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Debut Author: Jessica Jarlvi

As a new author, the world of publishing is relatively new, so I wanted to talk to someone who had recently published their first book. Here's my interview with Jessica Jarlvi, author of When I Wake Up.

Tell us about your life before you became an author?

I have lived on three different continents where I have worked in journalism and marketing. Along the way, I have also had three amazing children.

You were one of the winners of the Montegrappa Writing Prize, hosted at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature in 2016. What made you decide to enter this competition, and what made you decide to write a thriller?

I had been writing fiction in my mother tongue, Swedish, but one day my husband asked if I could please write something in English so that he could actually read it! That’s how my novel came about and I sent the first couple of chapters to the Montegrappa competition to test the waters and see if it was any good. The reason for writing a thriller: I wanted to create a mystery for the reader to solve.

Where did you get the idea for your book?

My characters. I select characters that I find interesting before I decide what the plot is going to be.

What impact has being a published author had on your life?

This was my dream and it shows that it’s worth being persistent when you want to achieve something.

What’s a typical day like for you?

No day is the same. My day job is in marketing but I also have three children, so the writing has to fit around that – I squeeze it in whenever I can normally early mornings, evenings and weekends).

How do you find time to work a day job, write novels and parent your children? What advice do you have for other mothers?

It’s challenging but I’m the type of person who likes to keep busy. My advice would be to be super-efficient but to also recharge from time to time. It’s difficult to be creative if you’re burnt out!

What do you do to relax?

I hang out with my family – we always have fun together, have a date night with my wonderful husband, read, watch a movie or do some exercise.

Who inspired your career and what’s the greatest piece of career advice you’ve ever been given?

Every author I read growing up inspired me. I knew I wanted to be an author but life got in the way for a while. The best advice is to keep going no matter what. Never give up.

What are your future plans? Where do you see your career headed?

I’m currently writing my second book and I have plenty of ideas for future books. Writing makes me happy. It’s important to have goals, and working towards achieving them should be a joy. Life is short – you have to go for it and sometimes that means taking risks.

What are your insights into the future of publishing?

I think we should embrace the ebook – I believe it’s making people read more. It certainly means I buy more books than ever!

To contact Jessica:

Twitter: @JessicaJarlvi


I'm Karen, a best-selling novelist who left her corporate life to pursue my dream of becoming a writer. Since then, I've written everything from travel articles to web copy before winning a novel writing competition which led to a 3-book deal. 


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