We sat down with Chrissy Jamieson Jones to discuss her novel and her experiences on the MA.
When did you start writing?
I’ve always loved creative writing for as long as I can remember – since primary school when we had to come up with stories for ‘Letterland’ characters like Annie Apple and Clever Cat! I started taking writing more seriously in 2015, writing some short stories and short plays. That’s when I decided I wanted to do the Bath Spa MA, to learn more and to keep me focussed.
What’s your novel called?
The working title for my first novel is Fast forward, Stop, Rewind.
Tough question. Sum up your novel in three sentences.
A poignant, thought-provoking and humorous look at thirty years of a woman’s life. When a toxic friendship takes hold, she feels she needs to escape her roots in order to try and take back control, but things don’t end up the way she’d imagined.
Contemporary book club fiction
What are the themes?
Female friendship, family relationships, loss and emotional debt.
Who is your protagonist?
Etta Barton (Aged 14, 27 and 38).
Tell us a bit about the setting.
Manchester, London, New York.
What was your favourite part of the MA?
I loved the prose workshop sessions and helping edit the work of others and hearing their feedback on mine. Everyone was brilliant and inspiring and it felt like we were part of a little team. But the real highlight was party food and homemade cakes on the last day of term!
What are you reading right now?
I literally just finished The Doll Funeral by Kate Hamer, which I loved. The plot made for a real page-turner, but not at the expense of the writing – it was beautiful.
Name some that authors have a similar style to yours?
I’d like to think I’m creating a unique character voice, along the lines of what somebody like Maria Semple or Barney Norris does. If I was being aspirational, I guess you could also compare the first person analysis of a complex friendship to Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels, but with a lighter touch.