Interview with J Niessen

What is the story behind your latest book?
There’s a novel I’ve been working on since 2011 titled HOPSCOTCH. Chapters 01-05 are told by our main character, Garrison. In them he reveals a succession of difficulties, with the disappearance of close family members, to witnessing numerous killings, and chasing down clues that offer hope of reuniting with his lost loved ones. Chapters 06-10 give us a better understanding of what's going on in the lives of the people around him. As the story develops we find that later portions of the tale transpire in the various stages of Hell, similar to Dante’s Inferno. Chapters 01-16 are now successfully published! I'm putting chapters 17-25 on hold to write a new short story titled Suicidal Intentions.
When did you first start writing, and do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
In my first year of college my daily commute by bus took 4 hrs. The time was passed in reading Steven King novels. Soon my passion to write fiction emerged, filling in blank notebook pages with imagined thoughts during the lengthy travel. From these journal writings developed a story entitled “Bondage” (unpublished). It's been nearly 15 yrs since then.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I’m extremely thankful for the resources the Internet provides. We’re fortune to have this technology. I decided the best way to reach an audience is through electronic devices. Because my narratives vary in style and genre, I’ve chosen to publish them individually, rather than as a whole collection. Smashwords makes this goal possible, and I’m grateful for their services.
What is the most difficult story you have written, and the greatest joy of writing for you?
The most difficult story I’ve written, to date, is The Keys to Destruction. Knowing what actions the characters are involved in, and then clearly explaining the character and how they interact through interweaving time eras, was a trying task. My greatest joy comes not in the completion of the story, but in learning that someone enjoyed reading it. It's exciting to see the total amount of downloads a story accumulates.
What is your writing process?
Sometimes I’ll have an ending in mind, and work my way toward it. With Redemption Seed I wanted the account to end with a cliffhanger, yet arrive full circle. At other times the situation is based on a REM/deep dream. Velvet Manor comes entirely from a nightmare. My later stories are inspired by psychological questioning and man’s publicized science dictating his belief on creation.
How do you approach cover design?
I design the cover with images in mind from within the story. Going through hundreds of photos using an image search I select about a dozen potential pieces. Then I arrange the clip art to reflect the scene I see in my head.
Published 2014-03-04.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Electric Chair
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Series: Suicidal Intentions, Part Three. Price: Free! Words: 10,540. Language: English. Published: August 15, 2014. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
Nathaniel and Karen are on a drive to escape life's problems for the weekend. Stopping at a secluded area the two meet a familiar traveler named Ashura, similar to Karen in many ways though not afraid to act on her desires. Bearing concealed features, she holds murderous intentions. A body of heavenly hosts with hellish stratagem will turn the couple’s camp destination into a scene of chaos.
Suicidal Intentions: Firing Squad
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Series: Suicidal Intentions, Part Two. Price: Free! Words: 13,600. Language: English. Published: April 21, 2014. Category: Fiction » Plays & Screenplays » Anthologies
Life for Zeke and his coworker Brandon is trying. Zeke is saddened from losing a high school friend. Brandon is considered damaged goods, willing to do anything for acceptance. Both boys possess a rare ability of heightened awareness. This gift strengthens as the two explore a friendship outside of work, and venture into a dark world involving retribution dealt against their rivals.
Sparkles Adorning Destitution (Revised)
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Series: The Duchess of Pain, Story 1. Price: Free! Words: 4,610. Language: English. Published: April 8, 2014. Category: Fiction » Romance » Short stories
My high school crush doesn’t know I exist. She becomes a talented musical artist. In my story I tell of how close I came to becoming a part of her life, and the substitute relationship I form with a new-found friend. Included is a page of poetry, written to express the secret love I struggle with. At the end, below "Additional Titles by this Author" is a link to the Valentine's-Day card I created
Suicidal Intentions: Lethal Injection
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Series: Suicidal Intentions, Part One. Price: Free! Words: 4,640. Language: English. Published: March 22, 2014. Category: Fiction » Plays & Screenplays » Anthologies
The verdict in Clair’s case will soon be issued. First the federal prosecutor, Greg Steinledger, must reiterate the government’s investigational findings. His greatest challenge is to convey the motives behind the mass murders Clair Monahan is suspected of. If Greg could see through the defendant’s eyes, maybe he’d comprehend the dark secrets and twisted bitterness behind Clair’s wicked doings…
Forsaken Ties
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Series: Hopscotch, Chapters 11-16. Price: Free! Words: 11,600. Language: English. Published: February 20, 2014. Category: Fiction » Adventure » Travel
Advancing to the semi-finals in the Hopscotch Tournament, Garrison pairs with an angelic titan when confronting a gladiator who controls demonic forces. A heavy sentence awaits the losing combatant. Is there hope of escape for a passing soul taken into the foreign underworld? We’ll learn of life after death, and the sprawling levels of Hell’s inglorious realms with: Forsaken Ties.
Tournament of Trials
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Series: Hopscotch, Chapters 06-10. Price: Free! Words: 11,170. Language: English. Published: January 28, 2014. Category: Fiction » Romance » Action/adventure
Imagine you could gain any desire: wealth, power, even to reunite with a lost loved one. A tournament in Manhattan promises just that. Adelle and Charlie, two participating challengers, explain the history of their relationship. Garrison’s stepbrother Glen appears from the shadows. And situations intensify as we follow a ruthless mercenary, Benson, in his quest to absolve all ties to his name.
Hopscotch: Lost Loved Ones
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Series: Hopscotch, Chapters 01-05. Price: Free! Words: 7,740. Language: English. Published: December 25, 2013. Category: Fiction » Adventure » Action
Abandoned by his mom, Garrison joins a high school military academy, leaving behind a younger stepbrother Glen and stepdad Jim. Four years elapse. While visiting over winter break, Jim passes down to Garrison an heirloom left behind by the boys’ late mom. Drastic events coincide with that small wooden hope chest, starting with Glen’s disappearance, followed by a series of chilling murders.
A Portrait of Tragedy (Chapter 1)
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Series: A Portrait of Tragedy, Chapter 1. Price: Free! Words: 2,100. Language: English. Published: December 1, 2013. Category: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author
Judy and her husband Lace move from their countryside mansion (abounding in luxurious amenities) to a studio apartment with very few conveniences. Exhibiting a basic lifestyle, there are clues in the couple’s routine which suggest the story is set in a futuristic time period. Lace accommodates his wife’s requests during the arduous move, while Judy’s animosity poses difficulty and challenge.
A Portrait of Tragedy (Chapter 2)
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Series: A Portrait of Tragedy, Chapter 2. Price: Free! Words: 2,640. Language: English. Published: December 1, 2013. Category: Fiction » Romance » Time travel
Beyond his marital disputes, Lace has greater issues troubling him. He’s recently returned from work, where he serves as an emergency response rescuer. His wife Judy has become less agreeable to his extreme occupation. As the two face opposing conflict, details emerge involving the couple’s unusual outside environment.
A Portrait of Tragedy (Chapter 3)
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Series: A Portrait of Tragedy, Chapter 3. Price: Free! Words: 2,980. Language: English. Published: December 1, 2013. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » Steampunk & retropunk
Lace is an emergency responder to a world periled by tribulations, and understands the harsh situation he’ll be transported into when leaving his future era of New Millennium. An approaching monster, mechanical in design, is the cause of horrendous earthquakes in a major downtown metropolis. The violent tremors Lace runs from are a mere glimpse into this creation’s full destructive capabilities.
A Portrait of Tragedy (Chapter 4)
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Series: A Portrait of Tragedy, Chapter 4. Price: Free! Words: 2,990. Language: English. Published: December 1, 2013. Category: Fiction » Adventure » Travel
Lace is trapped in the past. Seeking the device that will return him to his own time, he must visit with powerful leaders who reign under the control of a world tyrant. His hunt directs him to estates teeming with armed guards, hellish creatures, and frenzied grounds keepers. With a band of guardians with him on his journey, Lace has more than himself to look out for.
A Portrait of Tragedy (Chapter 5)
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Series: A Portrait of Tragedy, Chapter 5. Price: Free! Words: 2,540. Language: English. Published: November 30, 2013. Category: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Short Stories
To solve the disappearance of his fellow teammates, Lace delves into the shadowy world he’s been appointed to visit (as a humble ambassador). In recent dealings his passive work ethics have slipped. His employer waits to address these uncharacteristic issues, as Lace returns to his own era to face the most powerful ruler of all.
A Portrait of Tragedy (Chapter 6)
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Series: A Portrait of Tragedy, Chapter 6. Price: Free! Words: 2,690. Language: English. Published: November 30, 2013. Category: Fiction » Plays & Screenplays » Anthologies
With Lace’s marriage nearing disaster, will the work duties his wife Judy disapproves of be the cause of devastation? Or will the couple’s relationship end more tragically? Fueled by selfish emotions, Judy’s volatile decisions cause unexpected results. Discover the story’s unique twist in this final chapter to the couple’s marriage.
Revolutionary, Vitro’s Journal
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Series: LRD: Leave Religious Deceit, Book 2. Price: Free! Words: 8,820. Language: English. Published: October 31, 2013. Category: Fiction » Plays & Screenplays » American
Ever have a boss treat you so harshly, you fixated on revenge? Does it aggravate you when celebrities behave irresponsibly, while wasting away potential? Ever become so frustrated with a politician’s conduct, that you wished they’d drop off the face of the planet? I can answer yes to all these. I’ll share exactly what I did to eliminate these problems…and my efforts toward bettering society.
Negotiations
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Series: The Duchess of Pain, Story 3 ยท LRD: Leave Religious Deceit, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 2,450. Language: English. Published: October 25, 2013. Category: Fiction » Plays & Screenplays » American
At what point does a man’s dignity diminish? Maybe it’s when he vows to honor his spouse. For me it happened when I agreed to give up my last name, and take on hers. My wife Connie is highly demanding. When it appears our marriage has reached its end, a startling incident occurs. By learning of my woes maybe you would agree…life would be better off with Connie out of the picture for good.
Zero-Sum Gain
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Series: The Duchess of Pain, Story 2. Price: Free! Words: 2,680. Language: English. Published: October 17, 2013. Category: Fiction » Plays & Screenplays » American
My name is Stephanie Clipper. Since Momma chased Daddy away, I’ve sought for substitutes to replace his absence. My friend Elizabeth and I run away from home together, setting out to start a new life. Once in Colorado we meet up with two college bachelors, who’ve invited us to come live with them. Things take a horrible turn for the worse when Jordan and Dylan act out their evil intentions.
Sparkles Adorning Destitution
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Price: Free! Words: 2,250. Language: English. Published: October 14, 2013. Category: Fiction » Romance » Short stories
My high school crush doesn’t know I exist. She becomes a talented musical artist. In my story I tell of how close I came to becoming a part of her life, and the substitute relationship I form with a new-found friend. Included is a page of poetry, written to express the secret love I struggle with.
To Slay a Dragon
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Price: Free! Words: 6,640. Language: English. Published: October 10, 2013. Category: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Short Stories
Russell Banner is a military vet. In his senior years life is mundane, except for Fridays at the VFW. Shane’s had work troubles. Today his problems escalate, and his life takes a complete turnaround learning a family member has died. Homeless for the past 30 years, James Fredrickson is offered an opportunity at gaining supernatural abilities, tying together the lives of these three characters.
Where Is Jesus Now
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Price: Free! Words: 4,560. Language: English. Published: October 7, 2013. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
It’s Christmas night in the Southern California town of Santa Ana. While families pack up gifts and clear messy dinner tables, an older brother and his sister sight-see the festive neighborhood. Their world’s turned upside down by the arrival of alien spaceships. Neighbors and family members are corralled by invaders, leaving it to Gracie and her brother to aid their captured community.
The Keys to Destruction
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Price: Free! Words: 12,280. Language: English. Published: September 30, 2013. Category: Fiction » Adventure » Travel
The lure of finding a genie consumes Solomon’s life. The results of his wishes are inherited by his 18yr old son Prophecy, who surveys the demise of creation, and must prevent an onslaught of creatures from enslaving mankind. Rechelle, Prophecy’s mother, aspires to obliterate all but her selective world, while Prophecy’s illegitimate sibling lurks in wait to tear a hole in Prophecy’s throat.
Epic Chaos
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Price: Free! Words: 5,930. Language: English. Published: September 16, 2013. Category: Fiction » Graphic novels & comics » Superheroes
In the low-income community of Workington, folks gather to celebrate the autumn harvest. Meanwhile a showdown between two elementary school classes develops. Each student involved has superhuman abilities. The fifth graders are determined to carry out criminal acts issued by their teacher. It’s up to a small group of opposing third graders to stop them, and protect their vulnerable hometown.
Velvet Manor
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Price: Free! Words: 2,050. Language: English. Published: September 11, 2013. Category: Fiction » Horror » General
Sheryl Mocner is a live-in caregiver. Contained within the sub-level of the hospital there dwells a dark, ongoing secret. It’s the source of recovery for each terminally ill patient living within the tall structural complex. A team of investigators want to know why visitors are missing. Sheryl faces the threat of being the next one abducted, by learning what hides beneath Velvet Manor.
Redemption Seed
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Price: Free! Words: 4,400. Language: American English. Published: September 1, 2013. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
Bill Redding faces the realization of never seeing his wife Madelyn. Her life support system is set to be shut down. Learning how to bring her out of a coma, greater troubles develop. The solution to remedy Madelyn’s condition threatens the safety of the colony Bill lives in. Dreg, Bill’s alter ego and a sleeper agent with military ties, gains the hope of postponing man's global extinction.