Author Name: Jane Elizabeth Hughes
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Book: The Long-Lost Jules (Spark Press, August 3, 2021)
Brief bio: I’m an obsessive reader with two fully-loaded Kindles and a collection of audiobooks for the car. Unfortunately, reading novels all day is not an easy career path, so I have a day job as a professor of international finance. A native New Yorker, I now live on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
What got you started as a writer? I always wanted to write novels. I wrote my first “book” when I was seven (Lorena Lorenson, Student Nurse – I guess the title tells you everything you need to know). Somehow I morphed into a banker and finance academic instead (to pay the bills, I guess), and I published business books including the forthcoming Greed Gone Good, but I never let go of this dream. Finally, I was able to take a sabbatical from the finance world a few years ago, and started writing fiction. I haven’t stopped since.
What difficult experience has helped you as a writer? I was that little short kid who read all the time. And I mean, all the time. At the dentist, during math class, at the dinner table, even at eye doctor appointments (which was problematic). I was always the last kid picked for teams at recess, but I didn’t care because I could curl up in a corner of the courtyard and read. That need to escape into books, I think, drove me into writing because there I can not only escape – but I can create my own world.
Have you ever participated in the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)? If so, how many times and what was your experience? No, but I think it’s a wonderful notion and would love to participate in the future.
What advice would you give a new indie author hoping to publish a book?
- KEEP WRITING! You get better at it as you go along. My first and second novels never got published and, with the benefit of hindsight, didn’t deserve to get published. I didn’t have that clarity of hindsight at the time though, and it was just pure slog to keep going.
- DON’T BE ALONE! Have cheerleaders in your corner (my husband and sister were phenomenal), and don’t quit your day job.
- REMEMBER: This can take a long time, and a lot of rejections along the way.
- INVEST? Think about putting away a little money to invest in your writing career – writers conferences and publicists are your best friend. The latter is especially a biggie for me, since I’m super-uncomfortable promoting and marketing my books.
- ACCEPT THAT WRITING IS A JOB, NOT A HOBBY! Hobbies are fun and relaxing; writing a book is work.
What has been the biggest challenge for you during Covid? Not seeing my grandchildren!
What are you reading right now? I’m rereading one of the Stephanie Plum mysteries by Janet Evanovich, and Sheila O’Flanagan’s The Women Who Ran Away. I’m listening to a real nail-biter about climbers on Mount Everest in my car.
Would you rather laugh or cry over a book? Laugh laugh laugh!
Have you ever climbed a tree to read a book? No, I was much too timid. Why climb a tree when I had that overstuffed armchair in the living room?
Have you ever dropped a book in the tub, in a pool or in the ocean? Oh, yes (along with my cellphone, keys, and wallet).
Could you live in a tiny house? I think so. I actually like small spaces quite a bit; they’re much cozier and more inviting than big, open spaces.
What are the small things that make you happy? Reading. Writing. Family — my long-suffering husband, my four children, my precious grandchildren. (We had eight of them in just seven years, so they’re a very exhausting joy.) Buttered popcorn and pecan pie with gobs of whipped cream on top. Dancing. Bruce Springsteen, the Beatles, and Ariana Grande. Bookstores. Beaches. Babies.
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