Interview with JC Stockli

What are you working on next?
I'm in the process of wrapping up edits for The Saving, which is the next installment of the Addictions Of The Eternal series, and part of Evie's journey. In addition, I have other projects in the works: a dark faerie/Gothic PNR, some steampunk funness, cyberpunk, dystopia, a little bit of this and a little bit of that. I have so many stories in my head, who knows what will be next.
Who are your favorite authors?
I've taken quite a shine to some of my colleagues' work, but it was Poppy Z. Brite who turned me on to reading. I picked up Lost Souls when I was in high school and carried around one of Brite's books every day for years. Over the past few years, I discovered Paula Brackston, and she's reignited my hunger for words. Upon my first introduction to Gideon, I was done for.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I would say my little monsters inspire me to get out of bed each day, but they usually crawl up under the covers with me, and then I don't want to get up. What I can say, is they do inspire me to be greater than I am. I want to be the example, especially for my daughter. I want to set that bar high and watch her exceed it.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Catching up on laundry (kidding). No, when I'm not writing, laundry still gets put on the back burner. I work a solid 40 hour/week, and when I'm home, I try and maximize me time with the family. Weekends are for trips to the beach, playing in the pool, or the snow (depending on the time of year), or roasting marshmallows.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Hands down, from fellow authors I meet along the way. We engage in conversation, discuss projects and that's what makes me want to sample their work.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
It was a short story/mystery that I wrote in 2nd grade about a murder by a lake (wicked original, right?).
What is your writing process?
Once the thought gets in my head, an image, or concept, I have to let it stew. If it haunts me, then I know I need to do something with it. Usually I identify a song or an image (some online Pinterest trolling is called for) and then build from there. I email myself notes or an outline using my phone. When I have the ability to sit down in front of my computer and dedicate a file folder to the idea, then we're cooking. I identify the major players/characters, the plot, style and theme. I like to have some fantasy or paranormal theme mixed in with a classical reference, an old fable, or maybe or tried and true social concept that I can weave into the story. Slowly a playlist builds on Spotify, scenes are building in my head, and then it's like putting a puzzle together as I build the chapters. It's a fairly disorganized process, but it works for me.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I don't remember the first story I ever read per se, but the first story to rock me was Lost Souls by Poppy Z. Brite. It wasn't a blockbuster action-packed Hollywood hit, but it was dark, gritty, and the characters still echo in my mind. Everything Brite does has fascinated me. Lost Souls was love at first chapter, for me. The alternative scene, the musical references, everything about it spoke to the disoriented youth of the time. It was amazing, and has given me an appreciation to tell a dark,and gripping story without needing guns blazing or buildings blowing up. It was intimate, and I like to think has been the greatest influence on my writing. How sick can you get and still be romantic with your words... that's how it made me feel.
How do you approach cover design?
Sick sick sick. Cover design is difficult for me because I have a background in art and art history. I want something that fits the mood of the story, offers poignant imagery but isn't too on the nose. I want it to be sexy and evocative, but not covered in muscles or naked bodies. I grouse over cover art for months. I want to do it all myself, but realize that sometimes it's better to have a professional graphic designer help realize my vision. I'm probably a big pain in the @ss to work with when it comes to cover art. I do like to personalize the covers, whether it be modeling for the cover or coming up with a customer design to work into the layout. I try not to use stock photos when possible.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
This is where I should say the classics are my favorites, but let's be real... there are so many books and authors out there... let's mix it up... so...
I'm a broken record here, but POPPY Z BRITE!!!
1. Lost Souls
2. Drawing Blood
3. Exquisite Corpse
(all because they were demented and romantic in their own ways)
4. I Am Legend by Richard Matheson (because it was minimalistic, yet still completely engaging, and an original take on a classic horror topic - vampires)
5. The Witch's Daughter by Paula Brackston (because it reignited my love of reading and made me realize how much I loooove the bad guy, and that's ok)
What do you read for pleasure?
Paranormal fantasy (yes, that includes romance). I like witches and I enjoy a story that gets my blood pumping... No, it's not about the sex, which can be done tastefully, but more about the interaction between people. I love seeing how others take universal supernatural concepts and put their own spin on them.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I read way too much on my phone. I love my Nook because it's big, but my new Kindle Fire is crisp! Maybe someday I'll get something like and iphone 6s that's huge and consolidate to one device... maybe.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Ever-evolving... ask me again once I've hit a best seller list and have something to back up my claims ;) ::coughs::twitter hashtags::coughs::
Describe your desk
cramped :(
Published 2015-04-30.
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