Interview with Author J D Brown

Author: Anastasia V. Pergakis // Category:


I met the wonderful J D Brown (Or Jen) on Writing.Com. Our love of vampire and the "dark side" drew us together into a great friendship. We grew closer during our time participating in the Novel Workshop - and we are even hosting June's workshop about writing a series! It's going to be great fun! She is a great person and writer, and I super honored to get to interview her today!

Thank you, Harley, it’s an honor to be interviewed by you.

Well, Jen, to kick this off, why don't you tell us a little about yourself.

Well, I’m 24 years old and I live in Wisconsin with my two dogs. I call them my boys. I grew up in the ‘burbs of Chicago and would love to move back someday. I’m sort of a dork and an odd-ball. I like mmo computer games and graveyards. There’s a soft spot in my heart for all things dark and misunderstood. However, I do not write horror. I err on the fantasy side of things.

Fantasy is awesome - and Dark Fantasy is even better! What made you decide to become a writer?

A lot of things. I did not wake up one day and say “I want to be writer”. When I was a child, I never said “I want to be an author when I grow up.” Instead, it happened gradually. I always had it in me, I just didn’t notice before. As a kid, I loved to read. I read an average 2-3 books a week. I was a shy child so instead of making friends, I lost myself in novels. When I got bored, I’d make up my own fantasy land and characters. I’d draw sketches of them in a notebook and name them. But I never developed them further. During collage, I dated a guy who was an animation major. He and I used to talk about comic books a lot. He could draw well, but he struggled with writing the story. That is when I first started to think to myself “I could write a book”.

Ideas and characters sprang up immediately, as though they’ve been WAITING for me to realize I could do it. However, I had a full-time job and I wasn’t yet committed to the idea of being a writer. Then, in 2008, I lost my job. The office I worked for shut down due to the economy. I suddenly had a lot of spare time. I was depressed without a job and began writing out my frustrations. That’s when I said “You know what? I’m going to write a novel.” Once I started, I couldn’t stop. I instantly fell in love with writing. It came so naturally. Yes, it’s hard sometimes, but I love it. I can’t imagine NOT writing.

NOT writing? What a horrible thought! Characters are lying in wait all the time - and they are definitely sneaky too! What inspires you to write - what makes the characters come to you?

Honestly, I am my own motivator. My family and my writing buddies are all very encouraging and I love them to death. But in the end, they cannot force me to turn on the computer and type.
That is very true! It is great to have enouragement from friends and family! You have helped me through a lot with my own writing and I hope that I can return the favor someday! How has your life changed since you starting writing - on a serious level?

Everything is harder, more stressful. There’s far less “me time” and far less sleep. My brain is AWLWAYS working. Before I started writing, I could come home from work and goof-off or hang out with my friends and do whatever until I felt like going to bed. Now, it’s like I have two full-time jobs. I come home from my day job and I go straight to my desk, turn on the computer, and work on my novel until the wee hours of the morning. Writing is not a hobby for me, it’s a career. A career that I don’t yet get paid to do ….

Yes, writing is definitely a hard career to choose - but we wouldn't have it any other way would we? Speaking of hard work, how does it take for you to write a book and what is your schedule like when writing?

*Chuckle* Well, the manuscript for Dark Heirloom Book One took me a year to complete, including all the re-writes and all the cases of writer’s block. *Ahem* I vow to be more organized from now on. My schedule, when writing drafts, can be summed up in two words: “hectic” and “antisocial”. My boyfriend hates it, haha.

Yes indeed! My husband knows when I'm in the 'zone' for writing because I ignore everything! He could come up and talk to me and I wouldn't notice! Writing can be hectic but tell us do you character plot a great deal or have a detailed outline when you start writing, or do you write on the fly?

A lot of both, actually. I character sketched like a mad woman. I have at least 5-10 pages of notes per main character. Everything from the day they were “born” all the way to the start of the novel. If I wanted to, I could write a prequel for each one. And believe it or not, that was the easy part for me. I did a lot of research too. Other than that, I did NO outlining at all. I made up scenes as I went and just wrote as the words came to me. However – I will never do that again. Next time I will force myself to outline.

Yes, I have recently learned the wonderfulness of outlining. I think I'll still be a free writer at heart but even a little outlining definitely makes a difference! Rewriting is one of the hardest things for me in this business so do you have a great critique group, editor or do you self-edit?

I’m a member of several review groups on writing.com, and that has helped a great deal. I also have a couple writing buddies who’ve become fans of my work and – bless them – like to help me edit. I also self-edit, but I hate it. I don’t trust my grammar skills.

Grammar is definitely hard to pick up - especially when you are looking at your own work. You don't want to admit you did it wrong! What is the hardest thing about writing that you've struggled with?

It’s ALL hard. Whatever stage of the writing process you are in – THAT’s the hardest part. You finish and move on to another stage and suddenly THAT’s the hardest part. There’s nothing easy about writing a novel. I guess, for me, the “hardest” part is being patient with the aspects of writing that are out of my control.

Yes indeed. Waiting is the name of the game a lot of the time! Thanks so much for stopping by Jen! You all out there can find Jen around the web at the following places:

Blog (Author JD Brown)
Website (Author JD Brown)
Writing.com Portfolio (Username jdbrown)
Email: jdbrown.author[at]gmail[dot]com

3 Responses to "Interview with Author J D Brown"

Karen Amanda Hooper Says :
May 25, 2010 at 4:21 PM

Hectic and antisocial. Ain't that the truth?

Great interview. :)

Angelica Weatherby Says :
May 26, 2010 at 12:50 AM

Yep. And well I loved reading this interview. I think JD will be published sooner or later. Hehe

J. D. Brown Says :
May 26, 2010 at 11:41 PM

Haha. Thank you, Angelica. I sure hope it's sooner. ;)

Harley, I love the new layout!

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