In our second Author Spotlight interview, we have another NYT and USA Today bestseller for you. Author of the Marked Man series, the Saints of Denver series, and The Point and Breaking Point series, Jay Crownover’s latest novel begins what is surely destined to be yet another bestselling series.
Retreat is book one of the Getaway Series, and it was released at the end of December 2016.
And don’t worry, we kept this interview short enough to ensure we didn’t delay her next release!
HG: Who inspires you to write?
Jay: More like WHAT. There are a lot of writers I love and auto-buy…but none of them are why I write. I write because a lyric in a song inspires me, or because I overheard a story at a bar, or because I want words out there in the world that people like me identify with. I write because books are the greatest thing in the entire world and they have always been my happy place.
HG: How long did it take you to build your fanbase?
Jay: I mean Rule was such a huge blockbuster of a book that it was pretty much overnight. Almost all my readers found me through that book. Keeping a steady fanbase, and growing and expanding that market is something every author should be working on every day. As many readers that loved Rule, not all of them or even most of them have read past that book. Keeping readers invested is a huge part of being an author.
HG: How do you decide on the locations in your books?
Jay: Easy. I’m from Colorado and went to college in Denver. Most books are based in big cities or cities with romantic lure…well Denver is great and I wanted to show my hometown the love it deserves, the people are awesome and the guys in Colorado are all kinds of scruffy and hot. It was a no brainer. As for the Point, I needed a place as bad as the boys that run it. I needed a place that was clearly divided by a class structure and a place where it was logical to have crime and corruption be common place. Since I don’t have any first-hand experience with a place like that in the real world I made one up!
HG: Does writing energize or exhaust you?
It’s the best job in the whole world but it is still a job. There are days when I’m on a roll and I want to write until my fingers fall off because I am so invested in my story and characters. Other days all I want to do is watch Law and Order SVU reruns and veg, but I can’t because if I miss a day of writing my deadline is shot and I lose all momentum.
I’ve found that if I take an extended period of time off from writing getting back into the groove is brutal…so I try to work on 1 book straight through to the end with no breaks and then take a week or two off completely in between projects.
HG: What was your hardest scene to write and which book was it in?
Jay: A pretty major character in the Marked Men series dies and his funeral was really hard to write. It still makes me cry when I read it…his son gives the eulogy and it’s just really moving. That scene is in Nash.
HG: Do you have any tips for new independent authors?
Jay: Expect the best but plan for the worst. Something always seems to go wrong…you find a typo at the last minute, Amazon is slow to upload, the formatting is wonky when it downloads, someone else that may be more well-known has your same title, your cover model went rogue of social media and now you’re guilty by association. Honestly you have to adapt and roll with the punches. There is no perfect book, author or release day.
It’s also important to remember that if you are expecting someone to pay for your work, you give them the best product possible. Invest the money to make your books shine. If you want to be taken seriously, treat what you’re doing seriously…but still have fun J It should always be something you are passionate about.
HG: Does your significant other play a part in your writing style?
Jay: Ha…no. I’m very single and have been for several years. I was married for a long time when I was younger and it was probably the most ridiculous, worthless relationship in the world.
I mean being single and financially secure I get to go where I want, do what I want and be who I want without having to think of anyone else. That shapes how I write…I also can work ridiculous hours and not have to worry about neglecting anyone which is how I write so many books a year.
HG: What is the one thing that you want to write about but haven’t done it yet?
Jay: Naw. If I want to write about it or read about it, I write the words. I just wrote a book about not quite cowboys because I was hankering for a bit of adventure and I wanted to write a book that took place mostly outside. I have a pretty vivid imagination so there is never a shortage of stories to tell…they cover all the bases I think.
I would like to co-write a book one day. I think that would be super fun. Someone tell Cora Carmack to get on that with me..lol J
Want to learn more about Jay Crownover?
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