SUSPENSE and HORROR AUTHOR
Author name: J. J. Wilder.
About your family/background, your location:
I was born and raised in South Western Wisconsin. Still haven’t made it out of there either.
How and why did you decide to get published?
I’ve been writing since I was in middle school, starting with the sequel to Michael Chritons book, “Jurassic Park”, still have those pages too. I was making up stories and I’ve had an active imagination since I was quite young though. Once I got into the upper grades of schooling, and my writing improved, I started to think about getting my work out there for all to see.
What genre do you write? And why?
I’m a multi genre type of guy it seems. I love writing suspense and horror. There’s a bit of romance tossed into my sci-fi and thrillers, plus a bit of psychological and paranormal. I guess it’s true as to what you read is what you write since I have always enjoyed reading whatever I could get my hands on.
What is the story behind your book?
The story behind Freaks, Geeks, and Scary Things, is that it started as a present for my mother who has gone through some bad times. I wanted to give her something that I made myself, and since she was mainly my inspiration for really starting to write, I put together a collection of stories I had written over the years. Once it was together, I thought to myself, “these are good stories, and I’ve tried magazines already... So I looked up self publishing for a larger crowd.
The background of Life Coin is that I wrote the short story *seen in Freaks, Geeks, and Scary Things* and realized that I had more to say. There was a larger story I wanted to tell about the characters and the ripples they created in time.
How do you decide your book cover?
I was lucky in this regard. My current job put me into contact with a co-worker who is a graphic designer. He read my stories and the Life Coin short, and was more than willing to do some freelance work on my covers. As for the images, we worked together (though I will say it was mostly his ideas, initially) to come up with something that reflects the interior of the book.
Do you think readers decide based on book cover or book title?
Myself being a reader, I can honestly say that a good book cover or an interesting title will at least get me to grab the book to look it over. While I am not always sold on the fiction included, it’s that initial glance over the shelves that draws a reader in. It’s worth putting the same, or at least close to the same, amount of time you did on the fiction or interior as you do the exterior.
If you write fiction; What’s the source of your inspiration? How much of YOU show up in your writing?
As many writers and authors before me have said, there is no one source of inspiration. My second book, Life Coin, came from a short story that was inspired by a 30 second commercial about life insurance a few years ago. Other than that, my mind is always working on something. It’ll be a song lyric, a movie, a book, a conversation with friends, anything of the sort may be the catalyst to get my imagination going as to how I could turn that into MY story. How much of me shows up is up to myself. There are characters I’ve written that honestly could be named directly after myself, and some that are so out of myself that I don’t know how they are living in my book.
Use one word/phrase to describe your book:
Life Coin: A romantic tale of two souls connected at first sight.
Freaks, Geeks, and Scary Things: A ride into the dark recesses of the human psyche.
How have you found the writing process?
It’s sometimes a long and drawn out time, but if what you are doing fills you with enthusiasm, hours can go by before you realize.
Have you ever experienced writer’s block? How did you tackle it?
Once, for about three years due to work and other constraints, as far as overcoming it, I guess it really took talking with a friend about a story I had started, *Life Coin short story* and having them say “I want to read that!” That’s when I realized, ‘okay, I gotta finish this someway, somehow.’ I sat down to write that afternoon and added another five pages to the first 10 that had been sitting on my zip drive for too long.
Do you have a blog? What do you write about?
I do have a blog at www.strangeasfiction.wordpress.com. As of now, it is mainly updates about how things are going with the marketing and selling of the books. There are also some of my stories on it for readers to get a glimpse of my style. I’m working on adding more to it. Lately though, there has been one book review included, hoping for more as time goes on.
What books are on your shelf at home?
Right now, my bookshelf is a small area of the apartment I’m living in. So, I've only the good ones that I can read over and over. J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter series, a few of my favourite Stephen King novels *Misery, Carrie, Four Past Midnight...* and of course, the essentials of writing... guides, dictionary, and the like. As well as a few Star Wars novels...gotta have my connection to the galaxy far, far away.
Any awards/achievement you want to share?
Currently have none, hoping to change that soon though.
Who’s your favourite author?
That’s not fair. But if I must, Stephen King. In a close match with Drew Karpashyn, Max Brooks, J.K. Rowling and R.A. Salvatore.
What are you good at as an individual?
I am good at looking beyond what I see. I think it comes in part from being a writer, it has opened my mind to see what others may or what may be behind some statemen
What form of entertainment do you enjoy most and why?
I feel like I’m betraying my own art to say it. But I love movies. The good ones that will draw you into their world and before you know it, it’s over...and, you don’t want it to end. While I enjoy curling up and losing myself in a good book, movies still top the list.
What are your other interests?
I also like to take walks while listening to music, or go for hikes and listen to nature. I like to wander around the mall, stopping at odd stores or small areas to see what new things are out there.
Your favourite pet?
We've had many in my time, the one that sits highest to me though would be our old mutt we had since I was young. He was my brother, he was six months when i was a year old.
What’s your choice meal/favourite restaurant?
Right now, I could so go for some BBQ Chicken from Famous Daves.
What’s your music choice?
Mostly rock, metal, classic rock, some pop music has caught my eye though.
Name your favourite city in the world.
I don’t know if I have a favourite, but there is one I would love to see sooner rather than later. London.
Name your favourite world leader and why.
Not really a big fan of any current one, though I like where President Obama is going. Now if we can give him more time.
If you had one wish, what would it be?
The selfish marketing side of my brain says, “that more and more people will be entranced by my books and buy them”. While the more rational part says, “That those who do read my books, will come away changed by the experience.”
If you can change one thing, what would it be?
Rid the world of hatred and intolerance so that we as the human race can move forward to a brighter and better future. When we finally come together as a society, only then will we be nearer to cracking the secret of warp drive technology to boldly go where no one has gone before!
What would you say you’re bad at?
While writing: being overly self critical about what I’ve written, even in just the rough state. In life: fixing cars.
What’s the most embarrassing thing you’ve done?
I've done my fair share of embarrassing things, but they escape me at the moment. I will tell the story of the time my cousin, a few friends and I were hanging out. And for some reason, I decided it would be a good idea to hang onto the roof of my cousin's car while he drove it around the block. As you can tell, I survived, save for the instance of getting off the roof when my cousin hit the gas and flung me off, with my arm being run over by his rear tire. No injuries to report though, save for the wicked case of, "what the heck was I thinking?"
Anything else your readers don’t know about you?
I write for you, reader. That is my major goal in my design. I come up with interesting tales that really grab my own attention, but I write them in a way that, I hope, grabs YOUR attention.
What’s your favourite quote?
"The beginning is easy; what happens next is much harder. - Anonymous".
Why should a reader buy your book?
Buy my books for the main purpose of losing yourself in a world of strange, yet familiar, things.
What is your last word?
Do or do not... there is no try. – Yoda
Where can your book be found/bought/website:
My books can be found at: www.strangeasfiction.wordpress.com where are links there to my e-stores. They are also on Amazon: Life Coin & Freaks, Geeks, and Scary Things Vol. 1
Thank you so much Jeremy for taking time out to answer these questions.
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