Welcome back to my continuing series of conversations with various authors. This month I’m pleased to welcome a New Zealand writer JB Reynolds to my Scribbles page.
JB welcome. Thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions for me and my readers this month.
Pleased to be here.
Lets’ dive right in shall we. Once you write your work who do you get it ready? Do you proofread and edit all your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?
I edited the first couple of stories, but wanted to engage the services of a professional editor with my forthcoming story Square Pegs. I think if you’re serious about indie-publishing it’s a necessary step. You’re just too close to your own work, and you miss things. My editor made some changes, nothing major, but numerous little things, and there were things in there that I would never have considered. I’ve rejected some of her suggestions but have gone with the majority of them. It’s made for a better story.
Having a dedicated editor, for an indie-author seems costly was it?
I thought her chargers were reasonable. She charges per hour and it took her two and a half hours to edit my story. I was impressed by how thorough she was. It certainly made a difference to the quality of my story.
Good to know.
Something we as authors all get asked, so I have to ask it here, is where do your ideas come from?
(Chuckles) Who knows? Just from being alive, I guess. You live life, you meet people, you see things, you hear things, you read things. I think a lot. Much of that thinking is pretty shallow, but my brain is constantly working things over, and when the time is right, usually when I’m alone (which doesn’t happen all that often when you have three young children), an idea sometimes rises up out of the murk, like a swamp monster, and takes shape.
Swamp Monster, I’m going to have to remember that.
Considering you have a few books out there, what do your fans mean to you?
I don’t have so many fans as yet, but I think they’re a big deal. I really appreciate it when someone takes the time out of their day to make the commitment to subscribe to my mailing list, or follow me on Facebook, or add me as a favorite on something. They don’t have to do that, and when they do, it makes all the difference and I’m very thankful. I try to maintain a dialogue with them and show my appreciation.
Speaking of keeping in touch with fans and building a fan base, did you do a press release, Goodreads book launch or anything else to promote your work and did it work?
I haven’t done a press release or Goodreads book launch. I wanted to try doing some different things for the launch of Square Pegs. My editor suggested I change one of the character names so I posted on Facebook asking for suggestions for names and got a great response and a much improved character name from that. I’m going to do the same with the cover art—do 2 or 3 versions and ask which one people prefer. I want to try and engage my potential audience and try to create a bit of buzz in the lead up to its release.
That’s a really smart idea. Anytime you can engage your audience is a smart move.
Last question, and this is a fun one. Tell me what inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Just the thought that if I keep chipping away at this writing thing, little by little, I’ll get better, and there’s no reason why I can’t make it work for me, no reason why I can’t make some money from it.
Thank you JB for taking the time to stop by. The time always goes so quickly
Thank you for the invite.
Let us know when your next book is released, would love to hear more about it.
More about JB Reynolds
J.B. Reynolds lives in rural Northland, New Zealand, where he raises children and chickens. He writes humorous short fiction, where tragedy meets comedy and character reigns supreme. His first short story was published while he was a university student, and in between that and a return to serious writing in 2016, he has worked as a graphic designer, landscaper, ski and snowboard technician, librarian, apple picker, and baker of muffins and teacakes.
Nowadays, when not writing, he’s a husband, father, and high school teacher (not necessarily in that order). He enjoys sailing, cycling, and playing music, really loud, when his wife and kids aren’t at home. He has a big garden, where he likes to get his fingernails dirty, and he loves to eat the things that grow in it.
He is currently working on his Crossing The Divide short story series. The stories in the series feature different characters and switch between locations in New Zealand and Australia, but they are all, in a way, coming of age stories and are linked through the theme of relationships. Find all of JB Reynolds books here and here. You can find JB Reynolds on Facebook and on his website.