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
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.