Jay Moussa-Mann is the author of Edward’s First Love and a short story author and screenwriter based in the North East of England. She has written and directed TV productions for a nonprofit organisation as well as several short films one of which won the Special Category Award at the International Sabaoth Film Festival. Her short story “Home Tomorrow” was published in the Home Tomorrow Anthology through 6e publishing. She has recently discovered a love for running, having spent her whole life being the ‘non sporty one,’ and enjoys a range of artistic outlets such as painting, art journaling and composing music.
Author Q & A
Can you tell us about the inspiration behind this story?
I had never realised how famous and how instrumental the Stockton to Darlington railway was in railway history. Since I live right next to Middlesbrough train station we often watch trains coming in and out. The topic caught me after watching a documentary about it and with further research I came across the fact that the railway pioneer Edward Pease, a key player in creating the Stockton to Darlinton railway, did not actually attend the opening celebrations due to the death of his son. It just got me thinking about how we create goals in our lives, living for them and making them so important and then in a moment, all our priorities can change.
When did you start writing?
I always naturally [have] been a creative writer. I was homeschooled until the age of 14 (when I went to boarding school) and English was always my favourite lesson, especially creative writing and poetry. I stopped for a long time during my teenage years and started more seriously again in my twenties.
Do you have a favourite genre?
I tend towards Sci-Fi and Fantasy but on the other end of the spectrum realistic stories really draw me in. I am currently enjoying “The Casual Vacancy” by JK Rowling. Brilliant characters!
What’s your favourite book or short story?
I’m not sure if I have a favourite book. There are so many great ones out there it’s hard to choose just one. I find myself going back to “The Magician’s Nephew” by C S Lewis and “Rebecca” by Daphne de Maurier. I also love Daphne de Maurier’s short stories.
What has been your biggest challenge as a writer?
Writing outside of my comfort zone and in a style I might not usually try. Once I made a habit of reading short stories, I began to branch out in the topics and styles in which I wrote in. “Edward’s First Love” was an example of this. It was not a topic I would have naturally gone for and I really enjoyed the research side of it.
Are you currently working on a full-length novel and looking for a publisher?
I have very tentatively made a start on my first ever novel. It is a completely new medium for me as I have mostly written screenplays, short films and short stories. I find that the planning for a screenplay and a novel are fairly similar and the main important points like character development and plot points are the same.
What do you most enjoy about writing?
Writing allows me to say and think what I might not be able to say to friends and family. I am quite a quiet person who does not have a loud voice in a crowd so writing lets me speak out and be heard where I may not be in other situations. I relish exploring characters and seeing what they will do in certain situations. I know how dark and deadly we all can be and being able to use fiction to explore the depths of people is fascinating to me.
Amazon: Friend or foe?
You can visit her at www.jbmoussa.com and follow her on Twitter at @jbmoussa