While I have yet to meet J.L. in person, we have been friends on Facebook for a while now. So I had to see what made this woman tick, and how she could put up with the online dating. Keep reading to find out the answers.
1. You started writing in December 2015, what have you seen change the most in the Indie community?
Technically, I started writing waaay before then. Haha! I’ve been writing ever since I was a kid, but only got back into it during my late teens/early twenties and fell back in love with it. There has been so much change in the indie community, from the algorithms of social media to the amount of drama that has erupted over the past few years. But what I’ve noticed is how the amount of support for indie authors has just skyrocketed. People view indie authors in a much more positive light than they did 10 plus years ago when indie publishing first came to be. I think it’s such a beautiful thing because indie publishing has given so much to aspiring authors, like being able to allow them to live out their dreams and get their stories out in the world.
2. What comes first for you, the plot or characters? How do you start the writing process?
Most of the time, the characters come first. I could be sitting there, minding my own business, and I start hearing voices in my head. I see scenes start to play out and start rolling through my brain and I have to grab my phone, laptop, a random piece of paper or whatever else I can find and write it down because if I don’t, I’ll forget. And that’s the most frustrating thing to me. I HATE with a burning passion when a scene comes to me and I don’t write it down, then forget it.
Lately, I’ve been trying to train myself to sit down and plot out the novel thoroughly before I start the writing process because if I don’t, then the book goes all over the place. I find it’s easier to write if I have a solid plot to go off of. In the past, I’ve developed a basic outline, but I’m trying to do better with plotting and outlining. Normally, if I’m feeling inspired, I’ll just sit down at the computer and start writing. Sometimes this doesn’t always work out in my favor, but most of the time it does.
3. What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
Oh wow, I don.t think I have many. Haha but what I have noticed when I’m writing is the facial expressions I make that mimic the characters and their actions. I need to record myself writing, but I’ve caught myself on many occasions making just the weirdest facial expressions.
4. When you’re writing an emotionally draining (sexy, sad, etc.) scene, how do you get in the mood?
For sexy, I think it goes without saying but I watch porn sometimes to get myself in that mood and headspace. I’ll also pull up some of my favorite super smutty books and read them. Some of my favorites are Alexa Riley and Madison Faye.
5. I’ve read that you’ve ventured into the online dating world, will this be influencing a future book? What has been your craziest online dating experience?
Oh gosh, I can fill up an entire book on my online dating adventures. Actually, I do plan on doing that. It’s inspiring a romantic comedy about a girl who goes through all the crazy online dating adventures I’ve gone on. So I have screenshots saved on my phone gallery of the crazy text messages I’ve gotten from guys. And they range from weird, to crazy, to straight up WTF and you have to sit there, shake your head, and wonder what would possess someone to send that to a woman. I’ve seen some doozies, let me tell you. I think the craziest one I’ve received is when I pretended to be a serial killer and he actually went along with it! I was floored. He was super sympathetic about it too, so I’m like damn. You must be really desperate. LOL.
6. I know you’re writing a mafia book at the moment, how have you researched and prepped for the genre change?
Reading! Tons of reading! And Youtube has been a huge help in learning about the mafia and the way the criminal world works. Youtube is a good source for any type of research, in my opinion. I’ve been so excited about the Social Rejects Syndicates series of books. All of us are excited. We can’t wait to show it to you guys.
7. Are you finding you like the more suspenseful writing than the sweet romance you’ve done before?
Yes! Suspenseful is my jam! Although I tend to migrate back towards sweet sometimes, but for the most part, I prefer the more suspenseful writing. Anything that gets your heart racing. I want my readers to pick up my book, and keep flipping pages until they get to the end and their immediate thought is, “wtf has she done to me? She just threw all my emotions out of whack!”
8. Do you plan on slowing down as you return to college? Do you use your college experiences in your book?
I do plan on slowing down when I return to college. It’s going to be hard to try and find that balance again, but I’m confident I can do it. Even after I finish school and begin teaching, I don’t know what my writing schedule will be like. It’s probably going to be crazy until I can learn to navigate this new career path I’m on. I haven’t used any college experience yet, but who’s to say that won’t happen in the future?
I’m hoping to have three more books written by the end of this year, then write two more in the beginning of 2021 between January and April. From there, I don’t know. I have a lot of work on the back burner that I’m trying to get organized. My very small backlist is getting an upgrade, so that might be what I work on for the remainder of 2021.
9. If you could sit and talk with your favorite author, what would you like to know?
I would love to know how they develop so many amazing stories. And what they process is? Do they plot? Are they a pantster? How are they able to create multiple personalities? That’s something I struggle with is keeping my characters personalities from mimicking another.
10. How do you handle when your muse goes quiet?
Read. Lots of reading. I try to not let it get to that point. But, in the event that does happen, I try to plot or do research when the muse goes quiet for a while. Keeping my interest in the story helps prevent that as well. If I work on one project for too long, I get bored. And I jump around from several different projects. It keeps me engaged. Takes me longer to finish something, but overall it helps me.