Interview with Dinah Jefferies, Part II

TS.  Dinah sits in one of the far-flung places that inspires her storytelling.

Q. Please tell about your fascinating life and the countries that you have lived in.

DJ. As I said I was born in Malaysia and have lived in England, Italy, Spain and, briefly, France. For my books I have travelled to Sri Lanka, Vietnam and India on research trips. I have another research trip coming up soon. Before I was a writer I was a painter which is why my novels are so visual.

Q. Do you have a new book coming out soon? If so tell us about it.

DJ. Before The Rains (1930) is set in a Princely state in Rajasthan, India. So it’s an epic love story between my main character, Eliza, a 29 year old widow and photo-journalist, and an Indian prince called Jay. She has been sent to Rajasthan to produce a visual record of life there over the course of a year. They come together when they attempt to do something to alleviate poverty, but the book also explores the differing attitude to women, especially widows. Not everyone approves of them being together and eventually they have to make a choice between following their hearts and doing what’s expected.

Q. When did you begin to write seriously?

DJ. I began to write eight years ago and have written seriously ever since.

Q. How long after that were you published?

DJ. Four or five years.

Q. What makes a writer great?

DJ. If I knew that I’d be able to make a lot of money teaching people. There are a lot of reasons and it really depends on what you’re looking for. I like an original setting, a fascinating story and characters I can care about.

Q. and the all-important: What does the process of going from “no book” to “finished book” look like for you?

DJ. It looks like a lot of work: writing the first draft, followed by a great deal of editing and then a wait as you head towards publication. There’s nothing like holding the finished book in your hands and at that moment all the struggle feels worthwhile.

Q. How has your life experiences influenced your writing?

DJ. My life experiences have provided the themes of my novels. Loss, identity and so on. Is there any way your life experiences don’t influence your writing?

Q. Have you or do you want to write in another genre`?

DJ. Not at the moment, but you never know.

Q. Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know?

DJ. By the time Before The Rains comes out in the UK it will be my fourth published book and I am currently writing the fifth. My second, The Tea Planter’s Wife, now out in the US, was a Sunday Times number 1 bestseller in the UK and has been published in 24 territories. 
Click here to read Part I of this Interview

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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