Q: Jade...what made you become a writer?
A: I read a book when I was nine that grabbed me in such a way, I knew I was going to spend my life telling stories.
Q: What is your typical writing day like?
A: I spend the mornings working out and cleaning the house, and work in the afternoons. Since I’m a professional writer, that means doing a bunch of writing tasks every day. When I’m done with all that, I take some time to work on my books. That may mean sweating over a first draft, straining my eyes to edit, laboring over a trailer or gritting my teeth as I create a cover mock-up.
Q: Do you outline? If so, how extensive are your outlines?
A: I do outline and swear by it. I can’t start a book without a good outline. I’ll write a paragraph, four or five sentences, for each planned chapter. Of course, outlines always change.
Q: How many revisions will you typically do on a novel?
A: Five. That’s a firm number for me. The first edit I spend just cleaning up all the ugliness – I make a surprising number of typos for someone who types every day. The second and third edit I fix problems with the flow of the story. The last two edits are all about making sure every letter and mark is perfect…well, as perfect as I can get it!
Q: What is your best tip for editing a manuscript?
A: Switch formats. Don’t always edit on your computer. Put your manuscript on your Kindle, print it out, look at it on a tablet and read it in different ways. You’ll see different things to fix each time.
Q: Which writing habits and/or tricks of the trade have made you a better writer?
A: Keep asking yourself questions. Make sure you know WHY your characters are doing that and saying this. You have to know the WHY of everything, so your readers can.
Q: Do you ever suffer through writer’s block? If so, how do you fight it?
A: Yes, I’ve had a few ugly cases of it. Sometimes when I’m just a little stuck, I can take a walk and work it out. When I’m a lot stuck, I may have to switch over to another project for a while to get into the groove of writing again and then try to tackle whatever’s causing the block.
Q: What drew you to write your preferred genre(s)?
A: I write the kind of books I always enjoyed reading most, and that happens to be YA.
Q: Do you utilize beta readers?
A: I have one dedicated beta reader that reads all my books before anyone else.
Q: In your most recently published novel, what’s one scene you really enjoyed writing—and why?
A: In Song of the Sea, the first book in my “Saltwater Secrets” trilogy, there’s a scene where one character is telling another character a story. It’s a very calm scene in a book that’s got a lot of action in it, so that may seem like an odd choice, but the dialogue really gives you a good sense of who the characters are and where they’ve come from to get to this point.
Q: What makes the main character(s) of your most recent novel so special?
A: Brenna Douglas, the heroine of the “Saltwater Secrets” trilogy, doesn’t have any idea who she is. That’s a problem a lot of people have, but in Brenna’s case she doesn’t let it hold her back. Brenna jumps in even when she doesn’t know where she’s jumping or what she’s going to find on the other side.
Q: What is your best advice for author self-promotion?
A: Don’t stop, even when it seems like it isn’t working. Pay attention to what other authors are doing and keep trying new things. Eventually, something’s going to work. And even if it doesn’t, you aren’t doing yourself any harm by keeping at it.
Q: How do you deal with negative reviews?
A: I read them and try to absorb the comments. Criticism is always useful even when it hurts. But after I read it and take in the information, I put it away from myself. There will be more reviews, and it won’t do any good to dwell too long on a bad one.
Q: What is your favorite aspect of being an indie author?
A: The control. Indie authors get to decide every single aspect of their own books, and that’s something traditionally-published authors do not have.
Q: What is your least favorite aspect of being an indie author?
A: The stigma. Some reviewers and readers believe that indie authors are somehow lesser than traditional authors, but that’s not always the case.
Q: What is your current writing project?
A: In September I’m going to release Book 2 in the “Saltwater Secrets” trilogy! I’m working on final edits and finalizing the trailer now.
Q: What are three of your favorite novels?
A: Gone With the Wind is my all-time favorite. I also love Anne of Green Gables and The Secret Garden.
Q: If you could have lunch with any novelist, living or dead, who would it be? What would talk to them about?
A: Great question! Edgar Allen Poe. He seems like a very dark and interesting individual, so I can hardly imagine a more fascinating lunch companion. While I’ve got him there, I would take the opportunity to ask him about the mystery surrounding his death and possibly get the real story. I’m sure it would make a great book!
Q: What is your best piece of advice for budding authors?
A: Remember this: There’s always another book to write. Try not to let yourself love one too much.
Q: What is your favorite inspirational quote?
A: “Rage, rage against the dying of the light.” Dylan Thomas
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