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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Author Interview with J. Meyers

In the age of e-books comes the increasing amount of self-published authors. A lot of you will know that these books are a hit and miss thing with some books being a lot better than other. One hit I found lately was author J. Meyers.

Her debut book Intangible was not what I was expecting and I had to wonder why the author had decided to self-publish. This kind of writing deserved a publisher.

So I contacted the author and asked her a few questions. The following interview is the result. I hope you enjoy getting to know J.Meyers and will take the time to check out her amazing book Intangible!


Amber - Welcome to Amberkatze's Book Blog! It is great to have you here again as a guest! Could you start things off by telling us a little about your debut book, Intangible?

J - Thanks, Amber! I'm really glad to be here. Intangible is about twins Sera and Luke Raine who both have special abilities. Sera heals with a touch of her hand and Luke sees the future with absolute accuracy. Luke has a vision that Sera is killed, and they have to figure out how to stop it, how to change the future...which Luke has never been able to do before. They also discover, in the process, that the world is not what they'd thought. That mythical creatures do actually exist and are the ones out to kill Sera.

Amber - How did you come up with the idea for Intangible? Was it a long process or did it just come to you?

J - The original idea was simply of a girl who could heal with a touch of her hand, and she could also transform mythical beings to human. Over several months of working on the outline it morphed into a story about gifted twins and the various creatures that make up their world and the Realm.

Amber - How did you pick the names for your characters? Do they have any special meanings?

J - Some of the names were easy, some took a while to settle on. Originally Seraphina (aka Sera) was Grace, Lena, and a couple of more I can't recall. A friend was having a baby around the time I was trying to figure out her name. She named her daughter Serafina, from seraphim who are the highest order of angels, and I knew that's what I had to name my main character. I loved that she could have this beautiful name--Seraphina--and it could be shortened to a more usual-sounding name Sera.

Luke was always Luke, even though I tried to name him many other names that held more meaning to them--like Gabriel, which I thought would go well with Seraphina as they're both angel names. But he wasn't a Gabriel/Gabe. He was always Luke. Jonas's name came from the Indigo Girls song "Jonas & Ezekial" and was always Jonas (it also means "dove" which feels really appropriate to me). I think Marc went through many different names before I settled on Marc--and I don't remember what they were. And Fey was named after a friend of mine. I added the -th at the end to make it Feyth. I tried to change her name many times as well, but it had to be Fey. (Fey is a short form of Faith, a virtue name meaning "loyalty" and "belief." It's perfect for her character.)

Amber - The ending hinted at more books about Luke & Sera. Will Intangible turn into a series?

J - Yes, it will be a series!

Amber - How many books do you think Luke & Sera have in them? Is it a story you have planned out?

J - I have at least three or four books in mind--with story planned out for that length. (I'm just not sure whether it'll take three books or four to tell the story.) I also think this world would be great for companion books or companion series, focusing on other characters within this series or picking Gifteds from somewhere else in the world and telling their stories. I don't have anything planned for that yet. It's just something I'm thinking about.

Amber - What are you working on at the moment and when is your next release coming?

J - I'm currently working on book two and have all my fingers crossed (when I'm not writing) that it will be out by the end of the year.

Amber - Did you always wanted to be an author? Why did you pick the Paranormal/Fantasy genre? Why Young Adult?

J - I actually hated writing when I was in high school and college. :-) I never would have thought I'd become a writer. But about six years ago, after working in publishing for many years as a freelance writer, editor, copy editor, and proofreader, I decided to pursue it. I co-authored a couple of parenting books first because I didn't really think I was capable of writing fiction. (Apparently I was wrong about that.) It was actually a great way to work up to writing fiction because I already knew what it was like to write a whole book--how long it took, the dedication you need to sit down and write almost every night. So after the second parenting book, I turned my attention to fiction. And started wondering if I could do it. Around that time I stumbled upon YA books and fell in love. I fell especially hard for the paranormal genre in YA because they are so creative, imaginative, and fun--to have the impossible feel possible within the book world you're immersed in is a wonderful experience. I'd found my home and began to come up with book ideas.

Amber - What are the good times and bad times of being an author?

J - Good times are definitely connecting with people all over the world who I never would have met otherwise. That's been a LOT of fun. Bad times? It's a LOT of work--the writing, publishing, and then marketing. And it takes me away from my family much more than I'd like. That's what I like least about it--missing out with my husband and kids when I'm writing.

Amber - You decided to self-publish Intangible. Why?

J - I decided to self-publish as my first choice (not because I couldn't get it published traditionally--I actually didn't pursue that at all). With the huge changes in the publishing industry thanks to ebooks, it simply made better business sense for me to self-publish. Doing it myself means I might actually be able to make a living at this, whereas if I went traditional the odds of making a living are very poor. (Just as an example, if I went through a publisher and they sold my ebook for $9.99, I'd get $1.49 for every book sold. If I do it myself, I'd get about $6.99 for each book.) It just doesn't make sense to me to go with a publisher--at least to begin with. So I didn't. :-)

Amber - The cover for Intangible is lovely. Who did the artwork? Did you pick the finished cover yourself?

J - Thank you! I actually created the cover myself using stock photography, adding some color to give an otherworldly feel, and finding that gorgeous font. It really came together, thankfully. The first few covers I tried to create were terrible, and I was sure I would need to hire someone to make the cover for me. But I was able to figure it out. I love to tinker and create, so it was actually a lot of fun to play around with photo editing software and just see what happened.

I ended up designing three different covers and couldn't pick between them, so I posted a poll on my blog asking everyone I knew to come vote on which cover they liked best. This one was not my first choice, but it was the first choice of most people who voted, so that's the one I went with. If you'd like to see the other covers, they're here.

Amber - A lot of authors have 'soundtracks' for their books. Is there any music that influenced Intangible?

J - The Indigo Girls song I mentioned above, "Jonas & Ezekial," was something I listened to a LOT. It inspired mood and story ideas, not so much from the literal meaning of the lyrics, but from images it evoked when I'd listen to it. I also felt the same way about KD Lang's "Hallelujah" and U2's "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For." It's a SHORT list, I know. But I think that's because I can't actually listen to music while I'm writing. I can only listen when I'm thinking about it. Otherwise my brain pays too much attention to the music and no writing gets done. :-) I actually find that songs evoke lots of story ideas for me now that I'm writing fiction.

Amber - What books do you enjoy reading? Do you have any favourite authors/series?

J - I read almost exclusively YA and MG books because I love them so much and they are so beautifully written. It's really some of the best writing on the market right now. Authors I adore include: Laini Taylor, Aidan Chambers, Sarah Dessen, Sarah Prineas, JK Rowling, Frannie Billingsley, Kristin Cashore, Megan Whalen Turner, and Suzanne Collins. (That is by no means a complete list, but I had to stop somewhere.) ;-)

Amber - What about TV & Film? What have you been watching lately?

J - We don't actually get TV in our home (which is LOVELY, but I do miss out on some great shows--like I've heard great things about Downtown Abbey and will have to check it out on DVD). We do watch movies, however. I just watched Dreamwork's How to Train Your Dragon a couple of nights ago with my kids. It was great! And I've been making my way through the first four seasons (aka the Aaron Sorkin years) of "The West Wing" on DVD. That show has the most incredible writing. It inspires me with its snappy dialogue and intelligent banter.

Amber - If you could be any paranormal creature, what would you be and why?

J - A witch because I'd want to have magical powers. (I've been reading the Harry Potter series to my kids recently, so it's possible that's a huge influence in my answer today.)

Amber - Thank you for being a guest! See you soon! ;)

J - Thanks so much, Amber! It's been fun. :-)

1 comment:

Aurian said...

Thanks for the review ladies, I enjoyed reading it. And I totally agree with you to go self published if you can make a living that way. Also, kudos on making the cover yourself, I like it.