Author E.C. Jarvis
The final author in Crimson Edge Press’ Maidens & Magic is no stranger to Our Write Side. She is our own E.C. Jarvis, our authority on steampunk and erotica, monthly columnist, and a vital member of the OWS Ink formatting team. Discover even more about this beloved author.
Latest Release: The Destiny (Book 4 of the Blood and Destiny series)
E.C. Jarvis is a British author working mainly in speculative and fantasy fiction genres.
Since 2015, she has independently published five books spanning two different genres and series. The Machine, The Pirate, and The War in The Blood and Destiny series – a steampunk adventure. Desire and Duty, and Lust and Lies in The Consort’s Chronicles series – an erotic fantasy.
If you like action packed, fast-paced page turners, then try one of her books. There’s never a dull moment in those pages.
She was born in Surrey, England in 1982. She now resides in Hampshire, England with her daughter and husband.
For more information visit www.ecjarvis.com
- How long have you been writing?
As a hobby, since I was very young. I have been writing seriously for almost 2 years. It just felt like the right time to do something with these stories in my head that won’t go away unless I write them down.
- What kind(s) of writing do you do?
I write anything really. Flash fiction, short stories, novellas, full length novels, poetry. You name it, I’ve had a try at writing it. I’ve also had moderate success in each discipline. My first published piece was a poem which was included in a collection of poetry. I’ve published six novels, and four short stories (one novella length) have been included in various publications. They usually revolve around a sort of fantasy theme, but I don’t like to limit myself to one genre, and one set agenda. I will give it all a go when the mood takes me!
- What are your goals as a writer, both small and large?
I would really like to have a full length novel (possibly a series) of books signed to a large publisher. I think I have reached the limit of what I can achieve through the self-publishing process. Now I really need the assistance of someone who knows what they are doing, with far broader connections and marketing skills to really push my work to a larger audience. I gotta write something worthy of their consideration first, that’s the tricky part.
- What inspires you?
I find inspiration in my down-time. I love a peaceful, silent environment where I can give the voices in my head my full attention. I love the monotonous tone of warm shower water, or the dull sound of the inside of my car driving down the motorway. I’m happiest when I’m alone with my thoughts, and find inspiration through quiet reflection.
- Have you ever fallen in love with a character? Tell us about this romance.
… too many to mention. I was (and still am) very much in love with the character of Sicarius from the Emperor’s Edge series by Lindsay Buroker. He is a perfect character. Men fantasise to be him, and women fantasise to be with him. He’s strong, handsome, a fighter, zero humour, severely damaged and utterly engaging. I highly recommend anything and everything written by Lindsay.
- How do you find or make time to write?
I don’t watch TV. Most of my writing takes place in my lunch break at work, or in the evening after the kiddo is in bed and my husband has settled down to watch some manly program about fishing or trucking. He’s welcome to the remote. I like to sit on the other end of the couch and float away to fantastical places inside my own head with a cup of tea by my side. That’s all the time I need.
- Do you write more by logic or intuition, or some combination of the two? Summarize your writing process.
I write best when there is little to no plan, so I suppose by intuition. I have some logical elements. I have to write down a character sheet for each character. I rarely ever refer to it, but I find, once I’ve written down that character X is a grumpy old sod, I will remember it and stick to that character trait a lot better than if I hadn’t written it down anywhere. The rest is just a case of finding out the story and where it leads as I go. It’s much easier to write that way. I have tried plotting and had to do so for the last two books in my steampunk series, and it took all the joy out of the process for me.
- Who would play you in your life story?
No-one. My life story is dull and the only interesting bits are pretty depressing, so I would not approve of my life story being depicted in any form. Cancel the casting session, this movie does not have a green light.
- What projects are you working on at the moment?
A lot of editing. I’m in a bit of a rut. Not sure if it will pick up, or even if I want it to. Maybe a long break. Things have happened pretty quickly over the last 2 years to get to this point and I think I’m becoming a little disillusioned by it all. I need a step back to ease off the pressure otherwise it’s all work and no fun.
- What process did you go through to get your work published?
That’s a very long story. The first book in my steampunk series was originally published through a now non-operational publishing company in 2015. It all went a bit wrong, contracts were cancelled, things turned upside down and I thankfully ended up with the rights to the book and the series back in my hands. So, as us Brits tend to do, I pulled my socks up, and jolly well got on with it. I put the book straight back out into the world with new cover art and then followed up with book 2 and 3 in short order. The fourth and final book in that series was published eight months after the first.
- What is the hardest part of writing for you?
Keeping it interesting. I get bored very easily as a reader and therefore I’m incredibly picky about the books that I read. It’s rare for a book to hold my interest all the way to the end. I’ve started a good number of books, including a lot of the classics, but I bow out when the deadly dull mid-section hits. Unless I’m emotionally invested in the characters by that point, then I just close the book and move on. It’s a worry, therefore, when I’m writing, that I will be able to maintain my own finicky attention span, let alone that of other readers. I have to be sure when I’m approaching a scene or a chapter that it has a purpose, and that I can present its purpose in a consistent and interesting way, otherwise what’s the point?
- What do you enjoy most about writing? Share your favorite work.
I enjoy little injections of humour. They work best when it’s natural. I remember the first time it hit me when I was writing the first book in the Blood and Destiny series. The main character Larissa is trying to shoot at a bad guy on the ground as the airship she’s on is rising into the air. She’s laying on her stomach and firing a pistol (the first time she’s shot a gun – ever) through the balustrades. The bad guy goes down and she thinks she’s hit him. Unbeknownst to her, someone else was stood above her and fired a weapon at the same time. The conversation afterwards goes something like
“I shot the guy with the crossbow. I don’t need you,” Larissa said.
“I shot the guy with the crossbow,” Holt said, “you shot the lamppost on the other side of the street.”
I remember when that scene and the resulting dialogue popped into my head and I just couldn’t stop smiling. Ok, it’s not fall-off-your-chair laughing, kinda funny, but it’s amusing, and incredibly satisfying as a writer to come up with those little moments. So many stories take themselves too seriously. There’s little to no levity in a lot of books and that makes them very hard to read (at least to me), so you need little comedic interludes, especially if you’re writing anything that attempts to tackle the darker side of certain subjects.
- If you could have any fictional character(s), living or dead, on your survival team after an apocalypse, who would you choose and why?
Do I really need to explain why?
- Which actors would you choose to play the main characters in your story?
I’ve been asked this before, and I really struggle to cast it. I like the idea of Richard Armitage as The Professor, but besides that I really don’t know. No-one matches up to the people inside my head.
- What is your favorite escape from day to day living?
I’m a gamer. Anything strategic. I like world-building games, like the civilisation series, or anything that involves building a city. They’re not so popular these days so I tend to stick with the older ones. I also like Sims.
- What are some ways in which you promote your writing? Do you find that these add or detract from your writing time?
I’ve done a lot of small scale personal promotions – attending events, both online and in person. I have tried a couple of smaller adverts with varying success. They detract from writing time a lot and so I’m scaling back on them, because often it’s a lot of work/money for little benefit. If there were a winning formula then everyone would do it. Sadly, money is the answer. If I had buckets of cash to throw at advertising efforts then I have no doubt I’d see greater results. Sadly, that is not possible.
- Who are some of your favorite authors? What impact have they had on your writing?
Terry Pratchett, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, William Golding, JRR Tolkien, and for a modern twist, Lindsay Buroker. These are masters of the craft, people who can make a complete character pop from the page in a few well written sentences and careful choice of dialogue. People who can build worlds, and lore, and back story like no others. They are the level I aspire to.
- Do you know the secret to originality in writing? Would you share it?
Development of voice is essential. Whether writing in first or third, it is imperative to write in your style, rather than copy someone else’s. That is the starting point for originality.
- What are you currently reading?
I have never read the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, and so I have brought a copy to read.
- What do you think is the future of reading/writing?
It’s a hobby that won’t go away. Even with the advent of such amazing technological advances people still like to sit down and get lost in a made-up world. It is only the limitations of choice that are changing, people have far better access to a far wider range of stories than they ever had before. I think we may see some work given to genre fiction, more splitting of genres, and specific sub-branches growing in number, and to me, that can only be a good thing.
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