Here is the first of many exclusive interviews we will be bringing you over the next 4 weeks or so. It is with the author of When The Sax Man Plays, Yvonne Marrs. You can visit her blog here to find out the latest happenings in the world of Weston.
What are you reading at the moment?
I'm reading and researching (online) for my ghost writing project, London's Dark Lines, at the moment. However, I bought an old copy of Du Maurier's "Rebecca" I'm looking forward to reading soon.
What do you do when your not writing?
I play saxophone and run our photography business with my husband, Weston Photographics. We've just returned from our annual pilgrimage to Eastbourne and Wimbledon for the British grass court tennis season, so I've been very busy with my camera. We're off to the Olympics soon, for both the tennis and the judo (I was a judoka in the Scottish Junior Judo Squad in my teens) something I'm thrilled about. I also must admit to being a shopaholic, and an avid Radley fan (I own 36 Radley handbags!)
Who is your favourite author, or what is your favourite book?
Oh, it's definitely Terry Pratchett. I love losing myself in any of his books. In fact, there aren't many books that I've read twice, but of his work, I'm sure there are some that I've read more than a few times.
Coffee or Tea?
Actually, Hot Chocolate.
Did you have a favourite book as a child, if so what was it?
Anything by Roald Dahl. Then I got into the Inspector Morse series, and my love of Terry Pratchett shortly followed.
If When the Sax Man Plays were made into a film, who would you like to see cast as Jason?
Wow. That's a great question. I would have an unknown actor play Jason: I'd insist on doing the casting myself, as the right casting is so important. It would have to be someone who not only looked like him, but felt right. I hope that makes sense.
Is music something you are passionate about?
Oh yes. I fell in love with saxophone music several years ago, and I'd always wanted to be musically minded but I was tone deaf! Thankfully, I've taken rather well to saxophone music, and although I'm nowhere near challenging my idol, Dave Koz, in the saxophone stakes, I enjoy it, which is what life's about after all.
If you could be any of your characters for a day, who would it be and why?
I have to say Jason, although there is a part of me in all of my characters, so I could choose any one of them here. Jason, like myself, has followed his dream and succeeded. Despite his rapid rise to fame, he remains very calm and controlled, and down to earth. I wish I had the same musical talent that he enjoys, although I know we all have our talents and writing is my own.
Vanilla or Chocolate?
Is there any advise that you were given, or would love to have been given, when you first stared writing?
Nobody tells you how hard it will be, but nobody also stops to say how rewarding it is. I've discovered many things about the process - and about myself during my writing.
All the books and courses all say: plan your writing, plot the chapters, explore what will happen within your book. I have to say, I broke this rule from the off, but isn't that what rules are for?
Novel writing and self-promotion is a steep learning curve. You have to be everything to everybody in my combined role as author, editor, publisher, distributor and promoter. (I launched my own publishing company last year to publish my third, fourth and next year's planned fifth novels, WTSMP Publications.)
I've always said that life is what you make it. Nobody knows how long they truly have, so if there's something you want to do, then do it. I've met many people who have said, how do you do it? I'd love to write a book. I've always given the same answer - so do it! Sit down and write your story. Don't worry about the end result, don't worry about structuring your novel, just get those words down. You can edit and cut and paste to your heart's content on the computer screen - so just write!
Once you've done it, you might not want to publish it for mainstream selling, you might want to keep it personal. That's fine, remember it's your book.
What are your hopes for the next five years?
In the next five years, I would hope to have launched the fifth and final instalment of the When The Sax Man Plays series.
I will have helped many people write their stories (there are three different people's stories beckoning at the moment.)
I hope also to launch my guide to self-publishing, in order to help others benefit from my experiences.
I will be at London Book Fair next year, to shine the promotional spotlight on my work throughout the event. After all, I have learnt that there is truth in the saying it's not what you know, it's who you know. I'd modify that saying to read: It's not just what you know, it's also who you know.
Five further years down the line will see me celebrate my 35th birthday; I achieved so much more than I thought before I was thirty, so I'm greatly looking forward to the next set of challenges!
Is there anything you would like to say to your readers and fans?
My fans, I have to say, are the best people in the world. You mean so much to me: to hear your comments about how much you love the book and can't wait for the next one; to read your heartfelt reviews lifts me higher than any drug. Thank you, to every member of the When The Sax Man Plays fanclub - you know who you are!
I've really tested your faith in me with the finish of the fourth novel, but already I've had hooked responses - how is the series going to end? Well, I'm not going to spoil anything, so you'll have to wait and see - it's your Christmas present from me, but you'll have to wait until next year, I'm afraid.
Several of my series long fans have recently discovered my football book on Kindle (Football Crazy) and I'm now receiving requests for a follow-on! It's something that I never dreamed would happen, and I would hate to disappoint my fans, so there will be one. This is an exclusive - I will write a follow on, as demand dictates!
A big thank you to Yvonne for doing the interview! If you haven't yet read When the Sax an Plays, copies are available on the Waterstones.com site!
Please leave a comment below if you have any Q's, or just to let us know what you think.
See you next post!