Today we have a special guest stopping by our blog for a chat. Thank you J.M for being here today!
1. How did you come up with the concept for this book?
The initial idea for Failing Test came from a series of recurring lucid dreams that I’d had from my high school years up until last year. Unfortunately, as soon as I finished Failing Test, the dreams all but stopped. I can’t remember the last time I had one now. Too bad, they were a blast!
2. How did you come up with the names for the characters?
Test’s name came to me out of the blue one day. It was seriously as if someone had whispered it in my ear. That was actually the catalyst for me to begin writing the book. The rest of the characters were a little more thought out, but not to the point of tedium.
3. How much are you and the characters alike?
There’s no doubt that Test is a lot like myself when I was a teen, but then again, Test is probably a lot like many teenage boys out there. I always want my readers to be able connect with my characters, even if it’s only one of them, and be able to pretend that it’s them in the story. Funny, as I get older I now find myself identifying more with Cliff.
4. Do you read a lot and what are you reading now?
I do read a lot. I love reading! My New Year’s resolution this year was to read in many different genres. Here’s a list of what I’ve read so far this year:
Powerless: The Shadowing by Jason Letts
33 A.D. by David McAfee
Cameo the Assassin by Dawn McCullough White
Phantom Rising by Dawn Judd
Abominable by William Meikle
Out of Time by Monique Martin
Inevitable by Jason Letts
A Land of Ash by David Dalglish
The Wendigo by Algernon Blackwood
Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer
Royal Switch by Sean Sweeney
The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan
I just started New Life Incorporated by Maria Rachel Hooley, and then have the first book in Dean Koontz’ Frankenstein series titled The Prodigal Son up next. I have to be careful about how much I read because it starts to cut into my writing time. At one point I told myself that I wouldn’t read while I was writing a book. That worked for about two days and then I caved.
5. What made you decide to go paranormal and YA?
It wasn’t really a conscious decision, but once I realized that’s where it was heading, I was excited about it. I had a blast putting myself back into the high school frame of mind. It was cathartic.
6. How did the cover come about?
I had the concept in mind from the minute I started writing Failing Test. The cover for A Shadow’s Light was actually a little harder to come to terms with. I like how my covers don’t make immediate sense, but once you’ve read the book, it is obvious. I’ve had several readers and fans email me in that respect and it makes me smile each time
7. So what is your next project and when is it due out?
I’m currently about half way finished with the first draft of my next novel. It is a SciFi Apocalyptic Fantasy titled “Before & Gone”. I’m hoping that it will be available in September of this year. After that, I’m hoping to have the third book in The Shadow Series, tentatively titled “Sanctify”, available in December. I’m having a blast right now!
8. Do you have a daytime job or are you a full time writer?
I do work full time as the estimation manager in a metal fabrication shop. I get an hour lunch every day, and it is spent with my office door closed working on my current W.I.P. Someday I hope to be able to write full time…definitely.
9. How did you get into writing novels and were you worried about peoples reactions to your books?
I’ve always been a creative person, and before writing novels, music had been my outlet. That portion of my life came to an end and I found myself lost. Work was horrible as the company had laid off a bunch of people. Those of us left were having to work ridiculous amounts of hours. I started writing in an effort to get away from reality for a while. I discovered that it was an outlet that proved far more satisfying than playing music ever had. I can’t imagine life without it.
I didn’t really worry about what people thought. I hadn’t even thought about the possibility of receiving bad reviews. My only goal, God’s honest truth, was to provide an outlet to other people who were struggling with the harsh realities of life. Writing the books gave that to me, and I hope that reading the books gives that to others.
10. One last thing do you collect anything personally?
HA! My wife would laugh at this question. I’m better now that I’m older, but when I was a kid I was a certified pack rat. I went so far as to collect used spark plugs. Now, I’ve toned it down a bit. I still have my comic book collection from when I was a kid, but I don’t add to it much anymore. I guess you could say that I started collecting children eight years ago, but decided that one boy and one girl was the perfect amount to that collection, so we ended it there! ;)
Collecting a reading audience is now what drives me. I’ve said it a million times and I will never stop saying it. Thank you to all that have given my work a chance. Whether you enjoyed it or not, I appreciate you giving it a go!
Thanks so much to J.M for stopping by and letting us learn a little more about him and his book Failing test. Available now at Amazon!