I have known DJ Kirkby for several years now, first as  a blogging buddy and now as a real life friend. She is a woman of great generosity and heart, both of which are evident in her new novel, Without Alice, published by Punked Books:
     Have you ever had a secret? One so important that it feels as if it will tear you in two? Stephen’s got one. He’s also got a great job, beautiful wife and an adorable son. Outwardly, his life seems perfect but it means nothing without Alice.
DJ really does write from the heart and her characters are drawn with great sensitivity and care. And when you read her blog, you find that she applies these same qualities to her life — a life which seems to me to be enormously full and enormously busy. I like to use book publications as opportunities to ask authors questions that may be of interest or help to both readers and writers alike.  The question I longed to ask DJ led to the following conversation:

I recently read a quote by Marilynne Robinson (“Gilead”, “Home”, “Housekeeping” and many non-fiction titles as well) which said that she doesn’t believe that writing should ever be a full-time job. Interesting. I know you have a job, several blogs, a family as well as your creative writing. The mind boggles at how you keep it all straight. It makes me wonder if you think Robinson is correct.  Do you think that having other jobs helps your writing? 

I am a midwife and I think that had a great influence on certain scenes in “Without Alice”.

And how do you juggle your time? 

I don’t juggle my time very successfully. My jobs have to come first because they help to pay our mortgage, as well as luxuries like riding lessons for our youngest son. Family time comes next on my list of very important things to enjoy. Writing slots into some of the hours in which I should be sleeping. I guess it’s a good thing that I’m not a great sleeper anyway.

Do you stick to a strict schedule or does it change with various days?

I don’t follow a strict writing schedule which makes me feel quite undisciplined as a writer. I’d get a lot more done if I did. The only time I follow a writing schedule is during national Novel Writing Month. The rest of the year I think about my novels in progress a lot and write in them as and when I get the time.

Do you think your Asperger’s plays a role in how you manage your time?

Being a person with autism means that I get quite stressed out if things don’t go to plan or if I can’t do things in the time slot I had planned. Which is why I try to avoid planning in any writing time. However, I do plan in many other things such as book signings and so on. I’ve got one booked for the end of January already! Then I worry that something will happen and I won’t be able to honour my event booking. I’m anxious by nature and a worrier, so much so that I’d worry if I wasn’t worrying about something.

DJ is a lovely person, and she’s written a lovely book. You can read more about Without Alice and buy it here.
And now let me direct you over to here, where I’m chatting with Lane about my character, Deborah, and learning to let go…. thanks, guys!