Interview with T.L. Jones
What genre do you write and why?
For now, I write fiction novels. I love the idea of being able to create new ideas, characters and even worlds based on just your imagination. There are plenty of concepts that have yet to be brought to fruition simply because it has yet to be thought of. With fiction writing, the possibilities are endless. You can make pigs fly and inanimate objects have dreams. I have always loved Fiction. I love other genres but fiction is my go to for reading so naturally it would be my go to for writing.
Tell us about your latest book.
Well, the book that is being published is called Happily Never After: As it is written. It is a twist on an old classic. One day I had a conversation with a close friend of mine and had an epiphany, what ever happens to the princess after she says I do to prince charming? Does she have kids? Does she cheat? Does the Prince cheat? Do they actually life happily ever after? I mean there are a lot of possibilities and in today’s day and age drama seems to be the new thing. So I take a classic and I insert a little drama, spiciness and mysteriousness and gave a fresh new spin off to an old classic.
What marketing methods are you using to promote your book?
I am going to attempt to go to local fairs to sell autographed copies of my book, of course I have started a author based twitter and Facebook page and have joined multiple writing and author forums to try and spread the word about my book and also converse with my fellow cohorts about upcoming projects and also get some ideas and some help if I need it. Also, there are several universities around here so I plan on doing some flyering. Also, I would like to take out an ad in the newspaper and I have a couple of connections with a local talk show here in town. I am thinking about either giving them an interview about the book or seeing if I can put a plug into the show. Those are just a couple of ideas that I have going at this time.
What formats is the book available in?
The book is available in paperback and it is available for download on amazon. We are trying to get it in some of the local bookstores around the area that I live but for right now, those are the main places.
Who are your favourite authors?
Omar Tyree, Janet Evanovich, Terry Goodkind, JK Rowling, William Goldman, Eric Jerome Dickey, just to name a few. I am an eclectic person. I love all types of music and literature. As long as it has a great plot, great development of characters and a great overall theme I am all in. Most of the author’s that I mentioned have great series. I love a great series.
What advice do you have for other writers?
I have so many pieces of advice that I can give but I am going to give my top two.
The first one is to have great readers who are also authors in your corner. There is nothing more valuable than having someone in your corner that can read your manuscript with two different mindsets. With someone who has a consumer mindset and an author mindset going at the same time while reading they can tell you if the content is good while telling you what needs to be corrected for selling purposes. It is the best of both worlds. So in short, befriend authors you trust. You will need them.
Secondly, do not have a big ego. There is always going to be someone who is better than you. There is always going to be someone who has been writing longer than you. There is always going to be someone who knows more than you. By keeping yourself humble you keep your down to earth vibe. No one likes to meet someone who feels that they are untouchable. Be yourself. My favorite quote of all time is “you can attract more flies with honey than with vinegar”. I used to think, why would I want to attract flies, they are gross, but then I realized that ultimately it is talking about people in general. You will be more attractive to readers, blogger’s, talk show host and other personnel that you need in order to get that exposure that you need and it will be more attainable if you are level headed and approachable. If you sale a lot of books, that is great, but do not forget where you came from.
What's your favourite quote about writing/for writers?
You have to be odd to be number one - Dr. Seuss
What's the best thing about being a writer?
The best thing about being a writer is the fact that you do not have to be candid. You can say and do things with these characters that you normally couldn’t say or do in real life. There has been a couple of times when I have been upset, frustrated or emotional about something in my current life and I simply go and release myself into a chapter and I feel loads better.
Where can people find out more about you and your writing?
Right now, I am looking into starting a website, but for now, my readers can follow me on Twitter @author_tljones or they can add me on Facebook as a friend. My Facebook can be found under TL Jones.
Who is you favorite character in your book and why?
My favorite character in my book would have to be Anastasia. She starts off as as gullible woman and ends up being one of the fiercest characters in the book. For someone with non-magical abilities she shows no fear and takes on situations head on, even if it means her life.
A close second would be Jesus De La Rosa, otherwise known as the Muffin Man. Who doesn't like a strong willed and muscular character who knows how to bake and speaks two different languages?
Why do you think readers are going to enjoy your book?
I think readers will enjoy my book for a plethora of reasons.
The first reason is it is multi-cultural. I do not focus on just one race. There is something for everyone.
The second reason is it is unpredictable. Just when you think that you have the character figured out and the book pegged it takes an unexpected twist. If readers enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it then this is going to be a best seller.
How long did it take you to write your book?
It took me three months to write this book from start to end.
Who designed the cover?
My publisher is CedarLoft Productions. They had an in-house designer design my cover. I think they did an amazing job. Don’t you think?
Did you learn anything from writing your book that was unexpected?
(laughing) I learned that I an actually write a book. I learned that my imagination is a bit more outlandish than I give it credit for. I learned that I can actually put a full, sequential thought together and formulate an interesting chapter book. If you would have told me a year ago that I would be an author about to release my first book in June I would have laughed. Writing this book has helped me learn that I should not put boundaries on myself.
Where can a reader purchase your book?
Starting in June, it can be purchased on Amazon.
What are you doing to market the book?
I am doing a lot of things. I am trying to start off local and see if I can have it branch from there. I am posting flyer’s around the local campuses. Also, I plan on trying to sell my book at local fairs. In addition to trying to market my book locally I am also taking to twitter and Facebook to raise awareness and try to have a giveaway of my book.
Who inspires you?
This might sound cliche but my fans. While I was writing my book I actually had a group of people who were there with me from the first chapter. They were the ones that were urging me to write more, even when I did not want to. They also were the ones that gave honest feedback. Honestly, they have even went as far as to help me name a character. I value the thoughts and opinions of my fans and if it were not for them I would not have finished the book at all. When you have people who are genuinely interested in your work it is refreshing and makes gives you unexplainable inspiration. It makes you want to go out and conquer the world, one chapter at a time just to keep them happy.
How do you research your books?
To be honest, the only research I have done is within the book. I have done no outside research. The only research that I have done is when I was writing the book I would go back and re-read some of the prophetic messages I wrote to make sure that the action that I was writing about matched up with what the message stated was going to happen. The concepts that I have introduced in this book are all new ideas that can not be researched.
What is your work in progress? Tell us about it.
Right now I am working on the sequel to this book. Happily Never After is a trilogy and in the second book it takes a look at an old children’s game and puts a spin on the meaning. More details to come closer to the release. The name of the book is Happily Never After: Symon Says. It is set to debut in June of 2016 but the way I am writing it might be sooner than that.
Concurrently, I am working on a comedic novel as well. It is also dealing with a question that I think no one has wrote about, at least not to my knowledge. What happens when super heroine’s get old? The book is called Super over the hill: Saving the world one menopause at a time. That is all I’m going to release about that particular book at this time.
What are your thoughts on self-publishing verses traditional publishing?
I feel like both methods are effective but the success rate really depends on the author. I contemplated going the self-publishing route but realized that I am not that knowledgeable about what it takes to publish a book. Me personally, I learn quicker if I have an example to follow. I decided that it would be a good thing to actually be published by an actual publisher, study the process of publishing a work and then I could attempt self-publishing with a little more ease since I’ll be more knowledgeable.
I commend people who jump right into self-publishing, it is a lot of work. I went the traditional publishing route and I still had a lot to do so I can only imagine how much work someone has to do when self-publishing without that support system.
Who or what inspired you to become a writer?
I have been writing songs and poetry since I was six years old. I have always had writing in my blood. No one in my family is a writer so I do not know where I inherited this trait from. If I had to give an answer to this question I would have to be honest and say myself. Writing anything is an escape for me. When I write I feel like my problems do not exist and I can breathe easily. Writing is therapeutic and honestly, if it were not for writing, I would be worse off than I am now.
Does your family support you in your writing career? How?
I wrote under an alias so, at this point, no one in my family knows that I am an author as of yet. My family is a bit dysfunctional and I do not know how news of me being an author will be received. I will give them this information a bit later but I feel now is not the best time. So no, the support system for my writing is not there yet, but I am sure that it will be when I eventually tell them.
My mother has always supported my songwriting. She supports me by making me sing the songs that I have created to her friends so that she can brag about my abilities. As I typed that last sentence I am sitting here chuckling at all of the random memories I have of putting on impromptu shows for company.
What are you currently reading?
I am currently helping some people with their book drafts. If I am not helping other people with their books I am trying to read the Game of Throne series.
What books or authors have most influenced your life?
There are a lot of authors and/or books that have influenced my life. I have always been that type of person where whenever I am sad I pick up a book. So, depending on where I am at that particular time in my life and what author I am currently enthralled with, different books have different influences on my life. For instance, The Princess Bride taught me that love is unconventional and that if you are with the right person, a little magic can happen. Omar Tyree’s “Just say No” spoke to me at that point in time simply because I wanted to be a singer but I have grown up in church and I was conflicted. Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series gave me a sense of power. It showed me that you do not have to be beautiful, have super powers or be incredibly bright in order to be taken seriously and to evoke change in your life.
I could go on and on with different examples but there is not enough time in the world. When you are an avid reader everything becomes influential. I have been that way since I became a book worm at the ripe age of six.
When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
I love singing Karaoke, believe it or not. I am actually quite good at it. I also like to dance.