Today on The Tattooed Book Geek I am pleased to be bringing to you all an exclusive interview with debut author S.M Hope, writer of Tainted Jewel.
1 – Would you please tell us about Tainted Jewel?
I had an idea that I thought would make a fantastic book, so I put pen to paper – or rather finger to laptop – and that’s how it all started.
Originally the booked was called Diamond In The Rough, however as the book became complete and I started on the book cover design, I changed the title to the shorter, more catchy Tainted Jewel.
Tainted Jewel is told through the eyes of Katie Reilly who at the start of the book is ten years old. Kate suffers from OCD and the book shows how this affects her outlook on life and situations in general as we read about her growing up.
The book starts when she is introduced to two brothers, Lawrence and Mike Taylor and from that day Kate is obsessed with Mike. At first, she sees him as a father figure, however as she gets older, her feelings progress into love.
She doesn’t realise until it’s too late exactly who Mike Taylor is. He’s the side kick of Mr Simpson, the most feared man in Bridgeborough.
2 – If you had to sum up Tainted Jewel in one sentence, what would it be?
A rollercoaster of emotions, following the life of a naive and trusting child into adulthood where everything she ever believed to be true gets turned on its head and her world comes crashing down.
3 – Is Tainted Jewel a standalone or part of a series?
Tainted Jewel is Book 1 of a planned trilogy. At the moment Tainted Jewel is the only one available to buy, however I am finishing the second book right now and I hope to have this with my Editor in Summer 2018, hopefully ready to buy by the end of the year. So many people have emailed me asking for another instalment. I feel the characters have so much more to give and I’m loving the opportunity to develop and expand on my first book.
4 – What was your favourite part of writing Tainted Jewel?
Being able to bring my characters to life is something that I have received the most pleasure from. I have had so much fun as parts of the book are quite comical, especially some of the one liners that Kate comes out with. At times of writing I felt I was Kate. Obviously, parts of the book are very sad, and I don’t want to distract from that. Parts were hard to write, however to do the book and the situations justice I had to get into Kates mindset and I so proud of the book I have created.
5 – When did you decide to become a writer?
I started writing Tainted Jewel in my spare time, 4 years ago. I found it therapeutic and also that it helped me clear my mind; I had recently moved house and was also renovating another house, so writing became my escape. Friend’s told me I had a really good book and it was with the support of my family and friends that I decided to take the next step and become a published author. Within three years I am proud to say I was given this opportunity by a publisher and Tainted Jewel became a reality. Very shortly afterwards I was holding a copy of my published book in my hands.
6 – Why do you write/What inspired you to become a writer?
Writing started as a hobby, I never expected a published book at the end. However, the more I wrote, the more passionate I became about what I was creating. I didn’t want to be the only one in the world to know what Kate was going through. I asked a few friends and my mum for their views on my book, and it was from their encouragement that I looked into possibly publishing it.
I write as an escape, your imagination is a fantastic opportunity to explore different situations and circumstances. I love what I create and thankfully others do too.
7 – What do you find to be the most rewarding part of writing?
The most rewarding part of writing is seeing the pages come together and a complete work of fiction materialises in front of me. Blank pages turned into a story that other people can read and be lost in.
Once written, there are many, many rewards. Not least when a stranger took the time out of her day to email and thank me for writing the book as she hasn’t been able to put it down. It gave her days of enjoyment.
I’ve been completely overwhelmed at the support and kind words I’ve had from readers and also other authors.
8 – When writing are you a plotter or a pantser?
I’m a bit of both. I plot my storylines so I know the directions they are going in. However, I can change my mind with a moment’s notice. Then the storyline swings in a completely different direction. I actually killed off one of my characters (Jimmy Simpson) however I got so upset that I re-wrote him back in and my 2nd book is based around him and his life. He was only supposed to be an ‘in/out’ character yet he plays one of the main parts.
9 – Have any authors influenced your work?
To start with no author had influenced my writing. However, I was told a couple of times that I write very similar to Kimberley Chambers. I hadn’t read any of her books so I decided to buy a couple. I read Billie Jo in a couple of days and whilst I was reading it I could see exactly where people were coming from. I’ve since done research on Kimberley and she still writes with pen and paper never using a laptop (that amazes me, it must taker her forever). I love the story she tells on her website. Her friend asked if she wanted to work in the salon but it would mean going back to basics, sweeping the floor. Her answer was ‘No, I’m thinking of writing a book’ and hey presto look at her now. So she doesn’t influence me but she does inspire me.
10 – What are your top five favourite books?
I don’t think I could pin-point a top 5, I’ve never been a big reader, which people find strange as I now write. However, I do love autobiography’s, maybe it’s the nosiness in me coming out! Barbara Windsor’s autobiography had me hooked because it was my first ever autobiography that I read and I felt like I was allowed into her life. If you get the chance to read it, you should. She’s led a very colourful life.
I loved reading Paula Hawkins ‘Girl on a Train’, the story was so entertaining and hooked in from the first few pages, something I’ve been told happens with my books.
Erica Spindler is another one where I get dragged into her characters. Copy Cat was a book I read on holiday and I remember being sad that it was over once I finished it. I was thinking about the book all day the next day round the pool. I love how writers can get you so involved in their characters you actually feel like you know them.
Bonus question time!
11 – If you could change one thing about the state of the world, what would it be and why? – your answer can be serious, fun or both.
Probably Social Media – I think social media has changed the world drastically, when I was younger we were somewhat sheltered from what was going on in the world, whereas now you find out about a bomb going off on the other side of the world even before the emergency services are on the scene. I find that scary. But then in a weird way social media can be so wonderful. Tainted Jewel started via a kickstarter crowdfunding campaign. Because it was all over social media I hit my target in 18 days. I even had people asking about it when the campaign had ended. Without social media the novel would never have been that successful. So it’s a case of, I can’t have it both ways.
Well, that concludes the interview, many thanks to S.M Hope for taking the time to visit my blog, it’s been a pleasure having you on The Tattooed Book Geek and I wish you all the best. Do you have any last words for the readers of this interview?
Thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to read about me. If you have downloaded or read Tainted Jewel please get in touch with me and tell me your thoughts. I love to hear what my readers have to say.
It was love that dragged Kate Reilly into the criminal underworld. Once in, it’s not somewhere you easily leave. Even if she wanted to. Kate likes the attention she gets from Mike Taylor the worst of the Taylor brothers in her mother s humble opinion. As a young girl, Kate is happy to use her magic skills at unpicking locks to help Mike and an assortment of his friends who have carelessly locked themselves out of their homes or their safes. As she grows up, it finally dawns on Kate that maybe Mike isn’t the gentleman she thought but by then shes hopelessly, obsessively in love. Whats more, she’s so involved in the criminal lifestyles of Mike and his cohorts that there s no escaping. She s not entirely sure she wants to try. Until the night of her eighteenth birthday. Then changes everything.
Purchase Tainted Jewel.
About S.M. Hope.
S.M. Hope released her debut novel Tainted Jewel through the A crowdfunding campaign for pre-orders. The campaign exceeded all expectation and took only 18 days to be 100% funded.
S.M. Hope was still getting enquiries of Tainted Jewel even after the campaign had ended.
In the real world away from thoughts of gangsters and who to kill off next, she manages the day to day running of a busy Engineering company. Or tries to keep up to date with her teenage son and his capers. While they decide who’s turn it is to take their two pet dogs for a walk.
Writing is one of her many hobbies as well as arts and crafts, which means her dining room table is normally split between the laptop and glitter/glasses. Maybe when she retires she may get to eat a meal from the table but until that time. Glitter flavoured casserole it is.
S.M. Hope can be found:
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