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09-23 Getting to Know Leah Hammond, author of RISKY LIES

Friday, February 20, 2015

A Love Affair with Words


Hi, I'm Pippa Jay - author of scifi and the supernatural with a romantic soul.

And I'm in love with writing. I love the shape of letters, and the creation of words as I put the letters together. I love crafting sentences out of the words and weaving them into stories. I have loved writing for as long as I can remember. The love affair began the day I badgered my dad to write my own name out in full - a long and complex affair. I remember sitting at a camping table in the sun, carefully shaping out each letter over and over again until I had it perfect. And I just kept going.

It's ironic to look back at that and recall another situation with my dad years later. The moment he read something of mine, then told me I'd never be a writer. Not because I was a girl and that wasn't allowed or appropriate or anything else (my dad was not a misogynist at least, for which I'm eternally grateful). No. It was because I had no talent or ability. My story was boring. Pretty hard to take from someone you respect and as an already insecure teen whose family had just split up. It was a bad time for all of us. I get that. To find out someone you love doesn't love you any more is soul crushing. But it wasn't any easier being told you suck at the thing you love to do most in the world. At that time it was the only sure thing I had that was mine, that couldn't be taken away or pulled apart by everything else collapsing around me.


Despite that (or maybe because of that - trying to prove someone wrong can be as compelling a drive as your own desire to achieve something) I went on to complete my first ever novel a year later. It was a 40K Doctor Who story (you know I'm a SF geek, right?) and I even went as far as submitting it to the then publishers of the Doctor Who novels - WH Allen. It was rejected, but I had a letter full of constructive criticism and encouragement. Then things happened, and I abandoned my writing for the next twenty years. 


August 2009 found me married sixteen years, with three little redhaired monsters. Happy to be a wife and a mother, but feeling that I'd lost my identity beyond those two labels. Overweight and bored, I dug out an unfinished short story and went to work. A frenzied six weeks later (during which my husband became convinced I'd gone insane) I had a 60K rough first draft. This became two separate stories, the first part evolving into a 100K science fiction romance called Keir.

Re-releasing 7th May

I'd rediscovered my first love, and it was euphoric. Nearly six years down the line I've ten titles available, with one new release, one re-release, and three of last year's digital titles now releasing in print this year. I couldn't do this now without the love and support of my husband (who still thinks I'm a little crazy but who is often the one to encourage me on my down days) and my three little monsters (who think it's quite cool to have an author as their mum). They always come first, of course, but I hope to continue my love affair with words for the rest of my life.




So I leave you with one of my favourite quotes (and one appropriate to a Whovian and an author of scifi romance). Why don't you leave me one of yours in the comments?



Want to connect? You can stalk me at my website, or at my blog, but without doubt my favorite place to hang around and chat is on Twitter as @pippajaygreen.

3 comments:

Judith Ashley said...

Love understands and acknowledges
Love expands and includes
Love changes and creates

Blessed Be

The above is a prayer I wrote to help me stay focused on the message about love I want to include in each of my stories.

One of these days I may stalk you on Twitter. It's on my list - not stalking but learning how to use it.

J. Jade Jordan said...

I know it wasn't the point of your post, but it's what I got stuck on and what upsets me. No one should discourage a child from doing what they love to do like that!

Having learned the hard way, I'll bet you would never do that to one of your three, right? The word is "nurture". We're supposed to encourage and build their confidence. If a child really has no ability, they will usually come to realize that by themselves as they grow older and find something else they love and are good at.

That being said, I'm so glad you finally got to prove to yourself as well as others that you really could write. It showed your mettle too!

Jade

Pippa Jay said...

Hey Judith,
I must admit Twitter was a bit of a mystery to me when I first signed up, but now it really is my favourite place to hang out and chat. Great place to brainstorm and get answers from the Hive mind too.
Hi Jade, and thank you!
Yeah, not angling for sympathy there, just wanted to show how my love for words got me through it anyway. If I learnt one thing, it was definitely not to be like my dad. My eldest wants to be an author, actress and musician, and actually excels at all three. I try to be realistic with her about the chances of being successful at them, but never to discourage her. Everyone should at least take a shot at following their dreams so they can look back and know they tried rather than regret never knowing.