20 Questions: Author Edition

Fellow urban fantasy author Romarin Demetri tagged me to answer some questions about author-type stuff, so I thought I would play along.

1. What is your author name?

I write under my initials, J.L. Gribble, because my first name is not pronounced the way it’s spelled and I decided to make it easier on everybody that way.

2. What is the first book you ever published?

The first book published with my name on the cover was an anthology I edited called Far Worlds (now out of print). My debut novel as an author was Steel Victory!

3. What is your publiversary? (The day you released your first book)

June 26, 2015!

4. What is your favorite book you’ve written thus far?

That’s like asking me to choose between my children! The one that was both the most fun and most challenging so far was Steel Empires Book 2, Steel Magic.

5. What book took you the longest to write?

Steel Victory!

6. How long did it take you?

Between 2 years in graduate school, where it was my thesis novel, about 7 years of it sitting stagnant, and another good 6 months cleaning it up to prepare for submission to Dog Star Books, Steel Victory will probably hold the record for a long time.

7. What kind of music (if any) do you listen to while you write?

If I have internet access, I enjoy a Pandora station that includes a mix of alternative rock such as Bastille, One Republic, and Mumford & Sons. If not, I listen to instrumental movie and television scores such as Gladiator and Carnival.

8. Who is your favorite character from any of your books?

Stop asking me to pick a favorite child! Victory and Toria are my stars and first loves.

9. What are you currently working on?

The first draft of Steel Empires Book 4, Steel Time.

10. Do you have anything you snack on while you write?

Either a hot or iced vanilla latte if I’m working somewhere outside my house. If I’m writing from home in the evenings, I drink cheap port that my husband refers to as my “writer juice.”

11. What is your favorite quote or line from one of your books?

The first line of the back cover blurb for Steel Magic is one that I am particularly proud of:

Funerals are usually the end of the story, not the beginning.

This was originally the first line of the book itself, but was cut for reasons. However, I know of at least one person who has bought both of my books specifically because he was hooked on that phrase, so I’m fond of it.

12. Are you a self-published or traditionally published author?

My novels are traditionally published through the science-fiction/adventure imprint of Raw Dog Screaming Press, an excellent indie publisher that I am thrilled to work with.

13. What is your writing inspiration?

I try to write by the mandate “Write what you want to read.”

14. What genre do you write?

Urban fantasy, with a heavy emphasis on alternate history.

15. Do you have any writing rituals?

I am a plotter! I have to have a full scene-by-scene outline of the book completed before I start a word of the first draft.

16. Do you have a specific place or time you write?

Nope! Just whenever I can fit it into my schedule.

17. Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Don’t give up. You’ve got a long, hard road ahead of you, but I promise that there’s not better feeling than achieving your goals, whatever they are.

18. What are your writing goals?

Barring extreme circumstances outside of my control, to continue publishing one book a year in the Steel Empires series.

19. What authors inspire you and your writing?

My fellow RDSP authors, because it’s an amazingly supportive community and I’m continuously in awe of the talent that surrounds me.

20. What will be your next release? (If you know, and when)

With any luck, I’m on track to release Steel Empires Book 3: Steel Blood next summer!

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