Storm’s Rage by J.L.Barnett-Interview with the Author
NOTE: At the time of this interview, STORM’S RAGE was still in edits and the release date has been pushed back.
TRC: Hi JL and welcome back to The Reading Café.
JL: Hello Sandy, and TRC fans. Thank you so much for having me back.
TRC: We would like to start with some background information. Would you please tell us something about yourself since last we spoke?
JL: Well, 2 years have passed since our initial interview. Besides writing, I have also had to focus on my other profession, Photography. Just after the first interview and release of Storm’s Wake, the publishing firm I was with went out of business 3 months later. Sadly, it happens. So, I spent 6 months pursuing other venues and decided after many rejected queries to postpone the release of my work until I was closer to having the series complete.
TRC: Who or what influenced your career in writing?
JL: I would say the catalyst that started me writing this series was a combination of events. I began writing after lose my mother in 2008. I was in a really dark place in my life. I opened word, typed what I was feeling and a co-worker was walking by my desk and glanced over my shoulder at what I was writing. She said it sounded like a great opening to a book, had I ever considered writing. So, over the next few days, I started creating a story from the dark feelings I had. From there, I read my work to my family and they eagerly wanted to know what was happening next. So, I’d say my mother’s death was the start and my family’s interest became the influence that kept me going.
TRC: When not writing, what do you do to relax? For fun?
JL: I enjoy watching some of my favorite tv shows with my family. Also, I have a hobby/business in photography that I work at. I know, you asked about relaxing and fun. I love editing and graphic design. I don’t see post editing as a chore. For me, it’s like working in a Zen Garden. Making minor changes here and there, it’s peaceful for me. I also love riding my motorcycle. This is very relaxing.
TRC: STORM’S WAKE is the first installment (released in January 2012) in your Chronicles of Jake series. For anyone who has not read the storyline, would you please tell us something about the premise of the series?
JL: Storm’s Wake, was initially released in 2012 and has been re-released this year back to Amazon. As for the premise of the series. While I don’t have one, dedicated premise or theme technically, I’d have to say that following what you believe, having faith in yourself and perseverance can and will lead to success, even if you fail along the way.
TRC: STORM’S RAGE, book two in The Chronicles of Jake Trilogy is about to be released. Would you please tell us something about the premise?
JL: This is a continuation of the first book. The decisions and realizations become harder, testing his belief as more of who he is becomes evident.
TRC: What challenges or difficulties (research, logistics, background) did you encounter writing this particular story and series?
JL: My biggest challenge is my ADD. I have a struggle focusing my attention while I’m writing. Yes, while on a creative role, especially the first book, just seemed to happen. Book 2 has been more of a struggle as I’ve had to learn and adhere to writer concepts while attempting to perfect my craft. For this series, I have always seen it like a movie in my mind. I want my reader to actively imagine the book, challenging their minds to open to what I see.
TRC: From where did your ideas originate?
JL: I initially created this book from my emotional state. My friends and family have always said I have a vivid imagination. For me, inspiration for books can come from anything.
TRC: If you could virtually cast the leading characters in this storyline, which models or actors best represents your ideal image?
JL: This has been a question I’ve asked myself before. If I had the chance to cast for the characters, who would I pick? For Jake – Ian Somerhalder.. For Tessa – Scarlett Johansson or Jessica Alba
TRC: How do you keep the plot unpredictable without sacrificing content and believability?
JL: As being my first works, while creating the story/plot, it evolves and becomes its own entity (somewhat). I do add real locations and events to keep things grounded.
TRC: When writing a storyline, do the characters direct the writing or do you direct the characters?
JL: I’d say there is a mix of both at times. While this is written from Jake’s view, there is a realization that time and the world exist in parallel.
TRC: The mark of a good writer is to pull the reader into the storyline so that they experience the emotions along with the characters. What do you believe a writer must do to make this happen? Where do you believe writer’s fail in this endeavor?
JL: I believe each writer has their own style and voice. For myself, sharing my thoughts and words with my family allows me to see how they respond. I also have a select circle of friends who have different likes and follow different genres of work. Hearing their input allows me to see how my work will impact a reader, in a general sense. Sort of like a comedian testing his material on a small select audience. I believe some writer’s fail in this because they take their reader’s aspect out of the equation. If you’re not writing to entertain your audience, why are you writing?
TRC: Writer’s Block is a very real phenomenon. How do you handle the pressures and anxiety of writer’s block?
JL: A famous writer once said, to be successful at writing you have to write every day. I too have suffered with writer’s block and it is difficult to overcome sometimes. For me, going on a ride, taking a break and looking at something else, reviewing whatever muse inspired your work, helps me get back on track.
TRC: What three things would you like to accomplish in the next five years?
JL: This might sound a little cliché but I’d like to be a best seller. I hope to one day be invited to writer’s conventions, scifi con’s, etc. Last, I’d like to see my work in the movies.
TRC: On what are you currently working?
JL: Book 3 is in the works. I also have a few new book ideas waiting for me for some much needed attention.
TRC: Would you like to add anything else?
JL: I believe readers will enjoy where this series is going and I want to wish everyone happy reading.
Favorite Sport – Basketball
Secret Celebrity Crush – Scarlett Johansson
Last Vacation Destination – Panama City Beach, FL.
Do you have any pets? - Yes. Dog, cat and 2 birds.
Last book you read – A Star Trek Novel by William Shatner
Pet Peeve – Disrespectful children.
TRC: Thank you JL for taking the time to answer our questions. We wish you all the best in your writing career.