Wednesday, March 19, 2014

An Interview With Author JD Faver & Her Three Top Tips For Writers

Today you get to read my interview of JD Faver. And don't forget to come back and read her excerpt from The Reluctant Rancher on Saturday.  

Please welcome JD.
JDF: Hey LA, thanks so much for having here today.
LA: Hey back. I'm so pleased your with us. Tell us about your current series.
JDF: I actually have 2 series, but both are contemporary and set in Texas. Badlands, the series, is set in the Panhandle of North Texas with cowboys and big ranches. The Edge of Texas series is set on the coast near the border with Mexico. Both are romantic suspense, with The Edge being edgier, while Badlands has cowboys. 
LA: What’s next for you?
JDF: I’m just finishing BAD DREAMS, #4 in the Edge of Texas series. It’s a romantic suspense/thriller I expect to be released in April 2014. 
LA: That's soon!! How has your experience with self-publishing been?
JDF: It’s been fabulous! A friend, Anne Marie Novark, led the way and has mentored me from day one. I try to pay it forward and share what I’ve learned with others as I fumble my way through the publishing maze. I’m a member of RWA and attend 2 local Houston-area chapters. I was especially thrilled when I made PAN in a couple of months with the release of my romantic thriller, ON ICE. Since RWA has such higher standards for indies, I was really irked, but I thought I should go through the rigmarole to pave the way for other indies and to give us a place among the traditionals. 
LA: Do you use a pen name? If so, how did you come up with it?
JDF: I use my initials to differentiate my life as a writing professional from my former life as a healthcare and nutrition professional. 
LA: What is your writing routine like? 
JDF: I write every day. It’s as simple as that. I turn on the computer every morning and go from there. Not steadily, but I do have a daily word count goal. I make myself turn it off in the evening so I can relax and gear down. Otherwise, those characters dancing in my head would have me writing all night long. I have a PC, a laptop and a netbook. I also have lots of jump drives so I can write anywhere. I have a group of friends who like to join me in writing sprints online. This is when we gather in IM and create a chat window. We do timed word sprints, usually lasting 45 minutes with a 15 minute break. These are very productive. 
LA: Having achieved your goal to be a published author, what is the most rewarding thing? 
JDF: For me, the most exciting thing is when a reader contacts me on my website or some social media to tell me they like my books. That is the frosting on the cake. And then there are the times when I have introduced myself to some famous author, whom I admire, and they respond with, “Oh, I know who you are.” Yes, I almost swoon right there. 
LA: Which aspect of writing do you love the best, and which do you hate the most? 
JDF: I love everything about writing. I’m eager to revise and polish. The only thing I ever hated about writing was the dreaded synopsis…guess what? I don’t have to ever write one again. Yay!
LA: Describe for us, if you will, your writing style, as in plotter vs. seat of the pants, and do you put more time into developing characters or plot or are they equal?
JDF: I just write. The first year I did NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) I over-prepared, as most Virgos do. I made a very detailed outline and filled the fridge/freezer with easy to grab foodstuffs so I didn’t starve. At midnight, on the first day of November, 2005, my brain went sideways and I wrote an entirely different book. I finished BAD MEDICINE in the first 18 days of NaNo with 56k words. I was so manic and all my friends were still writing, so I grabbed another novel I had picked at over time (THE DOCTOR’S CHOICE) and finished it in the last 12 days. I had 69 pages of it to start. Of course, they were a mess. I revised BAD MEDICINE to a respectable 93k word romantic suspense/thriller and now it’s the first in my Edge of Texas series. THE DOCTOR’S CHOICE became the first of the Badlands series.
LA: I love NaNoWriMo, it's very inspiring to just write. Was there a person who inspired you to write?
JDF: Absolutely! Sister Anastasia, my second-grade teacher, was the best! She gave me a box of colored chalk and allowed me to stay in at recess to draw ‘sets’ on the 3 chalkboards. I wrote out my 3-act plays by hand (3 acts to go with the 3 chalkboards) for each member of my cast and directed, produced and acted in my plays. How is that for a great education?
LA: Pretty awesome.  Do you have key advice for other writers? 
JDF: Three top tips:  

  • Just write. You truly get better as you go along. I consider writing my full-time job and I write every single day. I’ve logged over 1,600 days of daily writing, since I made a commitment to do so. The best thing is, you’re always in the story. No groping around wondering where you left off. The characters are always right there whispering the next line. Never had writer’s block. Never will. Not sure I believe in it.
  • Decide. Are you a writer or a hobbyist? If writing is your hobby, have fun with it. But, if you consider yourself to be a writer, make it your career…your job. Write and be proud of it. Don’t listen to negative people. Do take classes and read Swain and Vogler (among many others), enter contests, get feedback, polish your work and never, ever give up.
  • Mingle. Hang out with other writers. If you’re a hobbyist, they may not take you seriously, but if they see that you’re seriously trying to improve and break into the big wonderful world of publishing, most will embrace you with open arms. Writers are some of the most generous people. I call my wonderful critique group and the writer meetings I attend, “mingling with my species”. They always renew my spirit and reset my drive. I wish all writers lots of words.
LA: If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would it be, and what would you talk about?

JDF: Mae West. I was a tall, teen and terribly shy, I used to pretend I was Mae West. When I walked into a gathering, I would slip into my Mae persona. Instead of running off at the mouth, I would take a deep breath and roll back on one hip to answer. I adopted her habit of taking a beat before responding, along with a long, blue-eyed gaze, and lowered my voice a notch. Took a lot of the heat off.
LA: Someone has cut you off in the checkout line. How do you handle it?

JDF: You mean if I don’t stab them to death? Well, I’ve never had someone cut in front of me in the checkout line. Maybe there’s a reason for that. <g>
LA: It's the gaze, for sure. Tell us something about yourself we might not expect!

JDF: I used to be an avid sailor. I competed in Hobie Cat (catamaran) races and had a shelf full of trophies, before I got tired of dusting them. The kicker is that I cannot swim. Yes, I’ve been way out in the Gulf of Mexico or on a big lake. Yes, I’ve fallen off the boat. Yes, I always wore my life vest.
LA: Do you have a favorite quote, quip, or saying? What is it?

JDF:  I have two: 
“I yam what I yam” ~ Popeye the Sailor Man 
“Don’t let the fear of striking out keep you from stepping up to bat” ~ Babe Ruth
LA: Societal pet peeve … sound off.

JDF: I really, really, really am allergic to bigotry. Please! You don’t have to be any particular color, sex, religion or sexual orientation to be my friend. Just be a decent human being, have some brains, and try not to be a complete d**k!


THE RELUCTANT RANCHER (Badlands~Contemporary Western Romantic Suspense)

E.J. Kincaid has one thing on his mind. He wants to get the hell out of Dodge, or in this case, Langston, Texas. He sees nothing but miles and miles of Texas panhandle, even though his daddy does seem to own most of it. He wouldn’t be here at all, except that his father committed a heinous crime, for which he is serving a life sentence in a maximum security prison. E.J. feels obligated to stay and try to hang onto the land and cattle empire his father built for him. He has also infuriated the local veterinarian, Jenna Lewis, who thinks he’s a complete jackass.

In spite of their thorny relationship, a prank of E.J.’s turns the tables on the lovely red-head who proves to be both a worthy adversary as well as a fiercely loyal ally. As his world starts to fall apart, it’s always Jenna who stands by his side. When murder, cattle rustling and kidnapping occur right in his big back yard, E.J. turns to one of the local ranchers who hates everything about him, especially his name. Will E.J. be able to rescue the woman he loves, or will his efforts result in forfeiting both their lives?

Cowboys, murder and romance. Oh, my! Grab your copy and read a spell...

Amazon US
Amazon UK

J.D. Faver lives near Houston, Texas. She writes steamy contemporary romance and romantic thrillers/mystery/suspense. She loves to kill people...on virtual paper, that is. Although she writes daily, she still finds time to enjoy family and friends. She is a foodie and an adventurous cook. Determined to preserve generations of family recipes, she is publishing a series of cookbooks entitled A Texan in the Kitchen.

Gardening is another passion (and linked to the food thing) since she has an orchard of fruit trees and berry bushes/vines in her back yard. Tomatoes and other veggies round out her kitchen garden.

All other interests (painting, drawing, sewing, quilting, crocheting, weaving, stained glass and pottery) have taken a back seat since they require hands-on participation which is difficult if your fingers are always on the keyboard.
An active member of several Houston writer's organizations, she belongs to National RWA and is a member of Houston chapters.

She is owned by two cats and a small, yappy rescue dog. As a former educator and healthcare professional, she is an advocate for children, animals and elderly/disabled individuals.

She would rather be sailing or on a beach somewhere, but if not, you can probably find her with her fingers on a keyboard, pouring word images onto the virtual films playing in her head.

Find JD:

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