Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I am an American author with the independent publisher, Creativia. I currently have six books published, with at least three scheduled to be released in the year ahead. I enjoy trying new things so I have written in many genres and most of my books cross genres as well. I have books for all ages and tastes, to include children’s, young adult/new adult, dark fiction, romance, and even erotica.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My last publication was my children’s book, FELINE FASCINATIONS: The Adventures of Boris and Olga. It is an educational collection of stories which together, make a larger tale about two adorable cats and their adventures on a dairy farm.
As most of my work is too mature for my nephew to read, he asked me to write a book he could read. This book was written for him. I also wrote it in remembrance of my beloved cats, Boris and Olga.
I am very proud of this book. I got incredible feedback from all of my beta readers (which were various families around the United States and in the United Kingdom, with children ranging from ages 5 to 16). The parents seemed to enjoy reading it as much as the kids and it did exactly what I hoped, got the families talking about what they read together and interested in the various topics covered.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I don’t think I have any unusual writing habits. I mean, each writer has their own style. I guess mine is to let the story move me, writing scenes which I weave together. I don’t really write I a linear way, but rather, I write the moment speaking to me and then go back through, smoothing and blending it all together for a polished finish.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
For sure Kathleen O’Neal Gear and W. Micheal Gear have been incredibly influential for me, their books and them, their selves. Not only am I a huge fan of their work, but I can say I have had the pleasure to speak with them on several occasions. They’ve read some of my books and offered me valuable advice for my career.
My friend, colleague, and co-author, Simone Beaudelaire has been an incredible gift in my life as well. She has also taught me a great deal, showing me how to hone my skills and increase my art.
Other writers I absolutely love are Ray Bradbury, Stephenie Meyer, Suzanne Collins, Charlaine Harris, and Margaret Mitchell.
What are you working on now?
The book I am currently working on is called MAKING MIKE. It is the third installment to the new erotic military romance series, The Wounded Warriors, which I am writing with my co-author, Simone Beaudelaire.
This series started when my friend was discussing her book, SAVING SAM with me. She had the vision for the novel, but she lacked the expertise I had. I began to help her with the story and somehow, the characters all just came to life and the series was born. SAVING SAM (Book 1) is available now for pre-order and will be officially released on February 20, 2015. JUSTIFYING JACK (Book 2) is in post-production, being finalized for publication. MAKING MIKE (Book 3) is about half-way written!
Simone and I are really proud of this series. Not only is it meant to honor our military men and women, but their families as well. We have named the series as such because we will be donating a portion of all personal profits we make to The Wounded Warrior Project, but also, we named it the way we did because each book faces a different sort of wound that war can and does inflict.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I have to say that my Author Facebook Page is my most active website and where readers can speak to me directly. www.facebook.com/authorjmnorthup
I also have a Facebook Book Group which I invite all booklovers to come join and participate in. https://www.facebook.com/groups/952331691462763/
I have tried to become more active on my blog and in doing so, I am posting a lot about different authors’ WIPs, New Releases, and interviews I do with them. http://jmnorthup.blogspot.com/
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Be true to your story and listen to your characters. Don’t write the story you think someone wants to read, but write the story you need to tell and let out. If you aren’t passionate about your work then you can’t expect anyone else to be either.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
I think the best advice was something Wil Wheaton is noted for saying. He said, “don’t be a dick.” That is simply put, just like Whoopi Goldberg, as her character Fontaine said, “He who is without dog shit on his sneaker, go ahead, walk on the white carpet.”
Essentially, and more eloquently put, the best advice is also my favorite passage from the Holy Bible: Ephesians 4:32 “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
What are you reading now?
I am reading several books at one time, as I tend to do. I am reading High Plains Holiday (Love on the High Plains Book 1) by Simone Beaudelaire, Freya 800AD by Jean Mead, and People of the Moon (North America’s Forgotten Past Book 13) by Kathleen O’Neal Gear and W. Michael Gear.
What’s next for you as a writer?
I am finishing MAKING MIKE (Book 3 in The Wounded Warriors series), I am working on A WINTER OF FEAR (Book 3 in my Fears of Dakota series), and I am working on another Young Adult novel, SNOQUALMIE VALLEY SASQUATCH. I am researching and developing another children’s book, Books 4 and 5 in Fears of Dakota, and I hope to work with Simone Beaudelaire more, though I have no idea where our partnership will lead us.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
I want my Kindle, unlimited access to electricity to run it, and internet with an unlimited amount of resources for purchasing books! LOL
Seriously, I would want the Bible because it has poetry and stories galore, the Twilight Saga because I love it so much, and I think… Hmmm… you know, I can’t just pick 3 or 4. LOL