Interview with J.S. Riddle

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I can remember the most coherent story. I wrote hundreds as a kid about who knows what that was entertaining me at the time. It was based on a dream that I once had. I still have the original handwritten papers in me file cabinet. I called it escape from evil. I think I was fifteen at the time. It was about a young girl who wakes up in a dream world, wanders around and bumps into her boyfriend who thinks it is his dream. They explore and have to run for their life down an endless corridor with Death waiting around every turn. The story takes a turn when they start falling and ended up on a sacrificial mound surrounded by natives. Through much confusion and fighting about misunderstanding. Just when they thought they were done a flash of lightning released them from their shackles. I left it where the had run off into the dark unknown world around them to have whatever adventures a person could think of.
What is your writing process?
notebooks piled high in many different rooms filled with notes and ideas; pens not far from them. Research what I can if I'm going to be mixing history or mythology in my story.
I ALWAYS hand write things out. It is of no us to sit in front of a computer screen to me. I can't force myself to write, I have to have inspiration even from the smallest of things. There will be days I will be completely in the zone and forget to eat my three square meals a day and then there will be dry spells weeks on end happy to squeeze out a couple of pages. When I'm done with the section I write down, I type it out and hand over to my beta readers and those who are editing and I repeat the cycle constantly.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
The Hero and The Crown - Robin McKinley. Robin McKinley hit me the earliest. She proved to me with The Hero and The Crown that women were just as powerful as men.
The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien It was this book that opened my eyes to what true fantasy was and made me live in every page.
Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury - He opened my eyes to what society is slowly becoming even though it was such science fiction back in the day so many things hold true now it is eery. A fireman caught between choices.
I Am Legend- Richard Matheson - His introduction to what we now see as the zombie race has amused me. The way he told it from such a scientific yet simple view. Were they vampires or zombies? The simplest thing that separated the two and a man just trying to survive and find a cure.
The Odyssey (Robert Fagles translation) - I LOVE mythology, especially Greek Mythology. The stories, the Gods, the creatures....everything just brings me alive inside and I can see myself so easily in that era.
What do you read for pleasure?
I love to read Anne Rice (I have yet to buy her new book, but not for lack of want, I just don't want to mix her vampire world into my work by accident). I've taken a break from Stephen King but that's only because I've decided to take it a little easy and read The Walking Dead Comics with their accompanying books regarding the Rise of the Governor and such. I LOVE The Walking Dead.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I own a kindle fire, but I also had back-ups on my iPod touch for on the go reading.
Describe your desk
Makeshift and messy
my PC is situated on the desk portion of a dresser. My keyboard and mouse are on a wooden tv tray, while another tv tray sits beside me holding the nearest documents or notebooks I need. A file cabinet filled with notes and a bookshelf filled with research. It's like a bomb exploded in here. But I have my nice little trinkets to stare out. My Tardis bank, a couple of zombie action figures,a sonic screwdriver, and my Boo doll from Monsters Inc.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was born in the UK. Oxford, England to be precise. Both my parents were American's in the United States Air Force. I've got duel citizenship. I lived there until ready to start school when we moved to the states. My list includes New York (a few separate times), Alaska, Tennessee, Texas, Over in Germany when the Berlin Wall fell down and the first Gulf war began, Alabama and North Carolina, where I reside today.
I think growing up in many different cultures I got to see a plethora of diversity. I took a part inside of me and aside from an interesting accent I can be more accurate in my writing since I was in no way sheltered from a real existence.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I'm not a spring chicken, although don't bring out the walker quite yet. I have worked hard on what I have done and with the rise of Indie authors I felt that while I waited to hear back from querying agents I would attempt to publish on my own. I like the idea of having control over more things. Money was never the issue, except with a publishing house it just might become that.

The only downfall is successfully marketing and I have to say I have yet to figure that one out.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Being able to walk in my character's shoes and feel everything that they feel. I walk between reality and the fantasy that I have created and it is amazing.
I also get great joy when I pass a hurdle that I'd been fighting for so long and I'm doing this only for me.
What do your fans mean to you?
My fans mean the world to me. I'm not super famous or anything so every email or every comment on Facebook, Twitter, my blog shows their genuine interest. They've helped me realize that I am nothing without them and I adore them.
What are you working on next?
I am in the home stretch of the sequel to Rise of a Queen. It's title is Of Darkness and Light and it will revolve around Tessa, her family, the rebels and a new challenge brought forth that takes Tessa on a journey. You will learn a lot more about the characters you held dear in the first book and will be amazed at the outcome of many things....all leading into the third and final book of the series.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Knowing that someone was kind enough to make coffee for me.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Complete couch potato playing video games, watching Netflix, and perusing Pinterest. Usually wine is involved.
Published 2014-12-04.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Vampire Realm Book 1 and 2 (Rise of a Queen & Of Darkness and Light)
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 206,590. Language: English. Published: December 16, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopias, Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary
Tessa became Queen of the Levé’s the moment she was turned vampire. Humans were enslaved by The Vampire Nation. A rival clan and human rebels tested her power. With a whirlwind of deceit and betrayal it is up to her to take the lead. The rise of Tessa’s empire came at a cost. Sides were chosen, vampire or human. A journey taken will force the evolution of vampire life. Which side will prevail?
Of Darkness and Light
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 98,010. Language: English. Published: October 8, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopias, Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary
The rise of Tessa’s empire came at a cost. Her family, torn by the wars that ravaged her land, had to choose sides. The journey taken will force the evolution of vampire life. Will Jason and Emma make the right choices and not be swayed by their childhood? Can either side of the war overcome what stands in their way or will there be a beacon of hope;shining in the world that has fallen so dark.
Rise of a Queen
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 108,060. Language: English. Published: February 15, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopias, Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary
(5.00 from 3 reviews)
Tessa became Queen of the Levé’s the moment she was turned vampire. By circumstances she is left to rule her clan alone. With gearing wars with a rival clan and human rebels, from a life she left behind, she had no choice but to fight back. with a whirlwind of deceit,and betrayal,interweaving,It is up to her to become the Queen she was meant to be.