Interview with J.L. MacDonald

Describe your desk
Depends on where I am. At work I'm pretty OCD about my desk. Everything has to be neat and tidy. At home, not as much. I need just enough space for my laptop.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
As silly as it sounds, the control and freedom. I can create characters and dictate what happens in their lives. Obviously a book needs a plot, and there are times where I put Nightcat through the wringer for the sake of the story and then feel a guilty about putting her through that turmoil.
What do your fans mean to you?
They mean the world to me. Whenever I'm having a bad day or feeling down, I can look at the reviews and posts that fans have commented on and it puts a smile on my face. It really reminds me why I do what I do.
What are you working on next?
I have another Nightcat novel in the works, "At Death's Door" which is about 2/3 finished. We find out more about the experiment that made her into Nightcat and also learn a bit more about Raphael's background. I currently have a few Nightcat short stories on the go for the upcoming Metahumans books. I haven't started writing those just yet, but I have a basic plot laid out in my head.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Depends on the day. I do my best writing when I'm just waking up or just falling asleep. That's where I get most of my ideas from so I'll actually make a conscious effort to star in that dream-like state so I can plot out a story.

My thing is that I always have to be creating something. My hobbies are quite diverse, but they all involve making something out of nothing as it were: writing, drawing, wood working, sculpting or coding websites. I need to be busy. I can't stand being bored.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I remember the first full length story I wrote. It was my first Nightcat novel "The Darkness of Shadows".
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Kobo for me, mostly because it was a gift.
When did you first start writing?
When I was in my early 20s or so. I'm not going to say how long ago that was ;)
What's the story behind your latest book?
We find out more about Raphael's backstory and even more about the events that lead up to him and Nightcat getting mutated. It revolves around botched experiments that happened before Nightcat came along.
Who are your favorite authors?
Oddly enough, it tends to change a lot. I will generally read books based on subject mater.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
You name it. :) I have quite of few hobbies and I'm always having to keep busy. I like drawing, painting, woodworking, crocheting, knitting, reno-ing...I love creating things, regardless of medium. Oh, I also create and code web pages.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Most times I will be on the lookout for something in particular and if it's available as an ebook, I'll generally buy it. There are some exceptions, like drawing books and whatnot. Books that would be difficult to read on my Kobo.
What is your writing process?
I tend to have a few stories on the go. I have a writing journal that I write down my thoughts and ideas, most of which comes from daily life. When I go to write a story, I'll have a very loose plot in my head. I'll write bits here and there, then consult my journal and write the in-between scenes. I can't write from start to finish. I jump around a lot.

One method I haven't used in a while, but works well, is writing individual ideas on index cards. Then I can easily sort them into something coherent. Then I sit down at the computer and start writing.
How do you approach cover design?
For the Metahumans series, I'll consult with the cover artist and toss ideas back and forth. The Metahumans series has themes for each anthology so the subject matter is generally easy. We decided to go with a generic super hero (possibly villain) and that way there we're not trying to put 10 indie superheroes on a 6x9" cover.
What do you read for pleasure?
A lot of reference type books. I like books that are spiritual in nature, true crime, or supernatural. I also like having books around for drawing, but those are for reference not reading as such.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
The simple answer is that no publisher wanted to publish a novel about superheroes. At first I was dead set on having a publisher print it, but the more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea of having 100% control and publishing it myself. I created Lion's Share Press and started publishing my own works.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
It's really a toss up. The past little while I've been reading books based on genre, not necessarily author. That being said, there are authors who I enjoy reading. Laurel K. Hamilton's writing style certainly influenced my own writing style.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
My father was in the military so I grew up in many different and varied locations. I lived in Germany for a time when I was young, and now I call Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan my home.

I'm not sure how it influenced my writing, but it certainly influenced the plot of Nightcat. As a child I was rather envious of kids that lived and grew up in one place. It was because of that, in part anyway, that I wanted Dana Harker, Nightcat's alter ego, to have her childhood best friend remain her best friend well into adulthood.
Published 2016-07-04.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Metahumans vs the Ultimate Evil
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 55,150. Language: English. Published: March 21, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - multi-author, Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
On the side of good are the metahumans, men and women gifted--or cursed--with extraordinary powers. Now they find themselves pitted against a variety of situations and foes. Witches, demons, monsters, and abominations plague the heroes this time around with magic, mischievousness, murder, and mayhem. Who will ultimately prevail: the ultimate good or the ultimate evil?
Metahumans vs Robots
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 60,960. Language: English. Published: December 24, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - multi-author, Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
The war between good and evil rages on, but new combatants have risen to take up the fight. The fate of mankind rests on the shoulders of a chosen few. On the side of good are the metahumans, men and women gifted - or cursed - with extraordinary powers. Now they find themselves pitted against machines intent on destroying the human race.
Where the Devil Dwells
Series: Nightcat, Book 2. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 91,980. Language: English. Published: March 15, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General, Fiction » Science fiction » General
"The only thing worse than having superpowers is losing them."-Nightcat Seemingly back from the dead, Nightcat's greatest and most powerful foe proposes a truce. Reluctantly she agrees, but soon finds herself seeking his help in dealing with Laura Sheedy, a reporter determined to reveal Nightcat's secret identity, and Wraith, a mysterious figure hell-bent on making Nightcat his partner.
Burden of Proof
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 7,300. Language: English. Published: October 17, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » General
After months of working alongside Detective David Rayner and the Grace City Police Department, Nightcat now finds herself wanted for murder. The police have orders: to bring her in, dead or alive. She must clear her name and find the true killer — with or without David's help.
The Darkness of Shadows
Series: Nightcat, Book 1. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 85,380. Language: English. Published: May 20, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » General
Dana Harker, a senior systems designer and a self professed workaholic, was abducted and forcefully underwent a risking and potentially lethal procedure to turn her into the ultimate spy: Nightcat. That was the end goal for her captor, Raphael, a humanoid man bat. But Dana had other plans.