Interview with J.J. Leach

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in several towns in Indiana, but graduated high school in Wabash and then immediately my parents moved back to where I was born, Greensburg. I have always, always been an avid reader of all genres, but mostly historical fiction and fantasy. What is funny about my experience in writing is that I didn't like it much, it was something that I "had" to do for school. I would rather read someone else's book and let my imagination grow from their writing...but what I didn't really realize was as I was imagining these other author's worlds, I was adding and deleting scenes or dialogue in my head, truly making it my own. I am a day dreamer and I think that influenced my writing today...there is a whole lotta stuff turning around in my noggin now...
When did you first start writing?
My degrees are in Journalism and History and working with artifacts from around the world for over seventeen years within the museum world, writing was like my third arm or an extension of my brain...I am still constantly researching and writing in the most inopportune places!
Describe your desk
When I worked at my museum job, it was a mixture of my personal "toys" from Dr. Who, Star Wars, and silly kitschy items from my travels versus my current research projects which focused on Ancient Egyptian artifacts and Native American artifacts...a strange combination, I know! My boys artwork was placed all around my small office giving me inspiration for everything I did! Now, my office at home is more organized, I should say...for now...which includes piles of books about Scandinavian mythology and fairy folklore!
What's the story behind your latest book?
Wow, that is a loaded question...I have always wanted to write a novel, something that has been put on the back burner because of my job. But, as soon as I left that world, I was sitting at home one day, my kids just left on the school bus, and it hit me. I am a huge Lord of the Rings/Tolkien fan and have always loved fairy stories. My family just watched the movie "Thor" again, for the millionth time and I thought wouldn't it be cool to mix a modern and traditional Norse tale about a girl who just wanted to find a family and what she found was a whole lot more. Corny, I know, but it developed from there: research, library trips, book store trips, writing outlines late at night. Finally, I put my pen and paper down and opened up my new laptop (given to me by my old boss because I didn't have one!) and started to write my first draft! And ten months later, here it is!!
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Impatience on finding an agent and just wanted to get my book out there already, hopefully, for people to enjoy! I have a friend who is an indie author and just talking to her and getting some great advice, I decided to publish on my own terms. I am a super organized person and have always relied on deadlines, so I am confident that those traits will follow through with my writing...hopefully, for a very long time!
What are you working on next?
I am working on Book Two for The Power of Gold series right now. I immediately started the second book after the first book and continue to outline for Book Three!
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Hmmmmm, probably reading or researching! Now that my boys are out of school for the summer, baseball, swimming and watching movies seems to be taking up my time!
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I love just sitting down with my Nook and looking through new Indie books...hours, it seems! I have a few go-to mainstream authors that I look for but most of the time I look for fresh authors! So many wonderful new Indie authors out there!
What is your writing process?
I carry a notebook with me all of the time! Everywhere!! I run so when I need to think for a while, I put on some of my "Of Monsters and Men" or my "Soley" and I just run...and think...and think... It helps me run some of the scenes through my head! I also just sit down on my couch or outside on the patio and just close my eyes and think...imagine various plotlines...maybe with a glass of wine too!
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Even though writing wasn't my thing in school, I loved to read! So, I remember in Junior High reading "The Hobbit" and "To Kill a Mockingbird." Those two books really stayed with me. But, I guess the most reading that stayed with me and defined my career was actually history books, especially the American West and Native American history books.
What do you read for pleasure?
I love to read history books, such as Old Norse/Viking mythology. But for fiction, I like Young Adult Fantasy, Science Fiction and Paranormal books as well as Adult Science Fiction books!
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have had several Nooks at this point, but no preference...
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Research and creating new characters with real life problems but with a twist!
What do your fans mean to you?
Right now, I am just hoping I have fans!! This is my first book and just hope people really like it! Because I loved writing it!
Who are your favorite authors?
I have so many! Jane Austen, J.R.R. Tolkien, Elizabeth Richards, J.K. Rowling, Marie Lu, Suzanne Collins, Roger Stelljes, Rob Thurman (so great!), and that is just the tip of the iceberg!!
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My family!
Published 2015-07-03.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Call of the Shadow
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 74,660. Language: English. Published: August 16, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy
When a rogue god plots to destroy everything and everyone in his path, Anwen and Elric must find a way to defeat his vengeful plan. And when a new, perilous path unwinds for Anwen--will she be able to keep her loved ones safe from the enemy? And even more, can she protect them from her own changing powers?
The Power of Gold
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 90,260. Language: English. Published: July 3, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy
Fifteen-year-old foster kid Josephine "Jo" Smith can't quite wrap her head around her situation. Forced to walk through a strange portal in her backyard, she finds herself in an unusual forest, kidnapped by Elves and pursued by men in armor. She should be frightened but instead everything feels familiar. Where mythical creatures exist and Norse gods are worshipped, can she be from this world?