Author Interview,  Writing Life

Author Spotlight: Ida R. Jardines

This is a post that was originally posted on my old review blog. I’m moving all the content from there over here as that site is no longer active and I’m always looking to support other authors in any way I can.

Today I’d like to welcome Ida R. Jardines to the blog. I came across Ida on Twitter when she favorited one of my tweets. 😀 (Thanks for that, btw.) So of course I had to ask her if she’d like to be interviewed for my blog. She’s a not new to writing, but she is working on her first book. I look forward to when she makes that first sale and can’t wait to hear about it.

You can find out more about Ida and what she’s up to at the following links:

Website: http://www.idarjardines.com/

Follow her on Twitter: http://twitter.com/IdaRJardines

Find her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WriterIRJ

Follow her on Instagram: http://instagram.com/IdaRJardines

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? I’ve been writing some short (and not so short) stories since I was a kid. Writing was always fun for me but I didn’t seriously consider it as a career until my senior year in college. I was sitting in my parents’ living room, doing homework, when my dad asked me what I planned on doing with my English degree. “Teach,” I told him. He smiled and said, “No. You’re a writer.” It took someone else bestowing that title on me before I knew with certainty it’s what I wanted to do.

How long does it take you to write a book? I’m actually working on my first book right now. The first draft took about a year and a half to write because I only gave it the time of day when I had nothing else to do. I put the first draft away for a couple of years (until I was done with school) and when it came time to write the second draft, it took me about a month. I start the next round of editing next week!

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing? Like a lot of other writers I know, I have a 9 to 5 (actually 7 to 4) that prevents me from dedicating my full day to writing. During the week, I write for a couple of hours at night and on the weekends I try to get in as much writing as possible. At first, I was worried that I wouldn’t make any progress with this schedule but I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how much I’ve been able to get done.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk? I HAVE TO write with the door to my writing space closed. Music has to be playing but that’s the only noise I’ll allow.

Where do you get your information or ideas for your books? The ideas for my books come to me randomly. I’ll be listening to a song or driving and something will jump out at me that inspires a little nugget of an idea. From there, I let my imagination do the work. One of the books I have on the back burner has elements of mental illness so when I get to the development stage, I’ll be conducting interviews with mental health professionals.

When did you write your first book and how old were you? I started writing my first book when I was 20. I’m 26 now and I’m seeing the light at the end of the tunnel! I expect my future books to go much faster than this. I’ve learned how extremely crucial being a disciplined writer is.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing? When I’m not writing I’m reading or connecting with people on social media (hey, writers! Social Media can be such a great, encouraging resource!)…recently my husband and I have started watching Game of Thrones so we’re making our way through the series.

What does your family think of your writing? I’ve been incredibly blessed by a family that is 110% supportive of my writing. I think it would be a lot harder to put in the time and deal with

the doubt if I didn’t have such an amazing support system.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books? I was surprised by how attached I became to characters. I find myself getting emotional for them, because of them. You spend so much time creating them just to (in some cases) tear them down. It’s been an interesting ride.

How many books have you written? Which is your favorite? I’m working on my first right now. Naturally, it’s my favorite!

Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say? No one has read my novel yet but I’ve had an incredibly positive response from people who have read my short stories. My favorite comments are those that have extreme reactions to a character I’ve created. I feel like I’ve done my job when my readers feel attached to my characters.

What do you think makes a good story? Honesty, hands down. I truly believe that if the writer is being true to themselves and the characters they’ve created, they’ll have a good story. When writers begin writing for other people…I think that’s when stories miss their mark.

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up? I wanted to be a teacher so that I could inspire students to read and write.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? Yes! However, my hope is that they can extract the message on their own. If I’ve done my job correctly, they’ll be able to. Fingers crossed!

What books have most influenced your life most?

The three that come to mind are:

  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
  • On Writing by Stephen King (READ IT)
  • Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

…an interesting mix, I know!

What are your current projects? Right now I’m working on my first novel, which will be ready to shop around before the end of the year. I’m also working on regularly posting to my blog and adding some finishing touches to some short stories I’ve written.

What was the hardest part of writing your book? I was the hardest part about writing my book. Like with any relationship, if you spend too much time with someone in a cramped space…you’ll go

crazy. I felt that way about my book until I stepped away for a few months. When I came back, it was like reuniting with an old friend. My doubt had gotten the best of me.

Do you have any advice for other writers? Read. Write. Repeat.

Also, there’s no room for doubt. It’s easier said than done but you have to believe in yourself and your work. Be on your own side. There will be enough naysayers out there.

Tweet it up! I’ve found such an amazing writing community on twitter. Complete strangers cheer you on and encourage you and you can do the same for others.

Keep going.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? THANK YOU for reading! Reading is a choice and I’m honored and humbled that people choose to read words that I’ve written. Stay tuned! I have some good stuff coming your way!

What’s next for you after your current project is complete? After this current project is done I’m going to take about a day off and dive headfirst into the next book! I have so many ideas brewing so for awhile it’s going to be project after project!

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