Today I have the pleasure of sitting down with the lovely and talented author J.S. Riddle. She has truly become one of my very favourite people and I am excited to share her thoughts with all of you. Please welcome her to Readful Things.
Tell us a bit about your past and how you came to be an author
My past was supposed to be kept under lock and key!!! How’d you get that info? 😉 Seriously though, I was a unique child to say the least. I was born in Oxford, UK and moved around a lot; military family. That gave me a chance to really become and individual in its own right. It was the one part that made me….well me. No matter where I went, tales would spin in the brain and eventually spit out into some for or another. I was going through junior high albums and realized I had some great friends that showed their support for the writing early on. Apparently through some of the other things I was wild,crazy,fun,pretty,and cool to hang out with. GO ME!!!! The question is, what happened? lol In high school I had even better support and the skills kept going. I wasn’t a fan of actual English class. I loved the literature part, but when it came to essay’s? I bombed. Why did I bomb? Because I refused to write in the style they were telling me. It was BORING. I wanted to write the way I knew best. The teacher loved it, but had to give me bad grades. The best thing was that she found out I wrote poetry (can’t do it anymore) so she would give me extra credit for each poem I submitted which gave me passing grades. I thank a certain nameless person that pushed me through close to the end; before the editing part of course. Nobody wanted to be around for that hair pulling event(s).
What has been the hardest part of learning this industry and what is the most important thing you have learned so far?
The hardest part I have learned? It’s a tough world out there, even in traditional publishing. The traditional route the take you, give you a small advance, an editor, a cover, high prices and a low percentage. They may promote and market some, but the author STILL has to do the work. But maybe it would be worth it to have some of those other things done for you. As an Independent Author I have learned it is even harder, but the payout is higher emotionally and physically. It is your baby and it’s your decision on what to do with it. Technology now seems to blow though; I can’t keep up. I can’t keep up with the ones who have to have tech right in their face every moment of the day and if you’re not there in front of them they forget quite easily. Even harder is being in their face too much because you become that mosquito in the room they want to squish, so there is a happy medium somewhere.
Tell us about your book(s) and where we can find them.
I will be honest, there is only one book available right now, but people are loving it because it bring in the “what if” scenerio and bypasses the plots of taking over the world and hiding in the shadows. By chapter two, boom, humans are cattle and slaves, continue from there. This is more about the main character, Tessa and her journey from her tough life as a human, to an insecure young-blooded vampling, to a strong and very justice/vengeful/true vampire style Queen and having to do it alone. She has so much she has to do that it comes at her from all directions. Human rebels she has a very strong connection with, whether she likes it or not. She also has to deal with her maker/King’s past, the whole time keeping the facade up she is capable of holding the title of Queen in her clan. Anyway…..I got distracted. Not the sparkly kind because they won’t even make it into the book, death by pen and helpless young girls are not anywhere to be found.
Rise of a Queen, BOOK I of The Vampire Realm Series. I’m not a one book girl, and I’m completely excited where this adventure is going as I fit things together. I wake up in the middle of the night just to write something down. It’s a great tale I can’t wait to tell.
My book can easily be found at http://www.jsriddle.com for all the links, even to my blog, twitter, and FB
Or Amazon for e-book and paperback: http://www.amazon.com/Rise-Queen-Vampire-Realm-ebook/dp/B00BG9KW6G
and even Smashwords:https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/285964
and in the iStore just search for my name or title I should be there. Much harder for me to navigate because I’m not tech savvy anymore
Have you always been a reader as well as a writer? If so, what are some of your favourite authors/books?
I’ve been reading the moment a book was set in my hands. I remember beaming so proud when I was informed I read 3 grade levels ahead of me. It wasn’t long after that I was reading The Hobbit and The Hero and The Crown, plus a few Stephen King novels (my mother was a horror fan). Obviously Robin McKinley, Tollkein, King are on the list. I love Anne Rice especially for the realness she brings to her books. Ray Bradburry is a good one too, Wes Craven, Neil Gaiman, George R.R. Martin, and so forth.
Who is the most important character in your books, other than your main character and why?
Wow, besides Tessa? I suppose Melinda quite possibly because she is quite essential to the person/vampire/thing has come to be. My favorite though is Liana. Don’t ask me why, she just is.
When you started writing, did you have any idea how much work promoting your books would be?
No, no, no, no. I knew there would be some, but I didn’t realize the difficulty it would be in such a technologically dependent world. Private bookstores are shriveling up and it seems the box stores can be a bit snooty to the Independent writer.
If you could give a single piece of advice to a new author, what would it be?
Don’t expect to get rich overnight or be that one single success. Strive for it, make it a goal, but be realistic. Your book is your baby and the more people that love it the more love you get in return. Be happy for that and never, ever, give up writing even when you don’t feel like you should. (maybe that’s two. Oops)
You have a blog and get the chance to interact with people on a daily basis, how important is this when trying to reach your readers?
I never thought I would be a blogger, honestly. It was one of the steps to start promoting. Then it took off on its own. It is amazing. I think more people are following my blog than my book (although it’d be wonderful to be equal) because it’s not just about my book. Its about my thoughts, ideas, my goofs with technology, my internal being. It’s me. For some reason people like that rawness. I try to reach my reader for sure on it though. There are always updates, and on top of that the website itself has things added to it all the time. I’m always adding more about characters, things like that; and holding dearly to that one decent picture of myself 😀
Who do you think the target audience is for your work?
I think it’s a bit dark and heavy for a young adult audience given some of the circumstances in part II of the book. My suggestion would be for someone to read it first to make that decision. But anybody older than that would truly enjoy it. I hate putting higher ages on things because I have an aunt who fell in love with it after hearing through the grapevine.
Anything else you would like to say or links you would like to include.
Well, I’m me, I’m unique. I don’t believe in sparkly, boohoo the world’s gonna end if I don’t get the love of my life, or anything remotely near it. I like things raw. Passionate but of a different kind; descriptive yet very destructive. Everything I write has a purpose and isn’t just put in for grins and giggles.
Check me out on my website @ www.jsriddle.com, twitter @Riddle_js, or even facebook :https://www.facebook.com/pages/JS-Riddle/314882881968292