Please welcome fellow Resplendence Author JL Wilson. Let’s get started.
Q: What advice would you give to writers just starting out?
Be disciplined. Writing is a job, more creative than some, but a job nonetheless. You can’t wait for inspiration to strike or the Muse to come visiting. You have to sit down and work at it, making sure to continue to learn as you write.
Q: What were your feelings when your first novel was accepted/when you first saw the cover of the finished product?
My first acceptance was a real soul-searcher for me. I wasn’t sure I wanted to be with an e-publisher, but a fellow author whom I respected had a good experience with that publisher, so I signed with them. Suffice it to say, the experience was NOT a good one; the publisher went out of business but I got my rights back unscathed and later sold that book to another publisher. So my first contract was a bit of a mess and my first covers were awful – I can say that because they were changed, but the one that I finally got was still not what I wanted (it’s not one of my mystery books but a romantic suspense book; I’ll leave you to figure it out ::grin::J. ) So the whole ‘ooh, look at my cover’ experience was not a good one.
Since then, though, I’ve had great editors, covers, and publishers, so I guess I got all my bad experiences out of the way early.
Q: Are you working on any books/projects that you would like to share with us? (We’ d love to hear all about them!)
I’ve got a new series starting in September with The Wild Rose Press called “The New Human Intercession”. Human Touch is the first book, followed by Living Proof then Leap of Faith.
It’s set on another planet and features telepathy, shape shifting, and the overthrow of a government. I had a LOT of fun writing it. The first book comes out this year, the second next year, and the third in late 2010 or early 2011. They’re all written & submitted & almost done with editing.
I also have 6 mysteries I’m waiting to submit then I’m moving on to a new phase in my career: I plan to work on an alternate America, a post-apocalyptic urban fantasy. I’ve got 8 books planned in that ‘world’.
Q: What is the hottest love scene you’ve written to date and why?
The hottest scene hasn’t been published – I deleted it from the book because I think it was just too over the top. Most of my books are only moderately steamy and my first-person mysteries are “closed door” sex books (they close the door so you don’t get the details).
When I had that sex scene in one book, I was toying with the idea of delving into erotica. Then I realized it just didn’t really fit with that book or those characters, so I deleted it. It might appear in a later book, though. You just never know.
Q: How anatomical are you when describing sex organs?
I’m not at all detailed. I like to leave some things up to a reader’s imagination.
Q: What are the best reviews you’ve received so far?
I’ve gotten quite a few good reviews, but one of the ones that pleased me a LOT is from a totally unexpected source, a mystery review site (http://www.fmam.biz/reviews/mar08.shtml#ifnotforyou). It was for the digital edition of If Not For You, which just came out in print. The reviewer totally got what my heroine was all about. That heroine (Layla Whitford) is a favorite of my critique partners (one person said, “I want to be Layla when I grow up.” I totally agree).
It’s always fun to get reviews you don’t expect!
Q: Have you ever encountered “negative” feed back on your work?
Oh, sure. My very first review was sort of negative. The reviewer thought it was odd that I had a car chase in Iowa, like car chases don’t happen in the Midwest or something (believe me, there’s crime in the Midwest. Oh yeah, there’s crime). It was an odd review because I got the feeling the person didn’t like reading about older heroes and heroines, but that’s what I write, so … I didn’t get too discouraged by it, not when later reviews all said how refreshing it was to have the over-40s main characters.
Q: What makes a book a page turner?
You’ve got to have a hook. Remember in Gypsy – ‘you’ve got to have a gimmick?’ In writing, you’ve got to have a hook. You’ve got to have a reason why someone wants to keep going. You need unique characters, unusual plots, or an unusual setting. My books all feature regular people like you & me who get caught in unusual situations (someone is murdered at work; they’re present when someone is killed in front of them, etc.)
I think if a reader can identify with a character then that reader will keep turning those pages.
Q: Does a hero always have to be good looking and why or why not?
I’d rather have a hero who is unique. Handsome is fine but it’s more important that they have good character and be just good people. That said, in Endurance the hero is drop-dead gorgeous, but he’s in love with a woman who’s not a stunning beauty. I love that about him!
Q: Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?
I’ve got a web site (of course): http://www.jayellwilson.com. The best place to find me is Twitter (@JLwriter) or just check here: http://tinyurl.com/ak8hl8. It lists my hang-outs
Join me on Saturday when we read an excerpt from “Human Touch.”