Interview with Joshua Jacobs.

Q.  Both your novels: The Words of Adriel and The Withering, are aimed at a young readership, would you ever consider writing for an older audience?

A. As a teacher, my main reason for writing is to motivate reluctant readers to open a book. When I started writing The Words of Adriel, I sought to create a novel that blended the three elements I felt students wanted to read: horror, humor, and adventure. Perhaps once I’ve managed to inspire students to read, I’ll turn my attention to adults, as there are plenty out there who claim to be allergic to books.

Q. Is speculative fiction the only genre you write in, or have you dabbled in others?

A. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve had an overactive imagination. Even up until I was thirteen, I still played with action figures, developing all kinds of fantastical stories for my “characters.” I’m at home with speculative fiction, particularly fantasy. It allows me to escape this world and create one of my own, one where the people play by my rules and I control what happens to them. However, I wouldn’t rule out writing realistic fiction. In fact, I’ve always wanted to pen a love story. Not a romance. An old-fashioned, tear-jerking, inspirational love story. The storyline, though, would have to move me in a way no idea has. Sadly, this hasn’t happened yet.

Q. What drove you to become a writer?

A. Honestly? I don’t know. I wrote a lot as a kid, but I can’t pin my finger on any one moment where I said, “I’m going to become a writer.” I guess it just kinda happened.

Q. What are your personal reading tastes and why?

A. I read what I write and I write what I read. To make sure I stay on top of the market, I read a lot of YA and MG novels, mostly in the realm of fantasy, such as The Hunger Games, the Percy Jackson series, and The Bartimaeus Trilogy. My tastes, though, stretch beyond books for younger readers. I love Michael Crichton, Stephen King, James Rollins, and George R.R. Martin. I’ll also occasionally sneak into the historical fiction section at the bookstore. I love history, and when it is combined with literature, how can I resist?

Q. What, or who, influences the way you write?

A. It’s a little weird, but when writing, I tend to subconsciously emulate whatever author I’m reading at the time. In fact, I’ve had major issues with my books when I’ve changed authors midway through a draft. One second it will be light and cheery, the next it’s dark and brooding. While writing The Withering, I’ve been reading The Game of Thrones series, which explains why the story is so dark. The authors I listed in the previous answer tend to inspire me the most.

Q. You’re a member of the online writing site Authonomy, and your novels recently made the editor’s desk – how did that feel?

A. The Words of Adriel and The Withering brought two entirely different experiences. I worked my butt off to get The Words of Adriel to #1 and keep it there, so when it was over, it was a major relief and a cause for celebration. For the next three weeks I was on top of the world. Most users on authonomy downplay the desk, but I won’t lie, it felt great to have written a book others enjoyed. For The Withering, though, I didn’t do a whole lot to reach the desk, so the excitement wasn’t as present. Still, it feels like an even greater accomplishment having done it a second time, and this time with little or no promotion on my part.

Q. Do you have a website or blog where readers can view your work?

A. My website: http://www.jmjacobs.com

My authonomy page: http://authonomy.com/writing-community/profile/45e8ba6c-6e65-40b6-87e7-4b34b1009211/joshua-jacobs/

Or, if people are interested in reading more of my work, they can e-mail me: Joshua.michael.jacobs@gmail.com

Q. What are your hopes and aspirations as a writer?

A. My main goal is to be published and inspire others. If I can encourage one person to pick up and enjoy a book, or one writer to construct his/her own novel, then my goal has been accomplished.

Q. Would you ever consider self-publishing?

A. No. Self-publishing has its place and is the right route for some, but it’s not for me. Ask me again in thirty years when I’m still unpublished. I’ll probably be swallowing my words.

 Q. Finally, what advice would you offer any aspiring writers?

A. Be patient. Learn your craft. I meet far too many writers who expect their novel to write itself. Then they believe that once they finish their first draft it is already publishable. Most writers query their first novel before it is ready. I know I did. Writing is a long, strenuous journey with many pitfalls. Writing takes times. Editing takes time. Rewriting takes time. And that’s just the beginning. If you don’t enjoy the process, if you can’t stomach rejection, if you’re not willing to invest years into your work, then you’re in the wrong field.

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