Welcome to author J.D. Blackrose who slipped away from her Zombie friends and answered a few questions for us.
What is your favorite writing spot or space?
My favorite writing spot is my new “office,” which is half a bedroom. It isn’t fancy. It is two desks turned at an angle to create an “L” shaped desk, but I have a big monitor, room for my laptop, and three Princess Bride bobbleheads, so it suits me fine. The bobbleheads are Buttercup, Westley, and Inigo. The Princess Bride is my favorite movie, so it is nice to have them cheering me on when the writing gets hard.
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
Ha! Countless. Innumerable. I have scads of first paragraphs, first pages, first thousand, first chapters that sounded good when I started them and never came to fruition. I often have ideas when I go out for a walk, so I write them down as soon as I get home and then…blah, blech, fizzle. They turn into nothing. It happens to all of us but keep everything. You never know when it might be useful later.
What comes first, the plot or characters?
Characters. Waylon Jenkins, the main character in Pluck & Cover, came to me while driving. I had started thinking about a zombie investigator but that’s already been done. I love make-up and skin care and all of those cosmetic tutorials on YouTube and something made me say out loud, “Zombie Cosmetologist,” and I laughed. I knew I was on to something fresh and different. I realized he studied cosmetology and special effects make-up to hide his scars and used his skills to help the most famous actors and actresses in Hollywood and bam! We had a fun, completely new take on a zombie character. Shove him into a murder mystery and throw in a bunch of other zany characters, like Betsy Ross (yes, the Betsy Ross), shake it up, and we get Pluck & Cover, and its follow-up, Hide & Chic.
Do you hear characters talking?
Absolutely. The characters talk to me and I talk back. I’ve been accused of having hearing loss because my family can be talking directly to me and I won’t hear them. I have to explain that I’m already having a conversation, which they are interrupting, and just because they can’t see the other participants doesn’t mean it isn’t rude, thank you very much.
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
The best money I ever spent on being a writer was going to cons to meet other writers and listening to every word they said. Given that is hard to do right now, the second best thing I ever did was buying Save the Cat Writes a Screenplay and Stephen King’s On Writing. There are other great books out there, but those two books are essential.
J.D. Blackrose loves all things storytelling and celebrates great writing by posting about it on her website. When not writing, she lives with three children, her husband and works full-time at her job in Corporate Communications.
She’s fearful that so-called normal people will discover exactly how often she thinks about wicked fairies, nasty wizards, homicidal elevators, treacherous forests, and the odd murder, even when she is supposed to be having coffee with a friend or paying something called “bills.” As a survival tactic, she has mastered the art of looking interested.