Welcome to another Indie Author Interview hosted by Never Too Old for Y.A. & N.A. Books group on Goodreads.
Today we welcome authors Val Richards and J.L. Bond!
Now, two powerful beings will battle one another and the outcome will determine our way of life. Filled with humor and fast paced action, the series takes the reader on an adventure of destiny, love and loss
So, let's welcome Val and J.L.!
Take it away, ladies!
Did you always know you wanted to be a writer or did you want to be something else?
J.L. - I definitely didn’t plan on being a writer. I kind of dreamed of being an actor or musician. When I was a little girl I loved to entertain my friends & family by dressing up as my favorite characters and acting out their stories. I guess in a way I’m still doing that.
Val – I think you’re right, you are very entertaining. I guess for me, I have wanted to be many things in my life such as a doctor, artist, actress, veterinarian, teacher, scientist, singer and astronaut. I think I’ll stop there even though there are more. I think that now, as a writer, I can be all those.
How long does it take you to write a book from start to finish?
J.L. - Too long!
Val – Here! Here! I agree.
J.L. - But hey, we’re new to writing so I’m hoping to get faster. That said, I think it’s important to spend whatever time is needed to really develop the characters and polish the story.
Val – Absolutely! It’s also important to think beyond the story to catch anything that might box yourself into something you don’t want.
How do you come up with themes for your stories?
J.L. - I do lots of reading and draw inspiration from some of my favorite TV shows and movies. And brainstorming with Val is one of my favorite ways.
Val – Brainstorming is great. I think many of our best ideas have come through that process.
Do you have a schedule of when you write?
J.L. - Oh, now you’re getting personal. Just kidding, I’m not one of the most scheduled people you’ll ever meet.
Val – (giggle) You got that right.
J.L. – Hey! I try hard to find time to write some everyday, even if it’s just on my blog.
Val – Time. There just isn’t enough time to do everything. If I am not writing then I am normally reading or working on some kind of marketing through Goodreads.
How are you able to balance other aspects of your life with your writing?
Val – I’m not.
J.L. - Who said I was balanced?
Val – No one that I know.
J.L. - No seriously, it’s a real challenge to find time for it all. I seem to play the role of caretaker in my family and sometimes it feels like they are playing tag-team on me. But when I feel overwhelmed I try to remind myself that I’m blessed to have loved ones who trust and need me!
Val – It is difficult to find a balance between family and writing. I work full time and when I get home, sometimes I just want to vegetate.
What elements do you think make a great story line?
J.L. - It begins with a good hook, maybe a mystery, a shocking event or a fast-paced action scene, which makes the reader want to keep going. But that’s not enough you have to have a strong protagonist that we can relate to and a challenge they must overcome. Sounds a lot easier than it is.
Val – I agree with all of that. I also think that revealing just enough but not too much information is also very important. And that is extremely hard to do.
What was the hardest thing about writing a book?
Val – Rewriting. I can’t tell you how many times I have had to rewrite a chapter from beginning to end. It always is for the best but it is painful to do.
J.L. – That’s true. And then there was the learning curve, meaning I had to do tons of research about things like the elements of writing because sooner or later someone might ask me a question about it. Right?
How many books have you written so far? Do you have a favorite?
J.L. - We are newbies, Val and I, just the one…so far.
Val – Although, by the time this is viewed, our second book might be ready to be launched.
J.L. – (heavy sigh) Lord willing.
Do you have a favorite character?
J.L. - From our book, Skylee Porter is my favorite. Her last name is a little nod to another character that I really love, Harry Potter.
Val – For me, Chrism is my favorite character from our book. I can so relate to her smart mouth. Shocking, I know.
J.L. – Ha.
Where do you write?
J.L. - Mostly at home, but I’m not picky I’ll break out my laptop anywhere and anytime.
Val – I write at home too but I could probably write anywhere if given the opportunity.
When deciding on how to publish, what directed you to the route you took?
J.L. - So we’re back to that research thing. We did hours and hours of reading on websites and weighed out the pros and cons before deciding to self-publish.
Val – We also attended some seminars on self-publishing. It’s a great feeling to do a book from start to end.
J.L – Is there really an end?
Val – Not on the marking part.
Have you gotten feedback from family about your book(s)? What do they think?
J.L. - Yes, they’ve all been very supportive. Especially my parents who are now in their eighties. They can’t wait to read the next book.
Val – My daughter has been wonderful through this first book. I also have other family members that have been helpful.
What kinds of things do you like to do outside of writing?
Val – I love being at the beach and frolicking in the waves. I enjoy going to movies, reading, sightseeing and going to the beach. Oh, wait, I already said that.
J.L. - I love music and I enjoy bike riding, the beach and being outside in general.
What kinds of advice would you give to someone who wants to start writing?
J.L. - Make sure the desire is coming from deep within because you’ll need to draw from that to keep you going. Of course co-writing helps, you can encourage one another.
Val – Not everyone can work with a writing partner but I believe that it’s a great way to stay on track.
What is your favorite book? favorite author? Do you have an author that inspired/inspires you to write?
J.L - I can’t choose just one, but my top picks would be The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien, most all of John Grisham’s books and of course J.K. Rowling. The Harry Potter books definitely inspired us to write our story as a series.
Val – Yes, it did. I do love the Harry Potter books so I guess J.K. Rowling would be one of my favorite authors but my all-time favorite books are the Chronicles of Narnia. I have always wanted to live in Narnia. As far as what or who has inspired me to write, I would have to say just about every book I have read has left its mark on me.
Do you have any go to people when writing a book that help you with your story lines as well as editing, beta reading and such?
J.L. Yes, we had a whole group of beta readers and a great proofreader. But most of the editing (a crazy amount) we did ourselves.
Val – I think we drove some of our family members’ nuts asking them questions about what they thought about this part or that part, specifically my daughter Rachel and J.L.’s youngest, Janna.
Are you working on anything now?
J.L. - We’re working on Book Two of The Primortus Chronicles, which will be entitled Hollowed Humusara.
Val – Again, by the time this is being viewed, I’m hoping, Hollowed Humusara, will be just about ready to reveal.
Thanks so much for stopping by today! It was so great having you ladies here! Good luck with your writing!
Currently, she finds inspiration for her adventure stories from the tropical setting of her home in Florida. Eleventh Elementum, Book One of The Primortus Chronicles is her debut novel with Val Richards.
Val Richards is an author, administrative assistant, mother, teacher without a classroom, and a space traveler wanna be. Because of her busy lifestyle, she just cannot find the time to become an astronaut. Hence, she travels to other worlds through her imagination.
Val lived most of her life in the rolling hills of Tennessee but decided she needed majestic oceans to fuel her inspiration. She now resides in sunny Florida where creativity abounds. Eleventh Elementum, Book One of The Primortus Chronicles is her debut novel with J.L. Bond, which will be published in December 2012.
Some of her favorite books are Harry Potter series, The Chronicles of Narnia, LOTR, Vampire Academy, Stephanie Plum, JD Robb, House of Night, and many many more.