Booktrovert Reader Podcast

Fantasy Romance Author Interview J.A. Good Author of Forgotten Embers

November 22, 2023 Charity the Booktrovert Reader Season 2 Episode 37
Booktrovert Reader Podcast
Fantasy Romance Author Interview J.A. Good Author of Forgotten Embers
Booktrovert Reader Podcast
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Show Notes Transcript

Introduction:
In this episode of Booktrovert Reader Podcast, join me with the talented author JA Good. From her favorite fantasy books to navigating the authorial journey and even her unique approach to planning, this conversation promises a peek into the mind of a remarkable storyteller.

Episode Highlights:

  • JA Good's Favorite Fantasy Reads: Discover the magical worlds that have captured JA Good's heart and influenced her as an author. Explore the titles that have left an indelible mark on her writing journey.
  • Best Advice for Aspiring Authors: Get insider tips and invaluable advice from JA Good for budding writers who are looking to embark on their own literary journey. Learn from her experiences and gain insights into the craft of storytelling.
  • Journey of Main Characters in JA Good's Books: Delve into the captivating journeys undertaken by the main characters in JA Good's stories. Explore the development, challenges, and growth of these characters that have resonated with readers.
  • Allergic to Planning - JA Good's Creative Process: Uncover the unconventional approach JA Good takes towards planning her stories. She shares how she navigates the writing process without adhering strictly to outlines and structures.
  • Finding Critique Partners - JA Good's Insights: Learn about JA Good's methods for finding and collaborating with critique partners. Discover the value of constructive feedback in honing the craft of writing.

Connect with JA Good:
Etsy for Signed Copies:
Link
TikTok:
@j.a.good_author
Instagram: @j.a_good_author

Purchase on Amazon:
Forgotten Embers
A Thread of Fate
The Swindler an

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Fantasy Romance Author Interview J.A. Good Author of Forgotten Embers1 

 0:00 

 1s Hello, this is your host charity from Booktrovert Reader Podcast where I help fantasy readers find new books. I am with Jay Good. She is the author of Forgotten Embers. It's a Forged in Fire trilogy. I came across her books on Bookstagram and I just had to get her on because I love the concept of her book. It's a portal fantasy, and just introduce yourself and talk about your book. 

 U2 

 0:26 

 Okay, so my name is Jay Good. And like Charity said, I wrote the Fortune Fire trilogy along with a couple other things. But this is my first trilogy and it's the first books I ever wrote, so it is near and dear to my heart. But the story follows Red, who grows up on a farm, you know, cliche, 1s and her life is pretty boring. And she gets pulled into this world where she instantly has some trauma there and is forced to marry a really grumpy dark prince. And neither of them really know why. And the story kind of centers around who she is, why she was chosen to come there and about her past. And it's all a lot of mystery. 

 U1 

 1:20 

 Yeah, because she was kidnapped into this world. And I thought that was pretty interesting to to see that happen, because you're just like, what just happened there? 

 U2 

 1:32 

 Yeah, it's very sudden. You're like chapter, chapter two when we're there. 

 U1 

 1:38 

 Right. So how did you come up with the concept of this particular portal fantasy? 

 U2 

 1:43 

 So this was a dream that basically started like I had a dream. This girl was held captive. And the. I just couldn't get on my head. And I had always wanted to write, but never worked up the courage to actually try. But this idea just stuck in my head, and I kept thinking about it and kept imagining like how the scenes would look and what that world would look like. So finally, I just decide, well, I'll just start writing and see what happens. And then literally within a month, I had drafted the first book. 1s And while it looks nothing like that dream and the first draft looks entirely different than what was finished. I had something to work with. 

 U1 

 2:29 

 So how long did it start from the process of writing the book and getting it published to take you? 

 U2 

 2:35 

 So from the first time I wrote, it took me a month for the first draft, but then I kind of let it sit there because I learned what all writers learn is that it's never good the first time you have to at it, and it's a really intimidating. So it's for a very, very long time. And then I found a writing critique group, and one of my friends in there read it and was like, why? Why has this sat here for almost two years? Like, what do you doing? This is this is worth writing and reading. And so that gave me the push. I hired an editor and we worked on it and. 1s Five drafts later came up with the final project. So in answer, it was about two years. 

 U1 

 3:25 

 Wow. Okay. Yeah. It's good that you got that push because you wrote not only three books in that series, but on Goodreads. You clearly wrote several books since then. 

 U2 

 3:37 

 Right. And I'm a pretty fast writer, so the fact that it's sat there for two years, when I can usually draft a book within, like a short, like a thread of fate, for me, it's a standalone. But I wrote that in about less than a month, probably like three weeks, and had it edited and the next two weeks and publish soon after. So like, I'm capable of doing it fast, but I needed to know that I could do it and that I should do it. 

 U1 

 4:03 

 Right. That's I think that's the biggest challenge is that first moment and getting us past that. And then once we do, we're like rocketing through it because you're like, oh, it's not that hard as I thought it was going to be. 

 U2 

 4:15 

 Right. And then as you like, build your craft, you know, you have your tools. So it's not as overwhelming, which mean editing is still overwhelming, but it's not as bad. And then as you get better at writing, there's less editing you have to do because you you learn. Yeah. 

 U1 

 4:36 

 Don't we all? 

 U2 

 4:37 

 Yeah. 

 U1 

 4:40 

 Okay. So we have your magic system and it's centered on is just being in the real world to suddenly pulled into this very magical world had. Tell me about that magic system. And what gave you the inspiration for that? 

 U2 

 4:56 

 So runs magic 1s is very elemental based. I always like elemental magic. I don't know if you've read Air Awakens by Lisa Kova. 

 U1 

 5:14 

 Oh, it's it's on my shelf. 

 U2 

 5:17 

 That's my favorite book. 

 U1 

 5:19 

 Okay. Got it. I snap into it. Yeah. 

 U2 

 5:22 

 Very much inspired. Forgotten embers. I mean, her main, 1s main character is very much eldritch driven. 3s But. 2s Yeah. So it's very elemental based and it's unique. So you get to this magical land, but it's not very magical. Magic has been dying out for a long time. It's more rare to see that only a couple people have it, and they're guessing that in a few generations there won't be any left. 2s So it's very weird when this person who doesn't even belong in this world starts showing these magical abilities. Um, and that's kind of part of who is red and why is she there? But. 1s Yeah, it's very just elemental, driven and Air Awakens is actually based off of or not based off, but inspired by Avatar The Last Airbender. Okay, so so you can kind of go down that line to figure out why the magic is there. 

 U1 

 6:35 

 Okay. So your characters because I think we have Wren, we got Malachi, which is the the dark prince of the story, and then Prince Richard, which is kind of a character that I thought it was interesting as he popped up because he was like, oh, let me help you get out of here. 1s Um, tell me, what inspired your characters? Who's your favorite? 

 U2 

 7:01 

 Go start with that at least. Yeah. So I do like Richard a lot. And he was actually who my dream was about with her. You know, I had this in the dream. It was like her and this garden with this guy who you're just not sure what his intentions are. And I feel like that's Richard through a lot of it, you know? Are you are you a friend? Are you not a friend? Like, what's your goal here? Um, whereas I feel like Malachi's more straightforward. Like, yes, he keeps everything close to his heart. And he doesn't really trust anybody except for Sophie, who Sophie think would probably be my favorite character. And you meet Sophie as Wren's maid. But she has a really unique relationship with Malachi for a maid and a prince. Um, she kind of tells him exactly what she's thinking and chastises him and runs really confused by it. But she's super, super sassy, very no nonsense. But also, she's got some comedic relief in there. 

 U1 

 8:11 

 Right. Yeah. Because think believe they there was like a question on the relationship basically throughout. And it's frustrating. 

 U2 

 8:21 

 Yes. Yes it is. But they're Malachi and Sophie's relationship are probably one of my favorites. I mean Richard is his brother, so he's the other prince. And as the series goes on, I really like their relationship because you can see how they're building towards it and healing from their past. But Sophie is kind of Malachi's person before Ren gets there and likewise, and their bond is pretty strong. 

 U1 

 8:53 

 Would you? Did any of these characters get inspired by anybody in your life or just their personalities? 

 U2 

 9:01 

 Um, no. I'm finding the book I'm writing right now. I was talking to one of my critique partners, and I was like, I think I'm just writing you and realizing, like, I wrote Sophie before I met her, but like, she's kind of like Sophie, too. She's just got that, like, sassy, like dry humor. 3s So probably even without knowing her, I think that's who she is. 

 U1 

 9:32 

 So you said you always wanted to write. 2s Was that. I'm trying to think of my question at the same time. Have you always wanted to write fantasy or is it? There are other genres that you can you wrote in the past? 

 U2 

 9:47 

 No. So I, I love fantasy. Why? Fantasy has been my thing. It's funny because when I was growing up, I wrote mostly classics. And then as I got older, I was like, what is this y fantasy? Fell in love with it, found a guitar like we all do, and went from there. So I found Elise. I've read all of her things. Loved it. So I knew that if I was going to write, that's what I was going to write. Um, but sometimes I think about dipping into like rom com or something like that, but I haven't been brave enough yet. 

 U1 

 10:30 

 Um, I mean, I know another fantasy authors is just dipping into rom com, so I believe in you. You got the romance down part. 

 U2 

 10:38 

 Yeah, yeah, yeah. Well, anything I write has to be romance, because that's why there are very few books I read that doesn't have romance. But I'm like, wow, this was wonderful. 

 U1 

 10:51 

 I just recently read a book and it was good, but was like, I didn't like it as much because there was no romance in it. 

 U2 

 10:58 

 Oh, 

 U1 

 10:59 

 romance junkie. 

 U2 

 11:01 

 Yes. And one of those rare ones for me was Margaret Fredrickson. She wrote a book, best for teen. Have you read it? 

 U1 

 11:10 

 Oh, no. No. Oh, 

 U2 

 11:12 

 yeah. She also wrote A Sorcery of Thorns, which is, I think, her most popular one. 

 U1 

 11:17 

 Yeah. Got that on my shelf, too. 

 U2 

 11:20 

 Oh, gosh. You got to get on them. But best. She was so good. And there was. There was no romance except for the hint of it. And it could have been such a good romance. I was like, why are you doing this to me? But I still loved it. But I just think it was a special kind of torture. 

 U1 

 11:41 

 Yeah, it's it's slow, slow torture. Burn. 2s I have to dive in this a little bit. You said you used to write classics. Now my perception of classics is Pride and Prejudice and all that stuff. How do you write classics? 

 U2 

 11:58 

 So misspoke. Did not write, read, 

 U1 

 12:02 

 read. Okay, okay. Unless I misheard. There's that happens. 

 U2 

 12:07 

 Yeah. I mean can you imagine. No. Yeah. No. I only ever read classics like Anne of Green Gables, Pride and Prejudice. 

 U1 

 12:15 

 Okay. And then you got into fantasy later on in life and loved it. 

 U2 

 12:19 

 Uh huh. Yeah. Okay. 

 U1 

 12:21 

 All right. I'm glad I clarified it because I thought it could have been 80 of us, 

 U2 

 12:26 

 say, or I 

 U1 

 12:28 

 could hear. I've done that before in text messages, so I'm not I'm not going to put the blame on you. 

 U2 

 12:33 

 So. 

 U1 

 12:36 

 Okay. So let's see here. You say you write very fast. Do you plot any of your stories or you just 

 U2 

 12:44 

 write it all out? No, I'm allergic to plotting. It's literally the worst. 

 U1 

 12:51 

 Love that. Allergic to plotting? 

 U2 

 12:53 

 Yeah. No, 2s no, I start with an idea. 1s And just start writing and see where it goes. Sometimes I have to start a little bit later in the story, like if I have a central idea I want to work with and then come back and fill in the beginning later. Um, for example, a thread of fate. I had this idea that, um, there was a healer who was like. Bound to a king that she didn't like, that she hated. And he does some terrible things. So I had to start right when that happened. And then I filled in the rest later, which is kind of hard sometimes, but then almost easier because you know the characters already. And you can also like put in some hints about things that are going to happen later on too. But yeah, no, my characters tell me what happens and I just go with them. 

 U1 

 13:52 

 Do you map any of your characters at all or just you just you're very familiar with 

 U2 

 13:58 

 them? Yeah, because I write so quick, I think that I 1s don't have a lot of time to forget them. So like, everything they do and think are very fresh in my mind. I definitely ask the question, what is this character and what do they want if I'm stuck? I have to like, think about it. What? What do they want from this? Like what are they hoping happens? And that kind of leads me to the next place. 2s But no, I'm right. I'm writing one right now. That is basically it's the sequel to this one. Learn this one. But the in essentially this is that you have the Olympians, the 12 gods, and they hold this contest where they each pick a champion and then they have to fight in an arena against each other. And the one that survives gets to win a quest for immortality. 1s So. 1s It's there's a lot of characters and it's hard to keep track of, but you just kind of have like your anchors. So you're like main characters and figure out what each one of them wants. 1s Mm. 

 U1 

 15:11 

 Go with the flow. 

 U2 

 15:13 

 Go with the flow. And I don't even know what's going to happen. Like. Honestly I don't I'm about three fourths in and I'm like wow. I wonder what's going to happen just as much as if you were reading it. 

 U1 

 15:27 

 Gosh, that sounds stressful though. 

 U2 

 15:30 

 Yeah, but I can't imagine fun. You're like, oh, I really need to. I really need to write today because I need to know what's going to happen there. 

 U1 

 15:37 

 Well, at least it keeps you pushing for creativity wise. You know it does. 

 U2 

 15:42 

 You have a couple ideas like that. You know you want to happen. 1s So, like, I'll have a couple scenes that I'm like, oh, I can't wait for this to happen. And then you finally get there and you're like, well, this is a lot of pressure. I built this scene up a lot, but for the most part it's very organic. 

 U1 

 16:02 

 Wood. So what would you say is the main challenges when it comes to to writing fantasy, and how did you overcome them? 

 U2 

 16:11 

 Um, oh gosh. I think the biggest challenge is actually just sitting down and writing, um, and working up the courage to do that. And that's the biggest thing that I tell people who want to write. And when they're asked me advice is just write. 1s Um, it doesn't matter if the words are good. It doesn't matter if you have an idea that is fully fleshed out, just start writing and see where it takes you, because you can't edit a blank page and you can grow an idea and nurture an idea, and then you can get feedback. If I'm ever stuck, like I talk to my partners, they help me figure it out. But the the biggest challenge. 1s Is definitely just actually getting the words onto paper, especially if you get stuck. It's easy to just move on to the next project, but then that's a pattern that you're going to get stuck into and never actually finish. So even when it's hard, you just have to keep writing. 

 U1 

 17:10 

 Do you have like a day job that you do? And then you have to kind of like balance out the writing as 

 U2 

 17:16 

 well? I sure do. I am a pediatric nurse and I work nightshift. Oh, so I know. And then I have twin toddlers on top of that. So it's yeah, it's a hard balance. But that's the thing about just writing to and that's my motto. You find the time, you make the time and you do it. So if it's slow at work, like. It's tempting to just look at my phone and, you know, mindlessly scroll TikTok. But you have to consciously make an effort like, no, I need to put words, and it feels good to at least get a couple words down rather than no words. 

 U1 

 18:04 

 Be intentional about it, 

 U2 

 18:06 

 basically. Very much like you would with anything. You know, when people say, I don't have time to do this, it's like you have to create the time. 

 U1 

 18:15 

 What is the. 

 U2 

 18:18 

 I'm going to try to wear this question right. What is the biggest perception in becoming a author and the journey to get all that done? Because I think that sometimes people thinks it's a big task and and it's hard to accomplish it. But, 

 U1 

 18:36 

 but and they're not once you come there. Yeah. Once you come on the other side it's different. What is the biggest perception 

 U2 

 18:44 

 and. 4s It's, um. 2s I think that was part of why Forgotten Ember sat for two years is because of how intimidating the publishing world is, and there's a lot of opinions out in the publishing world on you can go traditional or you can do like did in self-publish. The problem is, is that traditional publishing moves very slowly. So essentially, and I did not know all these steps that you took, I kind of thought, oh, you write this book and you show it to the publishing house and they say, wow, that's really great, let's do it tomorrow. Um, but in reality. So you have to find an agent, you have to query an agent, get an agent to take interest in your book. They work with you on your book. Then they have to find an editor who's willing to work with you and go through your book. And then they have to go through them to get to the publishing house. And then you make a deal like, I know 1s one author I follow, Angela montoya. Her new novel centers. I'll is coming out soon. And I remember when she was still querying, and that was so many years ago, but then she got the book deal, and it's been like two years since then that it's finally coming on to shelves. So it is a long. Long wait. From the time you even get your book deal to when it hits the shelves. 1s And because I write so fast, I like the autonomy of self publishing, where I can mean I spit out six books in a row, like six months, six books, 1s which is not something that you could do with a publishing house. But on the flip side of that, you are responsible for all of your own marketing. 2s And that is a big challenge. 

 U1 

 20:46 

 And how do you do that? Marketing for yourself? 

 U2 

 20:51 

 So, um, mostly on TikTok is a great place to go. Um, you can make quick, little snappy videos. Instagram works for some people. It's Instagram likes consistency. All of social media likes consistency. So you have to post on a regular basis to really make up anything. But yeah, it's a lot of it's a lot of social media and it's a lot of posting, which can be very draining. 

 U1 

 21:23 

 Yeah, I'm kind of feeling the burn. 

 U2 

 21:26 

 Yeah. Yes. It's uh it's definitely hard. And then, you know, you want to, like, preserve your mental health and take a break from it, but then you come back and it feels like you're starting from scratch again. 

 U1 

 21:40 

 Right? You're right. I can see you're balancing a job. You have twins, you rapid release books and do social media. Do you breathe, eat, 

 U2 

 21:49 

 sleep 1s occasionally. 

 U1 

 21:58 

 Oh, yeah. It's amazing that what how authors really dedicate to their craft. And just like I can't imagine the work the guys put into it and just getting it done and how resilient you guys are. 

 U2 

 22:14 

 Yeah, I think if you want something enough, you'll work for it. And yeah, it's easy at times to like give up and a long break can turn into too long of a break. Yeah, but if you want it enough, you'll keep going. 

 U1 

 22:32 

 So going back to your book, I'm not going to give any spoilers because it was a spoiler, but what would you say is the darkest thing you've ever written in your books? 

 U2 

 22:45 

 Oh yeah, that that that beginning part was pretty rough. 3s And my books, the darkest thing. Oh, I don't know. 1s I mean, there's definitely like a lot of. I think maybe a thread of fate was. 1s That was a tough one because much like Forgotten Embers, our main character in The Thread of Fate suffers two major losses very early on, like by chapter five. 1s Um, and it's it's I mean, fate is very much about grief and how to process grief just in a fantasy setting. So that's really hard. But yeah, run Run endures a loss pretty early on, and that was pretty rough. 

 U1 

 23:38 

 Now you don't have to actually give details, but have you experienced loss that portrayed into the books? 

 U2 

 23:45 

 Absolutely. So I lost my mom when I was 19 to cancer. And so very much in a how Ren talks about her parents and what she imagines them to be like, that is definitely how she grieves. The idea of them is something that I recognize, but a thread of fate especially, is how you can go from drowning and grief to accepting it and living with it and transform it into something new, and how it doesn't really go away, but it just becomes something new. 

 U1 

 24:27 

 I like that I do relate to that a lot. So I and it's the best way I can describe that journey. So I love how you described that. 2s Not easy. 

 U2 

 24:39 

 No, it's not easy. And I think. I think that's why a threat of data is my favorite. Um. 1s It I just. Well, and it's also she's kind of like a nurse. So her title is a healer, but it's very much nursing based in medicine based so that accompanied by grief I arena might be my favorite character I've written. 

 U1 

 25:06 

 I'll definitely put the Throne of Fate book into the show notes, so if anyone's interested in that out, it's having a direct link to that book with Forgotten Embers. So you are. You're a rapid releaser, I applaud you. What book series or are you working on? Are you working on anything new? You're finishing a series. 

 U2 

 25:27 

 So this one in The Swan was my latest release and that was a Hades. And Persephone meets the Swan Princess, 1s and that one ends with kind of a cliffhanger. So the book I'm reading right now is called The Chaos and the Hunter, and it is the sequel to that. But you have different main characters, so you still see Hades and Persephone in the book. I'm writing right now, and they play a major role, but it is centered around the person that comes in that last prologue or 1s epilogue of The Swindler. Okay. 

 U1 

 26:11 

 That's it. Sounds like good. It's like when people were not there. Describe their next Xbox. I'm like, okay, I'll get to it as soon as possible. 

 U2 

 26:19 

 I know, and this one's been hard because it's it's very much like, um, Greek mythology meets The Hunger Games. Oh, I know, and it is like, such a thrill to write. Like my adrenaline's going every time. Um, so I definitely am excited to finish it and get it out there. 

 U1 

 26:41 

 Any other new projects you're thinking about on the back 

 U2 

 26:43 

 burner? So many, so many. 1s It is so hard to choose. I mean, if I die, like, don't let my notes in my phone go to waste because there just so many there. I'm sure I'm sure we can find use for them. Right? I really love Howl's Moving Castle, so like, part of me wants to kind of do, like a rewrite like and reimagined of that, or like something piratey, I don't know. There's so many options. And that's my favorite part. 

 U1 

 27:17 

 Oh, your favorite 

 U2 

 27:18 

 part? My favorite part is like, you have this, like, idea, like pirates. And that's the idea. And you just kind of, like, keep obsessing over it and building from there. And it grows into this, like old book. But yeah, no Pirates. Sounds fun, right? 

 U1 

 27:33 

 So you okay. Let's let's throw a scenario. Let's see how you respond to this. You come up with an idea six months later, you're like, I want to write this. Do you, like, shuffle through a pile of stuff, notes or like the depths of despair to find it 

 U2 

 27:53 

 a little bit? So, like, I definitely will go through my notes and see like what I have written. Sometimes it doesn't make any sense at all. I'll be like, what did I mean by this? Um, 1s who knows? But sometimes it'll be just like a single, like sentence or like a quote or something that thought, wow, that sounds cool. And you just kind of see what you can make. It's like throwing a bunch of stuff into like a crock pot and seeing what comes out at the end. 3s I would be worried about. I've written a few things myself because, you know, that's how my brain works. But then it's like, 

 U1 

 28:34 

 I think I lost it already. So I'm like, oh, I'm good. 

 U2 

 28:38 

 So yeah. 

 U1 

 28:40 

 So I've always like watching organizing tips. I have none, have 

 U2 

 28:43 

 none. I have not literally none. 

 U1 

 28:47 

 All right. Chaos. Organized chaos. 

 U2 

 28:50 

 It is organized chaos. I know, like, um. 1s I have two critique partners who are wonderful and they're a little bit more organized. They have, you know, I have planned a like we're going to get from A to B and things are going to happen in between. But. 1s Nope. I don't have that. We just. We're just going. 

 U1 

 29:13 

 So that's a good point. How did you find critique partners? 

 U2 

 29:17 

 Do you find? Is there a list 

 U1 

 29:19 

 or you find them on Bookstagram or how did you do it? 

 U2 

 29:23 

 No. So that was something I knew I instantly wanted from writing because Shelby Martin, who wrote Serpent and Dove. She posts a lot about her critique partner and they have like an amazing relationship. And when I was learning about craft and writing, I followed a lot of her stuff and was like, I want this. Whatever this relationship is here, I want it. So I joined a lot of writing groups, and one of them is called Moms Who Write on Facebook. Okay, just a bunch of moms who enjoy writing some and like the experience on their ranges, you know? Um, we have one Nisha Tooley. She just published trial of the sun Queen, and you can find it everywhere and anywhere right now. So it's really cool. You see that level where their name is really big, and then you have us who are just starting out. So it's a really great group and there's not really a lot of gatekeeping. Um, people give all their feedback. What worked for them, what didn't work for them. So it's just like a really great community. But one time they asked if people would be interested in doing critique partner sign ups. And I was like, yes, very much yes. And so I signed up. 1s And we were assigned a small group. There was like five of us. One person didn't show up. One, I wrote an a fantasy in what I wrote. And somebody didn't know what that meant and click the wrong thing. So like, she didn't really, like belong in the group. She's like, you guys are very different from what I write like. So and then one of those people ended up being my best friend. I don't go a day without texting her. And then in that same group, when I wrote Forgotten Embers, I asked for art readers, early readers 1s to kind of give feedback, and one of the moms in there said that she would, and she ended up being my other best friend. And then we formed our little critique group, and we meet up on a regular basis, and it's really everything. I could have hope from it, but it's the answer of how you find critique partners think it's just putting yourself out there, finding writing groups and. 2s I know Twitter was really big for a long time for finding critique partners. Um, I don't know with threads if that's changed at all, but for me it's been Facebook, um, writing groups that have really helped. 1s But knowing that right away is not going to be your person. So I had several people that I kind of worked with, like we exchanged works like and tried to figure out like it was a good match and it wasn't. So it took me a couple tries, just kind of like dating. You know, it's sometimes takes a while. It really does feel like dating sometimes. Um. 1s But yeah, once you find your person, you just kind of know. And for me, it was finding somebody who was open to being critiqued because that's a hard thing to do. Um. 1s And knowing that they wanted to grow their craft, because a lot of the time, you know, it's really hard to take critique on things that you write, because a lot of the time these characters are parts of you. 1s We write ourselves into every story that we write, and we love them. So it's really hard to hear that something isn't as perfect as you thought it was. And sometimes you have to step back and say, okay, like I see what they're saying from a more objective point, but some writers don't have that ability like it. It's something you have to grow over time. So that was important for me in finding my critique partners. And they've made me better, you know, like teaching me to do a compliment sandwich. Like. Yes, like, tell me, tell me what needs to be fixed, but also tell me I'm pretty in between. 

 U1 

 33:45 

 I love that it's been a while since I heard the compliment sandwich, but we always need a compliment sandwich. 

 U2 

 33:50 

 Yes, it's definitely. It's definitely a skill. 

 U1 

 33:55 

 Um, 1s so I did have one question outside. Or like a personal question outside of reading. What do you love to do other than 

 U2 

 34:06 

 writing? Oh good question. Um, I. Really just hang out with my kids. 2s My cat. I'm a big fan of my cat. Um, his name is Calcifer. He's amazing. Um. 1s Yeah. Really? Um, I'm a big Miyazaki fan, so kind of ends up there. But recently I just moved to Seattle from Florida, and so I am learning to love hiking, which is new for me. 1s Um, but I really do love it already. And it's great inspiration for writing, you know, especially Seattle, like, Washington is so beautiful. You go like two feet. There's a giant mountain that's also a volcano, but then you also have a rainforest and an ocean and whales. So there's just so much inspiration to pull from. So new to hiking, but loving it. 

 U1 

 35:09 

 What? What? You know, push you to move from Florida to Washington. Because I know I've done a big move like that before, and it's it's always interesting to know. 

 U2 

 35:19 

 Yeah. So it's a couple of things work. So I took a job out here, but also one of my best friends lives out here. So it was 1s easier to do now is a temporary move because what I do is travel nursing. Okay. So I take an assignment for like three months, sometimes six months in a certain place and spend some time there. But I love Seattle, and I think if I can convince my husband and my kids, like, maybe we'll just stay here forever. 

 U1 

 35:55 

 Have you seen any vampires yet? 

 U2 

 35:58 

 Oh, I'm going to forks next weekend, so 

 U1 

 36:01 

 I will let you 

 U2 

 36:03 

 know. 2s That was on my top to do list. I was like, got to go to forks. 2s Find Bella's house for me and then posted on social media. Tag me in it. Yes. And 

 U1 

 36:16 

 I'll be like, 

 U2 

 36:17 

 yes, yes. But absolutely. You can absolutely see why this is a great setting for vampires and I am absolutely on the lookout constantly. 

 U1 

 36:28 

 Does it rain as often as it was described? 

 U2 

 36:31 

 Yes it does. It does rain a lot, but it's not like the kind of rain where you just, like, get drenched. It's just like a nice little sprinkle. So, like, think learning that you aren't stuck inside when it's raining. You can still go out in the rain and do things has been a learning curve, but it also just makes you appreciate the sunny days so much. 

 U1 

 36:56 

 Yeah, I mean, you live in Florida. I'm from Florida too, so I know you got the sunshine, those random downpours, and now you're going to cloudy rains all the time because, you know, Florida people, we don't go anywhere when it rains. We don't exactly. You don't go anywhere. But the rain usually only lasts for like a little bit in Florida. It's like it's like perfectly sunny and all of a sudden you have a torrential downpour and then it's gone again 

 U2 

 37:23 

 and you're like, I don't know what just happened, but in Seattle, it's it's consistent. It's I mean, it's I'm looking out the window. It's raining right now. 

 U1 

 37:33 

 I tried to take the dog out earlier and the dog was like, looked at me like, absolutely not. And like, buddy is going to rain all day. Like we're going out. 2s But yeah, no, Florida. Florida to me was too hot. Like, you can't go anywhere like hiking in Florida. I would never, like, need 

 U2 

 37:53 

 constant air conditioning. 

 U1 

 37:56 

 You melt in the car. You you mean you brought a jacket? So because the air conditioning in the in the homes and. 

 U2 

 38:03 

 Yeah, you know, 

 U1 

 38:05 

 it's just I don't miss it. I love the Four seasons where I'm at. 

 U2 

 38:10 

 I know the leaves are so beautiful right now. And I'm like, this is I cannot go without this anymore. It's just constant in Florida. 

 U1 

 38:18 

 Yeah, I know, I feel like I'm starting to get some foliage and I'm like, yes, 

 U2 

 38:24 

 it's just it, the whole vibe. 

 U1 

 38:28 

 Yes. All right, so just to wrap up, what is. I know you mentioned a few things about advice for authors. What would you say is the biggest take on becoming an indie author? 

 U2 

 38:43 

 Um, my, I literally like I literally tattooed it on myself, but just write. Like just write. Just write. That is my advice. Like, you can't do anything until you write. But after that, reach out. Like build your community. Um, and know that someone else's success is not your loss. Um, so I've seen a lot of authors in the time I've been doing this surpassed me very quickly, but that's something to be celebrated and not mourned. Sure, you can feel sorry for yourself. Like have not gone viral yet on TikTok, have not sold a million books like. That's so frustrating. Yes, but you also have to celebrate when it happens to other people. 1s Um, and just building that community because those are the people that are going to help you along the way. You know, I messaged people all the time asking for advice and what worked out, like what worked for you. How did you get this viral video? I'm like, I don't know, like it just happened, but and that, you know, that is the way of TikTok. You know, there's sometimes there is no rhyme or reason. 

 U1 

 39:59 

 It's just magical dust. 

 U2 

 40:00 

 Magical dust. Nobody knows. 2s Um, but yeah, build your community and write. And that's the best thing you can do to be successful. 

 U1 

 40:14 

 All right, well. Thank you. As, as just to remind the listeners, she is the author of Forgotten Embers, which is a fantasy novel which relates to, like, portal fantasy. Just let everyone know where to find you and where to purchase your books. Yeah. So you can find me on Amazon. But also I have an Etsy account for signed books that I run and a couple other stickers and mugs and good stuff. Um, more merchandise will be coming to that soon. But yeah, I'm on all social media because I love it so much. 

 U2 

 40:51 

 But tick tock Instagram threads I love connecting with writers and readers. It makes my day when somebody says, I read your book, I loved it. So that is my advice for readers. If you love something, let the author know, because I promise we are never sick of hearing it. Ever. 

 U1 

 41:13 

 You're not the first person who said that, so you're comfortable. More compliment. Yeah. Just sandwiches just to meet, you know. 

 U2 

 41:22 

 Yeah, exactly. 

 U1 

 41:25 

 All right. Well, thank you so much for joining me. Bye bye. 



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