jd young, a displaced Bronx native, resides in Virginia with her husband. She has published three books. Scarlett’s Letters and The Butter Pecan Diaries are filled with laughter and wry humor – a combination of Erma Bombeck and Dave Barry. Both have a five star review on Amazon.
Her latest offering, The Woman on Pritchard Street, opens the door to reveal her intense and often times darker view of life.
She believes her remote and heavily wooded haven with moonlight shadows and bumps in the night fuels her imagination to run the gamut from ordinary, to fearful, to bizarre.
jd, when did you first know you wanted to be a writer and was there a particular inspiration to get started?
I had written “letters to friends for years stating: I haven’t written because…..” After faxing a letter to former colleagues, a stray copy landed in a coworker’s inbox and she loved the tenor of my letter. It was her encouragement, that of her son – a VP at Merrill Lynch and the death of my oldest daughter that pushed me to publish.
Do you have a background in writing or take any special writing courses that helped you along the way?
I tried a writer’s course in Maryland, but was so heartbroken after the first three classes I almost stopped writing. It was kismet that brought me to the Writers of Chantilly in Northern Virginia that truly encouraged me to continue and verified my writing was valid. Without their support and input I would never have published.
How long did it take you to publish your fist manuscript? After initially putting it together, about a year.
Do you always write in the same genre?
Not now – my first two books, Scarlett’s Letters and The Butter Pecan Diaries are a cross between Erma Bombeck and Dave Barry. Tongue-in-cheek “creative non-fiction.” My last book, The Woman on Pritchard Street and the upcoming second in the series, I Am Mira are urban fantasy with political undertones.
Many of us cross over genres and it is difficult to pinpoint one to fit our books. For the book we are promoting today, what shelf would we find it on if it were in a bricks and mortar bookstore? Political thriller, urban fantasy
Are you published through a traditional publishing house? If yes, how did you find your agent and publisher?
My first book was self-published and the rest published through Young Lions at the Gate – a small, boutique company that edits, evaluates and publishes through Create Space and other media outlets. Found them on the internet. They are new and dedicated to support and hone the skills of new writers. They actually seem to care about the angst writers carry and the unrelenting issues of trying to get a “major” house publish their work. Great editors and very helpful people.
Why did you choose to go the self-publishing Indie route in lieu of traditional publication? What were the deciding factors to choosing your publisher? Would you recommend that same Indi publisher to a colleague?
I don’t believe mainstream publishing houses have any interest in “new” writers. Unless you can guarantee instant sales and readership – they ignore you. I would certainly recommend small boutique firms/indie publishing. After finding this group on the internet and corresponding with the owners, I found renewed vigor in going forward with my work. They were simply terrific. I would definitely recommend their services.
Do you always write in the same POV or narrative or do you switch it up in different stories? I always write in first person.
What does “finding your Voice” mean to you and how did you find yours?
I never considered “finding my voice.” Being a displaced Bronx native, my ‘voice’ was always there – putting my words to paper to adequately share the emotions with a reader was the only change in my voice I addressed.
Do you follow a structure pattern such as staying in chronological order, or alternating points in time or different POV’s.
Simple answer – No. The first two books I wrote exactly what I knew – what was familiar – what was second nature. The second and third books were directed by my muse – Edgar Allen Poe
What was the hardest part for you in the writing process; the outline, synopsis, query or building the story itself?
Query most definitely, but when I let that go and self-published it was only paramount for me to ensure the reader would understand, enjoy and want to get involved in the story. Leaving the “business” issue aside allowed me to fully concentrate on the story. I had been told by two agents (one at Author House) I had written the best query letter they had ever received – but, they had no hopes for my first two books. They said, “humor was just not selling.”
It is not enough to write a book and wait for the money to start rolling in. What marketing techniques do you implement to increase your sales?
I have a website, belong to several writer’s groups, and participate in many local book signings – however it is difficult. Blogs most certainly help – yet, does one continue to write or spend time blogging?
What advise would you give to new writers just getting sta rted with their first manuscript?
Don’t worry about editing while you write – if the story is flowing – just brain dump on the page – the rest can be massaged and controlled when your creative thoughts have finished! Don’t stop writing because of punctuation. Paragraphs can be realigned, thoughts can be clarified – Just Get It Down on Paper! Everything can be fixed when you are done.
What is the premise of your novel we are promoting today?
My novel, The Woman on Pritchard Street focuses on Simon Gautreau, a 2nd rung newspaper reporter that stumbles into the political chaos of Washington, DC. He goes face-to-face with the dark underbelly of Congress, the Vatican, demon dark forces and Homeland Security.
My second novel, “I Am Mira” is the second in a trilogy dissecting the political underpinnings in Washington, DC. And takes up when the Vatican becomes involved in money laundering and political appointees in the US White House. Deaths attributed to dark, other worldy beings that infiltrate the halls of Congress with inroads to the White House, Homeland Security and “The Collective.”
The third in the series focuses on the connection of Irish demon slayers and the Knights Templars.
Readers, here is the Amazon link to get to JD’s books.
Can you share a few paragraphs from your book to wet out appetite?
Book 1 – The Vasile Chronicles
THE WOMAN ON PRITCHARD STREET
Sometimes things just fall into your lap. Some make you smile and enjoy the ride. Others make you grab your balls and pray for redemption. When this job fell my way, the easy money clouded my senses. Though my balls ached, I ignored my gut. I figured, why not?
Another city, another job, another haphazard collection of notes to take up space in my luggage. I don’t know why I keep all these journals. Perhaps one day these chaotic impressions will come in handy.…Simon Nicolae Gautreaux
~ ~ ~
Book II – The Vasile Chronicles……Due out – March 2014
I AM MIRA
My name is Grace and I was murdered five months ago. My reason for coming back is to watch over Simon, the love and savior of my very short life. When I was murdered grief overwhelmed his soul and turned it to stone. It was his guilt and the insistent prayers of his Aunt DremaSue that pulled my spirit back into this life — to watch over and protect him.
Daphne’s henchmen walked into our 10th floor apartment and threw me off the balcony. She thought she was teaching Simon a lesson, but she did not realize it was a fatal mistake.
Daphne is in an alliance with Mel, owner of Beckett’s, and they rule over the dark souls of the universe. Mel is malevolent and far superior because he dominates a cadre of demons. He was the source of my pain and anguish and dragging me into his pit of depravity, but it is also what brought Simon back to me.
Simon changed when he met with his grandmother, Anastas, in Budapest. He understood and accepted his birthright and she opened the door to his power and responsibility. Time spent with Anastas brought him peace. And her gift to him, a Vizsula dog of Hungarian descent she had named Mira, is a fierce protector that would be with him against the evils he will face.
When Simon rescued me, I was weak, naïve, mentally and physically broken. That is no longer the case.
The strength and knowledge of the ages are now available to me to guide and protect him. Infinite resources abound to ensure his safety.
Soon he will know – I Am Mira