Published by Accent Press
ebook and paperback: 14 July 2016
For my turn on the Falling Suns blog tour, I’m very pleased to welcome J A Corrigan to the blog who has kindly agreed to answer some of my questions.
Falling Suns is your debut novel however you have previously written short stories. Was the experience of writing a full length novel very different or difficult compared to your previous writing? How do you approach the writing process, do you research and plan in detail first or do you start writing and just run with the story?
Firstly can I say, thank you so much for having me over on your blog.
A full-length novel is very different creature to the short story. I don’t think one is harder to write than the other, but they are very different forms. The novel is a more of a marathon, whereas the short story is a sprint!
In the short story every word counts, and it this aspect of short story writing that helps the novelist. I say this because although you have 100,000 words to tell your story in a novel, and say 2,000 in a short story, it is still imperative that each word counts in the novel too; in many ways, just as much as in the short story. This realisation is something I did bring with me when changing direction from short story writing to novel writing.
The writer is able to explore more in the novel, but this doesn’t give the writer the leeway to make the writing any less sharp and taut as he/she would use in the short story. It takes me weeks to edit a 2,000 word short story and just as long to edit 2,000 words of a novel. I think that is the way it should be to create both a great short, and a good novel.
Regarding research and planning: I do a fair amount of research up front and then start the novel, but from then on I research as I write. I do have an outline when I begin a novel, but generally the nuances of the story and the minor characters emerge as I’m writing.
Without giving away any spoilers, can you please tell us a little about Falling Suns. Where did the inspiration for the story come from and what attracts you to the psychological thriller genre as opposed to any other?
I was inspired by the terrible thought of what the parents of missing (and later) murdered children go through, and this thought then led to the statistics that indicate many abduction and murders of children are carried out by someone in, or close to the family.
I do in fact like to write, and have written, in other genres. But when I started to write Falling Suns, a psychological thriller, I did feel that I’d found ‘my’ genre. Why? Because they are actually very thrilling to write! I do know the general plot beforehand but always a character will end up doing something I hadn’t planned for them to do – and this works well in this particular genre.
What have you learnt about the writing and publishing process that will be useful to you in future and is there anything that you would do differently next time?
I don’t think I have learnt anything that I wasn’t already aware of – I talked to a lot of published authors about the process before it even began. Forewarned is forearmed, and all that!
I think if there is a next time, I would attempt to be more chilled about the whole process and try and enjoy the ride more.
It’s like anything you do for the first time – it’s all new so you are unsure of protocols and what will actually happen, and this can lead to anxiety.
What is the best writing advice you have received?
‘Remember, it is only you who can write your novel, so get on with it.”
Are you a full time writer or do you have to find the time to write around a day job?
I worked as a physiotherapist up until last October. I’ve taken a ‘sabbatical’ to concentrate on the writing.
How do you feel about social media, do you find it helpful or a distraction?
A double-edged sword really, social media. But I honestly think for a writer, it’s a good thing, if only for the interaction with other writers. Writing is a lonely business.
What type of book do you enjoy reading for pleasure, and what are you reading now?
I read in a wide-range of genres, and I also love reading non-fiction.
At the moment I am reading Ava Marsh’s Exposure, a biography on Hillary Clinton, and Vernon God Little by DBC Pierre.
What is next for you as a writer? Is there another book being planned?
Yes, I’m working on another book that I’m a little excited about.
About the book:
A psychological thriller for fans of Belinda Bauer, Mark Edwards, Clare Mackintosh – a dark and brooding tale about the horrors that can lurk within a family.
Ex-DI Rachel Dune’s small son is missing. Then his body is discovered. Her cousin Michael is found guilty of his murder and incarcerated in a secure psychiatric unit.
Four years later, now divorced and back in the police force, Rachel discovers that Michael is being released to a less secure step-down unit, with his freedom a likely eventuality. Unable to cope with this, she decides upon revenge, assuming a new identity to hunt him down and kill him. However, as she closes in on her target, her friend Jonathan, a journalist, uncovers some unnerving information about her mother and others in her family and begins to suspect that Rachel’s perception of the truth might not be as accurate as she thinks – that she might be about to murder the wrong man…
About the author:
J.A. Corrigan now lives in Berkshire, but was born in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire. After A Levels she completed a Humanities degree in London, majoring in History and English Literature. She then went on to train and work as a physiotherapist.
She loves to run, cook, and drink good wine. She likes to read great novels, autobiographies and a diverse range of non-fiction. Adoring travel, JA seems to be at her most creative, and most relaxed, sitting in a very narrow airline seat, going somewhere. She has been writing seriously since 2010 and her short stories have been published in various anthologies. Her debut novel, Falling Suns (Accent Press) is a compelling psychological thriller that explores the darker side of human nature. An early draft of Falling Suns was longlisted (2013) in the Mslexia Novel Competition.