First up, my thanks again for all your emails and messages; it’s lovely to hear from you and I’m delighted that you’re all enjoying The Janna Mysteries so much. I’m also interested in your comments about Janna’s love life. Keep reading!!!
I’ve been busy lately. I’ve now sent in to my editor at Random House the mss of Book 5 of The Janna Mysteries, Sage for Sanctuary – I hope she likes it! Watch this space for news of publication dates.
I’ve also done one of two sessions with postgrad students at Sydney University, talking about my work and passing on some tips for their own writing. The students are certainly keeping me on my toes! I’ve had some excellent questions, some of which I’m still thinking about and will have to answer at my next session. The value, for me, of doing something like this, is that it has forced me to look very carefully at how I write, what inspires me, what themes I keep coming back to, and so on. Often, writing seems to come from the subconscious – at least, it does for me. I sit down and, without labouring the point or thinking too deeply about whether I’ve got it ‘right’ or not, I simply write down the story as it comes to me. (Yes, I listen to voices and often I’m also just writing down what my characters say to each other – or to me!) I think there might be a danger of becoming too self-aware and too questioning when writing. If your left-brain starts ‘interrogating the text’, as the postmodernists would have it, you could find yourself with big-time writers’ block. For me, writing is an act of trust, trusting that the words I need will come to me so that I can write them down without feeling self-conscious. The editing comes later – and also the analysis, which is what I’m doing now when I’m talking to these students. Sometimes it’s a fascinating excursion (sometimes scary) into my psyche! It’s certainly a valuable exercise for me, and I hope they’re getting something out of it too.
In our next session I shall be doing some ‘show and tell’ – giving them a look at some of the stuff I’ve used in researching my novels – books, maps, photos and so on, and we’ll also look at a couple of my short stories, from their conception (where do ideas come from?) through to theme, characters, setting and so on – in other words, answering all the who, what, where, when, why, how sorts of questions that need to be answered when you’re writing a story.

4 Comments

  1. Arrghh!! I’ve just finished reading Willows for Weeping and I’m really eager to read the next book ): (seems to me like the average 300 page novel takes me a few hours to read nowaday!)
    I hope the release date for the next book comes out soon (: And I really hope Janna ends up with Hugh since he seems to truly like her for who she is (unlike Ralph heh)

  2. NOOOOOOOOOOOOO. Hurry up and print the next book publisher!!! I finished reading Willows for Weeping earlier this year and I have been eagerly awaiting the next book. In the last book when I first read about Ralph, I thoght “NO, how can this be!! Ralph cannot end up with Janna. It’s impossible!!”, and I always thought there was something fishy about him. And I was right. Felicity, I hope you realise that The Janna series is un-put-downable. It seems like you have some sort of power in your writing to make your books irresistible. You have a lot of talent!

  3. OMG i have just read the Janna mysteries n i just can’t decide who Janna should be with. I like both Godric and Hugh but i want her to be with Hugh because he is really nice to her and respects her for who she is unlike that rogue Ralph. I knew he was evil because he kept on questoning Janna about her background and didn’t reveal much about himself. I hate him, glad he died!! I really hope that Janna meets her father!!!!!

  4. I love reading the Janna mysteries, and can’t wait for the next one to come out, i live in Reading in England, I know the abbey ruins at Reading and go there quite frequently, and i know all of the areas that Janna has travelled through.

    I can’t wait till the next book in the Janna Mysteries, i really hope that she ends up with Hugh as he was not a false person and like cerys said he liked her for who she is.

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