Name J.M. Northup
Where are you from I was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Now, I reside in Texas with my husband.
A little about yourself `ie your education Family life etc
I have a background in aviation, nursing, and theatre. I served as an enlisted member in the United States Air Force. I just celebrated my 24th wedding anniversary with my best friend, Dusty and together we have two beautiful daughters. I am a huge cat lady and currently have two kitties.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
J.M. Northup: My eBooks are exclusive with KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing), but readers don’t need a Kindle (or even an eReader) to purchase them or take advantage of the Kindle Countdown 99 cent sales! You just need to download the FREE Kindle App!
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
J.M. Northup: I started writing when I was in high school. I didn’t publish until 2014, after my children were grown. Writing was a wonderful art form that allowed me to express myself, experience new things from new perspectives, and to just… escape. Now, I write less to escape and more for the adventure of it.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
J.M. Northup: I guess I always considered myself a writer, just not an author. It’s still a bit surreal to think of myself that way. What’s the difference to me? A writer is an artist of words, but an author is able to make a living at it; writing is one’s occupation.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
J.M. Northup: Nightmares. As a youth, I struggled with horrific dreams of war and the end of the world. I started to write as a therapeutic means of dealing with my fears and hence, the birth of my first book series, Fears of Dakota.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
J.M. Northup: Ah, yes and no. I mean, I like trying new things, but I think I have my own voice style in everything I do. I have gotten better with showing opposed to telling, but I like descriptions and it shows. J
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
J.M. Northup: For my first book, FEARS OF DARKNESS, I titled it based on the ultimate premise behind the tale. It was a book that deals with the darkness within humanity and the choices each of us have when we face our fears. I guess I always try to make my titles reflect what the story will pertain to.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
J.M. Northup: I think each of my stories has something I want to convey. I think it’s less about a message and more than I want people to think about the subject matter and maybe try to look at it through new eyes. Whatever I right, I want it to be entertaining, but I also want it to have merit.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
J.M. Northup: I actually have a lot of realism in everything I write. I like research, history, and I want my stories to be plausible.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
J.M. Northup: I think there is an element of myself in everything I write. There is a confluence of truth, lore, and imagination to create each character and the events or places I write about. Some are more real than others, having been influenced by someone I know, an event I have experiences, a fear or believe I hold, or something that I just find interesting and wanted to explore further… leading to a new tale.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? A mentor?
J.M. Northup: Ah, this is hard because I have so many. J The following are the most influential books for me though:
The LITTLE HOUSE Book Series by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Anne of Green Gables book series by L.M. Montgomery
GONE WITH THE WIND by Margaret Mitchell
PEOPLE BOOKS – The First North Americans, DARK INHERITANCE, and RAISING ABEL by Kathleen O’Neal Gear and W. Michael Gear
The Earth’s Children Series by Jean M. Auel
The TWILIGHT Saga by Stephenie Meyer
The HUNGER GAMES Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
The SOOKIE STACKHOUSE Series by Charlaine Harris
My favorite authors are Kathleen O’Neal Gear and W. Michael Gear. Kathleen is someone I look up to as a scholar, a woman, and a writer. I am honored to say that they are now friends and that I had the privilege of interviewing them for my own blog: http://jmnorthup.blogspot.com/2014/08/interviewing-kathleen-oneal-gear-and-w.html
As far as a mentor, I would have to say Simone Beaudelaire. She has not only edited some of my work and co-authored others with me, but she is a personal friend and has taught me so much about literature and the business of being a published author.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
J.M. Northup: I am currently reading the following novels:
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
J.M. Northup: I really love the indie authors Simone Beaudelaire & Edwin Stark (romance genre), Vivienne Savage (erotic shifter romance genre), Craig Gaydas (scifi genre), Carole Gill (horror genre), and Brian L. Porter (mystery genre).
Fiona: What are your current projects?
J.M. Northup: I am working on book two of my new young adult book series about Sasquatch and a second cat book for middle grade readers.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
J.M. Northup: I would have to say my publisher, Miika Hannila (Creativia) and the authors that make up my publishing family. They have taught me so much and they are a wonderful cheering squad of friends!
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
J.M. Northup: I do. I am a full-time author now, but I am working to make it profitable enough to help support my family. That is the really difficult part J
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
J.M. Northup: Not in my latest book, but definitely in my Fears of Dakota series. Originally, I hadn’t planned it to be a series, but my readers have requested more. I feel like I should revamp the entire series to make it flow chronologically as the additional books are all expansions from sections of the first novel, FEARS OF DARKNESS… A RIPPLE OF FEAR is the prequel and I am still writing the others.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
J.M. Northup: I always loved to write. I loved writing assignments in school and I admired my mom, who was an avid reader. The way she could devour a novel was impressive and I worked hard to become a good reader. Of course, my love of reading only feed my creative juices for writing. LOL J
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
J.M. Northup: Certainly, here is an excerpt from my newest release, REVIVED:
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
J.M. Northup: As an indie author, there are a lot of expectations and rules. I’m not very good at knowing them, let alone following them. J That being said, the style I use for the type of story I intend to portray is hardest. You know, the way I present the point-of-view (POV) and how much I show or tell. Sometimes it works out really great and other times, I am thankful for my editor!
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
J.M. Northup: Kathleen O’Neal Gear and W. Michael Gear. I love historical fiction and their books are backed with archaeological support and debate. It fascinates me. More so, the intelligent, entertaining, and beautiful way they write such deep and intrinsic tales is just… art!
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
J.M. Northup: No. I do use Google Earth quite a bit though. LOL
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
J.M. Northup: All of my covers are done by The Cover Collection. Though my real cat, Olga is the actual picture on my middle grade novel, FELINE FASCINATIONS: The Adventures of Boris and Olga, The Cover Collection handled the processing and final product for me. They are amazing and I love, love, love their work!
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
J.M. Northup: The hardest part about writing for me is how emotionally linked I get to my stories. Most of my books were joyful to write, but A PRISONER WITHIN was very difficult. I was in a constant state of anxiety writing that book, as the content is so dark and painful.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
J.M. Northup: I learn new things with each book. Part of being able to write is that I get to pursue things which truly interest me. Still, the most interesting things I learn are about myself and the human condition.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
J.M. Northup: Always write the story driving to be told and don’t worry about anyone or anything else. A good story can be edited and refined, but if you aren’t passionate about your writing, how can you expect anyone else to be?
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
J.M. Northup: I am so thankful to be blessed enough to be a full-time author. To have an audience for my stories is such a gift and I thank you all for spending your time and money on me and my work. I always try to provide the best I can and I am always open for suggestions and corrections. Also, I didn’t know until I published, but a reader is the most powerful thing in this industry. A writer is nothing without their readers, but more so, your voice really makes a difference! Reviews are so important for promotional opportunities and author/book rankings so please, please, please… always review the books you read.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
J.M. Northup: GREEN EGGS AND HAM by Dr. Seuss. I still love that book today!
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
J.M. Northup: I love humor and stand-up comedians are great! I think what makes my heart break and causes me to cry the most is cruelty… the worst is the abuse of those that depend on you and expect you to protect them, like kids, elderly, and animals.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why?
J.M. Northup: I don’t want a gravestone. I don’t want a grave. I don’t want a place where people go to remember me, especially because I don’t believe I will be there anymore. I’ll be on a new adventure in Heaven and I want to be remembered for what I did while I was living. I hope my body of work – my writing – will leave a legacy that is worth remembering.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
J.M. Northup: I do. I crochet, I read, and I love to watch movies with my family. I am a huge movie buff J
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
J.M. Northup: I am gluten and dairy intolerant so my favorite foods have changed dramatically… but I really like Udi Gluten Free Bagels and eggs. My favorite color is green (though I love all autumn tones). I love an array of music, but I am a huge Duran Duran fan. I also love Pink, Christina Aguilera, Maroon 5 (ADAM! *Eek!*), Casting Crowns, Fallout Boys, Linkin Park, and Phil Collins.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
J.M. Northup: Honestly, I have been able to do all the things I dreamed of realistically doing. I married a wonderful man, I am the mother of some amazing young women, I worked in community theatre, I have been on television, I served my country in the military, I worked as a nursing assistant, I flew a plane, interned with the MSP Air Traffic Control Tower, Center, and Tracon, I am a published author… The only thing left that I would really love to be is a grandma. J
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
J.M. Northup: I actually have both J My blog is http://jmnorthup.blogspot.com and I used it to try to let readers know about book sales for all writers/genres, post my book reviews, author interviews, etc. My website is through my publisher, Creativia and can be found at http://www.creativia.org/jm-northup.html