Thursday, 18 June 2015

Author Profile – C.J. Fallowfield

Hello and welcome!
I am so happy you could join us today.
There are fantastic teasers at the end!

G.H – How are you today?
I’m great thank you, it’s Easter Sunday and the weather in the UK is warm for once, so I have the windows and doors flung open as I type.

G.H – Opps given away how long ago I sent out my questions! Hehe
G.H - When did you first start writing?
Officially in October 2014, that’s when I first put fingers to keyboard to write my first novel.

G.H - Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
I don’t think I made a conscious choice as a child to be a writer, but I did keep diaries and come up with stories and was always told that I had a good imagination. I think it was when I was in my mid-twenties the thought of writing a book came to mind, but I was too busy with work and life at the time.

G.H - Are you a full-time or part-time writer?  How does that affect your writing?
I’m sort of both! Officially I work from home, managing the family business, but in reality it’s not a very taxing job, so most of my time is put to my novels. I get quite irritating when “work” interrupts!

G.H - How did you become involved with the subject or theme of your book?
My latest book, a standalone erotic romance, revolves around Lulu McQueen, who owns a honeytrap agency. She’s sent in to lure cheating spouses and provide wives, or suspicious girlfriends, with proof. Maybe some of you are the lucky ones, who never had someone you loved break your heart by having an affair, sadly I was and I was totally oblivious to the signs. I guess the idea for this book came from that heartache, of wishing I’d known sooner and finding out in a controlled manner.

G.H - Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?  If you write more than one, how do you balance them?
I didn’t plan to write erotica, but it’s a big market for female readers at the moment. It kind of crept into the books I was writing at the time and the readers loved the scenes, saying they were hot and realistic, so it stuck. I am however branching out next year, to try my hand at a romantic comedy, which was always my intention when I decided I was going to write.

G.H - Where does your inspiration for these stories come from?
A lot of it is from personal experience, that initial seed that blossoms into fiction. I also get ideas from looking at pictures and creating a story in my head around what I see, or listening to people in restaurants, on buses or trains!

G.H - What was your favourite chapter to write and why?
With The Temptress my favourite chapter to write was when Lulu was confronted with her one night stand, that she’d never got over, and having to pretend she didn’t know him, having to squash her feelings for him and do her job. I’m sure many women have had a crush, or been in love with, someone who was oblivious and they had to disguise their feelings each time they saw them.

G.H - Where is your favourite place to write?
My family has a holiday home, up on the Welsh coast and if I had a choice, I would be up there writing, surrounded by mountains, trees, birds and the sounds of the sea. Sadly internet connection up there is virtually non-existent,  and with social media playing such a large part in independent authors self-promotion, it’s not practical to cut yourself off for long periods of time, so I make do with writing at home.

G.H - Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? i.e. You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?
I usually have the radio on low in the background, like white noise, it weirdly keeps me focussed. Though I shouldn’t, as I have a fully kitted out office with ergonomic chair, desk and keyboard, I usually sit in my recliner, with my laptop on my knees, which is not good for my wrists and I’ve suffered quite badly lately.

G.H - Do you use a computer/laptop for your first draft or are you a pen and paper writer? 
As a touch typist I do everything on computer, it’s faster and legible! If I have an idea while I’m out and about, I make notes on my iPad.

G.H - How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?
Characters names are relatively easy, I use a baby book, of popular names and skim it with my character in mind, trying to picture if I can see them with a name I’m drawn to. Places are much harder. If you use a real town or city, you have to get details right, so if you’ve never been there you have to do a lot of research. If you want a fictitious place, you think you’ve come up with the ideal name, google it and you find out it already exists, so you have to try again!

G.H - Did you learn anything from writing your book?  What was it?
I learned that I should have tried this much sooner than I did. I love what I’m doing, especially when you get messages from readers saying how much they loved something you wrote, there’s no better feeling.

G.H - How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
My novellas, like the ones in my “For the Night Series” on average took me two days each. A full length novel, mine are usually around 150,000 words, takes around three to four weeks if I force myself to slow down. I wrote my largest novel, 170,000 words in just two weeks, but that puts a lot of strain on my fingers and wrists, so I’m learning to pace myself, which is hard. If you have the story in your head, you just want to get it on paper in case you lose some of the ideas or inspiration.

G.H - Can you describe the feeling you had when you saw your published book for the first time?
Disbelief I guess. More so to hold a printed book in my hand, something that I’d created and people were buying and reading. I’m not sure I’ll ever get over the amazement of that, I hope I never do!

G.H - Who are some of your favourite authors? 
Over the years I’d have to list Enid Blyton, Agatha Christie, Franklin W. Dixon, J. Tolkien and J.K. Rowling. I’d just in awe of their imaginations, Tolkien in particular. As a writer in my genre, I particularly love Sylvia Day’s Crossfire Series.

G.H - Have you ever suffered from a "writer's block"? What did you do to get past the "block"?
Luckily I haven’t really. I had one day where one of the books I was writing started taking a different path to the idea I’d originally had in my head. I got frustrated trying to work out how to get it back on track without scrapping the work I’d already done. I simply went to bed to sleep on it. When I woke up I realised that I didn’t need to be constrained by an idea of what I thought my book should be, if I’d taken it in a particular direction, that was what felt right for those characters. So I scrapped my original idea and just kept writing where my head was taking me and it worked, Logan Steele the escort with a heart has gone down really well.

G.H - Time for a few crazy questions!
G.H - Do you write naked?
Haha, NO! My cat doesn’t need to be traumatised for life, plus who wants naked butt prints on a sofa or chair? Ewwww.

G.H - What is your biggest failure?
I’m not sure I’d class it as a failure, as I learned a valuable lesson from it and it made me stronger, but the breakdown of my marriage was a difficult time in my life. I chastise myself for being so young and naïve, to not realise that I deserved to be treated better, but now I accept that maybe I had to go through that to make me understand my worth and to never let myself be treated that way again.

G.H - What is the biggest lie you've ever told?
Probably the one that most women are well practiced at! Saying “I’m fine” when really we’re hurting inside and want someone to hold us and tell us everything’s going to be ok.

G.H - Have you ever been in trouble with the police?
Once – I was caught inside a restricted area in a showground, the night before a big local event, giving my boyfriend a blow job! We were warned not to let it happen again and sent on our way.

G.H - Do you drink? Smoke? 
From my late teens to my early thirties I drank and smoked heavily, looking back they were coping mechanisms for some of the events life had thrown at me. I gave up cigarettes fourteen years ago and now detest the smell of them. Drinking I rarely do, maybe three of four times a year, but when I do, I forget my limits and end up horribly drunk, which puts me off for another long stretch.

G.H - What is your biggest fear?
Losing my mother. She’s not just my mum, she’s one of my best friends and the thought of not having her around one day is really painful. So I’m making the most of spending time with her while I can.

G.H - What do you want your tombstone to say?
“She came, she saw, she laughed.”
I’m a firm believer that laughter can make most things seem better.

G.H - If you had a superpower, what would it be?
To eat as much dairy produce as possible and never put on any weight!!

G.H - What secret talents do you have?
I’m not sure it’s a secret, or a talent, but I’m an incredibly fast reader. On holiday I can read three books in a day. I’m also told that I do the most amazing impression of a seal and cockerel (rooster).

G.H - What is something you want to accomplish before you die?
I’d really like to fall in love again one day.

G.H - Do you have any scars? What are they from?
Too many. Chicken pox ones, six on each shoulder from arthritis and impingement surgery, three sets of three laparopsic scars from exploratory surgeries and gallbladder removal, a large horizontal scar from hip to hip from a hysterectomy, one on my right side from running into a barbed wire fence, large burn scars on my stomach, hip and upper thigh from where I accidentally set my sarong on fire on holiday … the list goes on! They all tell a story though, while I may not love them and parade them at every instance, I’m not ashamed of them either.

G.H - Do you dream? Do you have any recurring dreams/nightmares?
I dream every single night and remember them in the morning, which I thought was normal, but apparently it’s not. I used to get a recurring nightmare, but since I made positive changes in my life and dealt with some painful memories I’ve not experienced that for a long time.

G.H – Back to normal questions!
G.H - What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?
There’s lots of advice I wish I’d been given as a new writer, but I think the most important one is to do research into how to prepare for release of your writing baby, not to jump in blind like I did. It’s not as simple as write and press publish, there are many important steps in the process if you really want to give yourself a running start against the ever increasing competition. The one most important thing, that I can’t stress enough, is get a professional editor, or proofreader at a minimum. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you’re good enough to spot your own errors. Many readers, understandably, are not tolerant of mistakes in work that they have paid good money for.

G.H - Would you share a deep dark secret about you with us?
As a child I went through a weird phase of eating paper, particularly sweet wrappers, the waxy kind like on Opal Fruits which were around in the seventies, when I grew up. Apparently it’s called “Pica” and can be a reaction to a stressful event in your life, though I’ve never got to the bottom of what set it off. It can also go hand in hand with OCD – Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, which I have a mild strain of. It only manifests with me into what I consider organisation – alphabetised DVD’s, CD’s, books and my clothes grouped into colours in the wardrobe etc. Though it does freak me out if someone uses multi-coloured paperclips, or different coloured pins on a noticeboard! As long as it doesn’t affect anyone else and doesn’t take up too much of my time, I don’t consider it to be an issue.

Here are some great teasers! Note: Adult viewing only!

Thank you for letting us get to know you and your books. It was an absolute pleasure to have you with us!

Thank you so much for having me!


Everyone, please remember any questions or suggestions please write them in the comments section below.

Thanks G :)

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