This week I have the pleasure to have Jezz De Silva with me, author of Home.
Now, let me start this interview by saying this. I am, by no means, a sensitive reader. I went through killings, disasters, family deaths, and pretty much every thing a good book can throw at you. I sympathized with the characters, cheered or got mad with them. Even chuckled. But I don’t cry, or get a physical reaction. I love many books, but up to now only three have given me a reaction that surprised even me.
Hannibal made me sick to the point that I had to give up my ham sandwich. A shame, as it was a good sandwich, and I only had one-hour break for lunch, so no second chance for eating.
The Bridges of Madison County made me shed more tears my pride cares to admit.
And Jezz’s Home. That first couple of chapters. Damn them, they tore me apart. I didn’t cry, but they hurt me in a way that stayed with me for days.
Now, let’s see what goes on in Jezz’s life, shall we?
Vivi – Do you have quirky writing habits?
Jezz – Does banging my head on a keyboard count? No, no quirky writing habits, but I’m willing to try anything if it helps me write faster.
V – Has your environment /upbringing colored your writing?
J – I guess my age and the fact I’ve tried a lot of different careers has helped my writing. I’m 43 and have had jobs that I’ve hated so it’s helped me appreciate writing.
V – The strangest thing you ever researched for your book
J – I once Googled ‘bendy straws’ and ‘Lucifer’ one after the other.
V – Hidden or uncommon talent that helps/makes it harder to write the story?
J – My personal protection background helps with understanding violence, conflict, and alpha males but my obsessive-compulsive disorder makes it really difficult to switch off my internal editor when writing first drafts.
V – The biggest surprise you had after becoming a writer
J – My first acceptance email from my editor. I will never, ever, forget that moment.
V – A fun fact about writing your book
J – It’s funny now, but I rewrote Home completely at least a dozen times before it was published.
V – What do you struggle the most with when you write the story? Research, plotting, keeping the people in it at bay?
J – That damned first draft. I love researching, plotting, outlining, and editing but that first draft hurts.
V – Which kind of scenes are the hardest for you to write? Action, dialogue, sex?
J – Not so much ‘scenes’ but I find blending dialogue into a scene without using dialogue tags and repeating myself really difficult.
V – Did you always have the reins of the story or do the people in it tried to take over?
J – I usually have a rough chapter outline but I love when my characters do something unexpected and I always follow where they take me.
V – What is your least favorite part of writing a story?
J – That first draft.
V – How do you keep from resenting your duties and every human’s sleeping requirement when you have to stop writing to take care of them?
J – Everything’s a balance, writing’s just one part of a great life.
V – What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
J – I love spending time with family and friends, spoiling our animals, gardening, and teaching self-protection.
V – Your writing style in ten words or less
J – Write, revise, re-write, revise, edit, revise, submit, celebrate, pray, and repeat.
V – The toughest critique given to you as an author
J – ‘You’re writing is like wading through an emotionless void with nothing solid to cling to.’ The first professional feedback I received from a freelance editor, I will never forget it.
V – Favorite book
J – ‘Natural Born Charmer’ by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
V – Favorite author
J – Susan Elizabeth Phillips
V – Which other writer do you consider a mentor?
J – Probably Terry Mixon of the Dead Robots Society podcast. I’ve followed his career for almost ten years and he keeps doing the simple things over and over again and is enjoying the success he deserves.
V – Do you have a day job? If you do, what is it?
J – I’m an engineering test driver, which gives me plenty of time to listen to audiobooks and writing podcasts, and plan my writing while driving around the country. I love my day job.
V – If you didn’t write, what would your job be?
J – Probably what I’m doing now, although it wouldn’t be anywhere near as much fun without the writing.
V – What do your friends and family think about you being a writer?
J – My friends and family have been awesome. They still can’t believe I’m a writer, then again neither can I, but they couldn’t be more supportive.
V – If you could cast Hollywood actors for the adaptation of your latest story, who would they be?
J – Heather Graham and Jason Momoa
V – How long does it take to write a story?
J – It takes me about six months to get a submission worthy draft.
V – Pen or computer
J – Computer, pen would kill me.
V – Music or silence
J – Silence
V – Alone or in public
J – Alone
V – Routine or when inspiration strucks
J – Routine, inspiration doesn’t finish stories.
V – Outline or just write
J – Sentence outline per chapter, then write.
V – What is your work schedule like when you write a story?
J – Wake up at about 4am, write before work, head off to the day job, write during lunch, then write/edit in the evening in front of the TV.
V – If you were stranded on a deserted island and can have only 2 people with you, which would they be? A) a person from your book B) a person from any other book
J – The people from my book, I’d love to meet them in real life.
V – What is your biggest failure
J – My modesty.
V – The biggest lie
J – That I know what I’m doing.
V – Biggest fear
J – Forgetting who I am and where I came from.
V – Have you ever been in trouble with the police for your books?
J – No, but I’m pretty sure I’m on some watch-lists somewhere.
V – Do you drink or smoke?
J – No.
V – If you were a superhero, which would your superpower be? And you name?
J – Eating without putting on weight. Captain Carb.
V – Have you ever found someone in a story who’s exactly like you?
J – Not yet.
V – If you were an animal, which one would you be?
J – A big, fat, lazy, dog.
V – If your story had a soundtrack, which song would it be?
J – Peter Cetera’s ‘Glory of Love’ I know, I know, corny as hell.
V – If you could have any accent from anywhere in the world, which would it be?
J – Not Australian that’s for sure.
V – Do you have any scars? Where are they from?
J – Only emotional and spiritual. Mainly fromhigh school, damn I’m glad it’s over!
Or, if you want to see what I was talking about and give Home a try, CLICK HERE.
Here’s HOME’s blurb.
Love always finds a way home.
For two decades, Evelyn Watson’s husband, Mark, protected her from the horrors of military life. Now Mark is dead, his dark world has crashed down around her, and she wants answers. Mark didn’t die in a training accident, and Eve will keep fighting until she unearths the truth.
Corporal Jamie Turner barely survived the mission that claimed the life of his sergeant and mentor. Command can strip his rank, throw his broken body in jail, but there’s no way in hell they’re stopping him from delivering the truth to his best friend’s wife.
As Eve pulls together the shattered remains of her world for the tiny life growing inside her, the young man her husband thought of as a brother rebuilds the only home she’s ever known and shines a light into her darkness.
Yet as she struggles to allow herself to love again, she’s acutely aware of how far—and how hard—she could fall. Especially if fate ensures Jamie isn’t there to catch her.
Warning: Prepare to have your heart stolen by an indestructible protector who’ll stop at nothing to rebuild the heart and soul of the woman he loves.
I hope you enjoyed this chat with us, leave a comment if you want, and I’ll see you guys next week!