Interview with J. R. Young

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy comes after fans have read what I've written. It's the reactions I get in the emails and messages I receive, and even in their eyes when I they come up to me in person. To know the stories I've written have moved others in even the smallest of ways is the most humbling and gratifying of experiences.
What do your fans mean to you?
My fans are the one ones who keep me alive. Their fidelity to me at the bookstore not only makes it possible for me to keep writing, they are the only ones who appreciate and find meaning in the oddities that pop from my head to the page.
What are you working on next?
Hmmmmm, good question. I have two other novelettes on the back burner that follow the same Burtonesque/Dr. Seuss format as The Tale of Nottingswood, but the next project may just be the novelization of a Broadway scale musical I've written, workshopped, and is about 90% complete. With an extensive background in musical theatre, it may be advantageous to write the novel to build the platform for the musical production.
Who are your favorite authors?
If I'm going to read a book, the author's storytelling has to grab my attention immediately for me to keep reading. (My library is full of unfinished books.) So far, the only authors who have been able to do that for me are Orson Scott Card, Dickens, and Ayn Rand.
What inspires you to get out of bed everyday?
Right now? Providing for my family.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I don't think it's where you grow up, but how you grow up that influences you. Writers will use settings from their childhood, or where they currently live, to connect themselves and their fans. It's an easy way to create environment and context for their book. But whether it's the ghetto or Martha's Vinyard, it's how you grew up in those locations, in those cultures, etc, that influence your writing. Your experiences are the foundation for your story; your imagination takes it from there.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
The first story I ever wrote was titled "Froggy Found A Friend." I was in 3rd grade(?) and it was about an amphibian named Froggy--who looked nothing like a frog--who found a friend in a boy named Freddy. In class we wrote, illustrated and even bound the books. To go along with the project, we made a clay sculpture of our main character. My mom still has Froggy on display with all her other nick-knacks.
What is your writing process?
Lately, my writing pours out very stream-of-consciousness. I write down what comes to my mind, no matter how weird it comes out at first. The story develops as I am writing. Often times, I don't know how it's even going to end, and when the ending reveals itself, it just as impactful on me as it will be for the reader. Yes, I cry at my own stories... perhaps it's because I don't consider them mine.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
OSC's Ender's Game was the first story I read that actually had an impact on me. I grew up loving the Beverly Cleary books like Mouse And the Motorcycle. They were fun. But Ender's Game hit me on an emotional level that showed me how much impact one book can have on an individual.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Kindle.
Describe your desk
What desk? If you can find it, please let me know.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Honey-do lists; playing with the kids; watching Shark Tank on YouTube with a back of pretzel chips and a bowl of mustard.
Published 2014-12-15.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Tale of Nottingswood
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 14,330. Language: English. Published: January 5, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Dystopian, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy
Having built the Great Wall to block out the sun, the town of Nottingswood decays into a colorless wasteland. But when a curious cry from the center of town catches the attention of a pair of twins, they stumble upon a Creature that has the power to change their lives forever. Part Tim Burton, part Dr. Seuss, this suspenseful yet heartwarming tale will take you on a journey you'll never forget.