Interview with J.S. Reese

What is your writing process?
My writing process is basically all over the place. I come up with an idea, think on it for a few weeks or months and get to know my characters as intimately as I feel I can, and then when I finally feel like they are people I would want to hang out with, that's when I set to writing about them.
How do you approach cover design?
I try to pick book covers that reflect certain character traits.
What do you read for pleasure?
I read whatever interests me, from fantasy to science fiction to romance, to crime fiction/mysteries. Right now I am reading Hugh Howey's "Sand."
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I'm tethered to my Kindle.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in the southern US. My city is known for having a lot of personality and the type of people who live here have a lot of personality, so I tend to like to draw those types of characters. Humor is also very important to me because it's just such a strong part of how I grew up.
When did you first start writing?
I've been writing since I was a kid (about 12 years old). I've always been obsessed with stories.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I love media and journalism. I love watching the cultural trends that are going on in the United States and I'm constantly fascinated by celebrities who get themselves into trouble either by going against their brand (I always use Miley Cyrus) or people who change their brand (also Miley Cyrus). So I started thinking about how interesting it would be to write from the perspective of someone whose entire life was branding and working with celebrities.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
There seems to be much more freedom in being indie these days. I grew up in the 90's studying the publishing industry that I aspired to be part of one day. But ultimately, I came to realize in 2011 that authors and readers needed a better system, one that allowed for more growth. It was a short hop from there to indie publishing. It just makes more sense for me. It's a closer knit community and I can get immediate feedback from fans as well, which is the best part to me.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Nailing a scene just the way I saw it in my imagination. The emotion of it, the impact, the timing, the themes. It's tough and it's something I keep working to do better everyday.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The idea that I might get closer to nailing a scene or a chapter. I think everyday is a learning opportunity. Everyday, just by interacting with people in my life, I learn a little more and am better able to get closer to the emotional side of my novels.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Thinking about writing. I quiz my characters. I ask them why they do the things they do. I try to work out the themes in my stories. I usually spend about 60-70 percent of my day doing this in one form or another.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I read the blogs. I love getting suggestions from Pixel of Ink, Bookbub and the Fussy Librarian. But I also just go cruising through the Also Bought list to see what might interest me next. Word of mouth also helps me select books.
Published 2014-04-06.
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