Interview with J B Glazer

What is your writing process?
I always start with a mental outline. For the most part my books are mapped out in my head before I even put pen to paper. Yes, I actually do write out some things the old-fashioned way. :-) My process is a combo of jotting things down in my notebook, which I carry with me everywhere because who knows when inspiration will strike, as well as just sitting down and typing. I don’t write in any particular order from the outline. With my first book I actually wrote the last chapter first. I prefer to write whatever section inspires me at the time. So I end up having multiple documents with names that are keywords to cue me as to what each section is about. The hard part is weaving them all together and creating those filler chapters that make it a holistic story. But when it happens, it’s like magic.
How do you approach cover design?
My cover aesthetic was somewhat of a happy accident. I had a vision for my first novel of two silhouettes leaning in for an almost kiss. I hired a company to do the design but they just couldn’t capture it. I started freaking out, but then I realized I worked at an agency with an entire creative department. How lucky was I to have that kind of talent at my disposal? I talked to one of my art directors and he said he would help me. He shared some different stock image approaches, one of which was this double exposure concept. I loved it and it’s never something I could have come up with on my own, but now it’s a key element of my brand. My books are set in Chicago, so each cover features the Chicago skyline embedded in the art. Since he and I left the agency, I’ve been working with Sarah Hansen from Okay Creations on my covers. She’s helped me to evolve my brand identity by establishing a consistent color palette, typography, and photography style. So whenever you see my covers they feel like they are part of the same family. I think they're pretty awesome. Hopefully readers will agree.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I left the corporate world just over two years ago. I worked for a marketing agency, and while I loved being in the business of ideas, my husband’s travel schedule picked up and the logistics of a downtown commute became difficult. It was hard to leave that world behind – I had been with my agency for seventeen years! To this day I still struggle with losing that part of my identity, but I love being at home with my kids. I do freelance marketing work and volunteer at my kids’ school. I head up various PTO committees and just ran Bingo Night, which is our largest fundraiser. So it’s essentially like being in Corporate America without the salary ;-) And it seems that I do endless laundry. Is it weird I kind of find it relaxing?
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I’ve always loved writing and it was a dream of mine to get a book published. After I penned my first novel, I began the process of querying agents. I didn’t realize how hard it was to land an agent, and in turn, a publisher. With each rejection letter I sent out a new query, reminding myself that all you need is one. I had a few bites requesting samples, but they never amounted to anything. I was devastated and frankly thought about abandoning the whole thing. But that’s when I realized the power of self-publishing. It’s this amazing outlet that allows authors to get their books in the hands of readers, so why would I give up on my dream? It wasn’t the route I had planned on taking from the beginning, but I figured maybe I needed to pave a new one.

I think it’s so important to have a hand in leading the life we want to live as opposed to letting life just happen to us. Many people ask me how I found the time to write the novel. I tell them I didn’t find time, I made time because it was important to me. I hope my story will inspire others to follow their dreams.
What is your favorite reality show?
I’m obsessed with HGTV and Property Brothers is my current favorite. I love seeing how they transform tired spaces into something extraordinary. I keep checking the website to see if I qualify for any of the shows. My dream is to be on HGTV and have a professional designer do my home renovation.
Do you prefer print books or ebooks?
I prefer printed books. I don’t have an eReader because I much prefer holding something tangible vs. reading on a screen. I tend to get immersed in what I’m reading, so it’s helpful to flip ahead and see how many more pages are left until the next chapter. I’m guilty of the “just one more” page approach, which inevitably turns into many, and then I’m up until midnight. I should look into getting an eReader because when we go on vacation I need an extra bag to hold all my books!
What are your sources of inspiration?
My personal experiences shape both my storylines and my characters. They may be influenced by big life events or some small detail that inspires me. For example, I bought myself a Tiffany heart bracelet when I began my first job. While my husband and I were dating it mysteriously went missing. I thought he took it to have the charm monogramed as a surprise for me. It turned up a few weeks later buried under some papers in my desk drawer. In hindsight he probably didn’t even know I owned the bracelet nor was he likely aware the monogramming service existed. But I always liked the sentiment of it, and so the Tiffany bracelet worked its way into my first book, Out in the Open, as a symbolic thread of love, trust and luck.

I also gather inspiration from unsuspecting sources. People reveal the most interesting things in public. I'm like a sponge, absorbing these snippets of conversation. I was once riding the elevator and overhead a girl lamenting about a date where the guy got so drunk he forgot about her and left—the bar and the bill. That guy is now the star of “The Alcoholic” chapter in I Should Have Said Yes. So as you see, inspiration can come from anywhere. Sometimes you just need to look for it. :-)
What do you think is the strongest attraction about the genre you like to write in?
I like to write the kind of books that I read. While I enjoy a variety of genres, Chick Lit and Contemporary Romance are my favorites. As an eternal optimist, I love writing uplifting books. We are all too often inundated with news of tragedies. I’m a big believer in Happily Ever After. Real life is hard enough, so I like books that offer an escape from reality and give women hope that happiness is attainable. I guess I figure, why not live the fairy tale once in a while?

One of the reasons I like to write about love is because it’s powerful, mysterious, and universal. And though times may have changed, the fact that we are all searching for love has not. It’s the work of movies, songs, poems and of course, books. Some people fall in love easily, while others spend a lifetime looking for that one perfect someone. While the goal may be the same, we all have a different journey. I love exploring these journeys. In my first novel, Out in the Open, my protagonist Lexi is nursing a broken-heart and is scared to let love in. In I Should Have Said Yes, all Tara wants is to meet the One. She’s just having a hard time finding him and has to kiss a lot of frogs before she meets her prince. Two sisters, two very different paths to finding love. But in the end they both find happiness. Because I think that’s what love is all about. It’s not finding someone who makes you happy. We are all in control of that and I think it needs to come from within first. It’s about finding someone to share your happiness with.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest book, In Search of Mr. Anonymous, is a romance about an event planner, Lucy, who shares a passionate weekend with a mysterious stranger. It’s so out of character for her that she wants to keep their names anonymous. She falls hard only to never hear from him again. Lucy struggles with moving on and finally meets an incredible new guy who is perfect for her. But can she let go of her “Mr. Anonymous?” And is she in love with a ghost because it’s easier than facing the real thing? Along Lucy’s journey her love and loyalty will be put to the ultimate test.
Why do you like to write?
One of the key reasons I write is because it makes me happy. I seriously get an endorphin rush after I have a breakthrough or finish a chapter. Some people get that rush from exercise, mine comes from creativity. (Kind of wish the working out thing did it for me). And I hope, in turn, my writing makes others happy and offers them a brief escape from the daily stresses of life. I agree with the sentiment that happiness is contagious. And in today’s world I think we need more of it. I’ll end with a quote that inspires me, and I hope it inspires you too.

“Happiness adds and multiplies as we divide it with others.”
– A. Nielsen
Published 2018-03-22.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

In Search of Mr. Anonymous
Series: Lost & Found. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 102,620. Language: English. Published: April 27, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Women's fiction » Chick lit
Event planner Lucy spends a passionate weekend with a handsome stranger as a result of losing a bet. She falls hard only to never hear from him again. She struggles with moving on until she meets James, her perfect match. Lucy realizes she must stop chasing the ghosts of her past if she wants a future with James. But the problem with ghosts is you never know when they’ll come back to haunt you.
I Should Have Said Yes
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 94,650. Language: English. Published: April 13, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Women's fiction » Chick lit
One word. One choice. Two lives forever changed. Blogger extraordinaire Tara Winters made a pact to say yes to any and every suitor after she let “The One” get away. She meets countless Mr. Wrongs, but her outrageous dates provide plenty of ammo. While she’s known to dish out dating advice to her followers, Tara soon discovers an important lesson: embracing “no” may be the key to her happy ending.
Out in the Open
Price: Free! Words: 116,140. Language: English. Published: April 13, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Co-workers. Secret Lovers. Flirting with Disaster. Ad exec Lexi Winters leaves her cheating fiancée and beloved New York for a fresh start. She lands a new job and meets Jake, the agency founder’s nephew. What begins as harmless flirtation soon crosses a line that threatens to destroy their promising careers. In a relationship plagued by secrets, will they risk everything to be out in the open?