J.M. Walker is an Amazon bestselling author who recently hit USA Today with Wanted: An Outlaw Anthology. She loves all things books, pigs and lip gloss. She is happily married to the man who inspires all of her Heroes and continues to make her weak in the knees every single day.
1) First, I would like to thank you for taking the time to do this interview with me! When did you know that writing is what you were called to do? What is it about being a writer that you love the most?
Funny story. I actually had NO idea that I wanted to be a writer. I kept journals and diaries like most girls do at a young age and I LOVED reading but writing? Nope. It wasn’t even the first thing I thought of. Well, fast forward several years and I fell in love with this book series thanx to an old co-worker who actually passed away last year. So sad. Anyway, I met some readers and one of them was an author. So I helped her a lot but I still had no idea that I wanted to write. My aunt actually suggested it to me one day and I went from there. Now mind you, my first story was a hot mess of course but that’s our little secret. Lol! The thing I love the most about being a writer? My readers. Seriously. I’ve met some amazing people in this industry and honestly, I wouldn’t be here without them. So they are hands down my favorite part.
2) Can you tell us a little about your book(s) and where our readers can find out more about them and you?
My books range in all levels of heat. I have sexy to NSFW. Lol! I have erotica romance, a female motorcycle series, a male motorcycle series, BDSM books, a future MMF and FFM (all the acronyms) and more. I have plans for a highly emotional book but that will probably be a year or so from now. I’m taking notes when I think of stuff though. To find out more about me, I do suggest going to Facebook. Or even my website. www.aboutjmwalker.com but honestly, FB is where I’m most active.
3) What do you draw on for inspiration for the stories that you weave together and the characters that you are able to create?
Oh gosh. Hmm…this is a good question. I think music and movies or just life in general, inspires me most. For example, I saw a female biker one day and my King’s Harlots series was born. It’s the little things that truly inspire me most I think.
4) You have over fifteen books to your credit, which is really impressive! Do you have a writing routine or schedule that you’ve discovered works for you to keep you productive? Do you outline your novels and do character sketches? How long does it typically take you to finish your novels?
Thank you!! I really have no idea how I did it. No. No routine. At all. I’m actually a head of schedule right now, so I give myself a goal to write 500 words a day and that’s it. Small goals keep me productive. I used to bang out 5k-10k words a day and quickly realized that it was bad for my health, so I stopped doing that. Do I outline? Ha! No. Not at all. I’ve tried but my characters take things a different way. ALWAYS. Now mind you, for the series I’m writing now, I do take notes as I go, so I don’t have to keep going back and re-reading. But that’s about it. It depends. The longest it took me to write a story was almost 6 months. But then the story after that, took me less than a month and it was my biggest book to date. So it all depends on if my characters are talking and how hard they’re talking as well. Oh and no, I don’t do character sketches. I probably should though. Especially for this series. Thank you for the idea!
5) What’s the first book you ever read that really touched you emotionally and moved you? Who was your favorite author as a child? Who’s your favorite author now? What book are you currently reading?
Hmm… I haven’t read many books that touched me or moved me. I’m not a huge fan of ugly cry books, although I do want to write one. Lol! But the last book that really hit me was Joseph Fallen by M.S. Willis. Now, it’s a dark romance. It might not even be considered romance. But that book bothered me in ways that no book has ever done before. So I wouldn’t say it moved me but it definitely touched me emotionally. My favorite author as a child…oh gosh. Probably RL Stine. I was obsessed with horror type stories as a kid. I loved being scared. It’s also why I’m a huge fan of horror movies as well. My favorite author now? It depends on the genre. Lol! JR Ward is my favorite paranormal author. Lily White is my favorite dark author. And I don’t have a favorite for the other genres but there are a ton that I love. Oh and Stephen King of course cause he’s just amazing. Right now, I’m reading Her Master’s Teacher by Lily White. It’s a re-read so I can finish the rest of the series. But I read SO SLOW anymore so it’s taking me awhile.
6) What has been your most significant achievement as a writer thus far? Where do you see yourself within your career in the next five years? What projects are you currently working on?
Well…I hit USA Today with an anthology that I was in at the beginning of the year AND some of my books will be translated into Italian in the next couple of years. So I’m super excited about that! I see myself writing full time and making an actual career of this. Oh gosh, what am I not working on. Lol! I’m getting ready to release a couple standalone stories and a series about the kids to some of my characters.
7) Have you had to deal with rejection within your writing career? What are your thoughts about how the publishing industry has been changing throughout the years in terms of the ways in which you can now be published (traditional vs. self)?
Oh I have. As upsetting as it was at first, I now know that it just wasn’t my time. I’m not really sure how to answer the second question. I’m only self-published and I feel like I’m still so new, even though I’ve been doing this for 5 years, I really don’t have an opinion. I can say that I do feel the market is becoming more and more saturated. There are so many books and so many authors. I know a lot of people believe that there aren’t enough readers but I think you just have to find that certain crowd and go from there.
8) Do you believe that there is ever a point in life where it’s too late for an aspiring writer to become successful in this industry? Do you feel a late start would hinder their chances?
I don’t think this at all. I believe if there’s a story inside you that needs to be let out, you can be successful no matter the age.
9) So many writers say that they hate reading their own work? Can you ever just sit down with your own books and read them as if you were the reader and not the person who wrote them? Do you ever find yourself going back to a book and saying “wow, I wrote that”?
Ha. Yeah, I hated reading my very first book. I would love to go back and fix it up, make it better kind of thing, but on the other hand, I also want readers to see my growth. If that makes sense at all. I can read some of my books now. For example, I’m re-reading my King’s Harlots Series just because I’m writing the kid’s books. So I kinda have to read them. And yes, many times I find myself going “Holy crap. I can’t believe I wrote that.” or “What was I even thinking?” It’s fun and exciting because I don’t remember everything I’ve written.
10) I feel like writing is a remarkable tool to help people not only express themselves, but also to cope emotionally and mentally. I know for me I write to be and feel more authentic. What unique quality is there about you, about your art, that you feel represents your authenticity? How does writing help you to be more empowered in your purpose?
Oh gosh. These are heavy questions. Lol! I’m not a bold person. Or a super confident one either. I’m working on it of course. So I find that writing what I write, helps me say things I wouldn’t normally say in real life. Does that make sense? For example, most of my heroines are strong, know what they want and they won’t stop until they get it. Now of course, I do have some weaker heroines but those are in my older books. I was still finding my “voice”. I don’t even know what unique quality I have. Haha. I guess, sparking emotions in readers that I never knew I could. I always worry I don’t get my point across but when readers come back with “I hate you. I can’t believe you did that” kind of thing, that makes me feel empowered.
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