Q&A With J. Daniels
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Q&A With J. Daniels
J. Daniels whose full name is Jessica Daniels is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of romance. Many of her romance novels are in different series and one is a standalone. Her series include, The Alabama Summer, Dirty Deeds & The Sweet Addiction Series. J. Daniels solo novel is The Tragedy of Felix And Jake.
Q: So Jessica, what fascinates you about writing romance? When did you realize being an author was what your calling was?
A: I’ve always loved reading romance. I’m inspired by it. And it became something I wanted to explore creatively. Certain story lines kept circling inside my head and I needed to see what I could do with them. So I did. I’m still not sure if being an author is my calling LOL. I just love writing and creating, and I hope to continue doing it for as long as I can.
Q: What would be your advice to anyone on writing a great romance?
A: Look at your WIP every day. Even if you don’t get any words down, read what you’ve already written and stay inside the story. And shut out the world. Don’t let anyone get you to a place where you stop loving something you’re proud of.
Q: Do you prefer writing series or standalone novels more?
A: Well I’ve really only written one true standalone, so I think I’m more of a series girl. I tend to love side characters so much, maybe a little too much, and then I want to give them their own HEAs.
Q: Is it fair to say the characters and places in your novels are based off of people you know and places you’ve been? I love it when authors can create fictional worlds and people by using inspiration from real ones.
A: Oh absolutely. Places for sure. I have little Easter eggs in all of my stories, and if you’re from the Baltimore area, you might recognize some. For example, there is no Ruxton, Alabama that I know of, but there is a Ruxton, Maryland. If you read Down Too Deep, Jenna and Nathan take the kids to get ice cream at The Arctic Circle, and I’ve taken my own kids to get ice cream there. As far as characters being based off of people I know, I wouldn’t say there’s ever anyone specific in mind when I create a character. But I’ll take little personality traits from family and friends. I think it’s fun.
Q: If you were to write in a different genre, which genre would it be and why?
A: FANTASY. I love reading it. Can’t write it. World building is a bit out of my reach. I wish I could create like that.
Q: Does Hollywood have any interests or rights to your novels? Hollywood is overdue for creativity and they could always use more good books for original content.
A: Not that I know of! But that’s the dream, right? I’d love to see one of my stories reach that level of success.
Q: If you deal with writers block, what advice do you give to new authors on how to deal with writers block?
A: I am probably the worst person to answer this question LOL. I don’t think I’m the best at dealing with writer’s block. It’s very real and VERY frustrating. And I don’t know if there’s really a correct way to deal with it. I’ve stepped away from a story for a few days and then bounced right back. Other times, I’ve had to step away for months. When I started writing The Tragedy of Felix and Jake, I ended up putting it aside for over a year. So, I think the best advice I could give would be to do what’s best for YOU. Every writer is different. As long as something works for you, that’s all that should matter.
Q: What’s your advice to new authors on how to deal with negative reviews, online trolls and unsupportive family and friends who don’t support their writing goals?
A: Oh boy. Look. Social media is both a wonderful and terrible thing. If I didn’t need it for my career, I wouldn’t use it. It stresses me out. And a lot of times, I feel like it’s feeding off of me and not feeding me, if that makes sense. What I do love about it is how I’m able to interact with readers. Without my readers, I wouldn’t be able to write full time, so it’s important to me to show my appreciation as much as I can. But I don’t get online as much as I used to. And there’s certain sites (like Goodreads) that are more for readers IMO, so I don’t go on there unless I need to add a new book. I think you just need to protect yourself and your creativity. I’ve been tagged in some pretty nasty reviews, and they’ve knocked the wind out of me. They’ve made me question stories I’ve been incredibly proud of. They’ve made me doubt myself and every decision I’ve made. And that doesn’t benefit me creatively, so I don’t expose myself to it. Online trolls are going to stick around no matter what I do. I don’t feed into them and neither should anyone else. I just try to keep my head down and write.
Q: If you were to collaborate with another author who would it be with and why?
A: I’d go Fantasy with this one and work with one of the best: Leigh Bardugo. I love her mind.
Q: If you’re writing a new novel now, is it part of your existing series, the start of a new series or another standalone novel?
A: I’m currently working on the last book in my Alabama Summer series! It’s titled This Is Us, and it will basically be a giant extended epilogue. Lots of fun, laughs, and sweet moments. I’m a little sad to say goodbye to these characters, but it’s not a true goodbye, since the kids are all getting their own stories.