I’m so excited to share my interview with J.A George, author of Gifted, with you all today!
Firstly, can you tell us a little bit about Gifted?
Gifted is all about a nineteen year old university student who meets a silver-haired woman a little on the strange side before meeting a young man a little more on the stranger side.
These meetings lead to the eventual discovery of Hayven – a city separated from the rest of the world where only those with gifts can go. She makes an eclectic bunch of friends, who, even though I’m biased, are just awesome. But Hayven has its dark side and they’re called Cliders. Gifters turned rogue, Cliders are determined to see Hayven return to the way it was one thousand years ago when the city was under the dominion of Madrina. Want to know more about her? Read Gifted!
When did you decide that you wanted to become a writer?
I was on a train returning from university one day when I suddenly realised that the course I was doing was making me miserable. A few thoughts, a few quiet whispers to myself and a few odd looks from people on the train later, I came to the conclusion that life is too short to spend another minute not doing what I love. So many people truly believe that if they eat healthily enough and don’t play in traffic, they’ll live until at least eighty and so put off making their dream come true because they keep telling themselves they’ll have plenty of time. I don’t believe time is guaranteed to anyone, so I got home, purchased a mini laptop and spent my ninety minute journeys to university writing. Soon after that, I left my course to study one that had more to do with what I wanted to achieve and…the rest is history.
Where do you get inspiration for your stories/ characters?
My inspiration for Gifted was the idea of people being normal and extraordinary at the same time. Most people believe you can only be one or the other, but I believe you can be both. Extraordinary in the sense that there is something about you that sets you apart from everyone else, but normal in the sense that…you know… you’re not a serial killer or anything.
Do you have a favourite character in Gifted?
I actually don’t! A lot of readers say their favourite character is either Ava or Baleigh because in Gifted they’re the most dominant characters. Since I know how each character develops in the series and the roles they come to play, they each become dominant in their own way so they’re all my favourites!
Do you have a favourite scene in Gifted?
I do! I’ll add it here:
‘Basically that I should stay away from Theo because I’m fat, bland and not his type,’ I answered.
Baleigh laughed again. ‘Of course she called you fat. It’s a petty girl’s go-to with anyone over a size ten.’
‘You don’t think I am, do you?’
‘No, I don’t,’ she answered, ‘and if I did, I’d tell you.’
‘And you don’t think I’m bland-looking, do you?’
‘I do not.’
‘You’d date me, right?’
Baleigh slowly turned to look at me. ‘I fear this conversation has taken a turn for the worse. Where are you going with this, Ava?’
‘It sounds like you’re coming onto me.’
She propped herself up on her elbows. ‘Now, don’t take it personally. I think you’re great and everything, but you’re just not my type.’
I paused. ‘You could do a lot worse,’ I said. ‘And why aren’t I your type?’ I asked, suddenly offended. First guys and now girls were closing their doors to me. ‘What’s wrong with me?’
‘Well, for starters you have boobs and various other lady parts that I’m not interested in. I shoot my arrows in straight lines, if you know what I mean.’ She bounced her eyebrows up and down.
‘You’d be lucky to land a girl like me,’ I said.
‘Yes, you would! I can cook,’ I said, ‘…and I’m very clean; I shower twice every day.’
‘That’s quite a list you’ve got there,’ Baleigh said. ‘How are you in the bedroom?’
‘Baleigh!’ I blushed red and looked away.
‘What?’ she asked. ‘If you want to be my girlfriend these are the kind of things I’ll have to know!’
‘I don’t want to be your girlfriend,’ I mumbled.
‘You’re blushing so I’m going to have to disagree.’
‘Okay, let’s change topic, please.’
‘Fine, but it’s the twenty-first century, Ava. Embrace your sexuality,’ she whispered.
Do you have a particular writing process?
I write whenever something pops into my head. I try not to force it because then I wake up in the morning, re-read what I wrote and it’s terrible!
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I like to eat, hang out with friends, read, bake, visit food markets and go to the cinema. It’s actually on my “should-do-at-least-once” list to go to the cinema by myself. I haven’t done it yet, but the new X-men movie is out…
Who are your favourite authors? Would you say that they have influenced your writing?
My favourite author is Roald Dahl simply because I’ve read and enjoyed more of his books than I have any other author. His theme of the extraordinary happening to the ordinary (think Charlie & the Chocolate Factory and Matilda) is something that has subconsciously stuck with me for many years and I think has majorly influenced my writing.
Are you working on anything else? Can you tell us a little bit about it?
Yes, book 2 of the Gifted series! I don’t want to spoil anything but I will say that the POV’s will alternate in the second book.
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Keep writing because if you want to be an author, you literally have no other choice. Don’t write only to please the book market because it will show in your writing and remember that people’s thoughts on your book are opinions, not facts – even the good reviews!
Finally, where can readers find out more about you and your books?
Feel free to contact me. I’m super friendly!
Very big thank you to J.A. George for answering my questions and I hope you all enjoyed reading them! Stay tuned for my review of Gifted soon!