The Questions…


Now I hope I’ve understood this correctly… I just came across a really interesting blog  classicsandcraziness  and a series of questions people could use to introduce themselves. The idea is to tag the last person who answered the questions, and then answer them yourself…. I think.  So here’s my version: 

 

THE QUESTIONS

Appearances!

 Name: Elaine Jackson (writing as EJ Jackson)

 Nicknames: I don’t really have one; our parents apparently named us Elaine and Jean because they didn’t want people to give us nicknames (no idea why!) but one of my managers found a great way around that – he used to call me MissElaineious and I loved it! When I married he briefly toyed with MrsElaineious but it didn’t trip off the tongue quite so easily…

 Birthday: 9th October – I do it the other way around because I’m in the UK and we put the day before the month! I’ll be *ahem* 60 this year (eek). Mostly I don’t feel it… if I could find an anti-ageing pill/machine/gene I’d go for it. As the Tenth Doctor famously said, “I don’t want to go”.

scales-vector

Hair colour and length: My hair used to be dark brown, but these days I’m silver/grey. I’ve had it in a chin-length bob for years now – and I try to keep it trimmed, because (a) it looks better and (b) I love the scalp massage you get when you go to the hairdresser’s!

Eye Colour:  hazel.

 Braces/Piercings/tattoos: Nope. I did have my ears pierced in the 1980’s (I was okay until they put the stud in and twisted it, and then I fainted dead away – very embarrassing) but I kept forgetting to put earrings in and the holes closed over. I can’t bear the thought of getting it done again, so…

Righty or lefty: I’m right-handed

Ethnicity: Caucasian.  British – Scottish, Irish and Welsh roots and, according to a DNA test, a link to the Caucuses area of Russia…

First…

 Book Written: a short story collection, that I published on Amazon in 2014. I’d written lots of fan-fiction (mostly Dr Who with some crossover with Torchwood, Sherlock and (don’t ask) Crime & Punishment, some of which will never see the light of day…. But in 2011 I decided to write original fiction and haven’t stopped since.

 Journey Cover

Novel Completed: A time-travelling detective mystery set (mostly) in present day about how gene therapy might go horribly wrong… published it in 2016. It represented about four/five years of writing off and on, and hair-tearing out (time-travel really messes with your head).

 TMP_Cover1awithstrapline_medjpg.jpg

Award for Writing: None. Somehow or other I never get around to entering competitions, even though I know it’s a Good Thing to do.

Publication: Oops, I think I jumped ahead with this one. So, they’re called ‘The Journey & Other Short Stories’ and ‘The Methuselah Paradox’ (both sci-fi) and ‘New Leaf’ (a romantic novella, because I felt like it). All available on Amazon and other platforms. 😉

a new leaf.jpg

 Conference: If by that is meant have I been to any writing conferences, then yes!  Went to The Festival of Writing at York in 2013 (where I met a lovely lady I’m still friends with today, although she’s shy & doesn’t do social media so I can’t give her a Shout Out here). She was a huge help with my magnum opus (the time travel/gene therapy story).

 Query/Pitch:  My motto is ‘Imagination is the highest kite one can fly’ and it was said by Lauren Bacall.

 Favourites!

Novel (that you wrote): ‘The Methuselah Paradox’ is very close to my heart, partly because it took so long to write and partly because the core premise (is it okay to tweak genes so people live longer) is of Great Interest to me … but my current project is a post-apocalyptic comic book series which I’m SO excited about because I think it has Potential (and I say that with a cringe because, being a Brit, I’m not good a blowing my own trumpet – at all. It’s like pulling teeth.

Genre: science-fiction – first, last and foremost. I grew up watching Dr Who, Captain Scarlet, Star Trek, Blake’s 7 – the idea that there might be life Out There has always captivated me. Although these days I’m quite likely to run for cover at the first sigh of an alien spaceship. I saw ‘Alien’ and quaked in my boots. I also saw ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’ a ridiculous number of times (I was working in a cinema at the time) but it’s sods law they’ll be of the ‘Aliens’ variety!.

Author: Oh goodness, too many to remember. Isaac Asimov, Frank Herbert, Ray Bradbury, Carl Sagan… Philip K Dick… Douglas Adams  (oh yeah, I founded the official HHGTTG appreciation society in 1980 – and it’s still going strong!  One of my proudest achievements) and lots and lots of newer writers. It would take forever to list them all, honest.

 

Writing Music:  I wrote a LOT of my Dr Who fanfic listening to Avantasia, Eryon, Tangerine Dream (still got a vinyl box set somewhere in the loft)… but also love Mike Oldfield, Jean Michael Jarre, Muse, The Moody Blue…. And loads more.  I tend to prefer instrumentals for writing. But I don’t always listen to music when I write, it depends.

Time to write:  Whenever I can get time on my own, so it could be early morning before work or late at night before bed.

Writing snack/drink: Coffee.  Tea (usually peppertmint) but I can’t eat and write at the same time. Or even drink, really – I’m Queen of the Undrunk Tea.

Movie:  ‘Blade Runner’, ‘I, Robot’, ‘Avatar’ and, perhaps bizarrely you might think, ‘The Remains of the Day’.

 

Writing Memory: My first ever fanfic – a Star Trek story titled ‘The Berengaria Dragon’ when I was in my teens. It was pretty dire, and the illustrations I did to go with it even more so. But I still published it in our local Star Trek group fanzine and nobody threw things at me, so maybe it wasn’t so bad.

 Childhood Book: ‘The Magic Faraway Tree’, various ‘Noddy’ books and ‘Black Beauty’. I still have the ‘Black Beauty’ I was given for my 9th/10th birthday. I drew horses on all the blank pages in it…

 

 

Currently…

Reading:  ‘The Quartet Murders’ by J.R. Ellis. I like detective stories, too!

Writing: My blog, updating my websites and a kickstarter campaign for my current project, ‘Minding Mama’ – the post-apocalyptic comic book. My art isn’t anywhere near good enough, so I’ve got a brilliant artist, Dan Schaefer, who’s illustrating it.

Listening to: nothing, for a change! (well, my son sneezing)

 Watching: Well, not right at this moment, obviously, but currently hooked on ‘Gotham’, and looking forward to the new John Simm drama, ‘Strangers’, which starts on the 10th. Also partway through ‘Sense 8’ on Netflix. Oh, and will get to watch Season 2 of ‘WestWorld’ eventually…

Learning: All the time! Studied creative writing at Faber Academy in The Writer’s Workshop in 2013/2014 and screenwriting and self-editing with The Writer’s Workshop in 2014; I’ve got a couple of Udemy courses I signed up to and can’t find time to complete and I’m learning the art of marketing as an Indie Author the long way round… also taught myself how to make book trailers. And although I’ve got a dear friend who records and edits my live-action trailers for me, I still love learning how to make them using a program called Filmora. I’ve made a couple of book trailers myself and one for a friend, I love it.

 Future!

 Want to be published: well, I’m self-published, but I’d be fibbing if I didn’t admit that the idea of getting traditionally published doesn’t have some appeal (mainly, the advance, so I could maybe give up the day job – I have another 6 years to work before I’m eligible for the State Pension!).

Indie or traditional: Oops, I’ve skipped ahead again! Done the first, would love the second. It’s unlikely I’ll be the next JK Rowling, but it’s useful to have a dream! The idea of my stories reaching that many people is quite mind-blowing.

 Wildest goal: To have one of my books made into a TV series or film. If I can achieve that, I’ll go happy. Well, maybe not happy… fulfilled. I don’t want to go!

 

MM TRAILER END CREDITS 20.7.18.png

Connections


It’s always great to meet like-minded folk.  The team at Scannerdrome TV  interviewed me yesterday about my writing process, book trailers, and why we love sci-fi.  The hardest part? Wanting to ask them questions about what they’re doing, how they got started with Scannerdrome, and so on – maybe next time!

In the meantime, do checkout their YouTube channel, website and Twitter feed – there’s a ton of great material there, including interviews with Richard (‘Battlestar Galactica’) Hatch and our very own Richard Oliver (‘Minister of Chance‘, ‘Don’t You Forget About Me‘ – for which he won Best Actor – and ‘The Light of September‘, the new audio series from Radiostatic).

Thanks again guys!

TMP_Cover1withstrapline11.4.15

 

 

Authors: Check Out These 21 Fan Fiction Sites


At last! So wonderful to read a post which treats fan-fiction seriously and gives it the respect it deserves. Whatever you think of  the concept, do check this out; you might be pleasantly surprised!  

 Authors: Check Out These 21 Fan Fiction Sites.

who I am, what I did, what I do now


Who I am:  A fifty-something reader, writer and all-round drama and theatre geek. I won’t bore you with the usual ‘I’ve always loved books and in particular science-fiction’ (although it happens to be true)…. long story short (ish):

What I did:  In 1980, I founded the official ‘Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ appreciation society, ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha, because I wanted to join a HHGTTG fan club and there wasn’t one (or if there was, I didn’t know about it).  Prior to that, I had written, edited and produced fanzines and comic strips for shows like ‘Star Trek’ ‘Buck Rogers in the 25th Century’, ‘Captain Scarlet’, run mini-conventions and generally followed my enthusiasms wherever they led me. Then I did some ‘planet normal’ stuff – got married, had a family, went to my day job and pretty much forgot about all those other exciting, extraordinary things …  But when ‘Doctor Who’ regenerated in 2006 I re-discovered my Inner Geek, and by 2007 I had embraced internet fandom  (Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combination – and if you know where that comes from then you’ll know where I’m coming from)  and started to write again. For four years I talked about science-fiction and imaginative drama with like-minded people, wrote fiction based on a variety of shows and fandoms, and realised that what I’d wanted to do all along was WRITE.

Sometime during 2011 I began writing my first original fiction – a contemporary romance with a science-fiction twist, ‘All Our Yesterdays’ – which rapidly grew from a short story into a 140,000-word manuscript.  I wasn’t sure if it was any good, and suspected that I needed to improve if I was to have any hope of getting it published, so I sought professional feedback from Barbara Rogan and The Writers Workshop, whose Eloise Millar told me I had promise, but recommended that I go on a creative writing course. I did – and because when I engage with an idea I never do anything by halves, I went on four of them. ‘Getting Started – Writing Fiction Online‘ and ‘Writing a Novel Online‘ with Faber Academy, ‘Craft of Character‘ with LitReactor’s David Corbett, ‘Self-Edit Your Novel‘ with The Writers Workshop… and I’ve signed up for a screen writing course with The Writers Workshop, starting in June.  Like I said, I don’t do anything by halves.

I’d love to be able to say that ‘All Our Yesterdays’, (which became ‘All Our Tomorrows’ which is now ‘The Methuselah Gene’) is finished and about to be published – but it isn’t, not yet. It’s a Work in Progress, and has been set aside whilst I wait for final feedback from Faber, and to allow everything I’ve learned over the past six months to settle.  I have the feeling it will be a trilogy, so it deserves fettling time! In the meantime, I’m researching for a new novel, ‘Who Killed Maggie Wren?’.  And completely unlike the way I started ‘All Our Tomorrows’, which began as a ‘pantser‘ (take an idea and run with it, see where it goes – and it has been all over the place, believe me),  this one is going to be researched and plotted to within an inch of its natural before I write a word.

What I do now:

I still work at my day job, and the rest of the time I read books (crime and science fiction, psychological thrillers,  the odd romance, books about writing, books about people); I write (blogs, a bit on twitter, humongous emails to long-suffering writerly friends) I’ll continue to study writing, and no doubt watch a lot of telly.

What this is:  It’s my portfolio (just as it says at the top). It’ll tell you a bit about me, and on subsequent pages you can see samples of some of the stuff I’ve written (but not the naff stuff from years ago, because that would be embarrassing), hints about some of the stuff I’m going to write.  Some of it might be transformational writing (fan fiction) so let me say here and now, if you’re an industry professional with a vested interest – please don’t sue!  I’ve never made any money and don’t want to make any money from it  – it was all part of my learning curve, and I think it would be dishonest to deny its existence, or the huge part it played in my education as a writer.  Look, Russell T Davies (whom I admire) wrote fan fiction – a lot of people who now work in television did too. They might not have published it online, but they still wrote it.

I want to explore it all, and maybe, if you like my style, you might ask me to write something for you… I’m a member of The Writer’s Guild, though I have never yet had a paying job – primarily because I haven’t had time to go out and look for one. I’d like to be able to give up my day job (wouldn’t we all) but that’s a big step and I have bills to pay, so softly, softly, catchee monkey. On here I will be writing about things that interest me (hopefully they might interest you, too).

You can see more of my ramblings on www.elainejjackson.com , checkout my publishing company on www.neonskybooks.com , follow me on twitter  @ElaineJackson12 , or email me at admin@elainejjackson.com

 

IAN tmrk