Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Author JJ McMoon

        I live in Richmond, VA with my wife, Valerie, and son, Miles.  For ten years, I traveled the world speaking professionally to companies seeking to boost their productivity, but gave all of that up when Miles was born. Writing is something I can do, and not miss my son growing up in the process. Lives is my first novel, but two more are in the works for release next year.

What genre do you consider yourself?
        I write realistic fiction aimed at the late-teen market. I suppose it is a mix of psychological horror and drama.

Give us a synopsis of your most recent book in 3 paragraphs or less.
        Lives has eight main characters, and each tell the story in their own chapter. Most of them were best friends in high school, who split apart at senior prom. Ten years later, coincidence is bringing them together and they are trying to cope with who they have become and the turns their lives have taken.
        The official synopsis is:
        "A prom queen turned lot lizard. A floundering jock. A devil-worshipping rock star. An assassin and the FBI agent tracking him. A jilted girlfriend and a telepathic psychopath. Coincidence is bringing them all together, but for what purpose? Hailed as "Stand by Me" for the new millennium, Lives will leave you questioning your own coincidences for a long time to come."

Titles of all of your books.  
        Lives is my first novel.

What made you decide to become an author?
        I wanted to see my son, Miles, grow up and the career I had before (speaking professionally) sent me on the road 3/4 of the year. Writing is something I did for my career anyway, so transitioning to fiction wasn't too drastic.

What do you enjoy most about being an author?
        That chill of uncertainty when I sit down in the morning to write. I never know what I'm going to come up with, and it's exhilarating.  

Do you read? Do you think it is essential for a writer to read?
        You can't write if you don't read. Period. It's easy to leave reading out of your daily life when you start writing full-time, but don't. Make sure you schedule it in or your writing will become stale.

Traditional publishing or self-publishing? Why?
        I have independently published my book because I believe that traditional publishing would have taken too long to get my story to market and I needed a new income immediately. I also wanted creative control, the lion's share of the profits, and the challenge of making it on my own.

How are you giving back to the literary community?
        I speak regularly with other authors that are struggling to get their work out.  

What is one tip you would give new authors?
        It doesn't matter what your writing is about if it's not entertaining. The challenge I give my readers is, "Read one page from Lives.  Any page. And if you are not compelled to read the next one, then this book isn't for you.” Many have called my bluff but no one has put it down.

What is the biggest lesson you have learned since becoming an author?
        Keep the routine and ward off procrastination. Eventually, you will finish.

What is the one thing that irks you about the literary industry?
        How they insist that having their head in the sand will save their butts. It won't.

Give your ideal writing atmosphere.
        Routine. Morning. Winter. 4-hours undisturbed by anything.

Who, What, When and Where is your next event?
        I'm appearing at many events this summer, but my next one is Saturday, May 22 at the "Life Through Literature" Festival in Petersburg, VA.

Suggest a preferred literary service.
        Facebook and Twitter.  Learn them, live them, love them.

Suggest an independent bookstore.
        Simple Pleasures Books & Gifts in Ashland, VA.  www.simplepleasuresbooksandgifts.com

What is your view on the new direction of publishing?
        I think e-books are coming, but aren't quite here yet. It will start to take off in the next two to five years, as college grads, who have relied on e-books for their textbooks, start getting jobs.

Give an inspirational quote.
        "Above all, entertain.” -JJ McMoon

Where can readers find your work?


Contact info

JJ McMoon
(804) 677-4433

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