Interview with J.T. (Janni) Styles

Published 2016-06-03.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
"A Prayer for Owen Meany" by John Irving because this book's humanitarian message is timeless, universal and this book should be made mandatory reading in schools where bullying or treating others differently should never be permitted.

"Dance of the Happy Shades" by Alice Munro and anything else she writes, all of the many other books written by this prolific writer who knows how to produce life like literature that keep you so engaged in the outcome of the lives of others that you, rather "I," can never put any of her books down until I have savored them whole.

"Crows Over a Wheat Field" by Paula Sharp for the acuity with which she portrays abusive relationships especially for those who have never been in one and ask ridiculous questions like: why does she/he stay?

"The Diviners" by Margaret Laurence for the leveling message through out "we are all equal - breathing, living beings - no matter our backgrounds."

"The Last of the Crazy People" by Timothy Findley. Timothy writes with such realism and depth that I feel I am actually in the book along with all of the other crazy people. I have always thought this book would make a terrific movie.
What do you read for pleasure?
Literary fiction or poetry.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
No choice really. Gifted with one and can't say whether it is better than the others.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
None. Marketing is not my thing but that doesn't really matter when you make your book(s) free as I have done on Smashwords and all other venues possible as well.
Describe your desk
Messy as heck right now. Usually orderly but it has been a very trying few months. Tidy time is coming soon.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
In Ontario fields and on West Coast shores all of which remain in my mind as if only yesterday. Settings figure largely in my story telling. Well, I think they do. Maybe I only think they do. You tell me ;)
When did you first start writing?
As soon as I could read and hold a pencil. Probably about age six, if memory serves.
What's the story behind your latest book?
This is a collections of stories I dusted off and grouped together in an effort to try and make a little money. Immediately I discovered that would be a monumental task, it overwhelmed me so that I decided to set the price at free. Last year I also published a book of poetry to highlight mental health awareness week. Poetry is notorious for not selling well. Both books are free on Smashwords. I simply do not have the stamina to market myself and wouldn't know where to begin. That's basically the story behind the collection of stories other than to say, you will recognize people you know or perhaps even yourself in these slice of life stories some have dubbed "hard hitting, haunting, heartfelt and full of humanity."
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I am so broke it's not even funny so had no choice really. Not many FREE choices out there so you make do. Apart from that, I have been unable to write much of anything new for the past few years, have just been dusting off older works, and, therefore, have not been submitting any works for acceptance in contests or to publishers. I will likely never know if a publisher might have liked what I did in the two books (One More Chance: The Stories and Spiritshine: the verses) I have out so far. And I am okay with that. I got them out there before I died and that's all that really matters to me at this point in time.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Not sure if any book site contributes to our success so much as we contribute to theirs. Though my books are free here, I remain the publisher and only time will tell, I suppose, whether anything Smashwords does contributes to my success. While I am grateful for the site, so far I don't believe so.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Seeing others moved by something I say or write is the best reward ever. You cannot beat the connection of one human heart reaching another.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author or publisher.

Books by This Author

Spiritshine - the verses
Price: Free! Words: 5,860. Language: English. Published: September 11, 2014. Categories: Poetry » Canadian Poetry, Fiction » Women's fiction » General
(5.00 from 2 reviews)
Art saves lives! If you are creative and struck by any challenge in life, emotional, mental or physical, creativity may well be the anchor that carries you through it. It was for Janni Styles in this wee collection of verse that saved her life.
One More Chance
Price: Free! Words: 24,820. Language: English. Published: September 11, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Coming of age, Fiction » Literary collections » Canadian
(5.00 from 2 reviews)
J.T. Styles, Award Winning writer of fiction and poetry, debuts her first collection of short stories in "One More Chance." Three Reader Reviews:"When I read, no I mean when I listen to the words of Janni Styles…I just think “holy crap” I just got hit by a baseball bat and I liked it!” "Janni writes from the depth of her soul.” "You don't read Janni's stories, you LIVE them."