Author Spotlight

 

I was given the chance to chat with a very talented author this month, who took time out of her busy schedule to spend some time with us here at Joyfully Reviewed.  So, without further delay…let’s hear from

JL Langley

You seem to be very artistically talented…writing, drawing, and dancing. When did you decide to seriously pursue writing as a career?
About ten years ago.  I was pregnant with my oldest son and I was reading everything in sight.  Up until that point in my life I had not read much.  Not sure if it was the whacky hormones or what, but for the first time I was able to actually sit still long enough to read.  I have a very mild form of dyslexia and often wonder if that contributed to the lack of desire to read or more to the point to be able to sit still long enough to read.  The writing came in after reading a book and thinking, “I can do better than that.”  So, I started writing.

I read that you are able to write full time. Do you miss teaching dance?
YES!  YES!  YES!  Actually, I think more than teaching I miss performing.  There is nothing that quite compares to the thrill of performing on stage.  Don’t get me wrong I enjoyed teaching. It’s exciting watching others get joy from something you love and knowing that you’re the one that planted that seed of knowledge, but I truly miss performing.  Although, I have to say, in a lot of ways writing is like that.  It’s very fulfilling to finish a manuscript.

Tell us a little about what makes JL…JL.
JL is a nerd.  Seriously.  She listens to country music, has no idea who is on what TV show or movie.  She’s never watched American Idol.  In fact, if it’s not bound in paper, available in pdf, on the Discovery Channel or History Channel, she’s clueless.  

How do you story ideas come to you?  When writing, do your stories come to you all at once or do they develop as you write?
A little of both I think.  I generally see characters first.  Then the stories evolve around them.  I do a combination of plotting and pantsing.  I start out just writing whatever comes out, but then I have to plot the rest out so I know where I’m going. 

What is your perfect writing environment? Do you need absolute quiet or can you write anywhere?
No, I don’t need quiet, per say, but I tend to have a short attention span, so I have to be somewhere I can get up and move around.  I need breaks, you know to sing and dance to the radio, go get chocolate from the kitchen, play ball with the dog.  That sort of thing.  The writing muses love those things<wink>

Tell us some of your favorites…foods, music, hobbies, movies, authors, books, color, and any others you want to share.
Let’s see…Mexican food for as long as I’ve lived. Country also as long as I can remember.  Hobbies:  Guns, I love to go to the gun range.  Reading, I just wish I had more time to do so.  Gardening, although you’d never know by looking at my backyard right now.  My artwork tends to be a hobby nowadays.  Home improvement things.  My house tends to be a constant source of practice, but I love doing it.  I’ve done tile work, framing, taping and bedding…I like to use the power tools.

Your stories feature male/male romance, what drew your interest to the genre and do you see yourself writing in different genres?
I actually started out writing male/female paranormal romance.  Oddly enough my very first story had a gay man as a secondary character and he completely took over the story.  I remember being frustrated at the time, thinking, I can never tell his story and he is the most fascinating and real character in this whole thing.  Then I read some Ally Blue and Willa Okati and was like wow, you mean they’ll let me write that?  As for what drew me to the genre.  I love men, the fascinate me.  I totally don’t get women, not to say I understand men, but they make more sense to me than women.  I‘ve always preferred writing male characters; even in M/F stories, I feel more comfortable writing from the man’s pov.

Do you enjoy hearing from your readers and what is the best way to contact you?
I LOVE hearing from readers.  Opening up email from readers is like Christmas.  The best way to contact me is email.  LangleyJL@gmail.com  I may not answer right away, depending on how my daily word count is shaping up, but I always answer.

How do you promote your work?
Anyway I can.  Actually I’m part of a group called Manlove Romance and it has been a wonderful venture for me.  It’s a group of authors, all gay fiction writers, who have joined together to try and get the word out about our work and our genre.  I’ve met some great people in the group and have the ability to pick Laura Baumbach’s brain.  Not only is she a helluva writer, the woman is a wiz when it comes to advertising.  Her experience and ideas has been invaluable to me.  You can check out Manlove Romance at: http://www.arkwolf.com/manloveromance/   There are some fantastic writers in this group and I’m very proud to be among them.

What the best advice you received when you began writing?  Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Don’t give up!  And turn it in; what do you have to lose?  So many writers will sit on a ms for ever and never submit it, for fear of rejection.  It gets them nowhere.  Not to say rejection is easy it’s not and yes it hurts, but if you are good, there is a bit of luck that goes into it.  You have to catch the right editor at the right time in the right frame of mind.  Nothing ventured nothing gained.  Take criticism with a grain of salt and don’t listen to every piece of advice you get.  You have to pick and choose, just like with everything else. 

Do you have a favorite character?  And if so, who and why?  Do you find it difficult to leave your characters when you finish their stories?
Jamie Killian from The Tin Star.  Why?  I’m not sure, he’s just…Jamie.  He was my first, so to speak.  He just pulled up a chair, sat down and started talking, he was so easy and fun to write.  And yes I do have a hard time letting go.  You’ve probably noticed I do a lot of series…It’s because I can’t let go.

What would a perfect day for JL involve?
Oh, that’s an easy one.  Andre (my husband), chocolate and a computer.  Not necessarily in that order of course.

What is the most difficult part of writing for you?
Oh, wow that’s a tough one.  Probably, letting go of characters and finishing their stories.  I get blah right after finishing a story, until a new one speaks up and decides to take over. 

Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
Readers can find out about my latest and upcoming releases at www.jllangley.com.  And www.fictionwithfriction.com/ the blog I share with five other very talented M/M authors, Willa Okati, Ally Blue, LM Prieto, Laura Baumbach and Jet Mykles. 

 

     

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