Q&A with author Gail Jones


A very warm welcome today to YA author and fellow Yorkshire lass (we are actually from the same small town, Rotherham!), Gail Jones...

Name one book that made you think 'wow'? Why did it have such an effect on you? There’s been so many of these and to select one is really difficult. I think I would have to choose ‘The Lord of the Rings’. I never imagined enjoying fantasy fiction like this, especially such a long book! However, the way Tolkien creates Middle Earth, his descriptions which were brief yet so detailed, made Middle Earth seem like a real place. Tolkien is such a skilful writer. I loved the characters too, especially Frodo who was so brave in the book.

Who is your favourite author and why?
Again, how do I choose? Enid Blyton was my childhood favourite, she took me to some wonderful places and I loved her characters, especially Moonface, Silky and the Saucepan Man from the Faraway Tree.
Now I like Anthony Horowitz for the Alex Ryder series as they are fast paced and exciting. They are Young Adult fiction but that’s the genre I write and enjoy reading the most.
My favourite adult author is James Patterson for the Alex Cross books. They are intriguing but also fast paced. Yes, I like excitement in my reads!

Name one of your all-time favourite book covers?
I don’t really have a favourite book cover. The cover draws me to a book but once the pages are open, I forget the cover completely and lose myself in the story.

If you could have a dinner party with any authors from any time in history, who would you choose and why?

I would like to dine with Tolkien and C. S. Lewis. I heard once that they were friends. I don’t know whether that is true, but I’ll love to chat with them. The meaning behind the Narnia series with C. S. Lewis is clear but I’d like to ask Tolkien whether he intentionally put any messages in his books or whether they were pure ‘lose yourself’ fantasy. I think they’d both be fascinating company.

Who, or what, inspires you?
I’m inspired by teenagers and the difficulties they face, also by current events. When I wrote’ Family Secrets’ I chose a subject that I thought about a lot as a teenager, ‘How would I feel if I found out I was adopted? What would I do?’ The sequel ‘Family Fear’ was inspired by news at the time. Lots of old people were being mugged and hurt, mostly by teenagers. I wanted to explore how that would effect the teenage grandchild of a victim.

Where is your favourite place to write?
My favourite place is in my car but not while driving! I like to park up somewhere green where the birds are singing. I wind down the windows, feel the breeze, sit back in my comfy seat and write.

What is your favourite film that was based on a book?

There are two. One is the ‘Lord of the Rings Trilogy’, ’The Return of the King’ is the best and the other is the ‘Narnia’ series, my favourite is ’The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’.

What is your book about?
'Family Secrets’ is about fifteen- year-old Rachel Brooks who moves to Rotherham in South Yorkshire. Within weeks she falls in love; a new friend becomes a vicious enemy and she discovers she was abandoned at birth and adopted. Rachel’s world is shattered as she realises her parents are hiding even more from her. Determined to find the truth about her past she begins her own search against her parents’ wishes. Everyone she meets seems determined to stop her, but she does not give in. But when the barriers do begin to fall, nothing could prepare her for what she finds out.
‘Family Fear’ continues the story of Rachel as she returns to Scarborough for the holidays. She stays with her gran and spends time with her old friends. While there her grandma is mugged. The old lady’s physical wounds are only slight but her confidence is gone. Rachel determines to find the culprit and bring him to justice so that her gran can feel safe again. With a mysterious female stalker and an illusive mugger, Rachel has her hands full, but even then she has no idea that her quest could cost her life.

If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the main characters?

Rachel would be: Amanda Bynes
Luke: Justin Bieber
Emma: Anyone nasty from Mean Girls

Tell us a random fact about yourself.
I’m a Christian and work with kids at church. I love to join in with the games, especially the running and skipping ones.

Tell us something interesting about the area where you live.
Mexborough used to be a pit village and my house was one of the terraced pit houses. Now much of the old pit land is being turned into nature walks and included in the Pennine Way.

Winter or summer? Summer – I like to get outside, admire the flowers and hear the birds sing.
Ebook or paperback? Paperback. Although my books are also available in ebook format, I love paper and feel thrilled when I pick up a new book. There’s just something about turning those pages …
Favourite food? It’s a hard choice between KFC and Sunday dinner with beef, plenty of veg and loads of potatoes.
Sporty or couch potato? Couch potato. I do enjoy sporty things but I’m a carer for my mum and get very little sleep. As a result I tend to be devoid of energy and am happiest sitting down with my writing.

Cook or be cooked for? Be cooked for, of course! Although that doesn’t happen very often, but just about everybody’s cooking is better than mine!

My website is www.gailjonesbooks.co.uk
My blog is a little neglected at the moment as I’m working hard on ‘Family Missing’ the final part of the Rachel Brooks Trilogy. My twitter feeds to it and that’s always up to date, there’s also a few extracts from ‘Chronicles of a Carer in Chaos’. That’s an ongoing factual story about being a carer and there’s some funny stuff in there: www.myspace.com/gailjonesbooks

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