Name P.J Roscoe (In real life – Paula Jacqueline Roscoe!)
Age 44 years young, birthday in March
Where are you from?
North Wales, the land of the Celts. My parents came from Liverpool. Following many miscarriages, they adopted myself and two boys and moved to Wales. We lived in a small village up in the hills where being snowed in was normal! I had no idea what to be as I grew up, I loved so many things, writing and history being two of them, but I was also good at make-up and massaging and fiddling with hair, so I flipped a coin aged fourteen, Beauty, Health and sports therapy won, but my need to write never went away.
I live with my husband of nearly twenty-two years whom I have loved in many lifetimes and our seventeen year old daughter who has Autism and Dyspraxia, our lurcher, Sid and three cats who rule our lives with love. I am a qualified counsellor, holistic therapist, movement therapist and drumming therapist along with Author. I see dead people regularly – yes, just like THAT film! Have done since around five years old. I guess that’s me in a nutshell!!
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
My second novel, ‘Freya’s Child’ that was taken on by Crimson Cloak Publishing is due out any time now. Just waiting for the cover. It should have been out before Christmas, but the cover wasn’t right and that is VERY important.
My third novel ‘Between Worlds’ is being edited and I really hope to have that out by spring. My fourth novel ‘Where Rivers Meet’ is almost finished its first draft and maybe that will be out the end of this year. I’m also finishing a novella, ‘Diary of Margery Blake’ and working on more faerie stories, along with researching the prequel to my award winning debut novel ‘Echoes’. I’ve had so many readers contact me asking if there with be a sequel – NO, but I will do a prequel, which is very exciting.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing as a child. A true Piscean, my imagination has no boundaries and it was a way of expressing myself. As I grew older, my genre changed from magical animals, to ghostly tales; I think I was trying to understand what I could see, hear and feel. I really took writing seriously following the death of our son eighteen years ago. ‘Echoes’ was born from my grief and over the years I worked on it, put it away following rejections, before finding it again and working on it some more.
In 2012 I self published it and it was awarded an Honorable mention in the New England book festival. In 2013 it won the e-book category in the Paris book awards and 2014 it was awarded another Honorable mention in the London book festival and given five stars by Reader’s Favorite that put it through to the semi finals.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I think it was around the time I was getting historical articles published in a Welsh magazine and being paid! That was about fifteen years ago and nothing was rejected which was wonderful for my confidence to keep going. When my books kept getting five stars from strangers, I turned to my husband and said, “I think I’ll consider myself an author now!”
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I couldn’t say what inspired me. I was grief stricken, trying to work up the courage to get through the day alone as Martin had had to return to work. My job as a Nanny had finished, so I had nothing to occupy my head as my heart broke. I was doodling on a scrap of paper in the kitchen and suddenly, these words appeared and I kept writing. I filled that page and went to find a large pad. I filled that in two days. Originally known as ‘Ruined Echoes’ the story changed slightly over time, but the essence was always there.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
An idea pops into my head, I sit and type. Sometimes I can’t type fast enough as the words flow like a cascading waterfall of words and emotions. I feel everything I write. Having re-read ‘Freya’s Child’ several times now to check editing, I still cry! I also need coffee, a large mug is sitting next to me right now! I lose time sometimes and then wonder why I’m so hungry, but I get into the story and hate to break from it.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
They just come. ‘Ruined Echoes’ became just ‘Echoes’ when I self-published as it represented the story better, though there are so many titles of ‘Echoes’, it was a gamble, mine would pay off. ‘Freya’s Child’ again is the obvious choice when you read the story – exactly ‘who’ is the child of the goddess is something each reader decides. ‘Between Worlds’ sums up the story perfectly. ‘Where Rivers Meet’ reflects the story well, but also where it is set, there are two rivers that meet! ‘Diary of Margery Blake’ is self explanatory. As are the faerie stories in ‘Adventures of faerie folk.’
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I have strong women in my stories. I want women (and I’ve found men enjoy them too) to feel empowered. Whatever life throws at you, feel the emotion and truly live. Men have pushed women down for centuries, yet we still stand up. Our power echoes down through time. Live life, never merely exist.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic ?
A lot of my stories I weave around factual people, places and situations. I believe that what I write is possible and in some cases, scenario’s I have created have actually occurred. Life is never easy. I never apologise for my graphic scenes of violence as we see worse on the news. We need to open our eyes.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
In my books I’ve used real scenario’s that have happened to me and I use actual places and on occasion people, though I change names and ask permission first. I filter fact with fiction, creating my own take on a situation.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
Nothing in a book influences my life or a person. My experiences influence me. Life that I have experienced has influenced my thoughts and feelings and consequent behavior. I don’t look up to any one person. I like to believe that there is love in everyone, it’s just that in some, they have forgotten.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Blood and Beauty by Sarah Dunant and editing ‘Before all Else’ by a new author ‘Fiona Knowles-Holland’
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Fiona Knowles-Holland. Her debut novel is very good, so hoping to help her finish it and get it out into the world asap!
Fiona: What are your current projects?
Finish ‘Between Worlds’, finish ‘Where Rivers Meet’ and get more faerie stories finished.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
The Angels, especially Archangel Gabriel, he helped me find better words!
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes, I really hope so. I also run healing workshops that I want to increase. I’d love to own a retreat for writers, but also for people needing to cleanse their spirit and heal. I have many more books in my head bursting to get out, so I’m not done yet!
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
NO! It is as it’s meant to be.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
My imagination was so dramatic and wild sometimes, I had to have an outlet, writing was it, along with acting out plays I wrote.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
‘Between Worlds synopsis – – Emily, a young woman who has been missing for months is found bloodied and in shock sitting next to a headless corpse. She is refusing to talk. The only clue, the murder weapon, an ancient sword. For her own safety Emily is placed in a secure, psychiatric hospital until her guilt and her whereabouts for the last eight months can be established.
As time runs out to prove her innocence, a doctor takes drastic action and begins therapy sessions. What Emily finally reveals is astounding, but it can’t be true … can it?
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
No, I love every moment, except in the winter, it’s harder to type with numb fingers! I think the only challenging part for me is waiting for other people who make promises to finish at a deadline and it doesn’t happen. I am NOT very patient!
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
My favourite authors are Barbara Erskine, and I had a review for ‘Echoes’ from a book shop who said ‘Perfect for Barbara Erskine fans!’ best review ever!! She manages to create atmosphere really well in her books like ‘Lady of Hay’ and ‘Kingdom of Shadows’.
My other favourite is Diana Gabaldon. I’ve read ‘Cross Stitch’ and ‘Dragonfly in Amber’ so many times. I love the characters and can ‘see’ and ‘feel’ their emotions very well as I read.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Not yet, but I am open to all invitations! I’ve done a few local book signings around North Wales and on the Wirral where ‘Freya’s Child’ is set.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Christine Anderson Publishing took on ‘Echoes’ last year and they did the cover. Took a few go’s, but I liked this one. Same colour as my eyes! A man called Neil at Crimson Cloak Publishing is designing ‘Freya’s Child’. After that, I’m exploring all my options.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Finishing it! I grief for the characters once it is done and have to have a break, before writing the next. It’s saying goodbye to my baby I have nurtured. It’s about moving on, getting my head clear, to allow myself to give full attention to the next. It gets hard when they overlap, like now I am waiting for the cover of Freya’s Child, which in my head is done, whilst editing ‘Between Worlds’, I like to say goodbye to one before another baby comes along, but it isn’t working out like that!
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned that my punctuation is not too bad anymore, I am improving, slowly! My first language was Welsh, and so English grammar has been difficult to grasp. I use my thesaurus constantly! And spell check!
If I’m being honest, I also learned that I can still write a damn fine story. I loved this one. I sent it out to Beta readers and I got the reactions I had hoped for!
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Never give up. If you truly believe that you can write a good story, then do it. Feel every emotion and truly live.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Every sale makes me smile and do a little dance. You honour me with your choice of entertainment. I hope you feel everything I want you to whilst reading my stories. Enjoy the ride.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Famous Five by Enid Blyton, although I must have read younger, picture books, these remain in my memory.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
My husband and child make me laugh all the time. They have a wonderful sense of humour and throw out one liners that crease me up! I cry at all the un-necessary suffering caused by greed. We can be so nobel and yet we allow such cruelty to exist.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
I’d like to meet myself in one of my past lives; I’ve had many and remember some. Just because I’m nosy, I wouldn’t change anything!
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
This woman truly lived and loved. Why not?
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
I walk every day in nature, I dance, sing, do jigsaw’s and frame them. I love a good film with a glass or three of wine. A nice pub with a roaring fire with a fine ale in my hand. I love to explore the country, finding burial chambers and other archaeology and I adore a good castle and historic home because it’s not just the living I see in them! Plus, being adopted I don’t have a history, so I like to delve into everyone else’s’!
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I’ve been enjoying the American shows ‘My Ghost Story’ and ‘Ghost Adventures’, but mainly I watch historical drama’s or a good murder mystery. I despise soaps, so barely watch T.V. I love funny films with Steve Carrall and Paul Rudd, but also mindless violence like Bruce Willis films. A supernatural film is always great, but I don’t like ‘horror’s and ‘gore’ films.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Favourite food is Italian with a bottle of red wine. Colour is a dark, forest green and music is virtually anything, except house music that sounds like a car alarm going off! I go to a folk festival every year which is wonderful, I like rock, classical, bits of pop music, but if I had to name bands, ‘The Decemberists,’ ‘Nickelback’, AC/DC, Peter Gabriel, ‘All about Eve’, to name a few.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
An actress. Although I’m a qualified therapist, I would have loved to be on stage. I used to be a dancer for many years, but college took over and I lost it, though I can still move! I loved to act, to be someone else for a little while. Maybe I’ll get a bit part when they turn ‘Echoes’ into a film or drama?!
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
www.pjroscoe.co.uk You’ll find one of my blogs here – All things spooky, but interesting. I write about a topic to do with the paranormal each month. My other blog is here on Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6575717.P_J_Roscoe/blog where I write about my journey as an author, good and bad.
Echoes is available on Amazon.com and co.uk