Monday, April 25, 2016
Books and Authors: Shattered Lies, a contemporary women's fiction by ...: In this weeks Author Spotlight, I met up with the hugely talented, S.J. Francis, author of Shattered Lies , a Mainstream, Women's...
Saturday, April 16, 2016
Hello one and all! How are you today? I hope everyone is doing well and happy! It’s so great to be with all of you again. Welcome back everyone to my writing blog where I try to share whatever I think may interest you: Whether it is writing information, interviews with other authors, and anything or anyone connected to writing. I just love introducing, welcoming and interviewing authors.Welcome to an Interview with J. J. White. White is the author of Prodigious Savant and Deviant Acts. Deviant Acts was released by Black Opal Books on November 14, 2015 and is available at on-line retailers everywhere and independent booksellers.
J.J. White has penned eight novels and over three hundred short stories. He has had articles and stories published in several anthologies and magazines including, Wordsmith, The Homestead Review, The Seven Hills Review, Bacopa Review, and The Grey Sparrow Journal. His story, The Adventure of the Nine Hole League, was recently published in the Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine, Volume 13. His story, "Lucky Bastard Club" was recently published by The Saturday Evening Post." He has won awards and honors from the Alabama Writers Conclave, Writers-Editors International, Maryland Writers Association, The Royal Palm Literary Awards, Professional Writers of Prescott, and Writer's Digest.
J.J. was recently nominated for the Pushcart Prize for his short piece Tour Bus. His novel, Prodigious Savant, was published in 2014 as part of a three book deal with Black Opal Books. His second novel, Deviant Acts, was published November 14, 2015. He enjoys writing, surfing, golf and tennis. He lives in Merritt Island, Florida with his understanding wife, editor, and typist, Pamela.
SJ: Welcome back, John! It’s so great to have you return to my writing blog. I loved your first novel, Prodigious Savant. Now let’s talk about your latest novel, Deviant Acts. When was it released and where can we find a copy?
White: Thanks, S.J., I also enjoyed reading your novel, Shattered Lies. It was one of the better books I have read this year. Deviant Acts is crime fiction but it really doesn’t fit the typical murder mystery, private investigator genre of popular crime stories. The protagonist, Jackson Hurst, is a poster child for losers, a Vietnam Veteran mustered out of the Marines for his participation in a village massacre, who spends most of his time between prison and working low-paying jobs in 1973 Charlotte, North Carolina. He reluctantly accepts a job offer from his evil aunt in Vermont, a millionaire whose twenty- year-old daughter has been kidnapped and maimed. He agrees to rescue his cousin and kill the kidnappers but not as vengeance for his cousin’s ordeal, but because he desperately needs cash to quell his heroin addiction. Despite his despicable and deviant traits, there is still an underlying sense of goodness that surfaces as the story progresses. The narrative evolves as events influence his decisions and the story becomes a somewhat picaresque tale as Jackson follows his anarchist cousin through several countries to avoid the law. I think most readers will be either fascinated or highly offended while reading the book, but I guaranteed they won’t be bored. It’s available on Amazon and Black Opal Books.
SJ: How do you come up with your ideas? Deviant Acts is not the normal every day novel with a rehashed plot.
White: Most of my plot ideas for my novels and short stories are wrenched from life experiences, historical events, and current events. I wasn’t in Vietnam during the war and I’ve never been addicted to heroin, but I always wanted to record my brother and other Marine’s stories and weave them into a convoluted and complicated plot as I did in Deviant Acts. The book is part Catch 22 and part One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.
SJ: Now that you’ve had both short stories and novels published, do you prefer one area over another? Why or why not?
White: Both give a satisfactory feeling of accomplishment but that comes a lot faster with a short story and once it’s completed it can be used for contests and completions immediately. I’ve made a lot more money off my short stories and magazine articles than I have from royalties. At least so far.
SJ: Is there a writing genre you would ever like to try writing in? Why or why not?
White: Science Fiction. I’ve written several short stories in the genre and someday I’d like to expand one or all of them into a novel. With Science Fiction there are no rules and no one can fact- check you since everything is made up. If I write I can destroy a planet with a vial of liquid, who can argue I’m wrong? Or maybe a vial of liquid that destroys book reviewers. That would work.
SJ: Is there anything about being a published author that you know now that you wish you knew in the beginning?
White: I think I would have held out for a larger publisher, not necessarily a big five one but a medium ten or whatever. My books won a good number of awards before I acquired an agent and publisher and I think I accepted too quickly for fear I may never have that opportunity again. You have to have a large ego to write and publish books and unfortunately you never know if it will help you or hinder you in the business. The best thing to do is dive in headfirst and hope you don’t break your neck.
SJ: Can you tell us a bit about your next project?
White: I have a novel coming out in the end of June called, Nisei, and it’s being published by Black Opal Books. This is my first attempt at Historical Fiction. Here’s the blurb: After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States Government encouraged all eligible young men to enlist immediately in the fight against its enemies overseas—all eligible young men, except Japanese-Americans. Nisei is the story of Hideo “Bobby” Takahashi, a Hawaiian-born Japanese-American who must overcome prejudice, internment, and the policies of his own government to prove his loyalty to his country. Narrated by Bobby Takahashi and read by his son, Robert, forty-six years after Bobby’s death, the story details the young Nisei’s determination to fight honorably with the 442nd Regimental Combat Troop and then return to the young love he was forced to leave—a girl he cannot have because she is white
White's upcoming novel. His 3rd one. Due for release later 2016.
SJ: For you, what is the most difficult thing about being a writer?
White: Making sure I put in the time to write. I’m easily distracted by golf, tennis, bowling, reading, surfing, Facebook, Twitter, my children, my wife, cat videos and everything else.
SJ: What is the easiest thing about being a writer?
White: Nothing is easy about writing. Telling the story, editing, researching, typing, querying, selling, book signing, public appearances… it’s all hard. If nascent writers asked me for advice I’d tell them to take up some other hobby before the writing seduced them and drove them to an early grave. That said, spell-checking is pretty easy.
SJ: As a twice published author, any advice for aspiring authors out there about getting published that you can share with readers?
White: As in the answer I gave above, “Take up some other hobby before the writing seduces you and drives you to an early grave.” Also, read a lot.
SJ: If you were given the option to take one book and rewrite it to your liking, which book would you choose and why? What would you change?
White: Prodigious Savant. Although it’s a good story with interesting characters and plenty of twists it could follow the story arc a little better and I’d work on improving the sentence structure in the first few chapters. Also, I’d remove some of the Gavin saids and Sharon saids and replace them with he said and she said. I think all authors in hindsight would like to edit their books one more time.
But before we say goodbye to J.J. White today, we can't leave without sharing the synopsis for Deviant Acts:
Jackson Hurst lives his nightmares with his eyes open. Only the heroin he’s been addicted to since Vietnam keeps the horror at bay. A poster child for losers, Jackson’s addiction has cost him his job, his girlfriend—and unless there’s a change soon—his life. That change comes in the form of the wicked Aunt Camille, a Vermont millionaire who desperately needs Jackson’s services to retrieve her twenty-year-old daughter, Cheryl, from kidnappers. Camille wants her back at any cost and she wants the kidnappers, who maimed her only daughter, murdered. Jackson could use the money—no, he desperately needs the money—but can he stay clean long enough to get her back? And more importantly, can he kill again despite the demons that haunt him from the war?
Interested? Want to learn more? Here's a brief excerpt for Deviant Acts:
He hadn’t thought it would be easy, but he wasn’t expecting to fail this soon…
Jackson stopped the car and listened. The owl hunted in the distance. A stream rushed nearby, behind the large two-story farmhouse. The last time he had been there, Wester had used the farmhouse for his family, whoever his family was that week. Lights were on in the first floor only. Jackson removed the revolver from the glove compartment and placed it next to his right thigh. He decided he’d circle around the back of the house to see if it were just the three of them and Cheryl so he could get the jump on them. A flashlight beam on his left lit up the front seat of the Fairlane. It blinded his vision when he turned to face it.
“You lost, son?”
Jackson rested his right hand on his revolver. “Looking for Bent Hill. Trying to find a Mr. Lester Wester.”
“You found him. I know your voice, don’t I?”
“I was here a few years ago. I dropped off my cousin, Cheryl, and then I stayed a day. Jackson Hurst.”
“I remember you. Haze talks about you. That why you’re here? To get the reward money? You figure they’re here hiding out, don’t you?”
“That ain’t why I’m here. I came to help them, that’s all, Lester.” Jackson slid his index finger against the trigger. Something poked the left side of his head. Out the corner of his eye, he could just see the muzzle of Wester’s pistol illuminated by the flashlight beam.
“Now just hand me that gun, son. Take it by the barrel and ease it through the window to me. You’d be dead already if I didn’t think Haze wanted to talk to you.”
That sounds intriguing, J.J. It certainly got me interested. Thank you, J.J. For allowing us to take some time out of your busy schedule and interview you. Readers, take note you may purchase a copy of J.J.'s books at online retailers and independent booksellers:
You can also find a copy at: http://www.amazon.com
Feel free to connect with J.J. White at: http://jjwhitebooks.com
face book: https://www.facebook.com/ProdigiousSavant
Thank you all for visiting with us. Until next month...every one please stay safe. Smile. Be happy. Show compassion. Be nice to others. Put a little love into your heart. Please speak up for those without a voice, whether it be a dog, cat, elephant or monkey. One person, one voice can make a difference. Read a book and pass it on. Leave a review. Reviews are important for authors. Believe me. I know. Thank you!
S. J. Francis
Advocate for the underdog, and cat, and supporting writers, et al.
In Shattered Lies: "It's All About Family." Available now from Black Opal Books and for sale at all on-line retailers and independent booksellers.
My Black Opal Books Author Page:
My web page: http://sjfranciswriter.com
My Writing Blog: http://www.sjfranciswriter.blogspot.com
A Book Review 4 U: http://abookreview4u.blogspot.com
A Consumer's View: http://aconsumersview.blogspot.com
One for the Animals: http://onefortheanimals.blogspot.com
Good Reads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/33550975-s-j
And now for some legal stuff: Copyright 2015 by S.J. Francis. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the author, S. J. Francis and the guest author and are meant to entertain, inform and enlighten, and intend to offend no one.