As a former college radio station DJ, BJ was inspired to write this book after asking herself “Whatever happened to all those 80’s rock stars and one-hit wonders?” Her writing career has contributions to RI Fit Magazine. But her prouder achievements are her original angry chick rock songs, usually about bad boyfriends, accompanied by her out of tune guitar. She blogs at http://bjknapp.com.
BJ resides in Rhode Island with her husband, Todd, and dogs Nemo and Potter. She is an avid sailor and scuba diver, and also enjoys pretty much any outdoor activity such as hiking and geocaching as well. She has also single-handedly orchestrated hundreds of failed attempts at cooking.
What inspires you to write?
Inspiration is everywhere. I like to listen in on what’s going on around me, and then I imagine what will happen next. If I overhear a conversation at the next table in a restaurant, it’s easy to wonder about what will happen to those people having in the conversation next. Will they continue to talk about it in the car on the way home? Will one of them run to the rest room and text someone else about it? Right there you have the makings of a few scenes and then you can build from there.
Now the thing I really struggle with is the time to pull all this eavesdropping into a novel.
Tell us about your writing process.
I do outline. Kind of. I like having a general idea of where I am going. But sometimes new ideas come to me as I am writing, so I allow myself to stray off the outlined path because so often the really interesting stuff lies in the shadow just off that path. If I don’t allow myself to check in the bushes on the sides of the path I will totally miss something good.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I don’t talk to them or listen to them. They’re pretend people, after all. I do like to gossip about my characters, though. That’s way more interesting because then I get to see someone else’s reaction to something one of my characters does. From that reaction I can tell if my characters are likable or not, and then I can decide if I even want them to be likable in that moment anyway.
Who are your favorite authors?
There are two books I’ve stayed up all night reading: The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein, and Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden. In both of these books the author had to get into the head of either the other gender or another specie. Pretty amazing how well they pulled it off.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I knew I wanted a publisher. The thought of self publishing, though interesting, is too overwhelming for me. I have a day job, I have hobbies, I have a life. I don’t have the discipline to figure out how to do it all myself. I signed with Booktrope because I love their business model, and I love their “us against the world” attitude.
When you’re trying to make that decision for yourself, pay attention to the costs. Self publishing can get expensive. Tally up all the costs and then figure out how many books you’d have to sell to eventually make a profit. Also, whether you sign with a publisher or not, you still have to do most of the marketing of the book. You still need to get out there on social media and interact with the world. Signing with a publisher does not guarantee that they’re going to do all that for you. What they will do is get your book from the scrappy little manuscript you currently have into a legit looking object you can hold in your hands. It’s up to you, in both scenarios, to figure out how to get it into other peoples’ hands.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
We’re already seeing that budding authors are fed up with getting doors slammed in their faces. There are so many avenues to getting your book out there for the public to read. It’s actually quite overwhelming. Self publish? Small press? Big press? Agents? Slush pile? It’s crazy overwhelming. It’s hard to know what the best path will be. Do your research. Reach out to other authors and find out what their experience has been. You’ll figure out what makes the most sense to you, but you have to fully explore all the options first.
What genres do you write?
chick lit, women’s fiction
What formats are your books in?