PJ Skinner

PJ Skinner

PJ Skinner is geologist who has spent thirty years roaming the planet and collecting tall tales and real-life experiences. Most of her postings were in remote and dangerous sites which provide background settings for her novels. She now writes fact-based novels from the relative safety of London. She still travels worldwide collecting material for the series and having her own adventures. Books The complete Sam Harris Adventure series of seven books covers the career of a female geologist, from rookie adventures in remote sites in Africa and South America, to forays in the the concrete jungle. The Green Family Saga starts with Rebel Green, set in Ireland at the beginning of the Troubles in the North. The second book in the series follows the fortunes of Isabella Green. The author is researching a third book in the series about Liz Green. Find out more and keep up to date at https://pjskinner.com What's the story behind your latest book? Africa Green follows Isabella Green as she finds her feet in the world. Stuck in a menial job for years, writing for a pet magasine, she gets the chance to write an article about a chimpanzee sanctuary in Sierra Leone. Naive and willful, she soons finds herself up to her neck in trouble, and the friendships she makes, force her to make difficult choices. Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing? I was born in England, and raised in Ireland during the Troubles. Being brought up in a country with a culture so heavily influenced by the Catholic religion had a strong affect on me. I grew up in the era of women's liberation, and I thought it was obvious to everyone that women were equal to men. I quickly learned there weren't too many men who agreed at that time, especially in Ireland. I didn't want the traditional women's role expected of me. It made me long to get away and prove myself which is why I ended up going to such remote and dangerous places. This all had an influence on what I wanted to write about. In my first Series, Sam Harris is a heroine. She is my alter-ego and I used her to explore the experiences I have had in my life as a geologist. What motivated you to become an indie author? I had a full time job when I started writing and I felt it was the easiest way to get my work out there quickly. I wanted contact with readers to test out my novels and give me feedback on my writing. Also, I have no patience with the eighteen month lead times for traditional publishing so using an agent didn't apeal to me. What do your fans mean to you? I don't know that I could claim to have any fans yet. I will keep writing if anyone wants to read my books because they give me great pleasure and I love to make people happy. I would love to have loyal fans but I have to earn them first. Who are your favourite authors? I love William Boyd, Brazzaville Beach is one of my favourite novels. Gabriel Garcia Marques, Jorge Amado and Mario Vargas Llosa, which I read during my years in Latin America, are my favourite Latin writers. I am also a great fan of Evelyn Waugh, Barbara Kingsolver and Kate Atkinson. I could go on and on. What inspires you to get out of bed each day? Breakfast. I love breakfast When you're not writing, how do you spend your time? I love sport and play golf and tennis but most of the time I think about more book ideas with all the characters whizzing around my head demanding attention. What is your writing process? I tend to think a lot before I start. I have tried writing outlines but I always give up when the urge to write becomes too strong. Sometimes I fill in the outline later and move some stuff around. When I get near the end I am never quite sure which ending is going to win. It takes me a couple of months of thinking before I start writing the climax and then I find it very hard to stop for food or sleep. How do you approach cover design? I do the rough design myself and then I use Jared Shear, a very talented cover designer, to make them for me.
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