Interview with CJ Black

What is your writing process?
I don't really have a process per se, at least not now. Back in the day, I would get up early every morning and write for two hours before work, come home at three and write until six, have dinner then write again until about eleven and spend about an hour online. But life has a way of changing your views and the way you do things. It's been very frustrating as of late when it comes to my writing and sometimes, it's a fight just to put something on the page. I persevere though and sometimes I just make myself sit down and write something. Sometimes it goes from there.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
One of the earliest stories I'd ever read was The Screaming Woman, by Ray Bradbury. Before then, I had been writing mysteries, but that story made me look into speculative fiction until finally, I visited Encore Books (if anyone remembers it) and started perusing the fantasy and science-fiction shelves. The first book I purchased was Robert Asprin's, Another Fine Myth. It snowballed from there.
How do you approach cover design?
Well I'm not an artist so usually, I'll choose some free stock images and use those, however for my story Paint, a very dear friend of mine ~ Alan "Robin" Brantley ~ agreed to draw it for me. You can find him on Facebook at He does commissions!
What are your five favorite books, and why?
I have too many favorites to name to be honest. Charlotte's Web has always been the favorite because of the mystical side to it, as well as the friendships involved and the race to save a life. And it's talking animals! What's cooler than that?
What do you read for pleasure?
Mainly heroic and epic fantasy, which makes sense because I write it. Sometimes, I'll do a contemporary romance but that is seldom unless it had a bit of suspense. I'm actually starting to get into steam-punk now. I didn't enjoy the first one I read so I stayed away from the genre for awhile but I revisited it and now have several novels on my TBR list. And of course I'm a BIG yaoi fan, FAKE being my favorite series.
Describe your desk
Wow, that could take all night! It's rather small and I assembled it myself, but everything is piled on it haphazardly. It has a top shelf where my reference books go, the bottom where my monitor sits and a pull out for my keyboard. You got two side shelves that have DVD's and CD's -- yes that's right CD's -- while the items on the desk changes constantly. From books to hand drawn maps, to writing tablets, to little knick-knacks and a plastic basket which has just about everything.
When did you first start writing?
At the tender age of five, when a relative of mine brought me an old beat up typewriter and I pecked away at it, writing these rather bad examples of adventure and suspense stories (courtesy of all my TV watching) stories which I am glad never saw the light of day. I wrote my first novel at fourteen, a Nancy Drew-esque type young adult mystery. I hadn't planned on doing that until a friend of mine caught me in the lunch line. You see I had been writing stories for my friends and teachers with them as the protagonist. This was a big deal to me that so many people liked them because I was your basic shy bookworm. My friend gave me a little article for a publisher, which inspired me to write the novel. Unfortunately, it was a vanity press.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest book, Memory in Shadow, is the sequel to my first published full-length novel, Illusion of Night, and is second in the series. You can find information about it and purchase it here: It continued the story of Illusion of Night but from the point of view of the two best friends. I'm currently working on the third in the series.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
In actuality? It was an erotic fiction contest that I happened to see online. I had never written erotica at that point and I thought I should give it a shit. I didn't win, but the contest owners bought my story anyway. This of course piqued my interest about the genre and I started researching further. This was right about the time indie publishers were beginning to come into their own. I also had authors I admired that I spoke to and got their advice. I liked being on the ground floor of a new way of publishing.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The feeling of accomplishment, especially when I finish something despite everything that often goes on in my life.
What do your fans mean to you?
Absolutely everything!! What are we writers without our readers? We certainly wouldn't be making any royalties. But not only that I love the thought of writing something that I know readers will love and brings them enjoyment.
What are you working on next?
Right now, I'm working on the third in the Illusion of Night Series, Briars and Bones. It's sort of a prequel, to those of my readers who are familiar with the series it tells how the fiends first came into their world.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Reading, gardening, (when the seasons permit), cooking, and RPG video gaming. I'm also currently working on obtaining my Associates in Business so there is school work.
Published 2013-10-26.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.