An Interview with JC Szot

JC SzotWe’ve asked JC Szot to stop in and share what’s been going on in her writing world.

Q: How did your journey into writing fiction begin?

A: I began writing in a diary that I got for Christmas when I was twelve. I still write daily, but now I call it a “journal.” I think it sounds more mature. My seventh grade teacher also loved reading and writing. Her assignments are what really guided me down the literary path.

Q: How do you recommend achieving that first acceptance?

A: Perseverance. Don’t ever give up and research your pubs carefully. There are so many great eBook pubs out there looking for new writers. Don’t limit yourself to the big houses. There are first-submission success stories, but for me personally, I needed to keep reality in check while trying to make my first pitch into the competitive world of writing.

Q: What’s the title of your debut release with Siren?

A: My debut release from Siren-BookStrand was an erotica, para/normal titled, Open Spaces. It was the foundational book that began my backlist of eleven releases through Siren.

Q: Do you stick to one genus when writing?

A: While I write erotica romance, I tend to shift between subgenera. Some say that this isn’t good for sales, but I have to write what’s in my heart and head. When I get an idea I have to get it out. I feel it’s also good practice to change things up.

Q: When is your next release coming out?

A: My next release, Homeless Heart, will be released by Siren-BookStrand on October 10th.

Q: How long does it take you to write a story?

A: That depends on what’s going on in real life. I try to release a book every quarter. I’m very conscious in regards to quality verses quantity.

Q: What do you do when real life disrupts your writing schedule?

A: Back in March of 2012 my husband, Mike, was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. This started a long span of time where I had to deal with this struggle. As my husband received treatments I would often bring my laptop to the infusion center and work while he received his blood transfusions and platelets. While he was in remission, my work resumed and I was able to produce six books which were released that year. My husband’s battle just ended just this month. Mike passed away on August first. Rearview Mirror, one of my previous releases, was written at the time of his diagnosis. Though writers sometimes categorize themselves as a separate entity, we are still normal people. When real life demands your attention, you need to direct that attention to the matter at hand. My dear friend and fellow author, GA Hauser, said it best, “When the time is right your characters will call you back.” And she’s right.

Q: Are you working on any new or different projects?

A: I am. I’m skirting between two manuscripts now. I’m writing a memoir which is a different sort of project for me. The memoir is about my experience dealing with a spouse who battled AML Leukemia. I’m also working on an erotica romance with time travel elements.

Q: What is your writing schedule?

A: I’m a morning person. I still work outside the home part time. On my writing days, if I’m not at my desk by nine or nine thirty it won’t happen. I don’t follow any type of word count regimen. I let my mind take me, and some days are more productive than others.

Q: What advice do you have regarding promotion?

A: You need to be consistent without being annoying. I take any opportunity to continue to promote my backlist, which consists of joining writers’ and readers’ groups and getting your name out there. If you don’t maintain a consistent presence, people can forget about you very quickly. I also do what I call my “Snippet of the Day.” I post a daily excerpt from one of my twelve releases on Facebook, which my web designer so cleverly attached the newsfeed to my author website. Just by visiting my website, if you haven’t “liked” my page, you can read my daily snippet.