Interview with J. F. Weckesser

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Milwaukee with four siblings. I seemed to be happiest in my daydreams, as our household was rather crazy. I recall grand fantasy-world dreams I had as a very young child, which I didn't want to wake up from; so I'd lie awake with my eyes closed, adding to the dream, expanding the story, day after day—like a soap opera for this 3-year-old.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
As I’ve worked on my book, I’ve become more and more frustrated with the publishing world. I’m not a schmoozer, and the thought of writers’ conferences, attempts to charm prospective agents, devious ways for editors to notice my manuscript in a pile of slush, etc., makes my knees weak. I simply haven’t the personality for this. When I learned about Smashwords, I nearly cheered out loud. At last, a place for me!
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I have received so much information from the Smashwords site which helps me to make my stories better. I truly love that readers can download samples to see if they like this type of novel. The thought that my books will always be available is so heartening to me. To be listed in the worldwide marketplace is fantastic! Whether I sell a million books or a dozen, I’m overjoyed that I’ve been able to tell my story.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I think my greatest joy when writing is escaping into the wonderful world inside my head. If I can bring any part of that beautiful and strange world to you, I love it even more.
What do your fans mean to you?
Fans?? I’d love some. I’d also like some feedback, but be gentle please. If you think my baby’s ugly, tell me with kindness. Seriously though, I want so much for you to have a wonderful adventure in my books.
What are you working on next?
I’ve had an idea for a science fiction love story, so it’s time I start putting it in words. I’m also thinking of a compilation of short stories I’ve written through the years, along with a bit of poetry. Kind of a potpourri of short tales to read while you sit in a waiting room, or wait for your cookies to bake. And, there’s a based-on-true-life novel I’d like to bring to life about individuals in a retirement home, each with a different story to tell.
Who are your favorite authors?
Holy smokes, where do I begin? Just off the top of my head are these folks: J.K. Rowling; J.R.R. Tolkien, Jack London, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Taylor Caldwell, Dan Brown, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Michael Talbot.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Coffee. Full bladder. I’m not much of a morning person.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I worked for a small county newspaper until retirement. Now I’m a ‘professional’ volunteer, especially in the local hospice program. I also help with Meals on Wheels, a homeless shelter, and lodge and church activities. I have my family all living within an hour’s drive, and there always seems to be something good going on with them. Husband and I have some land in the Wisconsin north woods, where we love to spend time when we can. And sometimes, I just like to veg.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Sometimes I just go surfing around. I often read a book review in the paper and look for it in ebooks for my Nook, or for iBooks on my iPod.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Ugh. Yes. I was in high school and one night had a weird dream. I woke up, added to it, and wrote a science fiction love story. My friends liked it, which only encouraged me. Years later I re-read it and almost threw up. Ah well, the innocence of youth.
What is your writing process?
I find I can best write the first draft curled up in a chair with tablet and pencil. I scribble away as fast as the words come to me, and I can barely make out the chicken scratching later. But the process has begun. It then gets transferred to the computer for the dozens of rewrites which will follow. Finally, I like to read it out loud, sometimes into a mic to listen to later. I’m always amazed at how something in print can sound utterly awful when spoken. From there come the final drafts.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have an iPod Touch, which I love because it’s small enough to keep in my purse or jeans front pocket. Wherever I go, I have a small library with me. What’s not to love about that? And, I have a Nook Color. I have quite an extensive library on it. Both are wonderful, especially when traveling.
Describe your desk.
Actually, you don’t want to know, but seeing as you asked: It’s a horrid mess to see, but I usually know where to dig when I want something. My desk is a beautiful oak roll-top with drawers and doors, and my iMac right in the middle inside on the workspace, along with pens, pencils, rulers, light barbells (small exercise when I’m reading the screen), a small bottle of bubbles to blow (activity when creating, daydreaming), binoculars (for looking out over the cornfield when my mind is blank), more papers than I want to think about, folders, earphones...well, you get the idea. It’s a fright. On top of the desk are books, a small Buddha statuette, crystal Celtic cross, a bronze dancing Lord Shiva, a lamp, phone, two pyramids, tape, and paper clips. Wakeup call: Must clean (someday, not now…)
When did you first start writing?
It wasn't until I was in high school that I started to actually write down stories for others to see. I cringe when I think back to how awful they were. Thank goodness, none of them has survived.
Published 2013-09-03.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Time Odyssey: The Soul's Memory; Part III: Awakening
Series: Time Odyssey: The Soul's Memory, Book 3. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 18,860. Language: English. Published: August 3, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Visionary & metaphysical, Fiction » Visionary & metaphysical
Rachel is a hard-living woman of today. Widowed and despondent, she plans to kill herself in the Canadian woods, but a mystical detour causes her to meet Aaron. He is a stranger to her, but he remembers her from past lives. Aaron guides Rachel as she becomes immersed in the activities of ‘the Lodge,’ a spiritual retreat where Guardians of the Sacred Records work. Part III of the trilogy.
Time Odyssey: The Soul’s Memory; Part II: The Journey
Series: Time Odyssey: The Soul's Memory, Book 2. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 49,320. Language: English. Published: August 2, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Themes & motifs » Spiritual & metaphysical, Fiction » Visionary & metaphysical
Separated from Ketzah’s love Falima, he and six fellow Initiates flee crumbling Atlan. In a wild land they live among a primitive group of people while working to hide the sacred Records of their lost civilization. Ketzah has vowed to find Falima when his work is done, and after several years he and three companions head to Khemet to fulfill his promise. Part II of the trilogy.
Time Odyssey: The Soul's Memory; Part I, Dreamtime
Series: Time Odyssey: The Soul's Memory, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 65,750. Language: English. Published: August 2, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Themes & motifs » Spiritual & metaphysical, Fiction » Visionary & metaphysical
Edak lives in Mu soon before its destruction. Ketzah dreams of him, but lives thousands of years later in Atlan, which also nears its end. Are these dreams, or are Edak and Ketzah connected? Edak and Ketzah battle to save their worlds and their loved ones, and secrete sacred Records for future humanity to find. Part I of the trilogy.
Time Odyssey: The Soul's Memory
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 133,410. Language: English. Published: May 6, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Visionary & metaphysical, Fiction » Themes & motifs » Spiritual & metaphysical
Edak lives in Mu soon before its destruction. Ketzah dreams of him, but lives thousands of years later in Atlan, which also nears its end. Are these dreams or are Edak and Ketzah connected? And why does Aaron, living today, dream of them both? Join them all as they battle to save their worlds and secrete sacred Records for future humanity to find. Complete trilogy in this eBook.