Interview With Author Janice Tremayne

# Please introduce yourself and your book(s)!

I am Janice Tremayne and the author of several books in the supernatural thriller and horror genres. I reside in Melbourne, Australia, and I have been writing full-time for two years. Before then, I wrote part-time while maintaining a busy job and family—it didn’t leave much room for anything else. I consider myself an indie author who publishes and likes to control all creative aspects of the writing and the publishing process. My horror series is based on a female protagonist, ‘Haunting Clarisse.’ I also write a supernatural thriller based on the male protagonist Zack Bolder, ‘The Zack Bolder Supernatural Thriller Series.’

# What is/are the real-life story(ies) behind your book(s)?

My books have exciting settings consisting of mainly  Australian outback ghost towns. I’ve always been fascinated by Australia’s penal, colonial and rugged mining past. It’s the boom and bust of mining towns on the back of gold and silver before they all turned into ghost towns in the nineteenth century. These are the real-life stories of people that lived in these inhospitable places. Each novel is based on a real ghost town steeped in misery, decadence, and death—perfect for creating horror stories. I then create the characters based on folklore and stories that have been p[art of these towns for centuries. Some of these towns are genuinely haunted and run ghost tours.

# What inspires/inspired your creativity?

My creativity is inspired by wanting to portray the subject matter differently—in a way, we would not usually see things. To present a compelling story with a twist and turns that readers were not expecting, I would throw in a red herring if they did expect it to throw them off! I want the reader to imagine and unleash their creative thought just for a moment. To feel, touch, smell, and have an inner sense of the characters, setting, and storyline.

I write in the third person omniscient, which means I know what every main character is thinking. That can be hard to pull off, draining, and working in several dimensions. But I need to write that way to express my creativity and link the characters and subplots.

# How do you deal with creative block?

I’m blessed that I don’t experience writer’s block like many authors. Since I was a child, I’ve had a creative mind, and finding the pathway for my stories that lead into twists and turns is relatively easy. It may have to do with my artistic inclinations and how my brain is wired that way naturally. So, writing the next scene, subplot, or character comes without too much pain. The key is to understand yourself and what triggers the creative emotion. Mine is influenced by the elements and the settings of where I choose to write. I leverage the environmental factors that help the creative brain process.

# What are the biggest mistakes you can make in a book?

There are many mistakes you can make when writing a book that are fundamental. The biggest is scene structure and development and  how each chapter connects to the other seamlessly. I use a technique that involves conflict, choice, and consequence, and every scene must have these fundamental elements ticked off. If there is no conflict then there is nothing binding the reader to stay focused. The protagonist and antagonist must make difficult choices and decisions to deal with the conflict and then realize the consequences of their actions. It makes the story real because we all do this in our daily life—sometimes without realizing. The other critical area is quality and ensuring the book has been properly edited by a professional. A good editor is worth their weight in gold and can help transform a book to reach its full potential. Some authors take short cuts in this area or hire people to edit their books that are not properly qualified. The other big mistake is a bad book cover that does not connect to the genre. Get the best illustrator you can afford to create a book cover that resonates with the readers instantly in your genre or sub-genre.

# How do bad reviews and negative feedback affect you and how do you deal with them?

Bad reviews are a fact of life, not because they are wrong but because bad people like to use their five minutes of written influence to critique your work. It’s their own opinion and nothing else; however, we are human, and we take it personally. Always remembering we can put our heart and soul into writing our book, and along comes a reader you have no connection with and gives you a one-star rating. It hurts badly. It drops your rating score and leaves you in a profound personal dilemma.

My response to this ungratifying act is to ignore it and move on—I’m too focused on writing my next book and connecting with my readers to spend time festering over a bad rating. On the rare occasion amongst all the negative press comes an excellent suggestion. Yes, believe it or not, bad reviews helped me modify or tweak the storyline in a small way. It helped improve the quality of my craft. If you do get those rare opportunities to review, your work from a negative reviews, take the suggestion and run with it.

# What role do emotions play in creativity?

Emotions play an essential part. My books always have a big premise that defines what the emotional connection will be with the reader in a sentence. The wow factor comes from your emotion as a writer and then transposed into writing prowess. Readers will feel your emotion and pain about a subject matter in the narrative tension. If you have no emotion as a writer, you are better off writing something like a maths book or self-help guide rather than fiction.

# Do you have any creativity tricks?

Creativity is the core emotion for my writing style, and I use it to my advantage to create great stories. My first creative trick is to disassociate myself from the standard daily work routine by removing the structure or conditioning. It’s counter-intuitive to writing excellence. I have known authors that write part-time and negotiate their writing time any way they can—on the way to work, between and after work, on structured times during weekends. It’s planned, organized and systematic—but is your creative mind really in play? You may write thousands of words this way, but what about the content and the creativeness that drives the story to enthral and engage your readers—to keep them engaged.

So, it’s my firm belief to write creatively, and you must let your guard down, believe in yourself, and dissociate yourself from your daily routine. You must enter a different sphere, a new setting that can help trigger those emotions we don’t use during the day. I like to use the environment to do this effect—a bustling café, a beach, or a lake where I can go for a walk in the sunshine—heck, I have been to Fiji and Queensland in northern Australia to soak in the sun and beaches. It helps trigger the frontal lobe of our brain and neurons to work harder on the creative aspect of our writing. When I walk along a warm sunny beach thinking about my next scene, I get a rush of ideas without warning that I have to take note quickly before losing the impromptu ideas.

# What are your plans for future books?

I want to continue writing my current series. I have book four of the Haunting Clarisse Series pencilled in for later this year, and I have started writing book four of the Zack Bolder Series.

I am studying the potential of a new concept and series in the female detective thriller sub-genre. It may be a natural extension of the Zack Bolder Series that already has a detective protagonist. I want to continue having a supernatural feel to the storyline rather than a police procedural detective story. I think it’s a growing genre with an increasing readership, and it may work out to be advantageous.