Welcome! Thanks for stopping by on your virtual book tour with Goddess Fish Promotions. We’re pleased to have this chance to find out a little more about you and your work. How did you start your writing career?
A love for reading inspired me to write. I think it’s natural for all of us who love to read to be drawn to the idea of creating our own stories, developing our own ideas, and giving readers that sense of surprise or happiness that we enjoy when we read a great story. When I was eleven or so, I started my first novel. It was essentially a retelling of the Cinderella story with a main character named Ella that—SURPRISE!—would be revealed as a secret Cinderella. It’s a good thing I never finished it! After that, I believed the folks that told me that writing is more of a dream and not really a career, so I only wrote sporadically when I was really moved to live my biggest dream, only for life and that “real career” to get in the way. There were so many detours—for decades—but now I realize they’re all really valuable experiences for the life of a writer. Finally, the urge to write, the feeling that you’re supposed to write, took over, and I finally gave my writing “dream” the priority it deserves.
When in the day/night do you write? How long per day?
When I’m writing—and not editing or knee-deep in the publishing process—I write each and every morning, for at least an hour, hopefully two, and three or more if I’m really into the story and have lost all concept of time. I’ve found mornings work best for me, when I’m most alert, refreshed, full of creative energy fresh from dreaming, and the world’s distractions haven’t been allowed in yet.
What do you think makes a good story?
There are so many elements that make a story the kind that sticks with your or you’d want to share with everyone else you know. And every story that ever existed is different for every single person who reads it. But I think the best stories are those that make you feel, whatever that feeling is. They move you in some way, whether they make you laugh or get angry, insight a new curiosity or make you in awe of the world and people around you. The best stories kind of provoke you somehow, change you the tiniest little bit, and make you see life in a new way.
Plotter or Pantser? Why?
I’m a proud pantser! My process is very simple: start with a tiny story idea, the simpler and less-detailed, the better. Then, I start writing the story from the beginning. I never know how my stories are going to end up—and for me, that's the whole fun of it. That's why I write! Every story's an adventure, a mystery, an experience waiting to unfold. That's the whole appeal for me. If I'm not having fun writing a story, I imagine no one else is going to enjoy reading it. No outlines exist for my stories. My stories aren't planned; they're dreamed. At most, I may get flooded with ideas for a story while writing it, then have to keep up by jotting them all down and maybe needing to put them in chronological order to refer to them later. But I've found I'm not happiest with even "fun ideas" in a little list to write into the story; that's when creative writing turns into academic writing, for me, with a pre-determined end goal, and all the fun is sucked out of it.
Do you listen to music while writing? If so what?
No, I’ve found music is too distracting for me, for the most part. I have to keep out all distracting noise too, so I wear noise-cancelling headphones and play a loop of beach sounds: crashing waves and the occasional seagull going by. It’s the only thing I can write with: something without words or music that would pull me out of the story but sound that helps drown out outside noises.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be so many things. I grew up traveling the world, playing alone, self-creating adventures, and loving the outdoors. I wanted to be an ecologist, just playing in nature all day, or a travel agent, or a detective, or a flight attendant, or a secret agent, or a paranormal psychologist hunting ghosts.
Do you have any suggestions for beginning writers? If so, what are they?
Write, write, write. Don’t allow yourself the distraction and hesitation of thinking about writing or reading about it; just write. Write to gain your confidence, to find your voice, to get damn good, and push yourself to finally share something with the rest of the world. And forget what others think of your work; if you really love writing for all the right reasons, you will be great at it and readers will recognize that. BUT… if absolutely everyone says “eh…” about your stories, or only your mother and significant other “love it!” then take that as a bit of beautiful revelation: that you’re still holding yourself back, somehow for some reason. And you need to dig deeper, into the place where you have no fear, or you’re courageous enough to write about what you fear. And that’s the writing, the stories, that are pure gold.
ABOUT THE BOOK
The One Apart
by Justine Avery
Only one obstacle stands in his way of enjoying a normal life. He remembers—every life he's lived before.
Tres is about to be born... with the biggest burden any has ever had to bear. He is beginning again—as an ageless adult trapped in an infant body.
He and his teenage mother face life filled with extraordinary challenges as they strive to protect, nurture, and hide how truly different he is. But Tres alone must solve the greatest mystery of all: who is he? The answer is linked to the one question he's too afraid to ask: why am I?
In his quest, Tres discovers that all is considerably more interconnected and dynamic than he could ever imagine—and fraught with far more danger. He cannot hide from the unseen threat stalking him since his birth.
Life as he knows it—as all know it—is in peril. And Tres is the only one aware.
Tres felt his body abruptly drop around him with overbearing weight, encapsulating him once again.
The mental images, the overpowering memories, finally faded. Only an ominous stillness remained.
Every cell within him began to twitch, infusing with energy—even as he felt immobile. Every joint, tendon, and bone ached under the pressure of being alive.
A deep sadness engulfed him. He pondered possible rea
sons. And, just as quickly, he was distracted by the presence of his own simple thoughts.
Thoughts. He realized his own thinking.
This mind—certain of its own newness—desired to explore, feel, do, be. Tres opened his eyes—tried to open his eyes. He found his eyelids fused shut.
He opened his mouth. Thick, warm syrup seeped inside his swallow. Intense fear washed over him, even as he knew exactly where—and how—he was.
Tres was aware, more aware than any had ever been. In this moment, he knew everything—and yet, nothing.
He was beginning again.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Justine Avery is an award-winning author of stories large and small for all. Born in the American Midwest and raised all over the world, she is inherently an explorer, duly fascinated by everything around her and excitedly noting the stories that abound all around. As an avid reader of all genres, she weaves her own stories among them all. She has a predilection for writing speculative fiction and story twists and surprises she can’t even predict herself.
Avery has either lived in or explored all 50 states of the union, over 36 countries, and all but one continent; she lost count after moving 30-some times before the age of 20. She’s intentionally jumped out of airplanes and off the highest bungee jump in New Zealand, scuba dived unintentionally with sharks, designed websites, intranets, and technical manuals, bartered with indigenous Panamanians, welded automobile frames, observed at the Bujinkan Hombu Dojo in Noba, Japan, and masterminded prosperous internet businesses—to name a few adventures. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree that life has never required, and at age 28, she sold everything she owned and quit corporate life—and her final “job”—to freelance and travel the world as she always dreamed of. And she’s never looked back.
Aside from her native English, Avery speaks a bit of Japanese and a bit more Spanish, her accent is an ever-evolving mixture of Midwestern American with notes of the Deep South and indiscriminate British vocabulary and rhythm, and she says “eh”—like the Kiwis, not the Canadians. She currently lives near Los Angeles with her husband, British film director Devon Avery, and their three adopted children: Becks, Sam, and Lia. She writes from wherever her curiosity takes her.
Avery loves to connect with fellow readers and creatives, explorers and imaginers, and cordially invites you to say “hello”—or konnichiwa.
Book buy link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076B7RDWY
Justine Avery will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
a Rafflecopter giveaway