Name: JJ Melvin
Where are you from: California
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
I am married to a wonderful man who works in the entertainment industry and I have two beautiful children.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I recently released, Dec. 12, 2016 Chapters 1-10 to raving reviews. My full book release is in 6 days, January 17, 2017.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve always written short stories, winning the coveted “Future Author” award in the 1st grade. I am pleased to announce the prediction came true. The first time I actually sat down to write seriously was in 2014 when I wrote the first draft of The Four Points.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
December 12, 2016. The date I published my first ten chapters.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
The characters. The story lived in my mind hounding— begging to be free.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
First person narrative for my first book, it may change in the future.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
The characters in my books are The Four Points. Four people chosen, destined to protect the world.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I think the running theme through The Four Points is trust. It is a journey of believing in one’s self and trusting others. So the message I would like to give my readers is to trust and love yourself and have the courage to trust others and let them love you.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I think as writers we all draw from personal experiences. This book, though fiction, feels real because I have used so many experiences, events in my own life to give life to these characters.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
Where The Red Fern Grows, Angela’s Ashes and the Harry Potter books by JK Rowling. JK Rowling is an inspiration. I also fell in love with The Twilight books by Stephanie Meyer.
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?
One author did grab my attention. I loved her debut novel and was so excited for the follow up. I must admit though that when her second book was released, I was a little disappointed. The book was not part of the series and it felt as if it were not even written by the same writer. It differed in flow; this follow up book was so over written that I found myself skimming it rather than reading.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Ellie Kay-Bockert Augsburger. I hired her to create my cover. She has been amazing in all facets of truly leading a new author. She has done my formatting, set-up my website, social media sites, teasers, and her husband was my line-editor.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes! I am so inspired as I write my second book. The story, to me is exciting and if I must say, I feel my writing in Book 2 is stronger.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No. My characters have flaws just as real people have flaws. My writing may not be loved by all but I am proud to call The Four Points my debut novel.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I think writing is a creative outlet and I have always been creative.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
THE FOUR POINTS is a young adult fiction novel that extrapolates existing diamond myths (the belief that diamonds are associated with sacred moonlight, worn in battle as a symbol of courage and virtue protecting the wearer against serpents, fire, poison, sickness, thieves, floods and evil spirits) to tell a unique, authentic coming of age story. The Four Points is part Davinci Code and part Twilight (with all its romance and angst) and makes a fun nod to movies like The Mummy, by blending ancient and contemporary characters.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Not the writing, I hate the editing.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Being a bit of an introvert, shy and private, I’m hesitant to travel for book signings and conferences. We’ll have to see what the future holds and if this changes.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Ellie Kay Bockert-Augsburger
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
After writing my book I had to market it and through this I learned to trust my gut instincts. I came in contact with some not so nice people, but have met so many more wonderful ones. I learned to align myself with like-minded individuals who are positive, supportive and kind. Fortunately, the Indie World is filled with these types of people.
Fiona: If any of your books was made into a film who would you like to play the lead.
I would love to give this chance to an up and coming new actress, someone of mixed ethnicities, someone genuine.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Write, Write and Write. Do not let anyone discourage you. You are the master of your own fate. Jeez, I sound cheesy, but it’s true.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you to everyone that read this book. Your support has meant everything for a debut author. I, in general, can be a bit self-deprecating. I am not someone who says my story is great, you have to read it. I understand that taste vary, nonetheless I am blown away by the outpouring of positive reviews for this debut novel. It is truly exciting that the characters I love so much are loved by others. They have life now, and continue to live every time a new person reads their story. That sentiment brings me to tears—so appreciative.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I just finished reading a book last night. I’m not too sure what I will read next. Do you have suggestions?
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
This may not have been the first book I read, but it was definitely the first book that stuck with me: Where The Red Fern Grows.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Laugh: Family Cry: Family
Fiona: Is there one person past or present you would meet and why?
Walt Disney. What an amazing visionary. Truly a genius and inspiration. I love reading quotes by him.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
Loving mother, friend, wife. I want to have been known as a kind person with integrity. These two things are very important to me.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Mostly reality shows: The Voice, Iron Chef Jr, Chopped, Chopped Jr., America’s Got Talent
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music:
Food: I love a mix of ethnic foods: American, Japanese/Sushi, Thai, Vietnamese, Korean, Mexican – everything.
Color: I don’t really have a favorite, but for some reason I say pink—I think I only own one piece of pink clothing, so I’m not too sure why I say it.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
This is the first time, literally I have ever said or written this out loud, but here goes—A Singer. I am probably an awful singer and I have never sang in public nor do I think I would have the nerve to. I have never even sang Karaoke, but I do love to see. So since this is a hypothetical type of question—a dream type of job, a singer. Singing makes me happy as does writing.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it? www.jjmelvin .com