Saturday, August 18, 2007

An interview with author J. R. Turner by Margot Justes

Jenny, tell me a bit about yourself.

I'm a very happily married mother of three. My husband and I met when I was seventeen and were married when I was twenty. We've had our ups and downs, but overall, he's truly "my hero" as sappy as that sounds :) My childrenare a true blessing. Dustin, who's fourteen, is six-foot, three-inches tall and wears a size 15 shoe. He's definitely my "gentle giant." My daughter,Molly, is full of life, loves to dance, sing, and is very athletic. My youngest, Matthew, is still my "honey bear" at six. Now that my dream of becominga published author has come true, I have very little to complain about--darn!Seriously, though, my early years were rife with trauma and drama and I think having survived them, created in me a need for peace and stability in my own home as an adult. It's also informed my writing, however, as I tend to write action, adventure, with a splash of romance. Plenty of trauma and drama there to play with. I'm also all about the happily-ever-after and I suppose having one of my own has shown me just how much hard work and determination it takes to achieve a satisfying ending.

What prompted you to write and did you always wanted to be a writer?

The love of writing was always a part of me, but when I was younger I wanted to work as a translator/lawyer for the U.N., be a fashion designer, and a career journalist chasing stories all over the world. Because of the craziness of my early years, I developed a deep-seated need to understand the people in my life, always looking for that explanation of why people behaved the way they did. This then developed into a passion to observe even the smallest details of the way people spoke, what they said, and even what they didn't say. Observing all this, thinking it over for years on end, and having a very active imagination, created the need in me to communicate these thoughts in one form or another. Since I'm such an avid reader and love reading different perspectives, seeing how other authors view human nature and sampling such a wild variety of imaginations, writing seemed like a natural course for me to follow.

How do you develop your characters? Do you use a set formula?

It's funny, but I don't actually develop my characters at all. I feel likeI have a huge group of protagonists inside of me, each with their own story, each with their own personalities and full blown, three dimensional flaws, quirks and strength, that the idea of developing them, or using a formula doesn't cross my mind. I tend to come up with a plot first, and then have a very deep gut-instinct about the person in that situation. I think it's one of the most thrilling parts of writing for me--seeing how that character will develop on their own, within the story, and what they'll do next. The only trouble I have with this sometimes is getting out of the way of the character. Once in a while I find myself caring so much about getting the words right, I forget to listen carefully to the character and have to go back and fix my mistakes. Other than that though, it's a real blast.

What do you do to unwind, relax?

I have all sorts of hobbies. I love to knit, crochet, quilt, sew, tat, make soap, dolls, paper and any arts and crafts you can imagine. I used to teach crafts for the Milwaukee Public School System before I moved farther north in Wisconsin. Aside from that, I love camping, reading, and movies. When we can, my best friend and I love to go (with or without our husbands) dancing and shooting darts.

What advice would you give to writers just starting out?

Read what you love and write what you love to read. Always challenge yourself to tackle your weak areas and choose genres and stories where your strengths can really shine. Be sincere, be honest, and don't be afraid to dosome personal soul-searching in order to make your writing the best it can be.

Thanks so much Margot!!

My Biker Bodyguard--Award Winning Romantic Suspense!

Jenny is another talented Echelon author; one whom I've had the pleasure of meeting.

Margot Justes
A Hotel in Paris
Coming from Echelon Press LLC June 2008

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