Links on Tell Me a Story
- How To Describe - Mastering Descriptive Writing
- To Write A Story - 20 Ways To Write A Story Better
- Story Characters - 7 Cool Ways To Jump-Start Your Writing
- Linda Jones, 40, director of the Midlands agency, Passionate Media, is an author and journalist and co-editor of the freelance writing blog, www.freelancewritingtips.com – here she shares news of her books and tells how a ‘dream’ to publish fiction may never be accomplished!
Hi Linda, how long have you been a writer?
Hello Anthony. I've been a journalist for 19 years. I trained with the Express & Star, Wolverhampton and have worked as a reporter, feature writer, columnist, sub, news editor and editor, in the UK and Russia. My journalistic work is outlined at http://www.lindajoneswork.com/
- So how many books have you written?
I've written two books - one is the (very modestly titled!) Greatest Freelance Writing Tips in the World, and the other is Divorce and Separation, The Essential Guide.
- Something most of us need or needed guidance on. What prompted you to write your latest books?
The freelance writing tips book came about because I was passionate about passing on realistic advice about what works and what doesn't when building a freelance career.
I've been able to progress from being a lone freelancer in my bedroom at home, to building an agency working on copy for a variety of customers - from editors on national newspapers and magazines - to businesses and charities.
Along the way, I have been asked for lots of advice from other writers and I have mentored young journalists, I knew there was a book in there!
Feedback about the book has been amazing. It's aimed at people who want to make a living writing non-fiction, rather than a 'hobby' writer or one who is happy to write 'for exposure' - and it's certainly not a guide to writing. The title comes from the rest of the series, but in my introduction to the book, I say the tips are 'the best in the world' because they worked for me!
- First hand knowledge is always the best. So what about your other book?
Divorce and Separation, the Essential Guide was commissioned after I pitched three parenting subjects to the publisher.
I write a lot about various aspects of parenting, as the mum of twins, for various magazines. As a journalist, it's also my job to follow the news and I was growing very tired of reports that said the children of parents who'd parted seemed to be responsible for all of society's ills! When I thought of the love and security my friends who happen to be divorced or separated were still providing, I knew these doom and gloom-laden reports were way off the mark and I wanted to write a book that helped loving parents understand that divorce or separation doesn't have to be the defining moment in a child's development.
I am most proud of the testimonies in the book from parents who have 'been there and done that' themselves – proving that going your separate ways doesn't have to be the end of the world.
I hope that for aspiring writers, my experience with this book shows the old adage 'write what you know' isn't always true- interviewers have been a bit baffled that I am neither separated nor divorced - in fact I'm not even married yet - but that's another story!
- Linda, what struggles have you had on the road to being published? It not often an easy road.
I’ve had six book proposals accepted in the last three years – yes really. Four were ditched at various stages - that was a bit painful! I’ve discovered that the 'answer' to the 'dream' of being published isn't writing the book - it's getting it read and even the biggest publishers can't always manage that, can they?
- Too true! What has been the best part about being published?
Anthony, for someone who is already a working journalist, it is very useful to have some books under your belt - to show editors that you have a specialism that you know enough about or care deeply about, and this in itself can provide the hook for other features.
- Where are your books available from?
You can buy or order both books in major UK bookshops, as well as from a variety of online sources, including Amazon of course, or direct form the publishers. With both books, I have set up my own blog, and through an Amazon Associates scheme, get a (little tiny) bit paid directly into my bank account if people click through from the 'buy here' links.
The freelance writing blog is at http://www.freelancewritingtips.com/ and the divorce blog is at http://www.essentialdivorceguide.com/ With each site, I endeavour to update regularly, with news, features, hints and tips. I have a freelance writing tips Facebook group and I send members updates of writing opportunities when I can as well as letting them know any about any snippets of news, media appearances or reviews. The aim is to promote 'word of mouth' about the book and help readers feel they are getting something of genuine value - the blog is carrying on where the book has left off!
- And have you any other work in the pipeline?
Like many writers of non-fiction, I have also tapped away at some short stories. I know that this isn't an area that is particularly popular with publishers and there is one story that I would love to develop into a fully-fledged novel - but I'm a mum too and somehow I haven't found time to follow that dream as far as I would like. At work, I'm also a trainer in non-fiction writing skills, and it is very difficult to contemplate taking time away from such fought-for work to be more creative!
- Linda Jones, thank you for sharing this moment with us. I know just how busy your schedule is.