We’re lucky enough to be joined today by Canadian author Jocelyn Adams. Wife, mother, and former IT geek, her latest work, Touch of Frost, was released February first. Ms. Adams will now take your questions:
1. How and when did you get started as a writer?
It’s sort of a lifetime in the making, but I never put a word down on paper until 2009 when my career took an unexpected left turn. With some extra time on my hands, I took an online fiction writing course from the University of Waterloo, then found my girls at Scribophile.com, and between the two learned enough to get started writing short stories which I was lucky enough to have published. It was a great start to my writing resume.
2. We learned you grew up on a farm. How did a rural childhood help shape your imagination?
Being the youngest of a large farm family, I got the privilege of driving the machinery most of the time because I was too small to do the heavy lifting. That left me with a tremendous amount of time by myself for my imagination to run wild. Whether riding my motorcycle or bailing hay, I’d twist stories in my mind to pass the time.
3. In high school, did you have one steady boyfriend, or keep a line of them on the string guessing?
I dated a few guys before meeting my now-husband in grade 10 math class, but none of them were quite right for me. A week after meeting the smart, cute guy (who’d jumped ahead a grade) I told my friend he was the guy I was going to marry. Turned out I was right!
4. What is your most embarrassing moment?
Hehe … yeah, I’ve had a few, as I’m sure most of us have. This one in particular was when I worked in Toronto and my boss and I were just about to leave for a business trip in his car. I was wearing a new pair of black dress pants for the first time. When I bent over his trunk to put my suitcase inside, the seam along my rear—which hadn’t been sewn properly—ripped open. My boss ran inside and got me a file folder, which I held over my butt until I could make it inside to change. Good thing I had extra clothes with me!
5. What do you like to do for fun?
Fun, huh? Well, I do a few things other than write stories despite what my husband would say if you asked him the same question. 😉 I’m a competitive archer—I won nationals a few years ago which was pretty cool. I have a five year old that is my whole world, and a couple of kitty furballs who are better entertainment than any TV show in existence. We like to go for hikes and drives and hang out at the beach and in the back yard during the summer around our fire pit roasting marshmallows. It’s a simple life, but a great one.
6. You write adult urban fantasy and paranormal romance. Where do you get your ideas for characters and world building?
Honestly, I have no idea. Ha! That sounds like a bit of a copout, but it’s true. Sometimes my ideas come from dreams or from an interaction I witness between two people. Usually a whole novel is sparked from one moment or one feeling and grows from there. It’s one of those things that just happens in the back of my mind when I’m not paying attention, so my consciousness isn’t fully aware of the process. Weird, I know.
7. If you had to be one of your protagonists, who would it be and why?
Oh, I am so Lila Gray it’s not funny. She’s my protagonist from The Glass Man. She’s outspoken, says stuff she shouldn’t all the time and often speaks without thinking. I think that’s why it was so easy to write her because her voice is my voice.
8. Do you ever get writer’s block? If so, how do you overcome a writing slump?
I don’t really suffer from writer’s block for more than a day. Usually if I sleep on a story issue I’m trying to figure out, it’ll appear in my head by morning. I’m either feeling a story or I’m not. If I’m not, I pick up something else and write it for a while, then go back to the first piece. It seems to work for me so far.
9. What is your favorite book and why?
Right now I’d have to say the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews. It has everything I love in a series, a strong heroine, a post-apocalyptic setting, a little romance, a lot of action and humor that makes me grin while I’m reading it.
10. What do you advise new writers to do when starting out?
Join a writing group of some kind, be it online or in your community. Offer to critique others’ work, because you’ll learn just as much by doing that as you will on the receiving end of criticism. Build a resume by starting small, with short stories or poetry you can send off to online magazines or anthologies. And finally, read, read, read! While you’re reading, consider what you like about the writing, what you don’t, and use that knowledge to choose the genre you’ll write in and the style you enjoy most.
Thanks so much for having me here, Julie. This was fun.
Note: Ms. Adams writes adult paranormal romance and urban fantasy.