A Blind Eye: A Conversation with Jane Gorman
This month, we’re interviewing talented women authors from all over the world and asking them about their writing process. We had the privilege of speaking with Jane Gorman about her series of novels, A Blind Eye. Here’s a glimpse into our conversation.
Have you written a book? What is it about?
I have written and published three books, the fourth is coming out this summer. They are traditional mysteries, each book is set in a different city or town around the world as Philadelphia Detective Adam Kaminski gets drawn into murder investigations far from home.
What gave you the courage/motivation to start?
I was motivated to write by my experiences traveling. Throughout my career, first as an anthropologist and later as a diplomat, I was able to visit countries including Poland, China, Ireland, France, Switzerland, and many more. Everywhere I visited, I would think, there’s a story here and for me, that meant a story about murder and mystery.
Did you encounter any problems such as writer’s block? If so, how did you overcome them?
There are always challenges to writing. I’m sure every writer faces writer’s block at some point. Getting past it might involve getting up and going out for a walk, reading something completely different, or sometimes just writing something different until my mind works its way around whatever problem was holding it up. Another huge challenge for a lot of writers is time: we need to fit the writing in between our other job responsibilities, families, children, social obligations. Writing takes time, and it takes commitment.
How did you go about finding a publisher/getting the book self-published?
Making up stories was the fun part — getting them published was a lot harder. After working on my books for years, getting feedback from friends, professionals in the business and even complete strangers, I finally built up the courage to publish the books myself (after all my years of thinking about it, I’d written three books by the time I decided I was ready). That was a big step — I still cringe a little inside when someone tells my they’ve read one of my books. But thanks to the other writers I’ve been privileged to meet, I was able to overcome that fear and accept that my books now have a life of their own.
Did anything surprise you about the whole process?
The thing that’s surprised me most about the publishing process is how much I enjoy it. I’ve always loved writing, but once I made the decision to self-publish I discovered that I really enjoy the business side of it, too. I started my own publishing company, I hire contractors to do certain jobs for me, I get to make my own decisions about things like marketing, where best to invest my limited funds, and publication schedules. I’m still learning the business side of things, but I’m enjoying every minute of it.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to write a book, or starting to write one?
The best advice I can give to new writers is build your community. The writers I know are so supportive and helpful. As a mystery writer, I was able to join groups like the Sisters in Crime, which is an amazing support group for mystery writers (men and women), but there are plenty of other writer groups available, in person or online. These are the people who will encourage you when you hit writers block, share feedback on your writing, and generally make you feel like you’re not alone in this process.
Photo Credit: Mw238