Interview with Jane Washington

When did you first start writing?
When I was two years old! I'd blabber stories while my mother wrote them down. I still have alot of them, and I'm not ashamed to admit... they're pretty messed up. If I ever wanted proof that I was a psychotic baby, I know exactly where to find it.
What's the story behind your latest book?
The Beatrice Harrow books were a two-part series. I'm terrible at summarising, but I'll say that the books were supposed to be a sort of origin point for the whole planet that Beatrice Harrow lived in, sort of like an extended prequel. Beatrice Harrow starts off as a very sheltered girl, belonging to two different kingdoms, with nothing really belonging to her. She struggles to understand her own world, and make the kind of choices that one would expect a beautiful and strange young girl to have to make; such as whether she should trust an evil King who just won't stop kissing her, manipulating her, frightening her, or all of the above, all at the same time. She develops precious few friendships, perhaps a few too many relationships, and collects more enemies than she can really count. Mostly because she has no idea who they are. All the while her continent, The Noveland, is mirroring a very similar battle to justify its existence (without the love interests); which is the foundation on which the next series begins.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
When I published my first book, Hereditary, I just wanted to see what kind of reception it would receive. I wanted to put out something raw and personal, straight from me to whoever would read it. If someone read it: great. If someone liked it: even better. I had never considered being an indie author until I started Hereditary, I didn't know anything about the publishing industry, or how indie authors managed their books. Admittedly, I still don't know much. For the moment, I'm still just writing, publishing, and hoping someone will like it.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy is having the ability to make someone happy. Not the reader, although that's fantastic too. I'm talking about the characters. I love that my character can endure almost unspeakable things, can escape death again and again, experience loss and worse... and at the end of the book, they can heal. I hope that doesn't make me a sadist in any way, but I think alot of us have had to endure terrible things at one point or another, and it's amazing to bring a person back from those points. To heal them with friendships or love interests, and things that make them laugh; basically, to show a person turning to things that make them stronger, instead of things that make them weaker.
What do your fans mean to you?
They're amazing. They generally play good cop/bad cop with me, and I wouldn't be surprised if they were organised enough to have a schedule that they worked off. I used to get emails complaining about how long I was taking to release The Soulstoy Inheritance, directly followed by emails so supportive and amazing they made my jaw drop. With reviews, it's the same. I'll get a review telling me that my book is way too long, followed by a review telling me that my book is way too short. So, I reiterate, they're amazing. A little bi-polar maybe, but definitely amazing.
What are you working on next?
As of now (March, 2015), I'm working on the Valendell series, which follows on from the Beatrice Harrow series. Also, a stand-alone novel called Santiago Trauma, and another new series called The Power of Colour. I'll admit, there are actually many many more, but I don't want to mention them just yet.
Who are your favorite authors?
Not to be mainstream or anything, but George R. R. Martin. With the most obvious out of the way, my all-time favourites are Joseph Heller and Samuel Beckett. Coming in after those (in no particular order): Edgar Allan Poe, Terry Brooks, John Flanagan, Phillip Pullman...
Basically, any breakout, indie, female author like myself. Clearly.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I think I live in a very beautiful country, and I like to experience it as much as possible when I have free time. Brisbane is full of trendy little coffee shops, brimming with city chicks and metro dudes, all wearing shorts of approximately the same length while they whine about university, tinder, and how bloody perfect the weather is all the time. A day and a car is all you need, and you can find yourself on a lazy island, an abandoned beach, or staring down at everything from a mountain peak.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
FIVE? That would take too long. I might not last the process. You'll probably find me curled up on someone's doorstep, all of my hair pulled out, with bloodshot eyes and PTSD. I'll pick two instead.
1. Catch-22. There are a thousand reasons why this book is my favourite, but in the interest of not getting carried away, I'll say one thing: no character has ever made me smile, laugh, cry or groan with frustration as much as Yosarrian, whose primary motivation is to "live forever or die in the attempt". And that's saying something, considering the next book...
2. Waiting for Godot. If I ever considered having an existential crisis, it was before I read this book. I think we all have a bit of Valdimir and Estragon in us.
Describe your desk
It's massive, and usually in a state of ultra-organized chaos. There's always a large stack of textbooks and books about to fall off the edge of it, because I'm too lazy or busy to put them away. My diary is always lying open to the wrong week, and it's pretty clear that I have a fancy pen obsession.
Published 2015-03-16.
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