Back in May, after getting pumped to learn more about others who had dreams of writing like myself, I randomly was being pulled by the strings of fate and typed into Google search the words: “aspiring author.” Now, I’m a teacher, so I knew full well that I was going to get a hodgepodge of results, but the third link sparked my interest. I clicked on it and I was entered into a fabulous world created by aspiring author, Ms. Jodie Llewellyn. Her website was whimsical and endearing, her stories right up my ally, but at the same time, making me expand my interests slightly. The samples and ideas she shared were fabulous. I honestly thought she was already an author from her layout to skill to care I witnessed that day of exploration. However, I was proven wrong that she was an aspiring author according to her bio. This shocked me! I saved the website immediately and vowed to contact her at the end of the summer to see if she would be interested in being an AAS on here. Sure enough, she agreed and worked very shiftily and quickly to get this interview to us. Her vibe screamed Halloween to me, which is why I waited until October for her. I appreciate her talent, her professionalism, and her dedication and I know she will go far in her writing dreams! Without further ado, may I present the lovely, talented, and Austrian, Red-Bull loving author to be…Miss Jodie Llewellyn!
- When you wake up in the morning, how do you see life?
I’m a pretty optimistic person. I live my life around my bucket list – 1001 things to do before I die. My biggest goal is just to see, do, and experience everything that life has to offer. I’m big on traveling, so if I’m not overseas on an adventure, then I’m saving for one!
- How did writing find its way into your life?
In a way, I guess I’ve always been writing. I’ve kept a diary religiously since I was 11-years-old. Writing has always been an outlet for me – a way to get everything out of my head and down onto paper. I find it really therapeutic. My journey into writing fiction started with fanfiction, which seems to be a pretty common bridge now days. I wrote my first novel in 2011, which was a YA sci-fi I churned out in 2.5 weeks!
- What does writing do for you?
As above, I find it really therapeutic. I love having an idea and getting it down onto paper. Setting your mind to writing a novel and then actually seeing it take shape is one of the most fulfilling things in the world, and then that feeling when you actually finish… nothing beats it. I feel like “writing a novel” is something that so many people say they are going to do or want to do, but not many people have the perseverance to actually get it done. In that sense, writing is something that feels like it’s mine. None of my close friends write, or even read, so writing feels like something really special.
- What sort of genre or type of writing do you do?
I write young adult fiction. I love it because it’s filled with so many “firsts” – first kiss, first love. Everything is so heightened and dramatic. I love the innocence.
- Do events in your life or people you know affect your writing?
Not really. I write about things that pop up in the darkest corners of my imagination. I like to write about characters that are completely different to me in settings that I’ve never discovered. I like to delve into the unknown.
- What are you currently work on or what was the last thing you wrote?
I’m currently working on a YA contemporary novel about a girl who’s trying to live a normal life with a mentally ill mother. I finished the first draft a couple of months ago and it has been through two beta-readers. Now I’m testing the waters by sending it to a few agents. In the meantime I’ve started work on something new – it’s still in early stages but it’s going to be an epic romance set in plague times.
- Can you tell us a little about it and its inspiration?
I’m not really too sure where my ideas for this new story came from. I’m desperate to write an epic romance. I feel like its inside me at the moment and an epic romance has to take place in a crazy setting to keep the main characters apart, so I suppose that’s where the plague comes from. I’m really interested in how a virus can spread. It’s a mash-up of ideas and things I find interesting.
- What are your goals for the future?
My ultimate goal is to be a traditionally published author. So my goal is to keep writing, and to pen multiple novels until I find one that gets me an agent and subsequently a publisher. I know it’s going to be a long road and I’m not willing to take any shortcuts. My writing needs to continue to improve and the only way to do that is to keep writing, keep seeking feedback from beta readers and keep improving.
- What are your interests or hobbies?
I’m a big reader. I love to read. At the moment I’m devouring everything in sight and posting reviews on my blog, which is really fun. I’m lucky enough to have over 5,000 people following my blog which means a couple of publishers are sending me books to review. Reading and blogging are definitely my favourite hobbies. My other hobbies are drinking Red Bull, taking my dog to the beach, wandering around bookstores and hanging out with friends and family.
10. If you could be a superhero, what are your powers and how would you use them to help the world?
I always thought that teleportation would be an awesome superpower. Just to be able to appear wherever you want, visit any country, see absolutely everything without having to save for the flight. How this would benefit the world I’m unsure, but it would definitely be awesome!
11. What advice would you give people who want to write?
Do it. Don’t think too hard about it, just put yourself on a deadline, sit down and write. Getting the novel down isn’t the hard part. Editing and getting published is hard. But actually writing the novel, sinking into your world and characters, that’s the fun part, so just do it. Remember, the first draft is just you telling yourself the story. It isn’t meant for anyone but you.
12. If you could be remembered for one thing or thought, what would it be?
I suppose that life is supposed to be lived, so get out and enjoy it. Do everything, see everything, experience everything and do the things that make you feel happy and fulfilled. That’s the most important thing.
Sample of Work:
TITLE: Chemicals Collide GENRE: YA, Contemporary STATUS: Complete – Seeking Representation
Sixteen-year-old Sara is convinced that her life is completely under control. Her grades aren’t perfect (she’s failing three classes), and her friends aren’t the best influence (she’s caught up in the gritty world of Speedway). But her grandmother always said that it’s important to keep up appearances and Sara’s façade is well in place. It’s almost as good as her mother who hides her crippling OCD.
But while her exterior is immaculate, Sara is falling apart. She spends the majority of her time cleaning the house to ensure her mother doesn’t spiral out of control. Between that, a part-time job, and her chaotic relationship with Speedway racer, Logan, Sara is beginning to believe that anxiety runs in the family.
Sara wasn’t raised to ask for help, but she needs to decide who she can trust before it all falls apart. It’s no longer just her grades on the line, but her first love, her health and most importantly, her mother.
Chemicals Collide delves into the world of obsessive-compulsive disorder. It tells the tale of a girl learning to stand on her own two feet with the help of those who want to build her up, not tear her down.
Jodie Llewellyn is a 27-year old Aussie girl, aspiring author, and book blogger. She has an addiction to Red Bull and is currently seeking representation for her first novel.