To help spread the word about the Grumpy Old Trickster Gods anthology, I’m interviewing the authors involved.
Today we have Jemma Weir, author of Granddad Swap.
What is your story in the Grumpy Old Trickster Gods about?
Grandad Swap is freaky Friday but with a granddad and his grandson. My grumpy old god has had just about enough of ungrateful grandchildren and decides that this one needed to be taught a lesson.
Needless to say, things don’t go quite to plan. But what seventy-year-old wouldn’t want to go partying if they were given a twenty-year-old body?
Sounds fun! What kind of research did you do for this story?
Very little. I probably shouldn’t admit that really… But there was one thing I did need to research for this story and that was which Norse god would be best placed to tell Ernie he’s screwed up, and to fix it.
That was interesting, delving into the lesser known gods, as well as finding someone who could convince Ernie he’s messed up.
Research usually has that result. Where did the inspiration for this story come from?
This story, and every one of the Ernie series, comes from small pieces of my granddad. Each book has something that reminds me of him. A small part of a story, or an inside joke. Or in the case of this one, a bad joke my granddad liked to repeat.
Though none of the characters themselves are my granddad alone, the idea of an old god living in a retirement home seemed like the perfect setting to remember my granddad now he is gone.
That’s sweet. What is the most difficult part of your writing process?
Which I know is probably not what you meant, but its too true to ignore.
Once I’m writing, it’s easy to keep writing–Unless I hit a plot issue ☹, but that’s a whole other conversation.
Butt in chair. Fingers on Keyboard. Rinse and repeat.
On a side note—the second hardest part of the writing process is definitely spelling/proofing/editing/writing… hmmm. Okay… It’s all hard.
But it’s worth it.
Totally! How long have you been writing or when did you start?
I have been writing on and off for years. Longer ago than I can remember the beginnings. Three sets of dates stand out. In and around 2013 (and later) I published some short stories, then life got in the way, and I stopped writing. In 2017, I wrote some more. I was in Australia for six months at the time, and when I came home to the UK, I left my muse behind – I think she preferred the warmer weather.
Then finally, in 2019 Nano November, my muse came home and really kicked off my writing seriously—she’d clearly been taking kickboxing classes. I found the joy of writing again for the first time in years, and I decided I wanted to keep doing it, but I was worried about losing my momentum again.
I decided to re-join a writing community I’d been part of before. I stumbled across an opportunity to join a small writing group to help with accountability. Since then, my little group has kept me regular and consistent (not a constipation advert, I swear).
If anyone is struggling for motivation, this is one thing that has worked way better than I could have ever imagined.
LOL. I’m lucky my Muse hasn’t taken kickboxing classes. Yet… What comes first for you — the plot or the characters — and why?
I write the first draft with the plot in mind, then as the character develops, I realise that the characters would have done things very differently from what I planned. After that I usually have to make big changes and re-plot the entire book lol.
Maybe one day the characters will talk to me first, but I expect if that happened the plot will change them…
Oh, yeah. My characters talk to me all the time — and the perfectly outlined plot is just a guideline. LOL. How many books have you written and which is your favourite?
More than I can count, and all? (My shifters books, but shhh, don’t tell the rest…)
But seriously, I’ve written more than a few beginnings that never got finished, and another half a dozen that did but never got edited.
Right now, I’m working on an Urban Fantasy detective series where I’ve written the first 3 of a potential 5 books. I’m working on editing them now. I’ve also written the first four of an unknown amount in a Paranormal Shifter Romance series. It’s also being editing.
Shifters? Awesome! If you were to write a spin-off about a side character, which would you pick?
While he did not appear in this particular story, Pierce would be a blast to write. He is a Draug, and he exists just to annoy Ernie, and take care of his skeleton dog.
So much fun could be had.
I can imagine. Have pets ever gotten in the way of your writing?
My cats and dogs are the boss of my house for sure. My chihuahua’s favourite place to sleep is under my jumper, which is not very useful when sitting in front of a computer. And my cats… well, they seem to believe that my hands only exist to give them cuddles. Using a mouse can become rather difficult when I’m being head-butted every time they walk past.
We are so owned by our pets! What is the most valuable piece of advice you’ve been given about writing?
Write garbage if you have to. Hell, write about taking out the garbage. But just write. You can’t get better without trying and failing, then learning what went wrong and fixing it.
True. What books do you enjoy reading?
I’m definitely an Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance kinda girl. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of other types of books I enjoy from Terry Brooks Shanarra to a suspense like Dan Brown Da Vinci code. But UF and PNR are my true love and passion.
Give me a murder mystery with werewolves and inept wizards and I’m hooked. Add in the sassy romantic lead and you have to pry my kindle out of my hands at 3am, while I mutter ‘just one more chapter’.
About the Author
Too many Ideas – Never enough time
How many jobs let you build your own world? Create strange magic? Develop a diverse cast of people who will live on in the minds of others?
As an author, Jemma Weir gets to do all these things and more, as her cats chase unicorns across the breakfast table, and werewolves dig holes in the garden to torment her chihuahua, it is always an interesting day.
Fantasy books have always been her first love, from dragons to werewolves, and vampires to elves. Now as she writes her own stories, she pulls together myths and legends, and all the crazy worlds that are her own to create stories she loves.
Working from her Scottish home, she writes fantasy, with a dash of humour, and a pinch of sass.
I hope that you’ve enjoyed this interview. Any questions for the author?
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