Author: House of 1000 Books

Reading buff. Book nerd. Page turning fanatic. Creatorof words. Want-a-be blogging aficionado.

11 Amazing Writing Tips You Need To Know About Right Now!

This morning I was on Twitter, still in bed, trying to figure out if I should forgive Father Time for inventing Mondays or if I should just let it slide. It seems like he’s pulling that stunt every week, even though he knows I hate Mondays.

So there I was laying in bed, reading loads of tweets of look at me! I just got 1000 followers, or here’s a Monday monkey to make your day, and if you love me and you want to show it, send me a gif. You know, the usual stuff.

Among the chitter and chatter of all the Tweets hypnotically running down my screen, a question caught my eye. The problem was along the lines of, what is your biggest pet peeve when you are trying to write?

With over 100 answers I decided to check some out to try and ease the pain of the Monday morning blues.

Some of the posts were:

  • When my phone rings.
  • When somebody doesn’t believe I’m writing.
  • When somebody is looking over my shoulder.
  • When somebody asks me a question.
  • When your dog needs to go pee.

Do you see the pattern here? It seems that almost everyone that answered had one common pet peeve in common, interruptions.

What pain interruptions can be, right? I mean, you sit down, try and write, and then the door flies open. It’s your dog with those eyes….”I need to pee, or I’m going to shit on your floor” eyes. Or you are typing away, the neighbour starts to blare their music, either causing you to begin to tap your fingers along with the catchy tunes or more likely, make you spazz right out.

Did you know that it takes an average of 23 minutes to return to the original task you were working on?

Ok, so, I admit, I’m not an author, but I do like to write, so I think I am qualified to give advice on this overly annoying matter. Well, second thought, maybe not as qualified as a guidance counsellor, life coach, or something like that, but I do have my share of getting sidetracked when I am trying to write, not to mention a tone of other tasks in my life.

A few of these tricks might not help you out at work, but while you are writing, I firmly believe that most of them will work. They work for me, but hey, maybe I’m just gullible enough to fall for my own tricks!

1. Schedule Your Time

time-371226_960_720Your time is important. Even if you don’t’ realize how important it is, you have to understand that there are only so many hours in the day. That means, if you want to write every day without being interrupted with other chores, you need to schedule the time.

Say that you know you have homework due on Wednesday, or your wife needs you to pick up the kids at 8:00 pm from karate classes, schedule time around it.

I read in a book, I’m not sure what one, I think it might have been Getting Things Done by Stephen Covey, where he says that you should schedule all your minutes. I tried it, and honestly, it is tough, but not impossible. So record yourself some time each day to write where you know you won’t bet interrupted.

2. Leave Your Phone Out of the Room.

“Oh the mighty cell phone, how you are my everything!” Nowadays you can’t drive down the road without seeing somebody walking on the sidewalk with their cell phone in view. They could be texting, talking, or maybe just holding it. The fact is, it is there, and it is calling their name all day, every day, and every breathing minute.

That goes the same for you. Face it, if you are like the majority of the population, your phone is usually pretty close by, whispering your name, asking you to check your email, check your facebook, or just to check the time every five minutes.

Simple solution, leave the phone in the other room. It might be hard at first, but eventually, you will know that everything will be ok and the phone will be just fine without you. Your phone will understand the neglection and will even forgive you eventually.

3. Close all Internet Windows

student-849822_960_720When you are writing, keep all your extra internet windows closed. Who needs their Twitter, Facebook, or email open. Checking it now, or in 30 minutes after scheduled writing time is up, in most cases doesn’t matter. That email is still going to be there, and that post where you just need to leave a thumbs up is always going to be there waiting for you to do the job, and click it!

My suggestion would be that you don’t’ have any of your programs open at all except your writing programs like OpenOffice or Word.

If you really want to see how much time you spend on sites not related to your tasks, install a time tracker like Webtime Tracker or similar. It will track how much time you spend on each site during your writing session, and it will give you a great idea how long you are actually writing.

4. Tell People That You Are Writing

If you live with others, just tell people that you are writing and not to bother you. Tell them your door is going to be closed and you will come out when you are done. If that doesn’t’ work, put a lock on your door and lock them out.

You probably won’t have to to go the extent of putting a lock on the door, but there is a possibility that you will make your housemates aware that you are taking some time for yourself and writing.

5. It’s Ok To Say No

yes-2069850_960_720.pngIt’s ok to say no. If the expectation is set that you will be writing at a particular time every day, your door is closed, and you get interrupted by somebody coming in and asking you to do something that isn’t’ important, just say no, and that you are writing.

Of course, you have to judge how important the thing you are saying no to is. For instance, would you mind grabbing the baby, she’s climbing inside of the stove is something that you probably would want to say yes too. On the other hand, can you come down and do the laundry would be a no. That would be something you would have scheduled or planned on as an interruption and work around.

6. Noise

Yes, noise. The sound is, and if it’s not your noise it will drive you mad!
For instance, you are sitting there on a Saturday evening, everything is quiet, and you get your groove on. Your neighbours come home, and they are in the party mood. The next thing you know you hear MC Hammer blasting through your walls!

What do you do? Well, you make your own noise. Put on some music before you start. Make it loud enough so you know it will drown out the neighbours. A better solution is to buy yourself a cheap set of noise-cancelling headphones where you can slip them on and down out the outside noise!

Think about it, it will just be you, your writing, and the soothing sounds of baby whales eating fish, or whatever other music you use to relax you.

7. Pets

cat-3695040_960_720Look after your pets before you start. Walk them and feed them. That will hopefully give them enough attention that they won’t be a nuisance. If they continue to be a bother, put them out of your room and shut the door.

Guess what? Cats and dogs fit their little paws around door nobs to let themselves back in, and their thumbs don’t work the same as ours.

8. Monkey Brain

If your brain is anything like mine, it is like a pack of wild monkies jumping around a MacDonald’s playroom. Bouncing all over the place with thoughts going every which way. Try to do some breathing exercises.

Seriously!

The next time you find yourself having thoughts try the following.

Take a deep breath. Breath in for the count of seven. Hold it for a second in your lungs. Let it out slowly for a count of six. That’s one. Repeat.

1..2…3…4….5…6….7…hold…out…6..5…4…3…2…1…That’s two. Do that all the way until you get to 10.

Hopefully, you will be relaxed at the end of it.

9. The Mess

chaos-485502_960_720Tame the beast! Clutter won’t help you to concentrate. The site of it will distract you, and you will more than likely find yourself fidgeting with something. Put things away where they belong, and the trash in the trash. Or you can do what I do, and open a drawer and dump everything in. Don’t worry, the mess will be there for you the next time you open the drawer waiting patiently for you to put it away.

10. Being Hungry

Feed the beast! Don’t’ let yourself work on writing if you are hungry. Well, unless it’s an emotional scene where you are writing about a bunch of starving orphans, and you really want to make an honest connection.

11. Plan for Interruptions

hand-3190204_960_720Figure out what could possibly interrupt you and plan to counter it ahead of time before it happens.

If you know that you are going to be heading out to a buddies house at 4:30 and it’s 3:00 right now, schedule a 1-hour writing session. Put on music that you can focus on while writing if you think the neighbours are going to be annoying and start blaring Sonny and Cher. Have a snack before you start to get into the groove of writing. Those are just a few examples, but you get the point. If you figure something is going to come up, plan to counter it.

Conclusion

Well, there you go, folks! 11 things that could help you cut down on interruptions while you are trying to work! Try them out, you never know what may help you on your journey to being an uninterrupted writer! Good luck, and enjoy your writing!


 

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Why Dark Flowers By Caytlyn Brooke Will Change Your Mind About Fairies

Are you one of those people who think fairies are adorable, tiny, mysterious beings that come and sprinkle their whimsical fairy dust all over the place making everything smell like cotton candy?

“Oh, they are so tiny and so harmless, right?”

Well then, I have some rather unfortunate news for you regarding fairies! They could be possibly the root of all evil! Continue reading “Why Dark Flowers By Caytlyn Brooke Will Change Your Mind About Fairies”

16 Questions – Johanna L Randle- The Inevitable Fate of E & J

Topher Hoffman: Today I would like to introduce to you an author of YA fiction! I am excited to introduce her, and she’s I’m sure she’s excited to share with you her writing world, and her first full-length novel called The Inevitable Fate of E & J! So I say, enough of the small talk, let’s get the ball rolling, and let me present to you this fabulous new author! Welcome, Johanna L. Randle to the House of 1000 books!

Welcome Johanna to the pages of the House of 1000 books blog, your time is very well appreciated and thank you for taking the time to answer some questions!

As I read your profile on Twitter, I realized that you are a number cruncher with a degree in psychology! When did you know that your passion didn’t lie within those fields and that your magical world was waiting to be written?

jlrquote1Johanna L. Randle: Honestly, I’ve always known I wanted to be a published author. I love books so much, and they’ve helped me through my entire life. I’d stay in the classroom on recess and write stories. I have tons of notebooks with stories I wrote as a kid. I wanted to be a part of the world so badly. The world where my words can bring a smile to someone’s face, make them laugh, or especially, help them relate to one of my characters. However, crippling self-doubt was always an issue with me, along with that logical part of my brain telling me I needed a “real” career. Two of the biggest lies I ever told myself.

It’s funny, I went to school originally to become a teacher. My first class was a psychology course, and I fell in love with that field. I knew early on that I didn’t want to be a psychologist but wanted to focus instead on child development. However, in order to make a huge difference in the field, you need a Ph.D., which is just not feasible at this point in my life. Maybe someday.

The number crunching came about in an odd sort of way. You know those personality tests that tell you what career you should be in? (I obviously love those, because well, psychology.) Anyway, everyone I’ve ever taken has told me accounting is one of the best fields for me. I’ve always avoided it because I have a creative mind and accounting sounded, to be honest, utterly boring. I’m lucky enough to be in a company where the leaders understand that I get bored easily (see the previous sentence about the creative mind). Because of this, a position opened up in accounting, and they let me move departments. I ended up really enjoying the work. As far as day jobs go, it’s a great placeholder until when (if) I make it big time as an author.

TH:  In your personal belief, what do you think makes a good plot in a story?

JLR: What makes a good plot in a story, to me, is one where you can fall completely into it. Where the world around you disappears, and you are living in the plot the entire time you read. This also requires that the characters involved in the plot are relatable, likable, even if you like to hate them, and entertaining. For me, the best plots have always been character driven. While I admire writers who can create a wonderful atmosphere, and describe something as mundane as a plant in so much detail you can see it, my favorite books to read are ones that the plot has me biting my nails, on the edge of my seat, or anxiously waiting for the next moment I can read more.

TH: Are any of your friend’s authors? If so, what advice did they give you?

JLR: None of my friends are authors, but many of them are readers. They did not really give me writing advice, but more advice to have faith in myself and my ability to write. I even have co-workers who have shown faith in me, and I appreciate it more than they’ll know. My family members were especially encouraging. They are always telling me to go for my dreams and that they love my writing.

There are multiple aspiring writers in my family, however, and I can’t wait for them to release their books. I’d love to get to a point with them where we’re swapping works in progress to give each other developmental edits and plot ideas. (If you’re reading this, I’m talking to you, Jennifer, Jessie and Chris).

TH: Currently, who is your number one fan, how do you know?

randle2JLR: I have two number one fans – my husband and daughter. I know this for a few reasons. One, I don’t yet have many fans as a newly published author. And two, my husband has put up with my rants about plot points, character traits and those moments where I almost deleted my entire manuscript. I’ve actually ripped up handwritten notes before, and my husband tried to tape them back together. He’s encouraged me so much. I’ll never forget when I was at the dentist right after I got my book cover completed, and he randomly started bragging to them about it. That was probably the moment I finally and fully believed he did have faith in me. And my daughter tells everyone her mom is a writer and squealed along with me every time I made progress in my novel.

TH: This is my favourite question to ask everyone. If you had an opportunity to talk to your younger writing self, and you knew that you were going to write a book, what advice would you give yourself? Especially when it came to career choices?

JLR: If I could give advice to my younger writing self, I’d go back to fifth grade, when I wrote more than any other time in my life and would have told ten-year-old Johanna to not stop writing. I wished I’d continued the efforts I put in at that age. I didn’t actually start fully committing to writing a novel until I was in my twenties. I think if I had put more effort in the younger I was, the quicker my publishing goals would have come to fruition.

TH: Writing takes a lot of work. From what I’ve gathered online it can either be an especially exhausting, or it energizes you. What does it do for you?

JLR: It does both for me. It energizes me when I’m writing the first draft. When ideas freely pop in my head, and I can’t write them down fast enough. Or when I’m stuck in the plot development and the next scene magically appears in my brain. It energizes me when my characters speak to me, and I can picture them as clearly as real-life people.
The exhausting part comes when I re-read the first draft. When I realize I’ve used the same word 185 times. Or when I catch that I’ve done more telling than showing. And being new to the published author world, it’s been a bit exhausting figuring out how to market my book! And in full disclosure, there are times when I just don’t feel like writing, and I’d rather read. This slows down my progress immensely and then comes in the regret cycle.

TH: I have the greatest respect for authors. It takes a lot of work to write, edit, and compose your book, especially the first one. I would imagine that it has a massive learning curve. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in writing your first novel?

JLR: The most surprising thing I learned when I wrote my first novel is that it’s an actual job. It’s not as simple as, “I have this amazing idea, and my characters are awesome. I’m going to write a book.” I had this delusion that every great book I read was the result of that exact thing, which is part of the reason I was afraid to try myself. I believed my favourite authors were just magic and could pen a book on the first try. But after writing the first, third, fifth draft, I realized that it is a process. Ideas are great, but it takes dedication, blood, sweat, tears, your heart and soul, and your first-born child (kidding).

Every sentence you write requires an immense amount of thinking and re-working. Does this sentence make sense here? Does this contradict an earlier plot point? Have I described something enough, or too much? What is a better word to use here? Etc. Writing can be a hobby, but to get a novel where you want it, it becomes much more than that. But it’s so worth it.

TH: All writers need tools of some type. For you, what was the greatest thing you bought that has benefited you with your writing?

JLR: This is an easy question. The best tools are books. The more I read, the more my writing improves. The more words I devour, the more circulate in my own brain. Even if I read a book that I don’t love all that much, it provides me with courage because I admire every single writer who is brave enough to put their work out into the world. That and notebooks. Lots and lots of notebooks so that I always have a place to jot down notes. (I prefer handwriting notes for my books rather than using a computer).

TH: You have a fascinating finished book. Was this your first attempt at writing a book, and if not, how many unfinished stories do you have. Will you ever go finish them

JLR: This was the first book idea I’d ever had that I wanted to write. I came up with the idea when I was sixteen. However, this was not the first one I actually wrote. I had a young adult dystopian novel written and was actually acquired by a small agency. However, the book wasn’t what I wanted it to be, and I struggled to get it just right. I ended up pulling the book and re-wrote it twice. It sits abandoned in my drafts folder now. I also have seven other unfinished stories that I’ve started. As soon as I get a story idea, I immediately begin writing it now (considering it took me a dozen or so years to finally get this one released, I don’t want that to happen again). Most of them have no more than five chapters written. I plan to go back to every single one and write a full-length novel and release them to the world. Most are young adult, but I have three that are adult novels. I may eventually try to publish my dystopian novel too, but there was so much I went through with that book that I can’t look at it quite yet.

TH: That’s pretty impressive! Can you please tell the people what your novel is about?

johannarandlecoverJLR: The Inevitable Fate of E & J is about two friends, Elizabeth and Jimmy, who had a falling out in middle school and stopped talking. Until that point, though, they were best friends, practically attached at the hip. Both of them are drawn to the other suddenly around the time Elizabeth turns sixteen. She’s feeling lost in her social circle and with the life she created for herself. And he’s missing what used to be between them. And they both just happen to be experiencing hallucinations, visions, phantom pains and voices. When they discover that they are both experiencing similar ones, they start on a journey to figure out what’s wrong with them. To not give too much away, it’s their past lives coming back to haunt them. They might be soul mates, but that might not be a good thing.

TH: Your book is clearly a romance book, and with all romance books, I bet you really need to make the reader experience strong emotions. Do you think you could be a writer of this type of novel if you didn’t in someway feel emotions strongly?

JLR: There is absolutely no way that I could write romance if I didn’t experience emotions strongly. I’m a lover of what’s commonly referred to as “the feels,” in books, movies or tv shows. This doesn’t necessarily mean only romantic feels. Any strong emotion characters feel, I feel too. I think that’s why I prefer character driven novels. Honestly, my biggest hope for my novel is that readers tell me “you gave me all the feels.” It also helps that I have an incredibly wonderful and romantic husband. The ironic thing is, I love romance, but I am one of the least romantic people in real life!

TH: Now that you have written your first book has your mindset shifted towards how you will write your next book?

JLR: Absolutely!!! I mentioned that I had the idea for this book when I was sixteen. Well, I wrote the first draft in 2014 in a notebook, in my car on my lunch break. It only took me a month to complete the first draft. I didn’t touch it again until a year later. Then another year. And then another two years until I really decided I needed to get this book out into the world. I guess you could say my characters were haunting me as much as they were being haunted. A few days ago, I discovered a document in my archive folder from 2012 where I’d started this novel! It freaked me out. I realized it took me seven years to finally be dedicated enough to get it published. I have vowed to never do that again.

Another shift in my writing is to stop writing so many drafts. I confused myself with them and made a mess of it all. This is probably due in large part to the long breaks in between. Now that this first one is written, I’m dedicated to finishing the series (three books total) and novellas I have planned.

I’ve also learned how to be a better writer since the first draft. I’ve stopped writing like I’m writing an essay for school and started to write in what I hope is an entertaining way.

TH: Like I said before, writing a novel is a long gruelling process, although I bet you it is a fun one. With your job in the way, how many hours of writing do you get in a day?
See prior answers! I clearly do not get a lot of writing done in my day. I do, however, have a lot of notes in my many notebooks. I need to go back to school for my day job, and I’m a bit concerned that will get in the way of my writing, but I am making a pact with myself that I won’t let it.

I’ve never been a goal setter for my writing (which is the opposite of myself at work, I have lots of goals and I always meet them). So, I think from now on, I’ll just have to force myself to set writing goals and hope that the level of motivation I give to my day job translates to my writing. As I mentioned, the logical part of my brain often tells me work is a priority.

TH:  In your novel, the main characters use to be best friends, and they had a falling out. They later meet up again and hit it off, shall we say, pretty good. What was the most laborious part of the writing these scenes into your novel, was it their early life, their later life, or something totally different?

JLR: The more difficult scenes for me were the middle of the novel. I loved writing their backstories, and their emotions from when they met up again. I even got butterflies myself on a few of the scenes. And the ending was so much fun to write. But the middle, which is the meat, was a struggle. I found myself wanting to get to the end quickly and had to force myself to add more interactions, more struggles, and more misunderstandings. They wouldn’t magically forgive one another and be in love again, would they?

TH: I bet you think pretty highly of your two main characters. Now, I’m going to put you on the spot! Out of Jimmy and Elizabeth, who do you like best?

JLR: As a female author, I should probably say Elizabeth is my favourite, but I actually favour Jimmy quite a bit more. As I was writing his character, I realized he was actually sort of funny. Something I’m not in real life. (Though my husband will tell you that when I’m mad or frustrated, I’m hilarious, as long as it’s not directed at him). But Jimmy also had a rough life and he’s overcome that in a positive way. And that was really fun to write. I believe the world needs real-life books that reflect real-life struggles, and I’m so grateful for the authors who write those. But I also believe that sometimes, people just want to escape the bad in the world by reading characters who have some positive things to share. That’s what I hope I’ve conveyed in Jimmy. I really do love Elizabeth as well. I can relate to her. She’s placed herself in this cage of a life that she thought she should want because it made others happy. But she’s completely different than that life and she’s just now finally realizing it.

TH: Is there anything else that you would like to share with the readers?

JLR: Just one thing. Thank you for all of the readers who are giving an unknown, self-published debut author a chance. It means the world to me knowing that others are out there reading something I put so much effort into, simply for the purpose of entertaining them!

johannarandlecover

Follow Johanna on Social Media!  Twitter: @RandleJohanna

Pick up her new book on Amazon! The Inevitable Fate of E & J

 

16 Questions With Author Julia Colbourn

Topher Hoffman: Hello Julia! Thank you for taking the time to answer some questions for the readers at The House Of 1000 Books. I find it so amazing and motivational that there are so many authors out there that are doing what they love. Writing amazing stories. I am thrilled to get this opportunity to spend the time with you to do just that. julianna

I see that you have a lot of books under your belt! How many novels are you up too?

Julia Colbourn: I’m working on book number four as we speak. I’m averaging a book a year so far.

TH: That’s great! It looks like you have publications that fall into various categories. What is your favourite genre to write?

JC: I love to write in many different genres – there’s usually a romance of some sort going on, but I like to write about real life situations, not cozy, unrealistic storylines. My first book is a dystopian fantasy (no elves or dragons, though!) and I’ve also got some non-fiction books that I’d like to write. My interests are very varied and I can’t see me settling into any one genre just yet. My style, however, remains the same.

TH: I like to find out in all my interviews when authors started to write.  Some start at a young age, but others don’t start until they are adults. When did you find your passion for writing?

JC: I think I was born with it! Certainly, I wrote stories as a kid and revelled in writing essays at senior school, inspired by a rare gem of an English teacher. I first started writing seriously when I was at home with a young family. I had several articles and short stories accepted in magazines, but by the time I retired and had the time to return to it seriously, the writing world had changed and so had magazine content!

TH: Writing takes a tremendous amount of time, can you tell me if it ever gets in the heart of home life?

 

JC: I published my first book while I was still teaching – how I found the time to write it, I juliabook1don’t know! Secret all-night sessions, fuelled by chocolate, I suppose! But when you have the writing bug, it’s very hard to ignore it. Now I’m retired there still isn’t enough time, as we are travelling a fair bit and have many other commitments, not to mention the time Twitter takes up (purely for marketing purposes, of course!!). It helps that my partner is Asperger – he likes to do his own thing which leaves me free to do mine!

TH: Has your family read your work, and if so what was one point that you got told as feedback that you continue to follow while writing?

JC: My sister is my proofreader, and though her preference is for cozier reads than mine, she still tells me that I write well. My cousin and several friends give me huge support and nag me to get the next book wrote, which is very motivating. My daughters sometimes mutter ‘no sex, please, mother’ but, while there is no gratuitous sex in my books, I do feel it’s unavoidable if you’re painting a true picture. There’s only one scene of a sexual encounter in my current book, so maybe, subconsciously, I’m taking their feedback on board.

TH: What is the one author that you have read that influenced you the most and what is your favourite book of theirs?

JC: If you limit me to just one, I’d have to say Austen (I discovered only a few years ago that I’m actually descended from her grandmother, which was cause for great celebration!). She was the first author to make me realize how you can use humour in a serious novel to great advantage. Trollope was another. And Thomas Hardy showed me how to not shrink from unpalatable truths.

TH: If you met that author and wanted to ask them one question, what would it be?

JC: Oh, I’d love to ask Jane Austen what sort of books she would write nowadays. She would be so pleased with the advances women have made over the last century. Can you imagine what her Twitter following would be?

TH: I read one of your interviews, and you described how you flesh out your characters. Have you ever created an antagonist based on somebody you seen in real life?

julia book 2JC: No one character is based just on one person, but inevitably I use snippets from all sorts of different sources – people from my past and my present, TV personalities, even people I’ve just heard about. I might use someone’s voice, someone else’s mannerisms or body language, someone else’s facial expressions. It helps, when I write, if I can picture my character in my mind – I can literally see them closing their eyes, or changing their posture, and I can hear the tone in which they speak. The Narcissist in my current book is based loosely on a close (thankfully ex) family member.

 

TH: With having so many books out, you had a chance to develop so many characters. Who is the one type of character that you absolutely adore?

JC: It’s got to be the feisty female lead!! They’re all flawed in some way (as we all are) and my current main female character is badly damaged from a relationship with a Narcissistic personality disorder and at first appears weak and spineless, but she gradually wins through. Women are incredibly strong.

TH: What about out of the books you have written? Why is your favourite?

JC: My first book is my true love! I put heart and soul into it – some science, some novel religious theories, a bit of philosophy and observations of human society as a whole. There are also some hidden meanings in it, for those who like a book with layers. Sadly, I knew nothing about marketing in those days, and I just pushed it out onto the literary ocean and let it flounder on its own. I hope, at a later stage when I am more established, to come back to it and do it justice.

TH: Have you ever had a real-life problem and written it into the story?

JC: Inevitably. All authors draw on their own insecurities and childhood dramas (and many of their adult ones, too!) I went to quite a posh public school but my social life was always rooted in more down to earth circles, mainly at the local riding school where you had to muck in (and out) to earn a ride. This straddling of two worlds crops up in my third book, Seduction & Destruction, and to a lesser extent in my first book, where the female lead just doesn’t fit in anywhere. And my own partner is Asperger – there’s a whole book there, waiting to be written!

TH: To use a publisher or to self publish that is the question! If you had a chance to tell your younger writing self one piece of advice about publishing, what would it be?

JC: I think self-publishing is still my preferred choice – I’m too impatient to wait patiently for months for an inevitable rejection slip – but self-publishing involves a steep learning curve. I wish I’d known at the beginning what I know now. And I now have a huge support network through writers’ groups on Facebook and the Writing Community on Twitter – whatever question I have, someone will have the answer. And I’ve learnt so much – I never even knew what a beta reader was a few months ago!

TH: Can you tell us about your newest book?

JC: I love to look at dysfunctional relationships. They are far more common than most juliabookthreepeople think. In my latest book, I turn the spotlight on Narcissistic personality disorder, of which I have some personal experience. It was fascinating researching the topic and realizing just how common it is. I’ve also included a two-faced best friend (also drawn from personal experience). I have never understood why some people are so destructive for no apparent reason. As Paulie says, in my current work in progress, ‘What’s the matter with people, eh, Barney? You’d think they’d settle for a bit of honest love, instead of devoting themselves to making other people’s lives a misery.’

TH: Looks like you worked really hard on it! What is one thing in the book that you want your readers to take away from the novel?

 

JC: A better understanding of common human flaws. When we are young, we are constantly searching for the perfect job, the ideal best friend, the Mr. or Ms. Right. The sooner we realize that chasing perfection makes us miss the real opportunities in life, the better. Life is golden and so much fun, but it will never be perfect. Just dive in. Ride the rapids and learn to navigate around the immovable objects.

 

TH: What is the most important thing that you want your readers to appreciate when it comes to your work?

JC: I want people to feel that I’ve created real, three-dimensional characters and touched on some of the ugly realities that often get avoided in romances. I want my readers to be informed by my books and come away from them with thoughts in their heads that weren’t there before.

TH: Is there anything else you would like to tell the readers of the House Of 1000 Books blog?

JC: Writing is hard work. The best thanks any reader can give an author is a review. Please, please review any books you read. So many people don’t.

TH: Thank you for taking the time Julia to answer my questions! So there you have it, folks! Yet another lovely story for you all to check out!

Connect with Julia Colbourn on Twitter and Facebook.

Buy her new book:  Seduction & Destruction: A tale of crime and passion in the gangster world.

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11 Questions with Jackson R. Thomas Author of Paradise, Maine

JacksonRThomasTopher Hoffman: Hey Jackson, thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions for me. I really enjoyed your book, and I thought it was pretty impressive the way it played out.
I have never read the type of story like you wrote in Paradise, Maine. How does it feel to be responsible for the introduction of splatterpunk to somebody who hasn’t read the genre before?

Jackson R. Thomas: That’s cool. Welcome to a brave new world, my friend. Consider Paradise to be a gateway drug. Once you dig into some Edward Lee or the works of Spector & Skipp, you will get the real deal.

TH: What about your family? Have you introduced your family to your books, and if so what type of feedback do they give you? Did any of them disown you afterwards?

JRT: My mom ain’t gonna see this. She wouldn’t be surprised, but I think we’re both better off if she sticks to cookbooks and biographies.

TH: You are now getting some pretty good reviews on your book. How do you deal with

paradise
Paradise, Maine by Jackson R. Thomas

the negative reviews? Do you use it as constructive criticism or do you write that person into your next book?

JRT: It is what it is. I didn’t plan on being here. If they like it, cool. If they don’t, cool.

TH: Before you start writing, do you have to go through any pre-writing routines that you do before you begin a writing session?

JRT: A cigarette and coffee. Then it’s time to roll.

TH: When getting into writing, everyone receives advice in some fashion or the other. If you could give your younger writing self any advice, what would it be?

JRT: None. I think I’m where I should be.

TH: Thanks for those, now moving onto the book, Paradise, Maine. Are any of the characters based off of somebody that you know? Please don’t say that The Watcher
is, because that guy freaks me out.

beast_
The Beast of Brenton Woods – by Jackson R. Thomas

JRT: I worked with someone named, Vanis. She was a housekeeper. I thought the name was unique. I have no idea if she was into photography. I also had a friend that dated a guy named Zebulun. He claimed to be an outdoorsman, but he didn’t look the type. More like a guy who’d get eaten by the outside world. So, there are those two. As for the Watcher…he could represent a lot of things. The world is unpredictable. It’s also what we make it. Toss that together with a little carnage and maybe you get this guy.

TH: I did a quick Google maps search on Paradise, Maine. Did you know that there is a campground called Paradise Park? Were you ever there?

JRT: No, I haven’t. I thought Paradise was the perfect name for this little town.

TH: In Paradise, Maine there were a lot of violent scenes. What was the most challenging part of writing them?

JRT: Being honest. If you’re going to be brutal, you can’t be soft. The challenge is always writing it as you think it might actually happen, regardless of what happens. If it scares people-good. Sometimes, you swing and miss, but I’m happy with the way it turned out.

TH: Now that the book is almost released, what’s next on your plate? What’s the next project that you will be working on and do you have any sneak peeks?

JRT: I’m doing another draft for the follow-up to my first book, The Beast of Brenton Woods. This one is titled Rise. I don’t know when it will be out.

TH: The final question about your book. Are there any characters that you wish you would have written into the book just so you could write them out Jackson Thomas style?

JRT: In the jobs, I’ve had, that list is long. I plan to get to each and every one of them.

TH: Lastly, Is there anything at all that you would like to share with the readers?

JRT: Don’t get comfortable. There’s always another monster around the corner.

Read the book review for Fan of Horror? Read Paradise, Maine by Jackson R. Thomas

If you are interested in reading Paradise, Maine or The Beast of Brenton Woods check them out by clicking on the book below.