Tuesday, January 8, 2013

An Interview With Joanne Harris

Over the last few weeks a lot has happened.  There's been posts about books, bookstores (well, only a couple) and other book-related things as well.  I've also promised you some interviews with some writers who I know as well.  This interview was done a few years back for a fellow blogger who I promised to do some interviews for at the time for her.  Well, I dug around in my vault of interviews and found one of Joanne Harris' I had sent along to her first; and wondered if it was okay to apply it to my own blog.  After a quick to and fro of e-mails, Abigail was happy to allow me to cross-post the interview this year for you all.  So, here it is.  The interview with Joanne Harris used in The Story Factory Reading Zone blog.

    Please introduce yourself to our readers

I’m a 47-year-old former teacher living in Yorkshire. I have an 18-year-old daughter and a husband I met via graffiti on a school desk when I was just 16. I ‘m addicted to Haribo, Diet Coke and musical theatre.
Oh, yes - and I write a bit.

    What book do you think you are most like?
Parts of me are in all my books and all my characters. I don’t think you can write a convincing fiction unless some of it is supported by experience and emotional investment.

    What sort of books do you write?
I don’t like categorizing what I write. My books are often very different from each other. Loosely speaking, I appear under general fiction, but I’ve written crime novels, fantasy, historical, cookbooks, short stories. Most of my books have an element of suspense, and many of them focus on the senses in some way – often those of scent and taste.

    Can you tell us a bit about your favourite character from your own writing.
It’s hard to choose a favourite character when there are so many to choose from. One of my readers’ favourites is Vianne Rocher, who has appeared in two of my books so far; a mother, a traveller, a reluctant witch and of course, a maker of chocolates. I’m writing another book about her now, because I sense that her journey isn’t done.

    What books/authors have influenced your writing the most?
Ray Bradbury; Jules Verne; Victor Hugo; P.G.Wodehouse; John Mortimer; Mervyn Peake; Vladimir Nabokov.

    Tell us about the place where you write.
I used to write at home, but now I have a shed in the garden. It’s made of stone and it’s quite spare inside, with just the basics; a chair, a desk; a kettle. I don’t like distractions when I’m working, so it’s good to have somewhere to go where I know I won’t be disturbed too often.

    Do you have any techniques that you use if you get writer's block
I’m not sure I believe in writer’s block. The idea presupposes that a writer can always write whenever they feel like it. Some days I can write, others not. On the others I do something else.

    What are your top 5 tips for writing?
Read as much as you can, in as many different areas.
Pay attention to current events. Newspapers are full of ideas.
Talk to as many different kinds of people as you can. Everyone has a story.
Don’t try to copy trends. Be yourself, and be honest.
Enjoy what you do, and keep trying to improve. That in itself is already success.


If you'd like to know more about Joanne Harris, there's a link to her official website on the sidebar.  Until my next post, happy reading!