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Renowned American author Jodi Picoult has sold over 14 million books worldwide, including her bestsellers, My Sister’s Keeper and Nineteen Minutes. Her latest novel, A Spark of Light (Hodder & Stoughton) was released last year, and is available now at Exclusive Books. Jodi sat down for an interview about her writing process, her day-to-day schedule, and what inspires her writing…
On a normal day, I first go for an 8km walk or a run. Afterwards I jump in the shower and head downstairs where my husband has brewed coffee and is waiting for me. After breakfast, I head up to my office to research or write.
But my routine does vary. If I’m researching for a book, I may be anywhere in the world shadowing someone – an abortion provider, a lawyer, an Amish farmer. When I’m writing, though, I am in my office from about 8.30am until 4pm. Almost eight hours a day.
What inspires me are questions to which I do not have the answers. Writing is my way of figuring those out.
How I write really depends on the story, it varies. Often, I just write myself a brief plan, but for A Spark of Light, which has a complex chronology, I had a 48-page outline.
For most novels, I take about nine months to write the first draft. But there is a lot more to being an author – including book tours in multiple countries, or research for upcoming projects – which is why you may not see a new book for a couple of years!
Thinking about writing your own book, but don’t know where to start? Check out these excellent top writing tips on setting yourself up, coming up with characters, plotting, choosing the setting, and dialogue from international bestselling authors like Marian Keyes and Kit de Waal to help get you started.
Compiled by features writer Savanna Douglas