Bec: Welcome to my blog, please start out by sharing a little bit about yourself –
JJ: Thank you so much for having me. I love your blog, this place is fantastic. What can I tell you about me…hmm. Well, I’m married to the sweetest guy and we have two wonderful sons, both under four. I was a zookeeper for 13 years but had to leave it behind when I started coming down with a mystery illness. We’re still looking for a diagnosis and things just get weirder and weirder.
Bec: What first got you interested in writing?
JJ: When I was eight my teacher had the class write a story. I was hooked from then on. She actually made us these little cloth covered books to write them in. Mine was about a superpig trying to stop an evil dog bent on world domination. I still have it, and I even still love the psychedelic tie dye cover.
Bec: What are the worst struggles you think writers face, writing and marketing?
JJ: The hardest part of writing as an Indie, is getting your work out there. People assume writing books is the bulk of what we do, but, as you know, it’s the smallest part of our job as independents. We write them and then (if you’re like me) we spend another month or so editing everything so that not just the grammar and punctuation are as flawless as we can get them, but so that the story flows effortlessly. While we’re pulling our hair out doing that, we’re also doing our level best to promote the book and keep in touch with our readers and friends to let them know how it’s all going. It’s literally like doing every job at a publishing house for ourselves and almost all of the authors I know still have a day job. It’s definitely not a job we do for money, but one we do because our hearts and our Muse demand it.
Bec: Tell us about your book/s –
JJ: Well I have one available through Kindle and Nook it’s called Oh, The Horror and it’s a short story collection made up of my favorite psychological horror shorts. I also have a novel available on my website that I wrote for a bunch of pals. It’s called Enter Vampires and it will always be up there to read for free. Right now I am editing a novel that I’m planning on releasing for Kindle and Nook within the next few weeks.
Bec: Are you working on a sequel/s?
JJ: The novel that’s up on my site will indeed have a sequel. So far, none of my other novels have called for one.
Bec: What’s your favorite holiday? Why?
JJ: Thanksgiving. I like it because it is the one time of year you gather everyone you love together with no intent other than sharing the joy and thankfulness for what has come your way. Yeah, behind all the murderous intent beats the heart of a sap.
Bec: What other projects are you working on or involved with?
JJ: I’m working on a new novel as well as a short story that’s been scratching at my cerebellum. I’m also working to edit my previous novels so I can get them out there. Not to mention I’m also writing a young adult series about a girl who can talk to animals and the hijinks that gets her into.
Bec: Dance or sing?
JJ: Gah! I have to pick? I’m sorry I can’t choose. I’m the geek who’s out there dancing and singing at the top of her lungs, even though my singing sounds more like a cat stuck under a rocking chair. My kids and I make up songs about everything and dance as much as we can on the days I feel well.
Bec: What’s your favorite color?
JJ: It’s a tie between blue and green.
Bec: If you could reset the hours in a normal day, how many would you put into one?
JJ: 100, and since I have the power to do that I would also like to make 50 of those hours designated for naps only. You’re welcome.
Bec: Do you like to listen to music while you write or have complete silence?
JJ: I prefer silence. I tend to get up and dance or sing if a good song comes on so silence is more conducive to me actually writing.
Bec: What’s your favorite season?
JJ: Summer. I love working in my garden and helping things grow. Living in Michigan we only get three months of decent weather a year so I try to soak up every second I can of those.
Bec: What genres do you most like to read/write?
JJ: I read anything I can get my hands on, seriously. I’ve also written in all genres but tend to prefer horror, and Children’s books for writing. My kids and I will sit down and make up stories, they’re actually pretty good.
Bec: What was your favorite TV show when you were a kid?
JJ: For sitcoms it would have to be ALF. Cartoon wise, I adored Voltron, Transformers, and The Thundercats.
Bec: Do you find writing a lonely profession?
JJ: Yes and no. Facebook has made it less lonely, but when I get sucked into my writing it can be days before I deal with a human outside of the house.
Bec: If you made school uniforms, what color would you make them?
JJ: Black and white, that way kids could accessorize with anything to make the outfit fit their sense of style and self.
Bec: What would you share with a beginning writer?
JJ: It’s a hard road you’re starting down. Having good, supportive, helpful friends and amazing peers can really help make it a fun one.
Bec: Ponytail or hanging loose?
Bec: What do you wish someone would have told you when you first started your writing journey?
JJ: I wish someone would have told me to have faith in myself. If they had I would have several books out by now.
Bec: Day or night?
JJ: I prefer very late at night, between 3 and 5 am. It’s more peaceful and still, it’s almost magical.
Bec: Do you think having other writers as friend is a good thing for your growth as a writer?
JJ: Absolutely. Without the help of some wonderful authors *Wink, wink. Nudge, nudge* I wouldn’t be where I am today. When you’re friends with other authors, they often will have insight into your writing and marketing that can help you in ways you never even dreamed.
Bec: What’s your favorite book? Why?
JJ: There are two books I would classify as my favorites. The Unabridged Edgar Allan Poe and The Works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I love both their writing style as well as the characters they created.
Bec: Who’s your favorite author? Why?
JJ: My favorite author is Edgar Allan Poe. His work touches that dark part that lives deep inside all of us and because of that, he is timeless. Take his short ‘The Black Cat’, it’s a story that could, and probably even has, happen today.
Bec: Is there anything you would like to share that I haven’t asked you about?
JJ: Yes! I read Code Z: An Undead Hospital Anthology and all I have to say is To Walk the Halls was fabulous. People should go get that book. Also if people want to know more about me they can find me at www.JaimeJohnesee.com
Bec: Thank you for stopping by and sharing! Best of luck with your book and future projects!
JJ: Thank you for having me, and for the luck.
©Rebecca Besser & Jaime Johnesee, 2012. All rights reserved.