In The Spotlight: Author Jay Northcote (Courtesy of Divine

Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England, with her husband, two children, and two cats.
She comes from a family of writers, but she always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed her by. She spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content. One day, she decided to try and write a short story–just to see if she could–and found it rather addictive. She hasn’t stopped writing since.

What inspired you to start writing?
I used to read a lot of fanfiction, and seeing other people writing as a hobby made me wonder whether I could write a story. I’d never considered writing fiction but was inspired to try. So one day I wrote a short fanfiction story and posted it, one thing led to another and I got totally hooked on writing.
Through the fanfiction community I got to know other writers and made some amazing friends. I saw other fanfiction authors making the leap to writing original fiction and was encouraged to do the same—one friend in particular was very instrumental in convincing me that I could do it. If it wasn’t for her, I’m not sure I would ever have had the confidence to try.
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
Constantly! I think most writers struggle with insecurity and the resulting dip in motivation. I usually try and power through and just keep at it, even when it’s difficult. Usually, going through the process of putting words on a page helps the ideas start flowing again. However if I’m really stuck with a particular story, taking a break from it—either a complete break, or working on something different—and coming back fresh a few weeks later can be helpful.
What is the hardest part about writing for you?
The constant battle against my own self-doubt is exhausting. That’s what gives me writer’s block. But I know that if I push through and get that first draft written, then I can fix it—no matter how crap it feels while I’m writing it. And usually, once that first draft is down on the page I feel better about it.
What is your work schedule like when you are writing?
I try and do my writing in the morning, the earlier the better, because getting started each day is the hardest part for me. Then in the afternoons I usually focus more on promo, admin, editing or formatting. I’m not quite a full-time writer, so I also have to fit other work in around my writing related stuff.
How many books have you written? Which is your favourite?
I’ve written and published thirteen books in total: two novels, eight novellas and three short stories. I’ve also written two short stories that are in anthologies published by Dreamspinner Press.
It’s really hard to pick a favourite, it feels like picking a favourite child—but if I have to, then I’ll go with Passing Through. That story is very close to my heart because I wrote it while my dad was sick, and it has a lot of him in one of the secondary characters, Edwin. It was my way dealing with losing him and saying goodbye, so that book is really special to me.
Do you hear from your readers much? What do they say?
I have a lot of contact with readers. I’m quite active on social media so it’s easy for my readers to connect with me. I love having that dialogue with them. It’s good to be reminded that there are people out there who like what I do and who get a lot of pleasure and entertainment from my stories.
As well as all the usual social media places (given below), I also have an author group on Facebook where people who are particularly interested in my work can come and chat and ask questions, and get sneak peeks of forthcoming books/covers etc.

My most recent release, Helping Hand, came out on June 26th.
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