Tell us a little bit about yourself, J.B.
I have been married for 11 years to my husband, Chad. We have two special needs children, Noah (7) and Jonah (5). We all suffer from Mitochondrial Disease, so my hope is that my books will not only help our family financially, but also help raise awareness for that disease.
What do you do when you are not writing?
I enjoy spending time with my family, monogramming, graphic design, crafting, and reading.
In addition to writing, do you have a day job as well?
Not really. We have a small graphic design business, but I have pretty much had to stop taking new clients since I started writing. We are trying to sell the business, or we will close it at the new year if it hasn’t sold so I can write full time. Of course, caring for two special needs children is a full-time job too but not one that I get paid monetarily to do.
When did you first start writing, and when did you finish your first book?
I started writing my first book, Broken, on August 12, 2012. It was pretty much something I did on a whim. I decided I wanted to try it and see if I could do it. I was finished two weeks later.
How did you choose the genre you write in?
I had been told when I was in middle school that I could no longer do book reports on Nancy Drew. So I quit reading for pleasure for the most part. Once I read Fifty Shades of Grey, I fell in love with reading contemporary romance and the erotic romance genre. Writing erotica intimidated me, so I leaned more towards the contemporary romance genre.
Do you work with an outline or just write?
With Broken, I started with an outline and quickly tossed it to the side. For the most part the story came together so quickly and easily that I just wrote and wrote and wrote.
With Mending (the sequel), I really thought and thought about where I wanted the story to go. I wrote an outline, but I can tell you I have reworked it multiple times as the story has grown and evolved. The final outline is very different from my original outline. I will say though that I definitely have relied on this outline because there is so much more drama and depth to Mending.
What were the challenges you encountered in getting your first book published?
I did a lot of research online about self-publishing. I looked into different companies that help with that. I ultimately found Mark’s list through Smashwords and subcontracted the stuff that was intimidating me. I had my cover made by Keary Taylor. I used Go Published for editing and formatting. Although, my editing left a lot to be desired, she did a fabulous job on the formatting. I would say my biggest fear through the entire process was editing. My biggest struggle was financially trying to get the money to pay different people to help me. I didn’t want my book to look amateur. Being a graphic designer, professional graphics were very important to me, inside and out.
Have you written a book that you have not been able to get published?
Well, I recently wrote my first special needs children’s book. I am looking for an illustrator. Once I get the illustrations done, I hope to publish that.
What can can you tell us about your upcoming book?
I will say that I read every review, good or bad. I really tried to listen to my readers from Broken and incorporate lingering questions they had into Mending. If I didn’t answer questions in Mending, I’ll probably answer them in Forgiven (the final book in the trilogy).
Mending picks up where Broken left off in a sense. What had been the present in Broken becomes the past in Mending. Bradley has a lot of explaining to do in Mending. Ghosts from both of their pasts reappear. Gabby grows a lot emotionally. You get more of Bradley and his point of view. It was emotional for me to write, so I can only imagine what it will be like to read.
What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
Toughest has been to hear the flaws in the writing. I can live with someone not liking the plot. Not everyone is going to like that. But it’s been hard to know that there were errors in my manuscript. I want to be the best I can be and that is hard to swallow to know that I didn’t knock that out of the ballpark. But I have learned so much to hopefully make my future writing that much better.
The best compliment has been hearing that I motivated, supported, or encouraged someone to start writing their own book. Empowering other women has been very gratifying to me.
Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
It’s simple. Thank you. I dreamed that my book might be popular and make it into Top 100’s on Amazon, but usually laughed away such dreams thinking everyone probably thinks that. I still dream of being a New York Times or USA Today Bestseller. I set goals for myself initially with Broken, and you made me realize they were not big enough. Thank you for making me set new ones, for helping me realize my dreams. I hope you know how much each and every one of you mean to me. Thank you.