Guest Author JM Leitch

Today my guest on the blog is Jackie Leitch, please enjoy reading her replies.

Dear Rosie

Thank you so much for giving me the chance to be interviewed for your website.  Here are my answers to your questions.

My name is J M Leitch and I live in Bali, Indonesia.
I’ve always loved writing, and over the years I’ve written a great deal of non-fiction business material in the form of training courses, business proposals,
business reports, articles on training, technical manuals, the list goes on – but I didn’t start to write my first novel until 2004. It took me 7 1/2 years to complete!
It’s hard to put my debut novel into a specific genre.  I describe it as a futuristic thriller, but although it is set in 2068 the main action takes place in 2012.
One of the reasons it took me so long to write was that it required a huge amount of research because, in order to make the bizarre plot believable,
I had to ground everything – all the science, the New Age theory, the technology, the places, the organisations, the politics – everything, in reality.
I wanted to write something that would shock people… that would stretch their brains, so to speak, because this is the kind of books I most enjoy
reading. I like to think I achieved it with The Zul Enigma as many people have commented that they continued thinking about the novel long after they
finished reading it.
My 3 writing tips are:
1. Never stop a writing session at the end of a chapter or the end of a section. I ALWAYS continue to write the next few sentences or
paragraphs, and sometimes even stop in mid-sentence. I sometimes jot down a list of feelings, or emotions, or key words or ideas. This way, when I next
sit down to write, I can get my head in the right place to continue much more quickly. It’s like I never stopped.
2. When editing be ruthless. If a phrase, sentence, paragraph, section or chapter doesn’t reveal more about the characters, advance the plot, add
background detail or build tension, cut it out. Don’t keep it just because the words sound pretty.
3. Read your work over and over again. I’ve heard that a writer should edit his work at least 7 times. I know I did 7 drafts of my book, and even now,
after I published it, I know I could still improve on it.
The last novel I finished reading this month was Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk and I gave it 5 stars. I love it. It is a complex book with many
underlying themes that made me question the consumer-orientated life we live in the western world. It has a great twist and a terrific ending that
rather than sewing everything up in a tidy package really made me think. I love Palahniuk’s stark style, his succinct imagery and the fact that all
his characters are wonderfully flawed and very real.
My book is The Zul Enigma and the link is:
(this is a link that will automatically open at the book page for the local version of Amazon wherever you are in the world)
Product Details

Once again, Rosie, thank you so much for giving me this opportunity. I wish you all success with your novel, Talk of the Playground.

With kind regards

J M Leitch
Author of The Zul Enigma
Chuck Palahniuk rang a bell! Ages ago I went on the web site “I write like…”and submitted a piece of work from my book, they matched my style of writing with Chucks! At the time I’d never heard of him, so I looked him up. It felt very Bizarre.