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Interview with J.W. Jarvis

He was born and raised in a suburb near Chicago. In his twenties, he moved to Northern California to escape the bone-chilling, spine-cracking winters. His full-time job is in Information Technology, but transitioning to full-time writing is his next life goal. 

He enjoys taking the ideas swirling around in his mind and putting them on paper in exciting scenarios while developing relatable characters. His goal is to entertain the reader, bringing their imagination to places they probably wouldn't ever experience in their real lives but might have dreamt of.

Q.1 Tell us something about yourself that not many people know?
At fifteen, I worked for the mafia in a suburb of Chicago. Unbeknownst to me, a Chicago crime family owned the country club that employed me as a busboy. I even bussed a mafia princess' wedding.

Q.2 Are we going to read more from you in the near future? Any new project you're working on?
Absolutely! Book 3 needs to come out this year for the First Responder series, and I am currently writing a suspenseful technothriller that will be released this summer.

Q.3 What inspired you to write the First Responder series?
I have always admired how first responders go toward danger instead of away from it. They are our community heroes but don't get enough gratitude from the world. I wanted to write something in their honor. Besides making it realistic, I wanted to make it magical, add a bit of illusion to the story, and excite the adventure for the kids and their family members.

Q.4 What is the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
I love the challenge of figuring out how they might interpret a situation differently than I or another man would. It helps to have a mixed orientation of editors to get their opinions before publishing.

Q.5 How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?
I feel like I am a very observant person. I like to take in the environment around me and form picture memories. I also read books and watch films that help inspire new ideas. I then take those ideas and develop plots for them. 

For example, even when I read a poorly written or badly produced book or film, I will think about what could have made it better and how I can weave that improvement into my book. I also love to research, and that sometimes will send me down a different new character or plot path.

Q.6 Do you try to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I am too new of a writer to know what my readers want, but I am open to their suggestions. I read every review, good or bad, and see if there is something mentioned that I can do to improve my next book.

Q.7 How long on average does it take you to write a book?
Because of my day-time IT work schedule, about 5-6 months to write and edit a new book. I hope to cut that in half when I go full-time.

Q.8 What's your writing schedule while working?
I like to write as early as 5 am to mid-morning. My mind is fresher, and I love a warm coffee next to me to keep me going.

Q.9 What differentiates Fantasy from Sci-Fi?
Fantasy is magical and mythical to me, whereas Sci-Fi is more theoretical or futuristic.

Q.10 Among all the supporting characters in your books, who is dear to you and why?
I empathize with and admire Emmy, the police officer in Book 2, the most. She works in one of the most dangerous cities in the U.S., in a predominantly male police force, but she never gives up on her dream of making a name for herself.

Q.11 It is vital to get exposure and target the right readers for your writing, tell us about your marketing campaign?
I am building a VIP Reader Club that anyone can participate in by going to the first page of my website. Members will be the first to hear about book news, promotions, and giveaways. I also regularly run Amazon-sponsored product ads, as Amazon is my main selling platform. I also love connecting with readers over Facebook and Instagram, so run ads there too to build a following.

Q.12 If you could be a member of any fantasy race, who it be and why?
Dragons, of course. They can fly all over the world, breathe fire (never need a BBQ or oven), and everyone reveres them.

Q.13 If your book was made into a movie, whom would you like to play the role of Noah and Danielle?
Ian Armitage for Noah and Bella Ramsey for Danielle.

Q.14 Who designed your book covers? How do you select them?
A. Christian Bentulan
, works out of the Philippines. These are my second covers. I had other covers but had to change them once I saw Christian's work on other author's books. I like to get references from other authors whose covers I like.

Q.15 What advice do you give to aspiring writers who want to explore themes related to coming-of-age fantasy in their writing?
I would advise them to read that genre first to understand what is out there. It will accomplish a couple of things. Give them a sense of whether they can develop a story in that genre and help them discover new plots that have yet to be told.

Q.16 How do you select the names of your characters?
One of them is named after my adorable niece. One of them, I researched popular names since this story is present day. For others, I might google for a list of names and pick one that just feels like that character.

Q.17 What do you want readers to take away from your books?
Firstly, I want to entertain the readers with a fast-paced story that also makes them sympathize with the characters and the challenges they are going through. Secondly, I would like them to appreciate some of the missions that these heroes have to undertake. The stories use real examples, but luckily, they get a little help from a magical being. This help could affect the missions positively or negatively.

Q.18 What was the hardest part of writing this series?
As with any series, many authors will probably tell you, it can be challenging to keep the story consistent and not mess up something you wrote in the earlier part of the series. Sometimes, you must reread your previous book and go, "Did I explain that?" or "Do they know this about the character?"

Q.19 What is your favorite book from other authors and why?
That’s a hard question, but I can tell you one book that inspired me to write this one was Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson. It is a story of a sweet new friendship between two kids and how they use their playtime to imagine a less stressful world than their own. In the end, life catches up to them, as it does to so many beautiful dreams.

Q.20 Share the experience of your writing journey so far?
It has been fantastic and quite eye-opening. A good book is just the start of the journey. Getting exposure and helping your audience find the book is probably more challenging than writing it. An author has to be patient, consistent, and, above all else, continue writing stories.

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