J.J. Hughes was born in Cottingley, a quaint little village in West Yorkshire, UK. Her grandfather Arthur Shackleton [was related to Sir Ernest Shackleton, the polar explorer] – but the furthest grand-dad travelled, perhaps, was up the road to the men-only social club, but then he rose early and worked long and hard and filled the house with the amazing aromas of freshly baked cakes and bread, so could not be kneading dough and adventuring at the same time.
J.J. Hughes parents Margaret and Arnold Simpson lived with her grandfather above the shop, the house was large, old and rambling with a proliferation of attics and spider-filled cellars, if you cared to look closely – generally the author did not, preferring to spend her time playing catch, hop-scotch and the like in the cobbled streets, catching minnows in the beck [a small stream] or swimming beneath the waterfall which is famous for fairies, after two local girls [Elsie Wright and Frances Griffiths] photographed them in 1917 [Or did they?]. Subsequently the photo’s proved to be fake, and this inspired a movie called ‘Fairy Tale: A True Story’ which starred Peter O’Toole playing Sir Arthur Conan Doyle [the creator/author of Sherlock Holmes.] He was taken in by the hoax, but then again to this day J.J.Hughes believes in elves/fairies/mermaids/unicorns and all things Elemental and Other Worldly.
Nearby to Cottingley is the author’s Favourite Place: think Hovis ad’s, steam trains, cobbled streets, try Tetleys real ale in Haworth, which is famous for the wild moors and the Bronte sisters – who wrote ‘Wuthering Heights’ and ‘Jane Eyre’ which are two of her Favourite Novels , along with ‘Pride and Prejudice’ [Jane Austen] and ‘Gone with the Wind’ [Margaret Mitchell]. Feisty heroines and fill-their-boots heroes, win hands down every time?
From her early teens J.J Hughes was a passionate horse owner and regularly competed in Affiliated junior showjumping competitions. In it’s day West Yorkshire produced a lot of England’s top show jumpers, true Northern grit we guess? Or where there’s horse muck, there’s brass! In her debut novel ‘Spirit of Prophecy’ there’s an Olympic gold medal event horse called Gothic [aka Gothic novels, a much- loved genre] and his feisty owner/rider Juliet Jermaine. Age 17 the author wrote a humorous pony novel which was bashed out on a neon orange little typewriter [thank heavens for Word Processors, spell checking] and bye-bye Tippex and White-Out. Some things disappear and are not mourned or missed.
J. J. Hughes was blessed and inspired by two incredible English teachers, [ who back then were a husband and wife team] Paddy and Vanda, and thanks to Paddy, a brilliant photographer [a passionate, Irish man with big beard, bowler hat and rather eccentric black flowing cape] she developed a life- long love of film as a medium. Later, after leaving school, she studied English/American Literature with Film Studies at the University of East Anglia [U.E.A.] Norwich, and subsequently an MA in Creative Writing at Surrey University.
Career wise, after a year or so teaching English abroad, she accidentally landed a job in the City of London in an Investment Bank – how this came about let alone endured… this is still a mystery to all concerned. Later after three amazing children came along, she quit the City and headed for the Surrey Hills and trained as a Life Coach and Passion Test Facilitator, and went on to co-author a No 1 Best Selling Spiritual self- help book called ‘Inspired by the Passion Test’ and in the vein of giving back all profits go to charity. More about the green energy of Giving Money in her next planned self-help book: ‘Pursing the Passion,’ which is about how to get clear on your Life Purpose and annex your Passions and Values to make money and earn extra income doing what you love….
J.J Hughes is passionate about horses, the paranormal, New Age spirituality, self-development, travel, karma and reincarnation, crime… justice… in no particular order. She has had numerous prophetic premonitions – usually about death, which so far despite a few close shaves she has escaped.[Pinch test just to check she’s still alive – yes that hurt!] She came to believe in reincarnation in her mid-twenties when her old horse Red made a re-appearance, this time as a palomino called Hooray Henry. Sometimes when we don’t get the ending right or learn the lessons they boomerang right back and bite us on the ass. Quite literally in Red’s case as he was one mean S.O.B – a bad-tempered, hot-headed sort who would not only bite the devoted hay-bearers but also kick them on the way out too!
Now, having survived the loving attentions of various equines, and a serious riding accident requiring airlifting into A+E plus a long stint in a wheel chair, the author has finally hung up her spurs as it were. She’s an experienced Coach/Mentor, Passion Test Facilitator and Soul Re-alignment specialist and topics currently piquing her interest are Spirituality and Science where she’s hoping to see more inter-disciplinary co-operation, to solve the great remaining mysteries of life including man’s origins. On that note she’s keen on Panspermia – the theory of life being seeded from outer space. She’s mighty curious about Aliens – when will they come out of the closets – and what are the ethical, moral and other massive implications of A.I. and Robots? Will the FANGS [Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Google..sorts] colonise Mars – will we get all the plastic out of the seas? Will humanity swap hugs and harmony for mass destruction? Guess where my sequel novel is going – it starts with psychic CID Rosetta Barrett and Juliet Jermaine [the victim] packing up camp on the Apache Indian Reservation where they left off in ‘Spirit of Prophecy’ and heading out on a road trip along the Alien Highway and heading for Area 51…..
Happy UFO spotting y’all…..
What inspires you to write?
Without a doubt the thing that inspires me to write is PASSION.
I want to share the passion I have for life, for mystery and for the wonders of the Universe with everyone, to share my experience and help others. I’m really keen on Science collaborating way more with Spirituality:
‘’The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence.’’ Nikola Tesla
The simplest way for me to do this is through either self-help books where I can pass on my knowledge and understanding of how life and the universe works, complete with pitfalls to avoid and time/money saving short-cuts. I love to help other by condensing what I’ve learned [often the hard way] so they can get to the stage of manifesting their gifts with more ease and grace. Or through fiction which I can use to share my incredible passion for horses and all things mysterious and paranormal. ‘’Spirit of Prophecy’’ is a direct result of these passions. The fiction allows me to play with and experiment with ideas and philosophies that I have a great belief in, such as karma and reincarnation, whilst the self-help side of my writing allows me to help people discover and develop their real purpose. We know so little about this amazing universe and the gift we are given of life and writing allows me to express all this in powerful words and makes people stop and ponder their track in life. To me, this is the most fulfilling part of the process.
Tell us about your writing process.
I am totally a seat of the pants writer at the first draft stage at least, then I go back and tinker, add, delete and tinker some more…endlessly. My plotting is invariably really complicated, and just holding all the threads together is a total circus act – plates in the air, wheels spinning and a really good contents editor to grab the glitches in the story line that I’ve missed!
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I am plot driven first and foremost but as I hate cliché or cardboard cut-out characters that quite often appear in crime and thrillers, I go the extra marathon to build and develop really believable characters on a journey arc where they learn and grow. Actually, strangely enough perhaps given my love affair with "plot’’, most of the reviewers LOVE my characters more than the highly original plotting – so must be doing something right?! Der…..
Who are your favorite authors?
Advice is over abundant out there in cyber space, especially on the author ‘’marketing courses’’ bandwagon. There are definitely genuine and caring souls, especially in the Indie publishing world. I relish the control that self-publishing brings but the fact is there is an army of people selling ‘author advice’ services out there and not all are value -for-money at all! That way leads to over whelm – been there – done that! Hence …no sequel…yet…
Given that, my only advice to any writer is; to believe in yourself, your story and your inalienable right to tell your story the way you want it to be told. “Writing rules”, in my opinion have passed their use-by-date. We now have a new generation of readers to cater to, for whom the old rules often no longer apply. I’m writing in Metaphysical and Visionary which is a relatively new category, precisely because I don’t want to be pigeon holed and writing to a genre formula.
My number one rule in all things publishing is; TRUST MY GUT. Your own instinct is rarely wrong, and you have to train yourself to trust in your instincts, to believe in yourself and to follow through. What’s the worst that can happen? A bad review so what? If you believe in it – then do it. Oh, and just get used to the idea WE ALL get bad reviews, onwards and upwards as they say.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
Ultimately, research and gut instinct is what made me take the self-publishing path. Although traditional publishers in my home-country[ UK] showed great interest in my novel, they didn’t like the paranormal aspects to it as much, and wanted me to tailor it for the market they described. I was unwilling to do this, so I researched extensively on the best ways to self-publish and then took that route. Maintaining control over my work and control over my own destiny was the right choice for me, plus it is a faster way to get on the shelf as it were, and one I am glad I made.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I actually predict [I’m a big believer in Prophecy and Premonitions with or without the requisite crystal ball, after-all] that the market will evolve in a very interactive way. So ‘pages’ in say a crime story will contain clues and the Reader/Gamer/Participant will be able to mix and match elements to create the version of the story which most appeals to them. I’d also like to see more co-operative writing where a partnership comes into play particularly so there’s a blend of male/female voices and energies. I believe we are going to be communicating with E.T’s before too long and that will be a whole new paradigm shift requiring new thought patterns and a big shift in our ‘world views’. Out there is going to be where it’s at. Let the Lightworkers, the Star-Seeds, the Indigos and the Crystals get that band-width magnified and really orchestrated.
What genres do you write?
Crime, Mystery and Suspense, Metaphysical and Visionary. As mentioned earlier I also write Spiritually oriented self-help too.
What formats are your books in?
eBook, Print, Audiobook
All information is provided by the author and is presented as it was submitted so you the reader get to hear the author’s own “voice” in their interview.