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Friday, May 27, 2016

Guest Post - Interview with J.A. George (Author of Gifted)

Friday is here!
Weekend is almost upon us and we have a guest this week *drinks and cake all round* , J.A  George is here today to talk about her book Gifted, thank you so much for joining us. I read it a few days ago and really enjoyed it (look out for my full review in a few weeks) I loved the blend of comtempory and fantasy. So anyway, I shall hand over to J.A.George who shall tell you all about herself and her book:

Tell us about yourself.

My name is J.A. George and I’m the author of Gifted. I’m from London, England, but I’m currently living in Sheffield for my studies. Hmmm, what else? I like to read, write, bake, eat, hang out with friends and go to the cinema. Once I did all of those things in one day and needless to say, it was one of the best days ever.

You’ve written a book?

Yes, Gifted! Here’s the blurb:
There is no chosen one in this story.
Avery Gray was just in the wrong place at the wrong time and happened to make a decision that altered her future forever. It happens to all of us every day.
Avery is a size twelve university student with a penchant for dry humour, and she’s as normal as they come.One rainy afternoon, Avery had to make a choice: go through the alleyway or around it. Two possible options. One would have had her future continue on as planned, the other would ensure that her future never remained the same again. She unknowingly went with the latter.
Chamge can be good. It can bring new opportunitiy, new friends and a life you never thought possible. Change can be bad. It can bring you people determined to burn your city to the ground.
It all depends on the decisions you make.

Why is your novel about choices and decisions?

Because I truly believe that’s what life is about. This edition of Gifted is my second edition and in my first edition, I hadn’t explored or even contemplated the effects choices and decisions have on your life. I know it sounds pretty obvious, like, of course your choices affect your future, but I don’t think we realise how much. One little decision, such as walking your dog in a different park could change your life. That new park may be the place you meet your life partner and they just happened to try out that new park that day too. You could witness an event that then impacts your life. We never really take into account what can occur from a ‘little’ choice or decision.


What’s special about your main character, Ava?

She’s real. She wasn’t very real in my first edition because I was trying to base her on female protagonists I’d read about in the past because I wanted my book to sell. After two years, I decided to drop that mentality and focus on making Gifted into a book I wanted to read and chose to forget about whether others would like it (although I still hope they will!) I didn’t want to read about a girl who wakes up and kicks butt on daily basis, I wanted to read about an ordinary girl. Ava is strong-willed, funny and sarcastic, but she’s also insecure and worries about the small stuff, like we all do. I really bond with her because I can see myself and many others in her and it’s nice to have a relatable character who experiences extra-ordinary things. For me, Ava makes the impossible seem a little more…possible.

Any romance?

Uh-oh. Busted! I would say there isn’t much romance, but I’ve come to realise that I can’t really influence how people read and interpret my book. My main protagonists Theo and Ava are not in love, but some of my readers believe they are and if it’s true in their heads, why should I say they’re wrong? The only reason I say they’re not in love is because I don’t believe in instant-love, and because that can be quite a common trope, a lot of YA readers expect it. They read about a male protagonist and a female protagonist and think, yup, they’re in love! Theo isn’t a smoking-hot, bad-boy, he’s nice to look at and a little on the weird side. One of my readers said she didn’t understand why Ava was interested in Theo and I was just sat on my bed looking at my computer screen and thought, urmmm, because he’s her type? She’s attracted to people who make her laugh and interest her. We don’t all fall for the unobtainable guy who loves to brood and looks like he’s the son of Zeus and Beyoncé.

Do you see writing as a career?

I hope to make a career out of writing because it’s something I love to do. If writing becomes my career then I’ll never have to work another day in my life and who doesn’t want that?!

Is there anything you find particularly challenging about writing?

Yes, and that’s trying not to write for other people. I wrote Gifted because I wanted to read a contemporary YA fantasy with a main character I could relate to. Somewhere along the line I lost that and began focusing on writing a book I thought readers would like and buy, dismissing my feelings entirely. In my second edition (the one that’s currently published), I happily returned to writing the book I want to read.

What’s the best weather to write in?

I really love to write when it’s raining outside. Just hearing the rain droplets hit my window puts me in a good writing mood.

Favourite writing snack?

I like chocolate, but sometimes it melts and I get sticky fingers or I enjoy the chocolate so much, I momentarily forget about writing. I tried doughnuts once. Things got very messy… So I mainly just stick to a tall cup of ice cold water.

Finally, anything you’d like to say to your readers?

I hope you enjoy Gifted! It’s been a long journey, but I believe it’s been worth it in the end.

J.A. George
Twitter: @JGeorgie_
Download a sample of GIFTED from Amazon US here
Or Amazon UK here