Today’s guest is a debut novelist whose last name is totally real, and one of the most awesome for someone who writes about creatures from hell. Please give a warm welcome to J.F. Posthumous.
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1. Can you tell us a bit about your book, Deals with the Devil?
Deals is the first story about Faith (Fi) Wells, a woman who spends her workdays as a computer tech at a shipping company. One Monday, she returns from a short vacation to discover her boss has been fired and replaced by a demon, literally. This doesn’t bother Fi so much, since her father is the right-hand of Satan, and she knows that computers, and especially printers, are from Hell. Finding her old boss murdered and stuffed into a shipping crate does make her life more complicated, though. When the detective assigned to the case turns out to be a devastatingly handsome angel, her world gets a little bit crazier. Fi also takes it on herself to investigate, which brings her to the unwanted attention of the person who killed her old boss.
2. How did you come up with the concept for Deals with the Devil?
Like most people, I complain to my spouse about my day job! One day he asked me “Why don’t you just write a story about all the things that bother you, that way you can figuratively eliminate them?” I replied with “Well, printers are from Hell…” and he laughed, encouraging me to pursue that line of imaginative thinking, and off we went!
3. When did you realize you wanted to pursue writing as more than a hobby?
I’ve enjoyed writing since I was a little girl. My husband was already a writer in his own way. He was injured at his last job, and unable to work. We started seriously writing with the intent of getting published, looking to make something from all the time we spent talking about ideas and books we’d like to see. Also, it’s something we do together, and I love doing anything with him that I can.
4. How did you get Deals with the Devil from a raw idea to a publishable manuscript?
Lots and lots of rewrites and analyzing our work. Mark (my husband) and I are always looking to improve our skills as writers. There’s a big stretch between a story a person writes for fun and a manuscript that other people want to read. You have to polish and study what works, learn from mistakes.
5. You actually co-write with your husband. How did you first start writing together?
Mark had already written a full-length manuscript for an adventure fantasy called “Darkflower’s Prize” and I loved it. I wanted to write a similar book, and also wanted an excuse to spend more time with him (we weren’t together at the time). I asked him to help me, he wound up co-writing the work. We just kept developing our writing and personal relationship. Now we’re married and published! *laughs*
6. What are some of the challenges you’ve faced that are specific to co-writing?
We work at different paces and have different strengths. I want to write all the time. Mark prefers to pace it out, because he doesn’t want to get burned out and end up writing useless material. Also, he’s the house hubby, so while I’m on my lunch break at work or wanting to destress from work, he’s sometimes busy keeping our apartment in order and handling the kids, along with cooking, etc. I’m raring to go, and he’s telling me things like “I’ve got to put the groceries away!” or “Our daughter just kicked our youngest son in the crotch for cheating on a Wii game!” So we clash in that way sometimes. Another problem is although we communicate really well, we don’t always have the same ideas, or make each other understand where we’re going on a project. There are, shall we say, heated debates when that happens. But we always wind up in the same place, eventually.
7. How did you find/choose Musa Publishing?
Querytracker.com. It’s a great place to find publishers and agents. I also double-checked them with Absolute Write Water Cooler, a forum for writers both published and unpublished. Musa sounded like a great company to be with, so I sent them a query and crossed my fingers. Like any aspiring author, I sent queries to a lot of publishers. The trick, once you’ve got a good manuscript, is to hit a publisher when they are looking for material like yours. There’s no easy way for it. You keep at it until the timing lines up and someone you’ve queried is looking for what you’re presenting. We were very fortunate that Musa was looking.
8. What are some of the ways you’ve been marketing Deals with the Devil?
We’re setting up a website, but we’re already developing a following on Facebook. We’ve also participated in a blog hop for our publisher and have blogs posts set up to be posted onto Musa’s website. We tell our friends about the book, especially when we’re working with them on indie movie projects, music, parties, getting them interested so they’ll talk to others about Deals. We’ve already gotten our local libraries excited about buying copies to have available to their customers. They love the idea of having something from local authors who’ve gotten published.
9. If you could give an aspiring writer just one piece of advice, what would it be?
Research! That means live life, read a lot of books, ask questions about everything. The more informed you are about what you’re writing, the better your work will be. Also, remember that your work is read by others–there are going to be some ideas that sound great to you, but most other people just won’t be interested in.
10. What are you working on next that readers can look forward to?
We are working on the second Fi Wells book, tentatively titled “The Devil on Set.” Fi once again stumbles across a body, but this time it’s while she’s on the movie set for an Indie remake of the horror classic “White Zombie.” The lead actor is actually a ghoul (re:zombie) and of course, most people who know this fact think that she’s guilty just because of that. Fi doesn’t agree, and her snooping around gets that gorgeous angel detective in danger. So she’s got to solve the case, bring the killer to justice, and save her white knight! Beyond that, we also just finished a trilogy of manuscripts centered on another strong female lead, who’s a combination of Wonder Woman, Elektra, and the Shadow. We’re hoping to polish that series and get it published as well.