Interview with J.C. Nichols

How do you discover the ebooks you read?
From word of mouth - most of my friends are avid readers, and they're always throwing suggestions my way. My ebook-to-read library is in the hundreds at the moment!
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Professionally? Yes - "The Change: Birth". It as intended as a splash story, to see if people would be interested in it at all. Apparently they were, so I transformed it into a trilogy. It was, basically, my attempt at writing a zombie-not zombie story with a twist.
What is your writing process?
I'm actually very methodical about the way I write, and follow the same process for every story. Before I do anything, I have to have some kind of aura to work with - an idea, or maybe even a really interesting character. I currently have a TON of stories to write on the back burner, and it's torture, because I want to write them all - like NOW!

Anyway, here's the process that I follow:

1. SPLASH PAGE. I put down everything I want to happen in the story, all my thoughts, maybe even how I want it to begin and end on a piece of paper. I spend the next few days pouring myself into this page, letting myself be inspired by everything around me.

2. LAYOUT. Here's where I figure out how to put all the data in the splash page into a coherent story. Plot, sub plot, plot-twist, major events. Here's how it looks before I start slamming data into it (the numbers are major events):

STORY NAME:

PLOT:
SUB PLOT:
PLOT TWIST:

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.

3. ELEMENTS: As I do the above, I'm also marking off the elements I want to include in all of my stories. They comprise of:

1. Romance
2. Sex
3. Family
4. Friendship
5. Humor
6. Mystery
7. Revelation (All questions should be answered!)
8. Deception
9. Action (Chases, fight scenes, explosions, etc.)
10. Exotic Locales
11. An Art (Magic, Psionics, Spirit)
12. Loss
13. Gain
14. Struggle
15. Foreshadowing
16. Imperfection
17. Eating
18. Sleeping
19. Hygiene
20. Weather

4. CHAPTER OUTLINE. I start figuring out how all the above fit into chapters, being careful not to get too stiff - I have to leave some wiggle room for creativity and characters basically having their own minds.

5. WRITING! My favorite part of the process!
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
"Where the Wild Things Are" by Maurice Sendak. It made me see just how epic an imagination can truly be.
How do you approach cover design?
I throw some story points at my cover designer and let her go to town with it! :-D If I do it myself, I tend to go by feel - I find a picture that embodies my story, get the necessary permissions, and play around with word placement and graphical changes until it feels right to me.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
That's impossible for me to answer. I love reading, and I love different things about each story that I read. I couldn't just pick 5.
What do you read for pleasure?
If I'm not reading real books, I love reading manga. Real book wise, I tend to lean towards supernatural horror, but I also love fantasy (if I'm in the right frame of mind for it) and adult stories. (Except for my sisters - who is also an author - because though she's a great writer, it's just creepy reading erotica written by your little sister...)
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I alternate between my phone, Kindle, tablet, and computer - in that order.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Using Amazon in general. And just writing.
Describe your desk
It has my laptop attached to a wireless mouse / keyboard / gaming controllers, external speakers, and a wide screen monitor. And my pimp cup to my right.
When did you first start writing?
When I was a child. I started writing almost before I could walk...
Published 2016-03-24.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.