Friday, 13 February 2015

Interview with author Josephine Cox



British author Josephine Cox has written an astonishing amount of books so far and her 50th novel, The Runaway Woman, was published in October.

In this interview she talks about her latest release, of course, but also her writing process and who she'd name 'Superwoman of Great Britain', a title she was once awarded herself.

Can you tell us about your new novel, The Runaway Woman, and your inspiration for the story and main character Lucy Lovejoy?

Josephine Cox (JC): "The new book is about an ordinary, hard-working woman, who desires nothing grand in life, except to be contented and fulfilled – as we all do

"She is a quiet, but discontented woman; although she would never admit it; not to herself, and certainly not to anyone else; especially family, who in spite of all their faults, she has great affection for; and is totally committed to them.

"Deep down though, she realises there is something sadly lacking and unfulfilling in her life, but she is at a loss as to how she might deal with it. So, she puts it to the back of her mind, and carries on as always; ever devoted and ever restless.

"The character is taken from every woman who craves real love, attention, and a measure of excitement; but constantly falls into the trap of putting everyone else first, thinking that for her it is all too late.

"When I began this book, it was one of the easiest stories I have ever written. I thought of all the restless women I had encountered along life’s journey. Good, loyal women, quietly craving a life outside the responsibilities and commitments to family, and duty. As my admiration and frustration grew in me for these loyal women, my main character was born."

What does an average writing day look like for you? Do you have a strict schedule or any rituals that help you get in the zone?

JC: "An average day for me, is always chaotic; impossibly busy and immensely joyous. I always plan, it always falls apart.

"Often I find myself working right through breakfast to tea-time, and I am often lost in my stories when the clock strikes ten p.m. Then I can’t sleep, so I have a long, lazy bath; hoping that might make me sleepy, but more often than not, I lie there thinking about the next chapter in my story, and I have to go back to my characters and keep them awake as well.

"I take my characters with me wherever I go; and always have a notebook and pen to hand."

The Runaway Woman is your 50th novel, how do you manage to keep so many different stories and characters separate, and ensure each one is unique?

JC: "As in life, no person is ever the same as another, and that can be said of my characters. Every living soul had a story unique to that person. So, when I finish one story I have the next one mapped out in my head and heart. There are as many different stories to write, as there are people walking the streets every day"

You were once named 'Superwoman of Great Britain', which inspirational woman would you nominate for this title?

JC: "If I had to nominate a woman for Superwoman of Great Britain, it would have to be Madge – a cantankerous relative of mine. She is a woman of fire with strong opinions, but she has a heart kinder and bigger than the Mersey tunnel. She has had more than her fair share of pain and troubles, but she never complains.

"Everyone who knows her, loves and admires her. In a good mood, she is an angel. In a bad mood, you had best duck and dive or regret it. But she is the most loved and trusted woman, and never turns anyone away when they need her help"

What is next for you? The Runaway Woman only hit the shelves a few months ago, but are you already working on your next novel? And if so, is there anything you can tell us about it yet?

JC: "I have already delivered my next novel - I did not want to finish that story, because the characters got to me in a big ways. One I hated with a passion. Another caught my heart, and I still can’t let her go"

The Runaway Woman was published by Harper. You can buy your copy from Waterstones, Amazon or your own preferred retailer.

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