Interview with J Rastelli

What are your five favorite books, and why?
This is very tough. I love reading, and I've read thousands of novels. The entire Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich is my absolute favorite. I read Twelve Sharp first, at eleven years old, and it made me laugh during a very difficult period in my life. I latched onto the series as a coping mechanism and fell in love with it along the way. To Kill A Mockingbird is another favorite, along with The Great Gatsby. They're classic and they're so well written. They encourage thought, which I appreciate. Recently I read On Second Thought by Kristan Higgins and it resonated with me, I love novels that bring out the hurt and the love in my soul.
Who are your favorite authors?
Janet Evanovich, Johanna Lindsey, Jay Crownover, Nora Roberts, Lora Leigh, Jill Shalvis, Kristan Higgins, Janet Dailey, Susan Mallery, Lee Goldberg, etc. I love romance, and romantic mystery, and a good happy ending.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I use my iPad, although I read novels on different apps. Primarily kindle and iBooks but I also frequently read on the Nook app.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
For me the greatest joy is being able to share wrhat makes me happy with others. I hope what I write makes readers feel, and think. I sincerely hope I bring a smile to readers faces.
When did you first start writing?
I first started writing when I was about seven or eight years old. I was told I talked way too much, given a journal to help express my random thoughts, and it took off from there. I went to daycare after school when I was eleven and I filled an entire five subject notebook with a single hand written story. I used Ticonderoga number 2 pencils. I can't say for sure if it was very good, and I really only filled half a page on each side because my writing started to move further and further inward in my joy.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Fan fiction. For sure. I wrote a fan fiction, I actually haven't finished it yet because I got distracted by Triumph. Between the reviews on that, and my husband and two of my friends - all three of whom also write - encouraging me, I decided to go for it. We all agreed to critique each other fairly, and honestly. So if they tell me something is worth putting out there, I'm going to believe it.
What are you working on next?
My next novella is a romantic mystery. Harper's husband is murdered, and it's three years later and they have not yet caaught the killer. Harper is struggling, three years after his passing, to handle the knowledge that they still haven't caught the murderer and he's started killing again. She has had a hard time coping with her loss, and the guilt of living life after it. As she starts to heal, she slowly opens up her heart to a friend, who maybe eventually becomes more.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Well, I have three boys, two of whom were just born in October 2016. I spend a lot of time changing diapers, making, feeding, and washing bottles, and since I cloth diaper that's a whole different time consumer. I also watch a lot of Power Rangers and Scooby Doo, and I homeschool my oldest who is in preschool. We spend about an hour a day, chopped into blocks, doing schoolwork. And if I'm not doing any of that, and I'm not writing, I'm probably reading.
What is your writing process?
I really don't have one. I sit down, I start writing, and after a few weeks or months, out pops a story. I have tried to plan a novel out chapter by chapter by chapter and it's always completely derailed by chapter three. With Triumph, I created a character chart with descriptions, personality traits, and I even color coded it by what drink I figured they would enjoy. That worked out well for me.
When I write, it really comes to me as I am doing it. I can't plan in advance, or my brain flips a switch that says "Hello? J? This isn't being creative, this is being organized! Creativity is chaos!" Which let me tell you, is not actually something I think, and I plan everything but my writing down to the last detail. I create a budget for the entire year, week by week, and then I implement that every single week. So I definitely am organized. Just not with writing,
Describe your desk
I don't actually have a desk. I usually end up sitting in bed, with my back against the wall and a pillow, furiously typing while hunched over the keyboard. I keep Chex mix and Diet Pepsi on hand for snacks, and if it's later in the evening, I might crunch down on a Hershey's cookies and cream bar.
Published 2017-02-23.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.