Friday, November 18, 2011

Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy Author Interview

Hi, lovely writer friends! Another installment from this month's issue of Raven Moon. I met J.R. here in the blogosphere, and she has a PNR novella out that's a really fun read (linkage below). Enjoy!

Author Interview
J.R. Pearse Nelson

What inspired you to become a writer?

I’ve always been a plotter. I have notebooks from childhood full of characters and plots, starting with a setting similar to Little House on the Prairie and developing into alien dystopias with sociological overtones. I fell in love with fantasy and romance over a lifetime of reading. The stories rattling around my brain range from space cowgirls to mythological fantasy, and I really want to try something post-apocalyptic. My writing tastes are as varied as my reading tastes.

Tell us about your path to publication.

I wrote my recently published novella, Tribute, in 2008. My first foray into paranormal romance resulted in a fun, full story…of fewer than 35,000 words. It wasn’t a good length for submission the traditional route. So I shelved it. I kept working, but nothing came out as clean and fun as that romance. In 2010, I learned about Smashwords and started considering the indie route. The publishing world is so dynamic right now; by early 2011 it was obvious the indie star was on the rise. I wanted in! I polished up my novella (length no longer being a consideration, yeah!), worked up all those publishing bits and pieces, got up my nerve…and clicked ‘publish’!

What led you to choose indie publishing?

Indie is so friendly. Smashwords, Amazon, Barnes and Noble – they all make it really simple to publish in an ebook format. The growth of ereaders and changing marketplace makes indie an attractive option. I also like the creative control aspect; I choose everything from where to make my books available to the cover. The flexibility to cross genres and provide different lengths is also great for a writer like me, since my stories tend to emerge at novella length and I can’t stick with a genre to save my life.

What marketing advice do you have as an indie author? Is there anything you think an indie author should do differently as opposed to a traditional pub author when it comes to marketing?

The marketing aspect is a constantly moving target. In fact, mixing it up is a strategy in itself. Try everything. Find places to talk to people who might like your work. Blogs, Goodreads, social networks. Marketing is going to be similar whether you’re traditionally published or self-published. For a writer like me, having just published my first book, the best advice is to write, write, write. I’m completing edits on my second book, writing my third book, outlining the fourth…and so on. This isn’t a sprint; it’s a marathon.

What have you learned from your experience that other writers should know when considering indie publishing?

Publishing takes work. Once the words are on the page, you have a whole process to get it out there. Many writers won’t like that part as much as they like writing. That’s true of the traditional route, too. Publishing, no matter how you do it, changes your relationship with writing. New demands on your time mean it’s easy to get bogged down by the to-do list. But being indie doesn’t mean going it alone – build a community and it’s much easier.

Thanks so much for sharing your journey with us! Here's a bit more about J.R. and how you can get ahold of her:

J.R. Pearse Nelson is an indie author of fantasy and paranormal romance. Her work is fast-paced, adventurous, and sometimes dark. Her novella, Tribute, is the first book in the Children of the Sidhe series. The sequel will be released in December 2011. While the genre of these novellas is paranormal romance, J.R. doesn't limit her reading or writing to one type of fantasy. She loves it all, from the epics to the dark beasties to the mythological, sociological side. An urban fantasy novel is in the works for 2012.

J.R. is a native Oregonian, living in the beautiful Portland area. She lives with her husband, two small daughters and the family dog. Self-publishing is the realization of J.R.'s life-long dream to write fiction for an audience. You can connect with J.R. online at her blog, twitter, and Goodreads. Visit

Want to check out J.R.'s paranormal romance novella Tribute? Click here to get it at Smashwords!


  1. I have books from childhood full of plots too, love that! And oh my gosh, another Oregonian?! I'll definitely have to check her work out!!!

  2. The marathon part scares me. I never envisioned more than one book, now I'm faced with a second soon to be released and the task of writing a third.

  3. Nice interview! (Hi, fellow Oregonian!) It's always intriguing to see other people's writing processes and how they got to be where they are, especially when they take the self-pub route. It's definitely a faster process. Thanks, JR and Alexia!

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  5. Thanks for the great comments! Two more Oregonian authors to get to know! And Alex, I have the opposite problem; I have a tough time turning off the idea machine long enough to finish my projects. Ah, discipline. A fine art in itself.

  6. J.R., I love your advice that marketing is the same whether we're traditionally or self-published. Wishing you nothing but great success, and thank you very much, Alexia, for letting us "meet" J.R.

  7. Thank you J.R. and Alexia! Happy to have found my way here. Thank you for this great advice and glimpse of how you got published. It's always interesting to learn more about indie publishing. It took me a long time to convert to buying e-books, but now I'm finding it addicting and so convenient.

    Take care,

  8. Michelle, thank you! I wish you the best as well!

    Jamie, I'm addicted to ebooks, too! Love to have a book (actually, bunches of them) right in my pocket. :)

  9. Thank you Alexia and JR. It was great reading about your journey JR, thanks for sharing!

  10. Great interview... and answers. Nice to meet you JR. Thanks Alexia.

  11. I never thought about writing a novella. I used to write short stories, but almost always it was a snippet of a novel-length idea. But I've loved a number of novellas. Congratulations to JR for taking the plunge with her book!


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