Author Spotlight

Recently, I had the privilege of interviewing a very talented author.  Without further delayÖletís hear from the wonderful

NJ Walters

Hi, Gracie. Thank you for inviting me to be interviewed at Joyfully Reviewed!

It seems that even though you started writing ďlaterĒ in life that you always had writing in your blood.  Did you ever want to do anything else?
I didnít really know what I wanted to do with my life. I ended up in retail, primarily at a bookstore, which was the perfect fit for me. I wrote poetry as a teenager and switched to childrenís stories in my twenties. It wasnít until my early thirties that I started writing romance, although Iíd read them for years.

How do you write?  Do you need absolute quiet in an office setting or can you be sitting in your living room watching television?
I have a small ďofficeĒ, which is really a screened-off area of the living room. I need quiet to write. I canít listen to the radio or have the television on at all. I tend to focus for an intense few hours when I write. When I stop, my arms and legs are usually pretty stiff and I have to walk around for a bit to shake it off. LOL

Many of your stories are part of a series. I know as a reader I love series where you get a glimpse at the characters you grew to love in previous books. Do you prefer to write about characters that are connected? 
Itís funny I love reading series, but didnít always start out writing them. Many of my books were supposed to be single titles, but I always get interested in the other characters. Christinaís Tapestry was supposed to be a single title, but the Bakra brothers were just too intriguing. Book three in that series, Woven Dreams, was just released and Iím not done yet.  Annabelle Lee also started out as a single title, as did Harkerís Journey.  Both of them wound up becoming series because I guess, once I get into those worlds, I find it hard to leave.

I really enjoy writing series. I love to go back and revisit favorite characters as much as readers do.

How do you celebrate after meeting a deadline?
Iím pretty low-key. I tend to go out to lunch with my hubby. Maybe Iíll actually buy myself a book to read. I donít have near as much time to read now that Iím writing so much.

It sounds like you have tried quite a few different craft projects (which I am jealous of as I have absolutely no crafty talents). Do you have a favorite among them?  Any new ones on the horizon?
Iíve enjoyed my crafting projects over the yearsóeverything from macramť, rug hooking, embroidery, cross-stitch and crocheting. I havenít done much in the way of crafts in a few years now. Writing has taken over my life. I used to cross-stitch and crochet a lot, but my threads are all wound in my thread box and my hooks are all bundled together. Iím planning on trying my hand at making some beaded bookmarks. Weíll have to see how that turns out.

Give us a glimpse into a day in NJís life, what does a ďnormalĒ day for you consist of?
I wake up early. Iíve always been an early riser and get up between six and seven without an alarm clock. I have breakfast with my hubby and then I usually sit at my computer and write for most of the morning. I may go out for lunch, just to get out of the house, or I may eat at home. In the afternoon, Iíll answer emails, scan my Yahoo groups, and do promo work. I also use that time to do the housework and regular household chores. After supper is usually spent with my hubby and family. Itís really disgustingly normal. LOL

What are some of your favorites authors, books, movies, music, and food?
I always find it hard to pick favorites. Letís seeÖ

Favorite Authors: In romanceóJayne Ann Krentz, Linda Howard, J.R. Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Lori Foster, Julie Garwood, Christine Feehan, Charlene TegliaÖthe list could be endless.

Favorite Books: God on a Harley, Anything by Louisa May Alcott, Gift From The Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh, and The Gift of A Year by Mira Kirshenbaum.

Favorite Music: Iím all over the place. I donít like any particular genre, but I know what I like. Everything from Leonard Cohen, Johnny Cash, Loreena McKennitt, Stan Rogers, Evanescence, Nickelback. I also like soundtracks. Some of my favorites are The Last of the Mohicans and The Lost Boys.

Favorite Food: Dark Chocolate!

I know that you write in several different genres. Do you have a favorite and why?
Iím not sure I have a favorite genre, but I do tend to write a lot of contemporary books and paranormals. Contemporaries are fun to write because theyíre grounded in the everyday. While paranormals are fun because you get to twist the everyday with things like vampires and Shadow Ryders.

I like mixing it up. Keeps my writing fresh when Iím constantly going from one genre to another. This year alone, Iíve worked on a vampire novel, two contemporary erotic romances, a contemporary, two time-travel/mťnage and Iím working on a straight paranormal.

How does the writing process work for you? Do your stories come to you all at once or page by page?
I map out my characters before I ever start to write. As I get to know them, their story begins to evolve and I may jot down ideas for scenes. I generally know the gist of the plot and the conflict, before I begin, but that changes as I write. The minute I have the opening scene straight in my mind, I start to write. It all flows from there.

If you could bring one of your characters to life who would it be and why?
Seth from ďA Love EternalĒ, my Elloraís Cavemen: Legendary Tails IV story. I canít tell you why because that might ruin the plot for those folks who havenít read it. Letís just say that Seth is a mighty interesting guy.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Donít quit.

Sometimes the best writers never get published because they give up. This is a tough business, and if youíve have any hope at all of making it, you have to be persistent.

And always write what you love. Donít bother with the trends, because by the time youíve finished your trendy book, the publishers will have already moved on to the next one.

How does your family feel about your writing?  It sounds like your husband is very supportive of you.
My husband is my biggest fan. Heís my first reader for everything that I write. As well, he helps to maintain my website, plus he writes a monthly column for my newsletter entitled ďConfessions of a Romance Writerís HusbandĒ.

My family was shocked when they found out I write romance and erotic romance. Iím still not sure my mother really understands exactly what I write, but my sister and brother are supportive.

Do you have a favorite character or is each one special to you and you simply cannot choose?
Itís as hard to choose a favorite character as it is for a parent to choose a favorite child. Some are more special than others thoughóStefan from the Dalakis series, Marc and Jarmon from the Tapestries series, Cain and Lucas from the Awakening Desires series and Seth from ďA Love EternalĒ. I seem to like the ones that have more than their share of personal tragedy that they have to overcome.

How do you promote your books?
I do the same things all authors do. I have a website, blog and newsletter, plus I advertise in print and on-line, and take advantage of any promotional opportunities that come my way. In the end, I try and write the best book I can. There is no other publicity as good as word of mouth from readers who enjoy your work.

Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
First, I want to thank Joyfully Reviewed for interviewing me. Itís been a lot of fun. I appreciate the support that your website gives to authors.

Woven Dreams, book 3 in the Tapestries series just released from Elloraís Cave and my next release from them will be the Elloraís Cavemen: Seasons of Seduction III anthology in September. You can also check out my contemporary Jamesville series at Samhain Publishing.

For anyone wanting to know more about my books, you can check out my website, my blog, or join my newsletter .





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