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Indie Author Interview - Jessica Roe, author of The Fortunate series

Jessica Roe is the Author of the Fortunate series of books, amongst others!

Jessica Roe is the author of The Guardians series and the Fortunate series.

She's the mother of three mischievous cats, a lover of rainclouds, Gandalf and all things fantasy. Seriously, she can't get enough of it.

She loves to write, and especially enjoys creating a character and seeing where they take the story (because we all know authors aren't REALLY in charge). If not writing, she can usually be found reading something to do with romance or fantasy or the end of the world (or maybe all three). Oh, and sometimes she also does chores.

She likes strong, ready to fight, female characters who are just as capable at anything as the guys. She has a weird love for villains.


Have you ever written a story from a dream?

Not yet, but I have a long list of ideas and many of them stem from dreams I've had. I hope to get them all written in some form one day.

Do you base characters on people you know?

I've been asked to, but no. I tend to find that once a character is on the page, they go their own way whether I want them to or not. Writing a real person would be difficult for me because it would leave me with a rigid guideline to work with.

What is your favourite character of another author?

Cassie Palmer from the Cassie Palmer series by Karen Chance. That book series is actually what inspired me to finally start writing properly.

Have you ever cried at a book?

Many times, but most memorably when Fred died in the Harry Potter series. I full on bawled. Like heaving, sobbing, pages soaked with my tears. It wasn't pretty.

Do you prefer fiction, non-fiction or both?

Fiction. I find nothing better than getting lost in a book, and I love that in fiction, anything can happen. I love stepping into all the worlds that authors create in their heads.

If you could cast your book for a film, who would play the parts?

No one could ever match the characters in my head, but I'll give it a go. For The Guardians series, I'd probably say Amber Heard for Gable, Steven Strait for Nicky and Liam Hemsworth for Sacha.

What is the most unethical practice in the publishing/distribution industry?

There are many, unfortunately, but the worst in my opinion is pirating. It's such a disrespectful practice. Authors (and everyone else who gets pirated) put so much time and love and pieces of themselves into their work. Having it pirated is kind of heartbreaking. I know some authors don't mind it as more readers means more reviews, which I get, but it's just something I could never get my head around.

How do you feel when you start a book, in the middle, and when you finish?

The start is always exciting. I've always spent so much time planning and plotting that it's just awesome to dig in and get started, though that first sentence is always the hardest. The middle is even better. It's usually where all the most fun goes down so it's super fun to write, and the end is both a relief and very sad. I've spent so much time with my story and my characters that saying goodbye to them is like saying goodbye to a good friend. Until the editing starts anyway, and then I usually want them to go away!

Do you think a big ego is a hindrance or a help?

I'd say a hindrance mostly. Being an author means that you're putting yourself out their, and not everyone is going to like it. Your ego is going to take a bashing at least a time or two, trust me.

Have you ever gotten reader’s block?

Yes. A couple of years ago I struggled with some mental health issues, and during that time I lost the love for many things I'd always cherished – reading and writing being a couple of them. No book could hold my interest, and I didn't have the heart to write. Thankfully, after some time, I moved past it. It took a while but my love for both came back to me – with gusto!

Did you ever consider a pseudonym?

I already have one...

Do you try more to be original or pander to readers’ wants?

Every reader is different and wants different things and I couldn't possibly hope to please everyone no matter how hard I tried. So I always stick with my gut and write where the story takes me.

When did you know you were going to be a writer?

It was always something I'd dreamed of, and I've always written, ever since I was a child. I'd always only ever written for myself though. It wasn't until I finished writing my first ever book, Undone, that I thought about sharing it with other people.

How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

It didn't really. I know a lot more now than I did before about the publishing world, but that doesn't affect my writing process. That all comes after.

How do you balance making demands on the reader with taking care of the reader?

I have my stories and my ideas, and I'll always stick to what I believe is best for my characters. However I do take suggestions from my readers into consideration. For example the Fortunate series was never actually supposed to be a series. It was supposed to be one book about Blair and Silver and that was it. But many readers asked for stories for other characters in their world, and the more I thought about it, the more I loved the idea. And that was how Because of Him went from a standalone novel to the first in a series.

Do you always give books not your own a chance right up until the end, or are you quick to DNF?

When I was younger and had much more time and patience I always finished a book, no matter how much I disliked it. These days however I allow myself to stop reading if I'm not enjoying it after a few chapters.

What does literary success look like to you?

People enjoying what I write. Even if it's just a few people, the fact that they enjoyed one of my stories means more than I can say.

Do you do a lot of research and why, or if not, why not?

Lots. It doesn't matter if I'm writing fantasy or contemporary, I research the crap out of pretty much everything. And since I'm English and all of my stories are set in America (I just love it there) I try to research as much as I can about people from there – or at least relating to my characters. For example people in America speak quite differently to people in England, and if I'm writing an American character I don't want to ruin it by having them use the wrong words or terms. So...much research. There can never be too much.

What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters of the opposite sex?

As a woman who often writes using 1st person for the opposite sex, I do sometimes struggle to make sure they're realistic and different from the women I write. I was critiqued for one of my male voices in one of my first books – told they didn't sound any different from my female. That's the kind of critique I love, because it tells me what I need to work on.

How many hours a day do you write?

It really depends. I'd love to have a set amount of time each day, but as a single parent who also works that just doesn't always work out. Usually on the days I'm at work I try to get in 3 or so hours in the evening, and on the days when I'm not working and my daughter is at school I can get in about 6 or 7 depending on how much I've got to do that day.

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

I did at the beginning. Reviews are great to get, whether they be good or bad. If someone leaves a review for my book, even if it's a bad one, it shows me that they felt strongly enough about it to sit down and write it. Bad or good, an opinion on my book is better than nobody caring enough at all. But even though I've had some lovely reviews from awesome readers that I couldn't appreciate more, unfortunately it's usually the bad ones that tend to stick in your head. Helpful critique I don't mind at all, but everyone is entitled to their own opinion and not everyone loves (or even remotely likes) what I write. So I find it best to take a step back and stick to the writing.

Do you ever think it’s ethical to reply to your book reviews?

Not to reviews, no. People leave reviews knowing that it's their right as a reader to have their own opinion, good or bad. It's not my place to interfere with that. Questions, however, are always appreciated and accepted and I'll always get back to you. It sometimes takes me a while as I have the worst memory, but I will always eventually reply.

Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

I have, actually. In The Guardians series, there are secrets hidden that will come to light later in the books. A fun little way to tie them together.

Have you ever Googled yourself?

Yes! There wasn't much to see lol!

What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?

Probably the editing. I edit multiple times as I'm writing the story, and then multiple times after too before sending it off anywhere. It can be a tiresome process.

Does your family support your career as a writer?

100%. From the moment I told them I wanted to publish my first book they've been nothing but supportive about it. I'm very lucky.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

My first took 2 years. The second 6 months, the third 2 months and the most recent was about a year. It really depends on what's happening in my life at any given time.


Find Jessica's work on Amazon!


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