Indie Author Interview With Joy Jennings

Sunday, 7 February 2016

In this interview indie author Joy Jennings talks to us about the craft of writing and what motivated her to sit and down and write in the first place:



What genre is your book?

Memoir

What have you written and what is the current book you are promoting? 

I’m Not Your “Baby”: An Australian woman’s tortured life of sexual harassment and assault. 

What made you decide to sit down and actually start writing?

I had a non-Australian point out to me that I needed to get my story out there and I had a very important message to share. I was encouraged that mine has been a life that could have an impact on so many and that it would be like the key to opening Pandora’s box for so many women. 

What is the hardest thing about writing?

Reliving the stories themselves were sometimes more than I could handle. Writing them was extremely difficult and by far the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. In a practical sense, readers from other parts of the world wouldn’t understand the writing challenges I faced simply by being Australian. We Aussies have a very colourful language of our own, full of colloquialisms, abbreviations, slang words including rhyming slang, funny phrases and our own words for just about everything. Nobody understands us but us (and the British), so it was most difficult to face this hurdle of having to translate for the rest of the world. I did leave just enough in for that ‘Aussie flavour’ though. 

If there was one thing you could do to change the world, what would it be?

My dream is to see social change by the way of new male attitudes and behaviours towards women and to have the world take notice of my message. I am hoping to do this by speaking the truth about what goes on in Australia and that the behaviour and attitudes toward women by our Aussie males are no longer acceptable. I want men, everywhere in the world, to understand what women really think of them and their compliments, and hopefully it will bring an end to sexual harassment everywhere. 

I also want to encourage women to speak up about their own sexual harassment and assault and not to make the same mistakes and remain silent like I did. It would be my ultimate dream to see women living without fear of males and for men all over the world becoming fine upstanding gentleman from an era of days gone by. Those are the men that women would flock to rather than being fearful of. 

If you could give sexual assault victims one piece of advice, what would it be?

Don’t be afraid and speak up. Screw them! This is your life, your body and you have the right not be assaulted. These predators are banking on you not saying anything and are afraid of being punished, so don’t let them get away with it. Don’t remain silent like I did. If nobody wants to help you then keep speaking out until somebody does. You do have the right to be heard.

What are some of the lasting effects that have stayed with you after so much abuse? 

I continue to suffer in all areas of my life. I still experience night terrors, anxiety and stress, especially when around men, and have some relationship issues. I become an unintentional nervous wreck over the simplest of things too. For example, a man offered me some uninvited assistance with my groceries recently and just took upon himself to put his hands on my grocery bags. I immediately froze into a petrified terror and felt as if I was being violated all over again with old panic rising up from deep within. I wouldn’t call that normal functioning.

Tell us something unique about you

I am turning 50 years old and still get harassed by men. I don’t like being told “Well just be thankful that you’ve still got it!” That goes against everything I am trying to say and do. I am not, I never have been or will I ever be thankful that men harass women. It isn’t a compliment to me, I just see it as bad behaviour from them! 

What is one great lesson you have learned as a writer?

I thought writing itself would be the hardest part. It isn’t, it is the book marketing and promotion that comes afterward that is the most difficult. Once the book is written, then comes the real hard work!

How do you market your books?

Mostly through social media. I started out a complete unknown with no online presence whatsoever and have been building it up since publishing my book. I know, I do things the wrong way around. I also use some online forums for authors and related topics and search for promo opportunities around the web. 

I have been a guest on an online radio show and had a couple of write-ups in the local newspaper. Book signings/readings at local libraries help to boost exposure and have approached a couple a small town bookshops which were happy to take my book. Seeking reviews has been high on my list too, without those books don’t stand much of a chance. 

What is one thing you hate about being a writer?

When you are a writer, people then expect you be a public speaker. Alot of writers write because they are uncomfortable speaking in front of crowds. Media appearances, radio interviews, tv, public events, it is all part of book promotion but for someone like me with a very raw and personal story, all of that can be quite overwhelming. 

What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

Everyone, I believe, has a story to tell. Anybody with a somewhat interesting life or chapter in their life, self-determination, willingness to share and a fair amount of intelligence can write a book. At least if nothing else, they could write their own story. I would encourage anyone that has been told “You know your life would make a great book!” — then write it!!

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

By visiting my website www.imnotyourbaby.com Readers can read reviews, excerpts, other interviews, news, events and view my blog. I post some fun things up as well just to shine some light on an otherwise dark subject. 

A Little Bit More About Joy:

Joy Jennings was born and raised in Melbourne, Australia. At seventeen, Joy and her family moved to Queensland where she spent over thirty years living on the Gold Coast. Following in the footsteps of her father, published author and newspaper columnist, Joy realized her own talents as a writer with the debut of her artfully crafted memoir. 

Social Media: Find Joy Jennings on Goodreads, Google Plus, LinkedIn and Pinterest

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