Thursday, September 27, 2012

Please Welcome Author J.A. Redmerski!

With continuing our celebration of Indie authors, Never Too Old for YA Books and I would like to welcome author J.A. Redmerski for an interview!

This is J.A.:

J.A. (Jessica) Redmerski is a Contemporary Fantasy and YA writer - author of THE MAYFAIR MOON and DIRTY EDEN. She's a werewolf & zombie fanatic, book addict and a happy hermit obsessed with the Universe and AMC's The Walking Dead. She lives in North Little Rock, Arkansas with her three children and a Maltese.

Some authors that inspire Jessica are Neil Gaiman, Cormac McCarthy, Jamie McGuire, Max Brooks, Anne Rice, J.K. Rowling, Richard Matheson, William R. Forstchen, Carrie Ryan and Lisa Smedman.








These are J.A.'s books:

Title: The Mayfair Moon (The Darkwoods Trilogy, #1)
Publication Date: February 6, 2012
ISBN:9781468185
After a nightmarish encounter with a werewolf, seventeen-year-old Adria Dawson loses her sister, but gains the love of a mysterious young man and his legendary family.

Strange and tragic things begin to happen in the small town of Hallowell, Maine: residents come down with an unexplainable ‘illness’ and some disappear. In the midst of everything, Isaac Mayfair is adamant about keeping Adria safe, even from her sister whom he has warned her to stay away from.

As unspeakable secrets unfold all around Adria, impossible choices become hers to bear. Ultimately, no matter what path she takes, her life and the lives of those she loves will be in peril. As she learns about the werewolf world she also learns why her place in it will change the destinies of many.


Title: Kindred (The Darkwoods Trilogy, #2)
Pulication Date: July 20, 2012
ISBN: 9781478244394

Isaac Mayfair is hiding a dark secret. And just when Adria Dawson thinks the worst of her life among the werewolf world is over, she learns the secret that can rip her and Isaac’s love apart. Adria must come to terms with what the truth means for her. What it means for her life and how much time she has left to live it. She must choose between two different fates, neither of which can offer life as a certainty.

As if Isaac’s betrayal isn’t enough, Adria learns that there are things out there older and more powerful than werewolves could ever be. An archaic entity known only to few as the Praverian, unlike anything Adria has ever known or heard of.

As Adria struggles with her own fateful dilemmas, she must also try to find out why the Praverian is so interested in her and do everything in her power to stay out of its way.

Due to MATURE YA content, this book is recommended for 17+

J.A.'s third book in this trilogy, The Ballad of Aramei (The Darkwoods Trilogy, #3) is due to be published November 10, 2012.
You can purchase Jessica's books here:
Mayfair Moon on Amazon, Barnes and Noble

And now, let's hear a little from Jessica!

1. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? 
I was about 12 when I realized it's what I wanted, but 13 when I started doing something about it. I started my first novel at 13 and have been writing something ever since. I can't imagine ever giving it up even if everybody despises my work and I'm sent packing, LOL. I believe I was born to do it, whether I'm good at it or not, because it's the one consistent thing in my life and makes me thoroughly happy. 

2. How long does it take you to write a book?
The first novel I ever finished actually took a looooong time, I'm talkin' like six years! But I wasn't writing then for an audience and so I took all the time in the world. Now that I am writing for an audience, I can get one finished in 3-5 months.

3. What do you think makes a great story?
I strongly believe that aside from the obvious 'likable, believable characters' and 'vivid description', I like to believe that an author writing what he or she feels instead of what everyone else thinks is popular, is what makes a good story. And I'm also a firm believer in writing a real and raw story, telling it like it is and not sugar-coating scenes and situations that have the potential to offend someone. In real life people are not perfect. They say 'fu*k', they have sex, they smoke, they let themselves be abused, so why should it be any different in a novel? So the short answer to the question would be: genuine believability. 

4. What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
I start very early in the morning after my kids have left for school and I write pretty much all throughout the day. 9-10 hours. But I do takes breaks by getting out to get some exercise.

5. How do you balance family and writing?
Well, my kids are old enough that they would rather play video games and do their own thing, so it's not so hard to manage. But I do make sure to spend time with them when I'm not writing. We like to ride bikes, hike, go fishing and climb mountains. I have pretty good kids who are so talented!

6. Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
All over the place. Really, I like to study people because I'm intrigued by the many different personalities that people have. And I do A LOT of research when I'm writing about places that exist because I want to be as accurate as possible. Google street view is something that has helped me tremendously with this kind of research.

7. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
That I actually love first-person narrative. It used to repel me when I'd pick up a book in the bookstore and see that it was written in first-person - not sure why. But then I tried writing it that way one day and I was surprised at how natural it felt. I think my strong-point has always been dialogue and I realized that writing in first-person narrative allowed me to write more freely and everything seemed to flow into place because it's like writing entirely in dialogue.

8. How many books have you written? Which is your favourite?
Technically, I've written five full-length novels. Two still have yet to be published and are also part of The Praverian Chronicles. And to be honest, I'd have to say my favorite would have to be between my first novel (because I have a special relationship with it) and my adult contemporary fantasy novel, DIRTY EDEN.  I had the most fun with DIRTY EDEN!

9. Are your characters based on anyone you know?
I think that several of my main characters have characteristics from different people that I know, but none of them are based on anyone in particular.

10. Do you have a favourite place you love to write?
Hands-down, my bedroom. I've tried writing in popular writing places like the library, Starbucks or at Barnes & Noble, but regardless of how quiet these places tend to be, there are still too many distractions for me.

11. How hard is is to get published?
Oh geez! If you're going the traditional publishing route, it seems impossible. Obviously, going the Indie route makes the impossible a reality. I would still love to land a traditional publisher some day, but right now I'm happy doing the Indie thing.

12. What do your family and friends think about your books?
My mom and my daughter love my books! The rest of my family do express how proud they are and that means a lot to me.

13. What do you like to do when you are not writing?
Like I mentioned previously, I love being outdoors, anything having to do with nature. But I also love my TV shows: The Walking Dead, Supernatural, Being Human (SyFy) and watching my Xena Warrior Princess box set once a year. And of course, I love to read!

14. Do you have any suggestions to help aspiring writers better themselves and their craft? If so, what are they?
Don't rush into anything! With the popularity of self-publishing and more people accepting it as a valid route, it seems everybody and their cousins are publishing a book. I'm nowhere near a perfect writer and I'll be the first to admit that my work still could use a good editor, but I'm not guilty of writing a novel and publishing the first draft. I couldn't afford writing classes or anything like that so I spent seven years immersing myself in studying how to write properly. And also like I mentioned, I still have two novels I could publish anytime I wanted, but I refuse to because I know they need a lot of editing. BE PATIENT. LEARN. READ. I don't care who you are or how good you think you can write, it's so very true that a writer who doesn't read lowers their story-telling potential by over half.

15. As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
Y'know, I honestly don't remember...wait, yes I do recall wanting to be in a rock band. So cliche', I know! Other than that and figuring out at the age of 12 that I wanted to write, I didn't have any other dreams. 

16. What are your favourite books and which authors inspire you?
My absolute favorite authors are Neil Gaiman, Anne Rice and J.K. Rowling. But I have to say that my favorite books right now are ON THE ISLAND by Tracey Garvis-Graves, BEAUTIFUL DISASTER by Jamie McGuire and all of the Harry Potter books.
17. For an aspiring writer what do you feel are certain do's and don’ts for getting their material published?
If you're going the agent/traditional publishing route, always be polite. Agents are so swamped with submissions that it'll make your head spin. I've seen agents tweet and blog about some really shocking correspondences with aspiring authors that make me embarrassed for those writers. If you get rejected (and you will, A LOT), go onto the next and always be professional. My do's & don't's advice for Indie publishing: same as above: Don't rush, be patient, learn and read.

18. What are you working on now?
Currently, I'm halfway through the third and final book in The Darkwoods Trilogy, THE BALLAD OF ARAMEI. After that book, I'll be writing a companion novel to The Darkwoods Trilogy based on a key character introduced in book #2, KINDRED. But some familiar favorite characters from Darkwoods will also be in that novel.

Thanks so much for stopping by today, Jessica. It was great having you here!
If you'd like to follow Jessica, you can do it through these sites:

4 comments:

  1. Great interview! I've heard about Mayfair Moon and it's on my list to read. :) You've got my curiosity up!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you so much for having me on your blog, Brooke! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Jessica, it was my pleasure!!! I can't wait to read your books!

    ReplyDelete

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