How to succeed as a writer in tough times, with Jessica Duchen

by Joanna Pieters | Follow her on Facebook here

Novelist, playwright, journalist, librettist and blogger, Jessica Duchen has been writing professionally for nearly 30 years, during which time the world for writers has changed beyond recognition. 

While many writers have given up, defeated by decreasing rates, increased competition and the impact of new technology, Jessica has found ways to take her writing into new directions. 

Core to her success has been finding new ways of presenting her work. She’s turned her novels into plays and concert versions, and often creates expanded versions of her journalism for her own community.

Jessica’s fifth novel, Ghost Variations, is set in 1930s Germany, based on a true story and full of spirit messages and real-life characters. After publishing four with a traditional company, she’s now working with the innovative publisher Unbound, which uses a crowd-funding model while keeping conventional editorial standards. She shares what an extraordinarily uplifting experience it has been, and how she got her novel fully funded in just 12 days.

Despite this, Jessica describes herself as being very uncomfortable with the unknown. We talk about how relationships have been core to expanding her work, and allowing her to go in new directions. She also shares her frustration about the publishing world, and how she has refused to compromise on her core values to be more commercially successful.

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