Interview with Best Selling author, Dinah Jefferies

TS:  I discovered Dinah recently in my routine search for authors I might enjoy reading. What a treasure!  My favorite genre’ , a good story based in historic fact.  She is currently research and writing her next book so, understandably, her answers are short and sweet!


Q. Where do you write? Do you have a special room, shed, barn, special space for your writing? (please provide a photo/s of your shed, room, closet, barn….) Or tell us about your ‘dream’ work space.

DJ. I have recently had a garden room built and that’s where I do my reading, writing and where I have an exercise bike. I have no photos of the room yet but it’s very peaceful and I have music at hand whenever I feel like it. It feels like a little oasis that’s just for me.

Q. Do you have any special rituals when you sit down to write? (a neat work space, sharpened #2 pencils, legal pad, cup of tea, glass of brandy, favorite pajamas, etc.)

DJ. A cup of coffee and my latest notes on the left of my keyboard and if the room is warm enough, then I’m ready. I don’t do any social media when I’m writing. If the room is cold I get on my exercise bike to warm up.

Q. Could you tell us something about yourself that we might not already know?

DJ. When I first came to live in England it didn’t feel like home. I was born and brought up for the first nine years of my life in British Malaya and saw that as my home, so I was what they call a Third Culture Kid. Not quite one, not quite the other and it left me with a feeling of not properly fitting in.

Q. Do you have a set time each day (or night) to write?

DJ. I write in the mornings and use the afternoons for editing, reading, taking the dog for a walk and any household chores that need doing.

Q.  What’s your best advice to other writers for overcoming procrastination?

DJ. You overcome procrastination by sitting down and getting on with it. You make a choice. You work or you don’t.

Q. Where/when do you first discover your characters? Before or after the idea of a story?

DJ. They begin to pop into my head at the research stage. As I read about a place and a time I begin to think about the type of people who might have been there at the time and the kind of story I want to write.

Q. What first inspired you to write your stories?

DJ. Having time on my hands. We were living in a tiny medieval village in Andalusia, Spain and once the restoration of our house was complete I began. Writing a novel is very labour intensive.

Q. What comes first to you? The Characters or the Situation?

DJ. The place comes first and then the characters and the situation arise simultaneously.

Q. Do you ‘get lost’ in your writing?

DJ. Absolutely, especially when it’s going well and I’m in the ‘zone’. When I’m struggling it’s much harder, but I try to keep going anyway. You can’t edit a blank page.

Part two will appear January 28th. Don’t Miss it!

MY BLOGS feature INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   Did you miss the past few months? October Author, Lisa Jackson.  November was best selling author, Grace Burrowes and in December, Reed Farrel Coleman, contributing writer for Robert B. Parker series

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