Hi guys. I’m so excited to get to introduce this wonderful lady to you, Debbie Jinks is one of the kindest, most supportive people you’ll meet in the writing world. Writers, I definitely recommend you join her writing group, and readers, keep your eye out for her future releases!
I’m a UK girl and have been writing for approximately two years. I also love to sing and did that as a profession for 15 years. However even though I still enjoy singing now my real passion in life is writing. After suffering a head injury, which caused me to lose my sense of smell and taste, (Anosmia), writing became a way of venting my frustration and anger from this life changing condition. It became a way of escaping from the reality of it too. I started to love writing especially when I discovered how much satisfaction I got from it. This led me to the realisation that I wanted to become a writer so now have almost finished writing a short storybook of prose, still at the illustration stage. I have also started on my first novel in the fantasy genre, and have just completed a fantasy writing diploma. Not surprisingly in that case, I have an obsession with dragons and collect dragon paraphernalia. I’m also planning on having a dragon tattoo to cover up my old tatty faded one!
I enjoy horse riding and growing chilli peppers, the hotter the better! I also try to practice mindfulness when I can sit still for long enough!
You have a couple of blogs, write lyrics, run a writers Facebook group, and write books. It’s obvious you have a huge passion for writing, do you have a favourite style or genre?
Phew when you put it like that I seem to have gone a bit nuts with the writing thing!
My favourite genre is definitely Fantasy. I love escaping into another world, being able to build it, make up my own characters, and let my imagination run wild. I didn’t read anything like that until I interacted with other writers and found that I loved it. Dragons have to be my absolute favourite fantasy creature, so if there’s a book with one in it I’m happy! Style wise I know there are different forms of fantasy writing out there but at the moment I’m still deciding which I prefer, like I say dragons will always do it for me!
How did you become a singer? What are your favourite songs to perform?
There wasn’t a ‘how’ in there. I wanted to be a singer ever since I was a child, my mum said I used to sing before I could even put sentences together. I sang in school choirs, on my own, did little performances for family and friends and the ironic thing was I was shy but it went once I was singing. Eventually I went to college and did a performing arts course we even went to France and I got the opportunity to sing there as part of my course work. How good is that? It just went from there really, I joined bands, sang in acoustic acts, did some session vocal work, in fact I met my husband through his brother who I was in a band with. My husband is a mean guitar player so we started working together and that was where the song writing started he worked on melodies, I worked on lyrics.
Not that I’m biased, but my favourite songs to perform are our own of course! I also love female rock singers like Skunk Anansie and loved singing ‘Weak’ I also do a mean Susi Quatro, in fact a band I was in supported her at a music festival once, she’s tiny!! Kate Bush is brilliant, Sia is amazing I could go on and on so I’ll stop.
How did you first decide to start blogging, and where does your inspiration come from?
Well my Anosmia blog ‘Anosmia My World’, started it all I suppose. For anybody who doesn’t know what Anosmia is, it’s a loss of your sense of smell and usually taste too which was the case with me. I passed out suffering a head injury as a result, and when I came round, realised I couldn’t smell or taste anything. The doctor told me it would probably come back in a few weeks but it never has properly. Now I occasionally get the odd faint smell of perfume if I’m lucky, and can differentiate between sweet and salty food, but that’s about it.
At the time I was devastated, angry, depressed, I went through so many emotions and realised if I didn’t find a way to release them that I would go crazy. So, I started to write things down which resulted in my blog. It went from there and I still write it now after two and a half years.
I suppose you could say there was one good thing that came out of my Anosmia though, I realised I absolutely loved to write, and before I knew it I’d bought my own domain and set up another blog ‘A Song To Write’. This has different categories because there are so many things I like to write about, one of them being music with some of my lyrics on there too. The main category for me these days though is writing. I put my short stories on there and things related to writing also, and one day my own book! But that’s another story, oops excuse the pun.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned as a writer so far?
Oh my goodness there are quite a few really, but I suppose for me it’s having the confidence to believe I’m capable of being a good writer. Self-belief isn’t something I have much of when it comes to writing, so to keep going is an achievement for me and really exciting. When I’m really enjoying writing it’s so rewarding, I don’t know about you but I can’t believe where the time goes, I get totally immersed in it.
Me too, I totally understand!
You also have a love for nature, have you had any great wildlife-related experiences? If you could be any animal in their natural habitat, which would it be?
Yes, I have a real passion for nature, I always have. I used to run a small wildlife habitat, which was a great job, unfortunately I got made redundant as they ran out of funding. I was really upset about that. In fact, I’m working on a children’s book about the animal characters in the habitat, called ‘Bluebell Habitat’, it’s nearly finished apart from the illustrations which I’m getting done now so it’s quite exciting!
Great wildlife related experiences? Well I suppose running a wildlife habitat was a great experience, it’s not often people get that kind of opportunity. We also have a Sparrow Hawk who visits our garden regularly, she’s lovely but I swear she’s got a screw loose. She flew into our bush recently while trying to catch a sparrow, but when I say flew into I mean she fell into the middle of it. We had to rescue her and help her out. That was one peed off Sparrow Hawk. If she sits on the fence she tries to stare us down now! I say ‘she’ but to be honest I haven’t got a clue what sex she is, females are larger I think.
If I could be any animal is a difficult question. I love hares there is something so majestic and mesmerising about them, and watching them boxing is really wonderful. But I love the idea of being able to fly so I would say some kind of a bird, probably a swift. They are so resilient and strong. Did you know they never land except when they are in their nest, they even mate on the wing, now that’s an achievement! They make a very distinctive sound a kind of high pitched cheap/squeak, that’s the only way I could describe it. They are a very threatened species of bird unfortunately, but we are lucky enough to have a pair that nest under the eaves of our house every year.
What are your reading habits like? Recommend a fantastic book to us.
I tend to read before I go to sleep I find it a great way to wind down. I’ve been reading some books by authors I know lately, see if I can pick up any tips. But seriously though those books are just as good, if not better than some I’ve read by established authors. Actually, it’s about time I got a copy of yours!
Thank you 😀
Recommend a fantastic book…. well I’m a bit biased as the author who wrote it is in my writing group. But her most recent book ‘The Tree of Rebels’ is an amazing read. It’s by Chantelle Atkins, I’d recommend it. In fact, you’ll find my review of it on Amazon and GoodReads, around the 11th August. I also love the Katherine Kerr Devvery series of books, they are in the fantasy genre and are brilliant. Ok I know that’s cheating, as I’ve recommended two books, sorry!
Recommend away, you can never have too many great books in your ‘to read’ list!
Your Facebook group is a wonderful community of writers, I’m so blessed to be part of it, can you explain how it all started? Do you think groups like this are important for writers?
Thanks for saying that Kay, it’s great that you’re part of it. I love my Facebook group, funnily enough I only set it up on a whim and to my surprise writers started to join! I get so much pleasure interacting with writers and I love to give them an opportunity to showcase their work. It’s fun too and we have some good chats. A lot of the writers are much more experienced than me so I learn a lot from them, which is fine! I don’t keep that quiet we’re all very open on there. The group are called ‘All Write’ anybody reading this is welcome to join us!
Yes, I think these kind of groups are very important. Us writers are a crazy lot, no offence anyone, generally insecure and sometimes don’t realise how good we are until other writers support us. These groups give all of us confidence. We can learn from other’s experiences, bounce ideas off each other, celebrate or have a good rant, whatever we need to do to let off steam. I find it really helpful because the only writers I know are online, there aren’t any around the area I live in, so I wouldn’t be able to get the kind of support I need if it wasn’t for them. I consider a lot of them friends now.
If anybody reading this would like to join, or checkout my group, everybody is welcome. The link is www.facebook.com/groups/allwritedj
If you could meet any fictional character, who would it be?
Oh, now this is a hard one. There so many great fictional characters out there. But if I had to choose one it would be Jill from the Devvery series of books by Katherine Kerr. She is the heroine who appears in all of the books. Her character is strong, clever and brave. At an early age, she was taught swordcraft from her father who was a wandering mercenary, this made her a very skilled sword fighter. She also possesses great magical powers called dweomer which made her a powerful sorceress. She was taught sorcery by Nevyn a travelling herbman, but also the greatest sorcerer ever. Jill eventually took his place when he died, so in a word she’s not somebody you’d mess with!
Tell us all about your book!
Ok so how long have you got? No but seriously, it’s not ‘Bluebell Habitat’ as you may expect, that wasn’t even going to be a book just a little story in prose for a bit of fun. That is until family and friends got hold of it and said I should turn it into a book.
So, the book I’m writing now almost feels like my first book, which is really scary and exciting at the same time.
It’s called ‘The Secret of Lowland Forest’ and is a YA fantasy story about a young vixen called Neiva who takes her mother’s place as a mystic when her mother is killed in battle trying to save another fox. She has many experiences and adventures trying to defeat a rival fox clan who was responsible for her mother’s death. There are lots of different fantasy characters that she meets along the way who come together to help overthrow the other clan. A lot of nasty characters in there too, including the humming slaves and some other really horrible villains, but I don’t want to give too much away!
It might sound a bit weird that the heroine is a fox, but she’s no ordinary fox by any means and I like the fact that she’s a bit different from a character you’d normally expect in a fantasy novel. I’m not even half way through it yet so there is a lot more work to be done. But I get this really good feeling when I write it. The words just seem to flow and I get such a buzz.
What interview question do you wish someone would ask you?
Something unrelated to books would be cool, just because if I became, no when I become a published author, let’s be positive here, readers can get to know me on a more personal level. So something like. When you were a kid who was your first superstar crush?
Eeek! When I was very young, notice the onus on ‘very young’ here, my mum and dad used to love the singer Andy Williams and played his records, still vinyl in the good old days, continually. Let’s see if I can remember any. Ok ‘Moon River’ was one and ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off You’, another. I used to sneak out of my bedroom in the evening and sit at the top of the stairs listening to him. They made me so emotional I used to cry, as far as I was concerned he was the love of my life. Well that’s what I told my mum and dad at the time. If they played his records when I was in the same room, I used to sing my little heart out too. I had a complete school girl crush! In fact one of my first boyfriends was called Andy Williams surprise, surprise, well actually I pinched him off somebody else, ahh the fickleness of youth. I’m very well behaved now though!