Heya my lovely bibliophiles!
I’m back at it again with the wonderful Ms. J.A. George! Today we’ve got another exciting post in store for you–AN INTERVIEW!!! I know, I know. I’m excited too, but I’ll try to keep the squealing to a minimum! Before I begin, let me mention the Ms. George is going to be holding a giveaway on her blog www.thejourneyofgifted.co.uk when the paperback version of Gifted is released, so definitely check it out! Now without any further ado, let’s get to the really, really exciting part: my interview with Ms. J.A. George, author of Gifted!!!
First off, can you give us the “quick pitch” of Gifted?
It’s about a nineteen year old university student who meets a woman a little on the strange side, and then meets a young man a little more on the stranger side. These meetings lead to the eventual discovery of Hayven – a city separated from the rest of the world where only those with gifts can go. She makes an eclectic bunch of friends, who, even though I’m biased, are just awesome. But Hayven has its dark side and they’re called Cliders; gifters turned rogue, Cliders are determined to see Hayven return to the way it was one thousand years ago when the city was under Madrina’s dominion.
Very cool! So what was the inspiration behind Gifted?
I suppose you could say, people. My characters are ordinary people with extra-ordinary gifts and I believe that is what everyone is. Our gift doesn’t have to be supernatural! Just something we have or can do that makes us different and you’d be surprised to know how many people don’t think they have one.
What was your favorite moment of Ava’s development, where you just felt like cheering her on?
This published version of Gifted is my second edition and in my first edition Avery was completely different. I tried to write a novel and a main character that would make everyone happy, until I realised that was impossible. After two years, I made the decision to write for myself. Long story short, Ava was a bit boring, in my opinion, because I was trying to follow trends I’d seen before, trying to fit her into too many different boxes. So I chose to simply make her into a character I’d want to meet. Now, I just love her. She makes me laugh a lot. I hope she’ll make you laugh too.
Are there any specific characters in Gifted that you feel particularly connected to?
Probably Ava – my main character. I don’t know what it is about her, but I just connect with her the most, probably because of all the changes she’s gone through.
What is your favorite “deleted scene” that didn’t make it into the final cut of Gifted?
I don’t have one! During the editing of my second edition I took a lot of scenes out because I didn’t like them very much and I hated reading them over. Now, there isn’t one scene in my novel that I don’t like reading over! There are a few scenes that I wrote for book one that I’ve taken out to put in book two instead!
What made you want to be a writer? Have you always been a writer or was there a moment you realized it was a passion and the profession for you?
I just wanted to live my life being able to say, “I don’t work”. I don’t ever want to see my life defined by “work” and for me, writing isn’t “work”, it’s too enjoyable for that. You know what they say, do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.
I’ve always loved to write, but before I decided to become an author, I didn’t see it as something I could do as a future career; being an author isn’t exactly a financially stable job. But one day, I said goodbye to my carefully structured future plan, (more about that here, if you’re interested: http://www.thejourneyofgifted.co.uk ) sat on my bed, opened up a blank Word document and typed out a few lines. It was after those few lines that I brought myself a black journal and briefly planned out the storyline of all four books in the series. And the rest is history…
Who are some of your favorite authors and/or authors who inspire you?
Roald Dahl! I’ve only realised recently that his theme of extraordinary things happening to ordinary people (for example, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, George’s Marvellous Medicine) is something that has subconsciously stuck with me for many years.
What are some struggles you’ve faced as an author? How did you overcome them?
Writing for myself. My first edition of Gifted was not a book I wanted to read, but a book I thought would sell better. I remember starting this novel because I wanted to read a contemporary YA fantasy novel, but every now and again, I’d add things or take away things based on what I thought readers would and wouldn’t like, regardless of my feelings towards it. It resulted in a book I wouldn’t have picked up in a bookshop. My second edition is exactly the way I want it; it’s a book I would not only pick up in a bookshop, but a book I would buy and read over and over again. I’m so happy with it and I can now only hope that readers are too.
Is creativity something you have to be in the mood for or is it something you can just tap into?
Hmmm, I’ve never thought of it like that. I’m always thinking about Gifted – always! So I don’t feel as if I’ve had to tap into it. I’m not always in the mood to write, but when I’m not I won’t force myself. I just wait until I want to write again and it usually doesn’t take very long! Or I bribe myself with chocolate. That method gives incredibly fast results.
What advice do you have for aspiring writers, young and old?
Just keep writing. If you’re serious about being an author then I’m afraid to say you have no other choice. Life, eh?
What message do you hope readers take away from Gifted?
That there is something in each and every one of us that makes us different and discovering what that is tends to lead to a happier life.
What a beautiful message! Thank you so much Ms. George for the wonderful interview!