Name JD Phillips
Where are you from?
I was born and raised in Indiana.
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc:
I have a bachelors in psych, run my own business called BonesnStitches, and live with my furry children.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I release the sequel to Touching Spirits a few months ago and I’m currently some 700 pages into a dark fantasy I started and had to take a break from last year.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing shorts when I was in fourth grade. I don’t really remember exactly why I started – probably because my mom was such an avid reader
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I don’t really think about it. Writing’s just something I’ve been compelled to do since childhood.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
My first novel was based almost entirely around several nightmares I actually had with some definite inspiration from the original Silent Hill game.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
Not really every book I write is different in terms of tone and circumstance. My style tends to shift a match.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
It varies from novel novel. They often come to me after I’ve been working on a book for a while – usually a phrase that matches the feel of the story or character. Every once in a while it’ll be a play off of some song or quote that inspired me.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
The fact darkness is necessary to recognize and find the light, love carrying over after death, ugly things hidden behind beautiful things and vice versa are themes that tend to come up a lot in my work.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I rarely put myself or people I actually know personally in my work though I do draw from real life experiences and often “cast” muses in roles to help myself visualize certain scenes.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
Strange as it might sound, video games like Final Fantasy and Silent Hill were the biggest influence in how I approach storytelling itself though of course I learned about the structure of writing by reading various novels.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest and who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Oscar Wilde is my favorite. His words flow like poetry and Dorian Grey remains my favorite novel of all time. Shirley Jackson is a very close second.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
There were a few professors who supported and encouraged me. Those behind my college literary magazine Literalines gave me confidence by publishing a few of my short pieces.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I would like it to be but for now I work a full-time job that allows me to pay bills while devoting as much time as possible to my books.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
There always small things I’d tweak here and there but I’m happy with it. I rarely look back once a piece is finished and released.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Not really. I used to make stories up a lot. I guess it was a natural progression to start putting them on paper.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
It’s called The Divide and it’s shaping up to be a real beast of a dark fantasy:
From the moment Amari first made eye contact with the doe-eyed girl he knew he was doomed.
He guessed her to be around ten years of age – eleven at most – but she was built small and therefore struck him as even more fragile. He found her sitting alone, locked inside a barred cage no bigger than a dog kennel, surrounded by flames and corpses.
It was a ghastly sight to be sure but he’d found it impossible not to admire the grin she gave him as he approached her cage. Between her round dimpled cheeks, large blue-violet eyes, and wispy curls of citrus blonde hair shining against the blaze of the fire Amari had been at once instantly charmed and enraged anyone could have been cruel enough to treat such a child so harshly.
Of course it wasn’t just anyone responsible for the crime. Amari hadn’t even been in Atraxia a full day before he was cursed and spit upon by a small group of angry villagers. He’d been forced to get back onboard his ship and move on to the next closest port town for fear the people might set it on fire while he was off buying supplies. The greeting he’d received in the second town wasn’t much kinder than the first but at least he’d been given a moment of clarity before the stones came flying at his head. The people had called him Lasalle – Marrius Lasalle, to be exact. His brother’s name.
Amari recognized the symbol painted on the burning carriage alongside the girl’s cage instantly, knew Marrius was behind it, and that meant turning tail and returning to his ship as soon as possible was the smartest thing he could possibly do and yet how could he when that funny sense that’d served him so well after leaving his homeland behind had led him to her in the first place?
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Writing is usually pretty easy for me stories either talking or it’s not and I run with it accordingly. It’s everything else – the editing and publishing and trying to make people aware/care it exists that’s rough.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I’d like to travel and attend more conventions but there’s no money for that.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Most covers I do myself. If you were done by publishers. Some were drawn or painted for me by super talented artists.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Trying to get it all down before the lightning escapes the bottle is always tricky.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I’ve learned a lot of morbid facts about a lot of morbid things over the many years of research I’ve done for one book to the next. I hope no one ever checks my search history.
Fiona: If any of your books was made into a film who would you like to play the lead
It depends on the book. Most were written with a definite using mine for the lead character. Sometimes the people are completely made up in my mind. I’m not sure I’d ever find anyone who could match those.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Don’t do it unless you love it and if you love it never let it go.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Please take time to support authors you love. Write reviews, send quick emails of encouragement, take a few seconds to like and share story related posts. The process of writing can be lonely and the struggle to be published a drain on the soul. Sometimes we need to know someone besides us cares about our work.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I haven’t had time to read for pleasure in quite some time, I’m afraid.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Maybe ‘There’s A Monster At the End of This Book’?
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
There are many Facebook friends and readers that I would love to meet in person someday.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why?
Maybe some lyrics from Kansas. I’m pretty set on being cremated and scattered in the wind.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
I sing, play games, paint, and occasionally dress up like a pirate.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
There are some good short horror films on YouTube these days. I don’t have cable or regular TV but I do watch Supernatural, Vikings, Black Sails, and American Horror Story on Netflix/Amazon.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
I love Japanese or Mexican food and the colors blue, black, and red. My musical preference varies depending on what I’m working on – every book gets its own soundtrack. Right now there’s a lot of Epic Score, Future World Music, and anything else that feels epic.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Honestly if there was anything else I could do for a living that I felt even half as passionate about as writing I’d probably be doing it. Being free to devote 100% of your time to that which makes you feel whole is the ultimate dream come true.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
I post regularly at: www.facebook.com/authorJD
as well as www.facebook.com/touchingspirits
You can also find my authors page with a full book listing on Amazon at: