This week's Writer Wednesday features Tiffany Jones, author of Bully, The Alternative, Where is Beauty, Change of Heart, Starting Over, The Minorcans, and The Best News. Tiffany has been with Story Shares since the very beginning. Her story Bully earned her a finalist award in our first competition. At that time, Story Shares existed as a one-time contest and since developing into an organization, Tiffany has dedicated her time and creativity to contribute several more stories to help our library expand.
Read on below to learn more about this great author and her work!
Why do you write? What inspired you to begin writing?
I have been compelled to write since I was about ten years old. I remember feeling satisfied after writing a poem or story and the positive feedback I would receive from parents and teachers. Now I write to put complicated events and feelings into a neat little package. It is definitely therapeutic, and when people enjoy my work it’s the icing on the cake.
What have you written?
I used to write a lot of poetry and still sometimes do. I love writing short stories which is part of the reason why I loved writing for Story Shares. I have written one complete fiction novel, loosely based on my own adoption, that I still hope to have published one day.
What advice would you give to a novice writer?
Write often and from your heart. If you are serious, work on your language, grammar and spelling. Even if these things don’t come easy to you, it’s worth studying so that your work is readable and flows well. Still, writing is not about being perfect, nor is it an exact science! The feedback from those who are kind enough to read your work is invaluable.
What projects are you currently working on?
I am looking forward to revisiting my completed novel over the summer and doing some editing and revising. I wrote it a few years ago, and time has a way of allowing you to see your own work with fresh eyes. I also have another novel in the early stages that I want to work on. For me it is about getting to my computer when inspiration strikes.
Do any of your works resonate more strongly with you than others?
My completed novel is definitely a story from my heart. I absolutely had to write it, and did so through many tears and late nights. I am proud of the work I have done for Storyshares. Winning the contest was amazing and writing for such a great reason is always a pleasure.
Are there authors that you turn to for inspiration and mentoring?
An author friend of mine helped and encouraged me a lot when I started getting serious about being an author. She has many published romance novels, and was a wonderful resource. I went to a few writers group meetings and really enjoyed them, but I tend to be a bit of a loner when it comes to writing partly because of my crazy schedule.
What prompted you to write for Story Shares?
A good friend told me about the contest and I was hooked right away. I loved the whole idea as well as the challenge of writing easy to read books. Being a part of Story Shares has been such an honor.
Do you find reading to be necessary for writing?
Much of my inspiration comes from reading. For me it is a must in order to write because so much can be learned from great authors of fiction. Right now I’m reading a book of short stories. I make sure to always have a book to read. It’s free fun and free education!
What is your preferred writing environment?
I almost always write at home. There are plenty of interruptions but I honestly don’t mind. It’s good for me to break away pretty often because ideas come to me randomly anyway. If I have a deadline it will usually help me because it will put me in writer mode; constantly thinking about the project at hand!
Where do your ideas come from?
I have written a couple of short stories based on dreams I’ve had. Most of my plot ideas come from experiences. A lot of details and characters come from the people I’ve known and the things they’ve said. Fiction is so much fun to write because it’s like creating alternate realities.
What do you feel are the hardest and easiest elements of writing?
I think the hardest thing about writing, other than finding time and inspiration, is self-doubt. When it creeps in, I tell myself that I am a writer with a unique voice, and that what I write matters even if I’m the only one who ever reads it.
Do you prefer to work from an outline, or plot as you go? Why?
I never use an outline! I tried once but I guess my brain just doesn’t work that way. I don’t know how my stories will end until somewhere in the middle.
Do you gravitate towards a particular genre when it comes to reading and writing?
If you write in more than one genre, how do you balance them? So far I have only written fiction. Some of my work has a supernatural twist, but I think most of my writing would be classified as mainstream fiction. I usually read fiction as well, but I have read some great non-fiction too. Basically, if it grabs my attention I’ll read it.