renovating, seeing friends, cooking and reading
Published 2014-02-17.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.