Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Author Interview: J. Meyers

J. Meyers has written Intangible and Intuition.

1. What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 20 or less words, what would you say?
My debut novel is Intangible. Twins Sera and Luke are gifted--she heals, he sees the future. Luke sees her death, and can't do anything about it. (Wow, that's hard to do in less than 20 words! And obviously I can't. I also can't tell a short story or leave a short phone message. Drives my husband nuts.)

2. Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
Yes! I am just getting started on book two. This premise and world has the potential for many books, which I'm really excited about. Not only this series focusing on Luke and Sera, but also companion novels or companion series about other gifted teens.

3. What or who inspired you to start writing? And how long have you been writing?
I used to hate writing when I was in school--high school and college. *Hated* it. So I'm not one of those people who's always known she wanted to write books. I've always loved to read, and I've had a life-long love affair with words. I lucked into a job in educational texts publishing--starting with inputting changes to manuscripts on computer, moving up to proofreading and copyediting, then eventually on to writing. That was probably 15 years ago. But I still didn't think of myself as being a writer.
But about 10 years ago I was copy editing a novel and thought, I could write stuff like this. So I came up with a vague idea and started writing. I made it through chapter one, and may have even started chapter two. That's as far as I got. Then a little over 2 years ago I read another book that made me think that, I came up with this premise of a girl who could heal, and created a very detailed outline (40 pages long, single spaced!) of the entire book. And here I am.
4. How did you come up with the cover? Who designed the cover of your book?
I actually designed the cover, and my first attempts were terrible. I was sure I was going to have to hire someone to do it because I wanted a cover that would draw people in, that looked professional. A little playing around, the right photo, and I had actually created a beautiful cover. (I was slightly amazed that I'd pulled it off.) Then I came up with three different covers and had people vote on them on my blog (because I can't make a decision to save my soul). This one was the clear winner--my favorite didn't get picked. Which was disappointing, but I decided it was best to go with the majority on this.
(Rachel: Here's the blog post, if you want to link to it: http://www.jmeyersbooks.com/2011/09/20/cover-voting-time/)

5. How did you come up with the title for your book?
Oh my god. The title was *so* hard to come up with. For the longest time I called it Healer, but that's not a terribly interesting title and there were already many books with that title. I wanted something different. Something unique. My mom and I were discussing it, brainstorming, one day and she said something like that it should be an interesting word kind of like frangibles, which was a word she'd recently learned in connection with some medical equipment she was using. I'd never heard of frangiblebefore (it means "breakable, fragile"), but I instantly thought of intangible. I liked the sound of it, but wasn't sure that the word fit the story, so I tried to come up with other words, but kept coming back to intangible. Bit by bit it grew on me and fit itself into the story. (So, really, I owe it all to my mom.)

6. Do you prefer e-books, paperbacks, hardcovers or audiobooks?
Paper, paper, paper. Don't really care whether it's paperback or hardcover. I think I usually buy paperback just because it's more affordable. I do have a Kindle, which I bought to be able to see my book on an ereader, to make sure the formatting was perfect, and really just to see what it would look like. It also allows me to read indie authors that don't have paper books or whose digital books are much more affordable than the paper versions. I love finding other good indie writers that I can tell people about. Actually, I just love finding good writers of any kind that I can tell people about. I write terrible reviews--haven't got a lick of talent for it--but I do love to rave about books I love.

7. Are you a self-published / Indie author?
Yes, indeed, I am. :-) As my first choice, actually--not because I queried and was turned down. I had planned to go the traditional route for most of the time that I was writing this book, but then about 9 months ago that all changed and it just made better business sense to go indie. I'm really happy I'm doing it this way. I was actually dreading some aspects of traditional publishing. (I've been traditionally published twice before with a couple of non-fiction parenting books I co-authored, so I was dreading from experience.)

8. Have you ever read a book more than once? And if so what was it?
Oh my goodness, yes! Hasn't everyone? (Seriously, doesn't everyone do that?) I read Wuthering Heights many times, as well as Gone With the Wind, some of the Harry Potter books (I'm actually rereading all of them again right now as I'm reading them aloud to my kids--we just started book three tonight!), and several others that are not popping into my mind at the moment. Some I've read simply because I loved them and wanted to live through it all again, but more recently I've taken to reading over and over again books that are beautifully written in hopes that I can soak up how they did it, become a  better writer.

9. Have you ever bought a specific edition of a book because of it’s cover? (For example a UK, US or Canadian version) 
Funny that you ask this. I'm actually dying to get my hands on the UK version of Laini Taylor's newest The Daughter of Smoke & Bone because I *love* the UK cover and really don't like the US one. If I didn't already love her work, I don't think I'd pick it up based on the US cover.

10. Have you ever read a book just based on it’s cover?
Absolutely. That's what makes me pick up a book to begin with. That's the first impression!

11. Has the quality of the cover of a book ever put you off of reading it?
Oh, yes! I've passed by many books whose cover art didn't draw me in. So many books in the library I don't even look at because the cover doesn't speak to me.
12. What book are you reading at the moment? And in what format?
I'm reading So B. It by Sarah Weeks in hardcover, borrowed from the library. (I just went to the library a week ago and came home with 15 YA and MG books because I finally have time to read again! So excited. BIG fan of the library!)

13. Do you have any advice for other writers? And what’s the best advice that you have been given when it comes to writing? 
I guess my advice would be the best advice I came across: write what you want to read. (And revise/edit the crap out of it.)

14. Where can your readers follow you?

Smashwords: (for free short story Intuition) http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/97309

Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview and allowing us a glimpse into your writing world!

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