Hi J.D how are you today?
I'm doing great. Thanks for thinking of me for an interview!
Tell us a little about yourself?
I'm a University of Oklahoma graduate with a degree in journalism. I've
worked as a researcher and editor for trade magazines, reported on a wide
variety of topics as a freelance writer, been a technical writer and
syndicated humor columnist for several years. I'm now writing fiction,
including the Ikana College contemporary romance series. J.D. Brick is a
pen name. I'm also a wife and mother.
Somewhere in Time
What is your favourite colour?
What star sign are you?
Are you a action, horror or Romance movie
type of man?
Well, I'm actually a woman, but I'm definitely a romance movie type.
What is your ring tone on your phone?
Girl on Fire by Alicia Keys
What do your family think about you writing and have they read any of your work?
My college-age daughter is my main beta reader and sometimes my harshest
critic. If I can please her, I feel good about sending my writing out into
the world. My son refuses to read my romance stuff because Gross, Mom. He
did read my humor columns, many of which described my efforts to raise him
without going completely insane. My husband reads all of my work, and because he's a good husband who doesn't want to sleep on the couch,
he says it's the best thing he's ever had the
pleasure of reading.
I can follow a recipe, but no, I'm nothing special in the kitchen. My daughter and husband are much better and so I try to get them to do the
cooking as much as possible. I can make a decent pot roast or roast chicken. I'm especially good at making reservations.
What is your favourite food?
What is the most romantic thing you have done for a girl guy?
I once sent my husband on a scavenger hunt of clues to follow from his office, all over town, ending at the bar in a hotel, where I was sitting
in nothing but a trench coat. Really obvious, I'm sure, to everyone there, but I was fulfilling a certain fantasy of his. I'd booked a room at the
hotel, of course, so that's where we eventually ended up.
The stories I'm writing now are all new.
What is your favourite genre to write?
I loved writing humor but I'm excited to be writing fiction and especially, romance. I try to include humor in everything I write. Well,
except for the technical writing I used to do. My bosses probably would've frowned at me trying to be cute in computer manuals.
You have written variety of different types of books, which book was your favorite to write?
My favorite has been the one I've just finished, Tangled Up in Blue. The reaction to it has been a lot of fun, as well. I love hearing from readers
who were touched by it.
When and why did you begin writing?
I've been writing stories since I was a little kid. I always intended to be a hard-hitting journalist and travel the world. I did a bit of that,
but then I started doing more feature writing and humor. Then I got into technical writing when my kids were young because I wanted something I
could do from home. I always meant to write fiction as well, but somehow the years slipped by, and I'm just now starting down that road.
I was the editor of my high school paper and managing editor of my college paper. I guess at that point I saw myself as a writer.
What inspired you to write your first book?
Well, for my humor books, it was mainly my family members and the experiences we had as a family that provided most of the inspiration. For
my Ikana College series, I was inspired in part by some of my own experiences in college.
Do you have a specific writing style?
Well, that's kind of difficult to answer. I've been told that it's descriptive and sometimes lyrical.
Who was the easiest character to write for and why and hardest and why?
The easiest character to write so far has been Blue in Tangled Up in Blue. Even though he's a male character, and I'm writing it in alternating first-person POV, the writing just flowed
very easily when I was writing from Blue's POV. Readers have told me that Blue comes across as a very real guy. It's interesting to me that it was
actually easier for me to write the main male character than the main female character. The hardest character has probably been Megz. She's one of the 'bad guys' in the story and it's been challenging to find the right balance in her character so that she comes across as realistic.
which lead character is your personal favourite and why?
My favorite is Blue. As I mentioned in the previous question, I found it very easy to get into his head.
What was your favorite book as a child?
When I was really young, I loved a book called Where the Red Fern Grows. I read it over and over. I loved Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys books, as
well as Little Women and To Kill a Mockingbird. When I was a little older, I read and re-read books like Gone with the Wind and all of the Judy Bloom
Well, the main male character is Blue and being a romance, it worked to have my female character tangled up in him. Plus, I am a huge Bob Dylan
fan, and obviously, Tangled Up in Blue is one of his songs.
How much of the book is realistic?
I actually did live during college in a party house known as the Canadian Embassy. That's pretty much the only thing that's realistic. I wish Blue
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
No, not really. I do use bits and pieces from my own life, though.
Have you ever binned a book when half way through thinking it wasn't good enough?
Yes, I have files full of ideas and chapters I wrote years ago and then gave up on in despair.
What books have most influenced your life most?
Little Women, To Kill a Mockingbird, Beloved, Pride and Prejudice
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
What book are you reading now?
I have a stack of Alexandra Fuller's books that I checked out of the library, and I'm amazed that I've only just discovered her writing. It's amazing.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
She's not brand-new, but I am blown away by Leah Raeder. Absolutely stunning writing.
What are your current projects?
I'm writing Book 2 in the Ikana College series. I'm also working on a YA book called The Scar Ceremony.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I was a voracious reader from the time I learned to read. Very early on, I remember wanting to write stories and be a writer. I don't really remember
not wanting to write.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Right now, I'm working on Shelter from the Storm, which is Book 2 in my Ikana College series. Book 1, Tangled Up in Blue, ends in a cliffhanger,
and Book 2 continues (and concludes) the love story begun in the first book. The series takes place on a college campus in Oklahoma and revolves
around a group of students from wildly different backgrounds who find themselves living in a ramshackle party house known as the Canadian
Embassy. Lots of lust, love and drama ensues, accompanied by a lot of great music. Books 1 and 2 are focused on the love story of Keegan and
Blue. The books also explore the use and misuse of power, the idealism that we tend to have in our early 20s and the consequences young adults
sometimes have to pay because of the actions of older generations.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Finding the time and avoiding distractions. I love the old Dorothy Parker quote: I hate writing. I love having written. That is so me. I love when
I've finished something; there is no better feeling. But being in the middle of it is just agonizing for me. I can very easily find excuses not to write.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I'm in awe of Toni Morrison. The epic themes in her work, the vivid dialogue, the unbelievably real characters. It's really hard to pick just
one favorite author. Actually, it's impossible
for me. But Toni Morrison is definitely at the
top of the list.
Who designed the covers?
Kari Ayasha from Cover to Cover Designs.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Making the time. Like everyone else, I have a lot of other obligations that seem to take up most of my time, so carving out those uninterrupted
hours to be able to just write was, and still is, the hardest thing.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
It's the same advice every other author gives, so it sounds cliché, but it's still true: Read, read and read some more. And then make yourself sit
there and write. Even if what comes out at first isn't great, just sitting there typing (or scribbling) somehow gets the creative juices flowing, and
you will get better.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thanks so much for reading and please spread
Do you have any funny quirks or stories you would like to tell us about yourself?
I'm kind of a goofy and disorganized person, no matter how hard I try not to be. I seem to just stumble into silly situations without even trying.
That's actually how I started writing a humor column, just by documenting some of the weird stuff that happened to me. It's usually something really embarrassing. Like the time we were out in Colorado hiking and I went off the trail to spend a penny, as they say in England. I found a bush to get behind, but I did not realize there was another trail just above me until a group of guys came hiking along that trail and got a good look at my
bare ass. One of them called out "Nice view" and I almost tumbled down the mountain, whirling around and trying to pull up my shorts. I tripped over my own feet and ended up sprawled with my shorts and underwear around my ankles, giving them quite a sight and a good story to tell. Stuff like that provides good material for a humor column.
What do you like to do to keep fit?
I run and do yoga and pilates.
What do you like to do when your not busy working and writing?
Spend time with my family. And my favorite thing of all is to read.
Where do you see you self in ten years time?
Hopefully with several best-selling
novels behind me!
Thank you for joining me today you have been awesome.
Thanks so much for having me!!