GENRE: Contemporary Romance

A thoughtful birthday gift was a teenage dream come true, the only problem was that she was no longer a teenager. Eyes meeting across a crowded stadium, she felt like he was singing out from the stage just for her.

His was the face on the poster she hung over her bed, hers became the face inside his head. Can doing the wrong thing ever be right and what is the point of having money if it can't buy everything you want?

Fantasy, love and family life. It costs nothing to dream, but having a dream come true could cost you what you see to be your life

JDBOOKS has the privilege of an interview with author J Orton

Where do you live and is that the setting for your book?

I live in the county of Kent close to the city of London in the UK

but was brought up just outside Manchester, The book could be

set anywhere but setting it in Manchester UK was because it's

where I call home. I am a northern lass through and through.

How did you come up with the premise of Lights? Was it something that you experienced?

When writing one of the things which is constant is my asking

myself, What if? I couldn’t afford to go to many concerts when

younger but I remember hanging poster of my fav band on my

bedroom wall and dreaming about what it would be like if my

crush had a crush on me. Who doesn’t? So I guess you could say

it came from teenage dreams intertwined with what actually

happens through the years as we grow up and become adult.

Lights is very adult in parts.

How did you come up with an amazing title?

This book was always going to be BRIGHT LIGHTS &

CHAMPAGNE I shortened it to LIGHTS because the best part

of a concert is when the spot light comes on, its simple but

powerful and exciting, its the part which makes your heart


Your book is a Contemporary Romance. What drew you to the


I’m not drawn to any genre, I write whatever comes into my

head, some say I have a mixed up mind and cray imagination.

Being more mature means I can put more of me and my life into

the Contemporary romance stories I write, sometimes it can be

like writing a diary or feel like therapy. To me it's a genre where

dreams can be turned into reality, not that I always conclude

with a happy ever after ending, I see the right ending more

believable than a happy one. Contemporary romance fiction is

as close to true life as fiction can be, and we all know life is

never perfect.

Do you think writers need to feel strong emotions in order to

write a Contemporary Romance?

I think that with all writing there is only so much your

imagination can provide and believe the best writers are those

with life experience. I write from the heart because I was lucky

to be brought up surrounded by a family and others who were

always there for me. I have met all kinds of characters and call

myself a natural people watcher. Knowing people, the way they

act and how they would react, like a lot of song writers and

singers things sound better when speckled with an element of

truth, so I would say a writer needs to have experienced life. Yes,

I have experienced heartbreak and the excitement of first love, I

want the reader to be the one feeling the emotions.

In one of my blog pieces, I discuss how to approach writing a novel, but it is mainly targeted towards those who want to write fantasy novels. What advice would you give someone on how to approach writing a Contemporary Romance?

Take an experience or event you either enjoyed or hated and change

it using words, I see writing contemporary romance as writing

something as near to true life as it can be while included a twist or

two your reader won’t be expecting. For me its like taking life and

having it turn out how I want it to, again like before I find myself

saying you should look at a situation analyses it and then ask What


Have any of the part of story in LIGHTS? Been influenced by TV or movie figures? If so, which one(s)?

Influence came from the bands, singers, pop groups and their

songs which at one time or another I had a crush on and the

lead singers or more often than not the drummer I imagined

being with when a teenager. Being of a certain age now, these

would be; The Bay City Rollers, David Essex, Motley Crue,

UB40 & Meatloaf to name a few. A strange mix but like my

writing I don’t really have a type, I just like what I like when I

like it and write what I write when there is no other way of

getting the words out of my head. There is a play by Willy

Russel called Dancing’ thru the dark, it was made into a film in

1990. If I had to compare Lights to anything I would say it takes

what Willy Russel wrote along with eliminates of what the film

potrade to a whole other level.

If you could give your younger self some advice about the writing

process, what would it be?

I struggled at school and then discovered as a mature student

that I was dyslexic, this means whether I am reading or writing

I will always be fighting with words. I would tell a younger me

not to have been so afraid of what was out of my control. I wrote

my first book at 13yrs when a teacher noticed my struggle and

asked me to write something I would enjoy reading. I will always be

grateful to my English teacher Mrs Scofield for

encouraging me to release my imagination and changing my

relationship with words, so I guess I would have told myself not

to worry so much and be braver by not being afraid of being

honest and asking for help.

What time do you usually start writing and what do you find the hardest part of the writing process?

I write whenever and where ever, unfortunately it isn’t my full-

time job so there are times paid work gets in the way. My

imagination never seems to rest and I once stayed up three days

and nights writing non stop. My favorite place to write is when

on holiday, because I use pen and paper for first draft or fill-Ins

people think I am studying all the time. The most difficult part

for me is knowing when to stop with the rewrites and allowing

what I write to go out there for others to read. I self publish on

amazon but am hopeless at self promotion, I guess its because I

know others will find the mistakes I make and miss. I have to

keep telling myself its the enjoyment of the story which matters

and I’ve had lots of people say they enjoyed reading Lights. One

reader said she was reading it in the bath and her bath water

went cold because she couldn’t stop reading.

How has writing changed you?

My fingers are crossed that it will earn me enough money to top

up my pension. (Which isn’t that far away) I enjoy writing and

to be honest I would go crazy if I couldn’t put all the things

running around in my imagination into words. It hasn’t

changed me because as yet it’s had little impact on my life,

except for the time it takes. It takes up a lot of time, my dyslexia

means I read and write slowly, which is annoying cos I think

fast. Lucky for me my husband’s hobby is golf which takes up

time too, so I write more when I am on my own.

What do you like to do when you are not writing?

Going to watch bands. LOL listening to music, and spending time

with my family. Unfortunately I lost my mum this years which

makes me the eldest in the family now. It also means I appreciate

how my elders were a positive influence, so as my son would say.

When not working or writing I like to spend my time making

memories. Memories and words are the only things we can be sure

we will leave behind.