Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Interview with Jessica Bell, author of String Bridge

Jessica Bell has organized a jam-packed blog tour to promote the release of her gorgeous (I'm telling the truth. I've read it) book, String Bridge, and today I am pleased to be hosting her here on my blog :-)

1. What is your favourite time of day to write?

I tend to write better at night. For some reason I become really alert when it gets dark. I think it’s ingrained from my days as a bartender and waitress.

2. Are you a plotter or a pantzer?

A bit of both. I plot enough to know my protagonist’s goals and where the story has to end up, but not in detail. I like the element of surprise.

(I do the same...)

3. What's a completely random fact about you that most people don't know?

Um … any clothing that is body fitted, I can’t wear twice in a row. Even if I’ve only worn it for a couple of hours it has to go in the washing machine.

(Hmm... I don't have that problem!)

4. What was your favourite book as a child?

Enid Blyton’s The Faraway Tree.

(Oh my gosh! I loved The Faraway Tree! I loved all Enid Blyton's stories actually...)

5. If you were stuck in an elevator and had the choice of any writer, living or dead, to be stuck with, who would it be and why?

This is a tough question. I’d actually prefer to be stuck in an elevator with a musician. Can I do that? They’re bound to have some sort of instrument on them. Live entertainment in a time of need. Er … musical instrument, folks, get your minds out of the gutter. :-)

6. Out of all the characters you’ve ever created, tell us about the one you’d most like to meet in real life.

Well, I’d have to say I’d like to meet the character I’ve recently conjured up for my third novel. Her name is Concetta. An Italian a cappella singer from Milan, who moves to Arles, France to be close to the spirit of Vincent Van Gogh, whose art inspires her music. But this woman moved there right in the middle of a political change which limits people’s ability to have unique identities. It's illegal to wear clothes. In some streets, it's also illegal to sing without accompanying instruments. Concetta breaks these laws in protest. As punishment, her vocal chords are brutally slashed and her eardrums surgically perforated. Unable to cope living a life without song, she resolves to drown herself in the river clothed in a dress stained with performance memories. But her suicide attempt is cut short as someone grabs her by the throat and pulls her to the surface.

(Wow. Intense.)

7. Have you ever based a character on a real person you know, and would you tell that person?

All my characters have various traits of various people I know and/or have met. I think all writers do that. Aren’t we all constantly observing behaviour? I think we do it without even being aware sometimes. Having said that, though, none of my characters are one person in entirety. For example, Alex, in String Bridge, has the same occupation as my partner, the temper of an ex-boyfriend, and the past of someone completely fictional. Would I tell them? Well, I don’t really think it’s necessary in cases like this. And I think I’d steer clear of writing about a real person anyway, unless I was writing non-fiction.

8. If for some reason you couldn’t be a writer, what would you be?

Haha. Are you kidding? A rock star of course. :-)

9. Lastly (and most importantly): chocolate or ice cream?

Ice cream. No doubt about it! And I don’t even care what flavor.

~ ~ ~

Jessica Bell is a literary women's fiction author, poet and singer/songwriter who grew up in Melbourne, Australia, to two gothic rock musicians who had successful independent careers during the '80s and early '90s. She spent much of her childhood travelling to and from Australia to Europe, experiencing two entirely different worlds, yet feeling equally at home in both environments. She currently lives in Athens, Greece and works as a freelance writer/editor for English Language Teaching publishers worldwide, such as HarperCollins, Pearson Education and Macmillan Education. In addition to String Bridge, Jessica has published a book of poetry called Twisted Velvet Chains. A full list of poems and short stories published in various anthologies and literary magazines can be found under Published Works & Awards, on her website. From September 2012 Jessica will be hosting the Homeric Writers' Retreat & Workshop on the Greek island of Ithaca, home of Odysseus.

Purchase String Bridge:


Where you can find Jessica:

String Bridge Website
String Bridge Book Trailer
String Bridge Merchandise
Retreat & Workshop site


Madeleine said...

'All my characters have various traits of various people I know and/or have met'. I so agree with that one. Great interview post. Good luck Jessica.

Cally Jackson said...

Thanks for introducing Jessica to us, Rachel! Nice to meet a fellow Aussie.

The premise for your book sounds fascinating, Jessica! You've definitely caught my attention. :-)

Jessica Bell said...

Thanks for reading, ladies! And thank you so much for having me, Rachel! It was a real pleasure :o) The faraway tree was my Wizard of Oz :)

Nicki Elson said...

Man, just reading your real life background information is interesting - this book must be amazing! I agree that all of our characters have at least bits and pieces of people we've known in them...sometimes inadvertently *gulp*

Jessica Therrien said...

Thanks for posting! Great questions :) I'm an early bird writer myself. Good luck with String Bridge Jessica!