Interview with H.M. Jones

Who are your favorite authors?
My undergraduate and graduate student career was in English Literature, so this is a very difficult question. My favorite writer, as a young girl, was Tamora Pierce. Her strong heroines, her fantastical settings, and her wonderful dialogue drew me into a book in a way that I'd never experienced before. As a student, I gravitated towards Medieval authors, like Chaucer and Malory. The authors I avidly follow or read are Jane Austen, Sherman Alexie, J.K. Rowling, Avi, Sharon Creech, Rebecca Stead, Lemony Snicket, and Trenton Lee Stewart. I love poetry of all kinds, and consider myself an ammature poet (very ammature).
What is your writing process?
My writing process centers around my life. My children are up early and go to bed early-ish. As such, I am up earlier and go to bed late. If I have a moment of genius, I write a crude idea down and save it, in between making play dough, doing homeschool lessons, and generally having fun with my babies. When I have a free moment, I go back to that idea, tweak it, edit it, add to it, edit again, and format it into its full version, either a book or a poem.
For books, I always try to get a rough outline out by writing an idea for the beginning, middle and end of the book. My ideas often radically change as the story forms organically. I am always open to changing my story to fit my character's personalities. My characters really drive my writing. They become real and end up having a say over their story. In the end, my opinions matter very little when they start taking over.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
When I'm not writing, I am a full-time mother to two wonderful preschoolers. I also love to read, as it supplies me with more ideas and inspires me to challenge myself as a writer. Otherwise, I spend time with my husband, go to church, drink tea, watch Jane Austen movies, and try to get a run in once in a while.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I can't point to a very first story, but the books I remember most from my youth are Shel Silverstein's Where the Sidewalk Ends, Tamora Pieirce's Wild Magic books, Grimms Fairy Tales, Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time (yes, I was actually fairly young when I started reading these, which was a bit of an oversight on my parent's part {wink, wink}) and R.L. Stein's Goosebumps books. My taste has expanded, but I still love all the books that got me started.
How do you approach cover design?
I think about the covers that appeal to me when I'm shopping. I tend to gravitate towards simplicity and clarity, but also covers that look like they reveal a portion of the story. I am not completely without artistic vision, and I like the challenge of creating a personal cover that would also appeal to me as a reader.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I actually like traditional publishers, and I don't have anything against them. If, at any time, a publisher approached me with a deal, I'd consider it. I think the agent/publisher approach works very well for many writers, but I found that it was not working for me. My genre was not right for my target group, I was a good writer with an interesting story idea but they were not sure it was a right fit at this time, etc. etc. Agents and publishers need a reason to take a financial risk with your writing, and they weren't sure about taking that risk with me. That's okay, but I've never been a 'sit and wait patiently' person. If I see that something needs to be done, and it's not getting done in a timely way, I do it myself. Perhaps a publisher or agent will see that they missed out and contact me. But, until that time, I'm going to get my work out there because, thanks to wonderful technology, I can.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords is so easy to use. Their style guide is silly but straight forward, and they give a lot of 'prep' advice for authors, so that we are not lost before we submit our work. Smashwords distributes widely, and gives authors a chance to develop themselves. I had no issues with their system, and find that their website is very author friendly.
What do your fans mean to you?
As an indie author, my fans are EVERYTHING. They have enough faith in my ideas, my characters, my writing and me to give me a chance. They support my dream by following me socially and by throwing themselves into my created worlds, characters and situations. They suspend disbelief and dream with me. They make my imagination live by simply buying my book, and caring about my characters. Thank you, fans, for supporting me and my dream.
What are you working on next?
I have several ideas running through my mind, but I am, right now, deeply into writing a YA novel about a young man who stumbles upon a fantastical civilization. Lexis will be the first of three books in his series. I don't have a release date because the book is in a rough stage, but I can see, clearly, where it is going and I am very excited about it. Readers can see a snippet for Lexis' book on my website: www.hmjones.net.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My children. Because they are noisy, and insist that I get out of bed. Since they are preschoolers, I sort of have to wake up when they do. Also, because they are everything to me. I pursue my dreams so that, in the future, they can see that their mother expects them to work for their dreams, and never expect that they deserve anything they did not work for.
Published 2013-10-17.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Fade To Blue
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 66,530. Language: English. Published: August 28, 2017 by Feminine Collective Media. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Dark
When his lover leaves him, when his mother dies, when darkness wins, Ishmael wakes up in Monochrome. It is a place that only reflects darkness; a kind of wild-west purgatory.
Monochrome
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 107,700. Language: English. Published: August 28, 2017 by Feminine Collective Media. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Dark
Frightened by foreign anger and overwhelming depression, the first-time mother decides to end her life to spare the life of her only child. But before she acts on her dark intuition, she is overcome by a panic attack and blacks out. When she wakes, she finds herself in the alternate world of Monochrome, where memories are the only currency acceptable.
Attempting to Define: Relations
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 4,450. Language: English. Published: February 21, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Poetry » Female authors, Fiction » Poetry » Contemporary Poetry
Every person must relate and be related to in this life, and the frustrations, anxieties, and utter joy that relating with another being or even with oneself is what I hope to define in this humble collection. Thank you for attempting to relate with me.
Attempting to Define: Motherhood
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 3,610. Language: English. Published: February 5, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Poetry » Themes & motifs
Attempting to Define: Motherhood is the third of four books in the Attempting to Define poetry collection. This specific collection captures moments of parenting woes, joys and aspirations and delves into them. Parenting is a mixture of wonder and frustration; as such, this collection is also a mixture of both.
Attempting to Define: Mourning
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 2,270. Language: English. Published: January 22, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Poetry » Female authors, Fiction » Poetry » Themes & motifs
Attempting to Define: Mourning is the second in a series of four small poetry books that attempt to define some of life's hardest emotional states. This specific volume addresses mourning in terms of the emotional state of living after a loved one passes. Mourning is also used, in this volume, to refer to the mourning of lost ideals, lost youth, and lost love. As humans, we mourn many things, and
Attempting to Define: Love
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 2,190. Language: English. Published: January 8, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Poetry » Contemporary Poetry, Fiction » Poetry » Female authors
(5.00)
Attempting to Define: Love is the first in a series of four small poetry books that create interesting definitions for some of life's hardest to define subjects. Honest, sometimes dark, often sardonic but always joyful, the poetry in this collection attempts to create an honest definition of romantic love.
Lexis: Book One of The Old Wood Trilogy
Price: Free! Words: 37,410. Language: English. Published: November 13, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy
After his parent's death, Lexis finds himself unwanted by his remaining family. Deciding to take his life into his own hands, he leaves his cousin's farm in order to find a new life, but what he finds is a world within a world and a love that will make him question his entire life.