Friday, June 16, 2017

JM Sullivan Interview

First off, tell us a little bit about you
Ok! Well, hi! My name is JM Sullivan and I am a Science Teacher by day and an author by night. I love reading, singing, all things sparkly and am entirely too dependent on coffee. When I’m not working or writing, you can find me at home dancing around with my kids or watching scary movies with my husband (if the cats give us their blessing).

Tell us about your books/What genre do you consider your books?I guess the easiest way to classify my books are as YA retellings. Otherwise, I seem to mix it up a bit within the genre. For example, my debut novel, Alice: The Wanderland Chronicles is a Dark Fantasy twist of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, and my second novel, The Neverland Transmissions is a SciFi spin on Peter Pan. So even though I like to switch it up a bit, I would definitely say I’ve found my happy place in fairy tales and retellings.

When did you start writing?Oh gosh, I’ve written forever. I’ve always loved reading and telling stories, but I didn’t really get serious about my writing until the beginning of 2016 when I committed to completing my first manuscript.

Why do you write?  
Writing is my escape. My life can get pretty hectic between work, family, pets, and and and….writing is the way that I am able to go relax and find a way to organize and declutter the billion and a half thoughts that threaten to drown me every single day. I find that being able to focus my energy and creativity into making something provides an outlet for the chaos and really, just makes me happy.

What would be your choice for a superpower?Any superpower? I would definitely go the Aquaman route! I’ve always been fascinated by the ocean and secretly wanted to be a mermaid, so I would totally be down to hang with the fishes.

Who is your favorite author? Oh gosh, this is really tricky, and I don’t even know that I could gie you an honest answer because I love so many authors, but I will say that Marissa Meyer is the RETELLING QUEEN and an absolutely incredible storyteller. To be even have my work considered alongside hers would be the most amazing honor.

What are you reading now?   
Right now I’m reading a couple of different stories. I just finished the cutest YA Contemporary, Chasing Zenn by Wendy Bryant, and I’m in the middle of a YA Sci-Fi, Matched, along with a YA Fantasy, Counting Wolves. I’m enjoying both. June has definitely been a good reading month.

Who is your favorite character to write? There are good points to all of my characters, but I adore Chess. His snark and witty banter always bring a smile to my face, but on the flip side, getting in the head of the Red Queen, my villain can also be entertaining… especially if I’m feeling particularly cantankerous that day ;)

Do you have a writing process? Um…. Does forcing myself to write count? My process really isn’t very organized. Normally I start off with a basic outline for where I want the story to go, but from there I let the story take over. I don’t like being too detailed in my outlines because more often than not I’ll end up changing and veering off on different tangents so providing a starting and ending point with a few key events in the middle to keep me anchored is about as structured as I get.

What advice would you give to an aspiring author?Be nice to yourself! Writers (and most creatives I find), are hard on ourselves far too often. An inner critic can help keep you on your ‘A-game’, but only if you don't give it so much free reign that it derails your work. Remember, someone needs your words. No one can tell your stories. To get them out there you have to write them!

What inspired you to pursue writing?I think it was my love of literature and stories that ultimately inspired me. It has always been a dream of mine to become an author and I think it’s because of all the authors and stories that I’ve loved so much over the course of my lifetime. I know what an impact the words of people like JK Rowling and Gail Carson Levine have had on me, I thought it would be so amazing to have my words provide the same things for others.

What are your favorite TV shows/Movies to watch in between writing?To be honest, since I’ve started writing more, my TV time has gone down dramatically, so more often than not if I’m watching something it’s either a movie that the kids are playing while I work, or my husband has hidden my computer and forced me to sit down and relax. When that happens our go-to genre is almost always Horror but sometimes we like to mix it up with some Sci-Fi or Fantasy films.

What are your current projects?Right now I’ve got a couple things on my plate. I recently finished drafting and revising my second novel, a Peter Pan retelling tentatively titled The Neverland Transmissions, and I have begun the querying process towards representation and publication. While I wait on that, I’m currently writing the sequel to Alice, Through the Broken Glass (again, working title, lol). So those are definitely my focus right now, and I’m having a lot of fun with them.   

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to readers?Thank you! From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU for taking the time to read my work. Whether it’s this article, or work on my blog, or my stories, thank you. Your support means the world to me and I am so grateful to you. Without you, my words would have no-one to play with! Thanks so much for keeping them company! I love you guys! :D

Quick Fire:Cats or dogs?  Both.
Coffee or tea?  COFFEEEEEEE
Favorite food?  Pizza
Vanilla or chocolate ice-cream?  Chocolate
What are 3 things you never leave home without?  My purse, my sunglasses, my laptop
Laptop or desktop? Laptop
Who are 3 famous people you would to hang out with?  Gordon Ramsey, Jennifer Lawrence, JK Rowling
TV or Movies?  Movies

Visit me on my AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE to borrow any of my books for FREE!

Best-selling author of Wake the Dead! On Amazon Kindle here!

All Artwork and covers of my works by William J. Kenney & Carlos Cara

All maps, names and content copyright Ashenclaw Studios 2014 unless otherwise noted.

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