Make Believe anthology (part three) : an interview with J. Keller Ford

The Amulet of Ormisez by J. Keller Ford
There is only one way to save Elton Fletcher’s brother from an insanity-ridden death.
After years away from home, fighting for his people, Elton returns to discover his only sibling, Cayden, possessed by greed and malice, and responsible for malicious, unthinkable deeds. Cayden, though, isn’t the only one afflicted by the Amulet of Ormisez, and Elton finds himself in yet another battle, where the price of failure could be his own life.

J. Keller Ford is a quirky mother of four, grand-mother and scribbler of young adult fantasy tales.  She has an insatiable appetite for magic, dragons, knights and faeries, and weaves at least one into every story she conceives.  Her muse is a cranky old meadow gnome that follows her everywhere she goes and talks incessantly, feeding her ideas for stories 24/7.

When she’s not writing or blogging, the former Corporate Paralegal enjoys listening to smooth jazz, collecting seashells, swimming, bowling, riding roller coasters and reading.  Jenny lives minutes from the beaches of the west coast of Florida with her husband of twenty years, her two sons and a pair of wacky cats and three silly dogs.  The pets have trained her well.

J. Keller Ford will now take your questions:

Q. Awesome to have you with us today Jen, can you tell us about your story?

In my own words, it’s a New Adult kick-butt romantic fantasy of a guy (Elton Fletcher) who returns home from war to discover his brother, Cayden, is possessed by a magical amulet that drives the wearer into insanity and eventually into death.  Determined to rid the object from his brother, Elton finds himself in another battle where the price of failure could the loss of his own life.

Q. How did you come up with the idea?

Geez, sometimes I can’t really pinpoint where I ideas come from.  I stared at the photo prompt for weeks not knowing what I was going to write about.  Then one day I got a picture in my mind of a rider on horseback, racing toward his castle in the dark and sleet, and I sat down at the computer and started typing.  Next thing I knew, Amulet was born.

Q. What’s your main character’s greatest strength, biggest flaw?

Elton Fletcher is a caring, loving person who would do anything to defend his family and homeland.  He is also a warrior and keeps his heartaches and feelings very close to him, rarely letting anyone see the pain he carries inside.

Q. What is the hardest part of writing for you?

Editing.  I am always editing.  I never can seem to find a place where I’m happy with what I’ve written.  I always have to keep tweaking, re-writing. At this rate, I’ll be 100 years old before my novel is printed.  I really must learn to let go.
Q. What one question do you wish an interviewer would ask you but never has?

What is your favorite Disney animated magic moment?  – I get tingles every time when Cinderella’s fairy godmother turns Cinderella’s tattered dress into that beautiful, sparkly ball gown.

Q. What are you working on now? Do you tend to work on multiple projects or one at a time?

I’m working on several things at the moment.  My big project is what I hope to be the final edit of my novel, In the Shadow of the Dragon King.  I am also working on the two follow up books in the trilogy as well as a few short stories I hope to polish and send out within a couple of weeks.

Q. What is your favorite line from this book (short story)?

Elton Fletcher urged his horse through the wind and sleet toward the enormous shadow rising from the moors against the darkness.

Q. Did you always want to be a writer?

Yes, ever since I was a little girl.  I was always a talker (still am when you get to know me).and I always had such stories to tell.  Some of those stories got me into trouble when I was a wee lass.  My mom and I had many disagreements over what ‘stretching the truth’ meant.  Around the age of 8, I finally learned to contain my vivid imagination to the stories I wrote, and not involve real life people in my tales.

Q. Was there any part that you struggled with or avoided writing?

Self esteem is and always has been a huge issue for me.  I can’t seem to make myself believe that my writing is good enough.  I always cut myself down, thinking my stories are awful and no one else will want to read them.  I’m always comparing my writing to other published authors and wonder how I can compete with their works.  It takes a lot of pep talks to convince me to keep writing.

Q. What are you reading right now? Do you read a book at a time or more than one?

Right now I’m reading Artemis Fowl The Last Guardian.  I LOVE the Artemis Fowl books. So much fun.  I recently finished BLUE MOON by J.A. Belfield (sooo good), Reaper, by L.S. Murphy (really enjoyed this one), and Dragonswood by Janet Lee Carey (I found a new favorite author in this one).

Do I re-read books?  You betcha.  I’ve read CRUX, twice since it’s release (no kidding, missy.  Love your novel!   It belongs at the top alongside Cassandra Clare’s books).  I’ve read all of the Harry Potter books more than once.  The Order of the Phoenix I’ve read seven times.  Great Expectations, The Hobbit, The Bible and numerous Raymond Feist books have been read so much the bindings are cracked.  As a kid and teen, I read Heidi, all the Hardy Boy books, and the Chronicles of Narnia series until I could pretty quote them by heart.  I love re-reading books.  They’re like movies in the sense that sometimes you miss something that you didn’t see before.  I’ve also found that some books I once enjoyed I don’t care for anymore, and other books I hated I grew to love as I got older.  Books are magical to me and I will never tire of reading something I love over and over again.

I totally paid her for that compliment, guys. 😉

Q. Okay, so what do you like to do when you’re not writing? Any hobbies?

What?  Not write?  Ok, ok.  Next to writing I love to read, travel, hang out at the beach, collect sea shells, swim, ride roller coasters, go camping and ride my bicycle.  I also love hanging out with my kids and my adorable grand-daughter.

Q. What was your favorite book/who was your favorite writer as a teen?

I know this is going to sound weird but I didn’t have a favorite author as a kid.  I devoured everything.  If I had to pick anyone, I’d say it would be Charles Dickens.  Loved Great Expectations.  When I was younger, I devoured the Hardy Boy series and secretly had a crush on Frank Hardy.

Q. Who is your favorite writer now?

Casssandra Clare, J.K. Rowling, and John Green top my favorite author list right now.
Q, What is the best young adult book you’ve read so far in 2012?

Without a doubt, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.  There have been a lot of great reads, but this one sank its teeth into my soul.
Q. What do you see emerging as the next big trend in young adult literature?

I hear a lot about LGBT novels for teens becoming a big trend.  Of course, graphic novels, dystopians, steampunk and fantasy I think will continue to be a big draw for teens.  I have noticed, however, vampires seem to be fading from view.
Q. Have you ever wanted to quit writing? Why? What made you keep going?

All the time.  Sometimes, I really think my writing sucks.  Sometimes my brain can’t string two coherent sentences together.  Sometimes I let life take over and my writing takes a backseat.  What keeps me going?  I’m a writer.  To not write would be the same as not breathing.  I’d go insane if I didn’t write something every day.  It may be gibberish, but it’s writing.

Q. If you could have a career besides being an author, what would it be?

I’d love to be a singer, more in the classical/operatic style, like Sarah Brightman.  Unfortunately, I can’t carry a tune and animals run for cover when I try to sing, but that’s what I’d love to do if I could.

Along with our readers, we love animals here! Do you have any pets at home?

Aren’t they cute?

For more info on this author and where to buy her book:

Thanks for putting up with my questions, Jen! You are a great writer and a good sport 🙂 So let’s take a page from Jen … ‘What is your favorite Disney animated magic moment?’ Leave us a comment and tell us yours!

About Julie Antonovich Reece

Young Adult Author - Epic Tales of Romance and Adventure View all posts by Julie Antonovich Reece

11 responses to “Make Believe anthology (part three) : an interview with J. Keller Ford

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