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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.