Monday, June 11, 2012



Hello J., thank you so much for agreeing to do this interview. It is a pleasure to have the chance to get to know more about you and your writing. First tell us about your newest novel and why you decided to write it. 

I began writing the War of Whispers series about ten years ago to express a crisis of faith I had. It’s a four book series and it’s been picked up by a new publisher, which I’m very excited about. I’ve been busy re-writing (more like tweaking!) the first edition of Tears of Min Brock, and we hope to have it re-released in early July.

Tell us about some of your hobbies, things you like to do in your spare time.

Hmm, spare time. What’s that? Well, I do love to cook, but I drive my wife nuts because I never write the recipe down, so inevitably it changes and evolves. Sometimes for the better. Sometimes not. I do love to bike (as in road cycling) but I’d have to say my favorite thing to do is be at the beach with my family. 

What is the one most rewarding thing in your life right now? 

Family and friends. I’m blessed to have some tremendously rich relationships. It’s taken me over forty years to realize the wisdom in this, but now that I’ve “got it,” I’m in for the long haul. Oh, and I love to chase my grandson in the yard. Yeah, that’s rewarding and good exercise! 

When reading for pleasure do you tend to stick to the same genre you write or do you like to read other genres as well? 

I’m all over the map. On my nightstand is Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins, Family and Civilization by Carle Zimmerman and The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis. I read some fantasy, like Patrick Rothfuss, but I’m actually drawn to contemporary authors like John Hart and Charles Martin. Go figure! And then, there’s my “push” to read the classics in an attempt to “further my education.” In short, if it’s well-written, I’ll give it a go!

When was it that you realized writing was what you wanted to do with your life? 

I’ve always had a passion for storytelling. When we'd visit my grandparents' farms, back when I was young, I'd tell my sisters tales primarily because I was bored! During high school, I dabbled in creative writing as well as getting backstage interviews with bands like Rush (boy, just showed my age!) But it’s only been in the past ten years that I’ve delved into fleshing this out into stories and books. THAT is when I realized I want to be a storyteller for a long, long time. 

When can we expect your next book out and can you give us a sneak peek? 

Well, like I said at the beginning, the re-release of Tears of Min Brock will be out by July. We’ll release the second book of the series in November. I can’t give a sneak peek at this juncture, but I will say that it picks up right where Tears ended. I was fortunate to have written all four books before being published, so the story flows consistently and builds (my humble opinion) in a more natural manner. If anyone's interested in getting updates on this, just click on my social media links at the end of this interview.

Back in your high school career, who was the one teacher you would say made a profound difference in your life, if any? 

Mrs. Benke (sp?) She was our mentor/editor for our high school news magazine, The Arlingtonian, and propelled us to outstanding success at national competitions. It was under her tutelage that I got the opportunity (and encouragement) to get backstage to interview groups like Blue Oyster Cult, Foghat, and Kansas. Sorta like the movie Almost Famous sans Kate Hudson. Here's a snippet about my experience with Kansas from my blog.

What dreams do you have for future generations that you'd like to share with others? 

What a great question! I dream that the word "responsibility" will be embraced instead of denied, passed over, ignored, deflected...

I spent a good portion of my life avoiding responsibility with statements like, "It's not my fault" or "I'm this way because of__." I thought I was free, but in reality, I was imprisoned by fear, shackled by shame, and spending so much time just being angry. It wasn't until I embraced responsibility (by the way, this is a daily decision!) that I began to grow and mature as a human being. It wasn't easy. It required sacrifice. At times it hurt. But the rewards FAR outweigh the passivity I labeled as "life" before! 

One off the board question I like to ask, is what are your views as far as 2012, and do you believe in the Mayan Calendar? 

I personally don’t put stock in it predicting the “end of the world.” And even if it did, shouldn't we all be living as if today were our last?

Finally, do you have any advice you'd like to give to other aspring authors, also please leave us your links where we can find out more about you. 

Absolutely! I LOVE the following quotes because they say so much with so little... 

“There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.” W. Somerset Maugham
“A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit.” Richard Bach. 

Feel free to contact me with any other questions you may have. 

Here's how:
Twitter: @jelowder
Others: Goodreads Amazon

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