Thursday, July 29, 2010

J. A. Titus Interview

1: What is the most productive time of the day for you to write?

I would say the most productive time of day for me would be anytime after the kids are asleep in bed and there are no distractions, usually after 10 pm (but can sometimes be as late as 1 am).

2: Do you start your projects writing with paper and pen or is it all on the computer?

Always on the computer, with the exception of the book I'm currently writing.  I got the idea for it while I was working my 2nd job and didn't have access to a computer or to paper and pen.  So the next best thing was my cell phone (which doesn't have internet access).  I ended up sending myself six text messages with all the details I wanted to include and how I wanted to start it.  I was afraid if I didn't get it down right then and there, I'd forget all about it.

3: What do you draw inspiration from?

I draw inspiration from everything around me, especially from people watching.  Also, a lot of what I write about is based upon my past.  It's always easier to write about something you're familiar with and then add onto it to make it a great story.

4: Do you set goals for yourself when you sit down to write such as word count?

Not really.  I just try to make sure that I get everything down that's floating through my mind before I forget.  I tend to get mommy-brain a lot (comes with being distracted).

5: Are you a published or a self published author and how do you come up with your cover art?

I am currently a self-published author (aka indie), but would love to become published some day.  I tried reaching out to agents regarding my book and they all politely rejected it, stating 'while it is intriguing, we just don't feel that we are a good fit for this project'.  I have a personal FaceBook page which I had typed all my chapters for my friends to read and updated my statuses whenever I got a rejection.  It was them (my FaceBook friends) who encouraged me to pursue my book.  One of my friends had read an article about self-publishing on and told me about it.  And here I am today ...

Regarding my cover art, I design it myself (at least at this time).  With The Kindness of Strangers, I knew I wanted a flower to represent growth and maturity.  I got lucky finding the picture I wanted on the website when I was self-publishing the paperback.  For my 2nd and 3rd book, I am using PhotoShop and have taken everyday pictures I have lying around the house and tweaked them.  I'm especially excited about my 3rd book's cover because it features my niece.

6: What drives you to choose the career of being a writer?

All the ideas I have!  There are so many of them.  I suppose it's because I'm naturally a creative person (comes with being a LEO).

7: Do you own an ebook reading device?

Unfortunately I cannot afford a Kindle at this time, but that's one of my goals I hope to achieve.  I do have the Kindle PC application on both my personal computer and my work computer.

8: Who are some of your favorite authors and What are you reading now?

My all-time favorite author is Irene Hunt.  I enjoy Lois Lowry, Stephen King, H. P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allan Poe, Dean Koontz, Shel Silverstein, John Steinback ... I really could go on with this list.  

I just finished reading 'Marked' by P. C. Cast and Kristen Cast.  I will be reading the second installment in their House of Night series starting this weekend.  I'd really like to read 'Girl Parts' by John M. Cusick.  The blurb reminds me of 'The Stepford Wives', so I'm eager to get that one soon!

9: What do you think of book trailers and do you have any plans to have any?

Honestly I had never known that people made trailers of their books until recently.  It seems like a great idea for marketing.  I do not currently have any plans to have any, but who really knows what the future holds.

10: How did you come up with the title of your latest book?

Initially I titled my book Sydney's Story and then The Girl in the Closet, but as I continued writing they just didn't seem to fit.  It went from being a story about a girl escaping an abusive home, to being about the girl and these people she came across who ultimately helped her in some way.  It wasn't until I had written the hospital piece with Ian and his mother that I realized 'The Kindness of Strangers' just seemed to fit so much better.  I mulled it over and shared the idea with my FaceBook friends, and they thought it fit perfectly also.  I only had one naysayer who said they didn't like it because it reminded them of Tennessee William's 'A Street Car Named Desire'.  That person was regarding the scene Blanche Dubois spoke that she 'got by from the Kindness of Strangers'.  She, of course, meant it in a very different way.

11: What are you working on now that you can talk about?

I am currently working on two books right now.  The first is titled 'The Last Curl' and is available to read for free on my FaceBook fan page.  It is still incomplete.  I post the chapters I write as notes and hope that people will read it so that they may offer any suggestions and/or constructive criticism.  The 3rd book has yet to be titled and is only in the concept stage.  I'm hoping to create the chapter breakdown very soon and will also post the chapters on my FaceBook fan page once I begin writing it.

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