I have the honor of jump-starting the Color Me Grey Blog Tour. J.C. Phelps was kind enough to answer a few questions for us. I hope you all enjoy her interview as much as I did. Color Me Grey is a great book and made my top 5 list for 2010, so if you haven't read it yet, you really should go check it out!
Breakout Books: When did you decide you wanted to be a writer? Was it something you always knew, or something that came to you later in life?
J.C. Phelps: I think it's something I always knew. Though, I've always been afraid to write because I used to think you had to be smart to be an author. Now that I've written three books, I know better.
Breakout Books: How did you decide on your subject matter? Is there anything you contribute to inspiring this story?
J.C. Phelps: I didn't really decide on the subject matter. It just - happened. My books are strongly character driven so everything revolves around them. But, I did receive some inspiration from a Janet Evanovich book in which she has a very incidental character who I thought was the coolest.
Breakout Books: Do you think you will write similar books, or are you looking forward to a new subject matter?
J.C. Phelps: I am trying to write a fourth book in the series but I am looking forward to trying my hand at something else. I've always wanted to write fantasy but now I'm leaning more toward a true thriller or mystery or even something paranormal.
Breakout Books: What is the most exciting thing that has happened with this series?
J.C. Phelps: Well, finishing each book is always high on my list of exciting but Color Me Grey made it to the Quarterfinalist stage in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards for 2010. And probably THE most exciting thing is finding readers that enjoy it. There is almost no better feeling in the whole world.
Breakout Books: I know that book 4 is in the works, and you have said you have a lot of work to do on it, but do you have an idea of when we can expect to see this one? Anything you can tell us about this book?
J.C. Phelps: I don't want to be a party pooper, but I'm not sure it will ever be done. I want to finish it and I am working on it. But when it comes down to it, I will not promise anything until it's in the hand of an editor who has already told me the story is viable.
Is there anything I can tell you about this book? I suppose it should be something interesting. Ha! Here goes... As it stands, I've killed someone off. It's someone other than a bad guy but now the scene doesn't quite work with the story. If I can slip it in there, the poor guy will meet his maker.
Breakout Books: Being from South Dakota myself, I'm familiar with the area you live in. Did you have the Black Hills in mind when you wrote the training scenes at the cabin?
J.C. Phelps: I'm at home in the hills so when I was writing about the cabin I did have them in the back of my mind. Yet, everything is in miniature around here (I love it) and the other mountain ranges out there are much more awesome. (I use the word awesome here not as what it has come to mean but what it says in the dictionary... Causing awe... Extremely impressive or daunting) The Black Hills are a very tame wilderness.
Breakout Books: What was the hardest part about becoming an author?
J.C. Phelps: The hardest part about becoming an author was sticking to the books to get them finished. But I'm finding it harder to STAY an author by marketing and promoting those books.
Breakout Books: Do you have any advice for new authors?
J.C. Phelps: Don't give up! I read somewhere that Margaret Mitchell wrote steadily on Gone With the Wind for about ten years. We all know how popular that is.
Breakout Books: Tell us something interesting about yourself that we don't already know.
J.C. Phelps: Me? Interesting? Ha! Well, our local 4th of July fireworks display is held on my father's land - where I live - and it's been said to be better than the one held at Mt. Rushmore! I helped set it all up. (Not the actual display but the fact that it's held here)
Breakout Books: Who is your favorite traditional author? Indie author?
J.C. Phelps: This is the hardest question you've asked me! My tastes are eclectic and change from moment to moment. Piers Anthony, and Robert Heinlein instantly come to mind for the traditional authors. Oh and Mark Twain and Edgar Allan Poe and the list goes on... but the Indie authors are even harder to list. I've been reading 5 Indies to every 1 traditional in the past year and I've actually enjoyed every book I've read. Karen Cantwell, author of Take the Monkeys and Run and The Chronicles of Marr-nia has to top the list right now, but I will say that Dawn Judd's Network series is pretty dang good! And NO I'm not saying that because you are interviewing me. I say it because out of all the Indies I've read in the past year yours and Karen Cantwell's books have stayed with me.
Breakout Books: I know you have a book signing coming up real soon. For your local fans that might want to attend, can you give us the details?
J.C. Phelps: The signing is January 14th, 9:00-5:00 and 15th, 9:00-Noon at the Piedmont library during one of their book sales. There will be at least five local authors there and possibly seven. Even if you don't want to meet your local authors they should have a ton of good books for sale at great prices. Come out and help support your local library!
Thank you so much for having me on your blog! I hope you, you're family and everyone reading this has a great new year.
Thank you Jean for the interview (and the compliment. I'm blushing) I'm hoping to be able to attend Jean's book signing myself. If I make it, I'll be sure to share any pictures!
Saturday, January 1, 2011
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