Please welcome my fellow Resplendence author Jan Scarborough. Jan with so many books published, How do you make time to write?
It’s hard. I have a day job, so finding time to write is not easy. My New Year’s Resolution is to do a better job in 2016 in carving out that time.
Q: Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
My biggest problem is coming up with “things” to happen to my characters. Sometimes I get ideas from things that happen to me. Other times, I just make them up. The point is to make the hero and heroine suffer. I don’t feel as if I’m ruthless enough.
Q: How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?
Writing romance, I know I will have a happily-ever-after ending. Getting there is fun. Over the years, I have taken classes or attended presentations, and I’ve pulled together ideas from many other authors. I have created a form that I fill out with important things about the hero and heroine like goal, motivation, and conflict. I come up with a back story for both. Once that happens, you put the characters on stage and find out what happens to them.
Q: Why did you decide to write western romance?
My first contemporary Western was Kentucky Cowboy. I write about Kentucky, but I also wanted to use a cowboy character. That’s when I discovered the Professional Bull Riders. I’ve attended PBR events, watched specials on television, and read books about PBR stars. It’s not out of the question for a bull rider to come from the South. They all don’t come from the West. In fact, many famous riders come from Brazil or Australia. Well, once I’d come up with my cowboy, it was easy to create a story about his return to Kentucky so that it fit into my Bluegrass Reunion series.
I also have a Montana Ranchers series that I wrote with author Maddie James. It was her idea, and I’m flattered she asked me to join in. We both wrote the free Montana McKenna’s Prequel. Then I wrote two books: Brody and Mercer. Maddie wrote Callie and Parker. These are the children of James McKenna. Currently, I’m writing the story of James’ widow Liz.
And what fun! This summer my husband and I are vacationing in Montana at a dude ranch. I’m sure I’ll get more story ideas!
Q: It looks like you’ve dipped your toe into the self-publishing waters. What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?
When you self-publish a book, you’re your own boss. You are responsible for doing everything to get that book in front of the public. You don’t just write. You must pay for editing and copyediting. You must pay for a professional-looking cover. If you can’t do it yourself, you must hire someone to format your book. All authors must market their books. It doesn’t matter if you are traditionally published or self-published.
Q: Why did you choose this route?
Frankly, I was tired of rejection letters. I spent many years chasing the dream of getting “the call” from a traditional publisher. Then Resplendence came along and thankfully published my books. Another small press also published my books, but it went out of business in October. I received the rights back for several novels. I am lucky my husband knows computers and is willing to format my books for me.
Q: If you weren’t writing, what would you be doing?
You mean, besides the day job? LOL! I’d be taking horseback riding lessons. Every week I take a lesson on an American Saddlebred horse. It’s my way of getting a “horse fix” without owning one. Or I might be taking a Zumba class.
Q: Can we get an idea of what you’ve got coming up for readers?
I’m writing Liz, book six of the Montana Ranchers series. After that, I’ll be working on a small contemporary series set in the Kentucky Bluegrass. Then I’ll plunge into the revision of my medieval romance My Lord Raven.
Q: Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?
Follow me on Twitter @romancerider
Join me on Saturday to read a sexy excerpt from Jan’s latest book Mercer. ~Tina