About BJ Knapp:
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.
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?
I know it sounds pretentious, but inspiration is everywhere. Listen in on a conversation when you’re out in public and ask yourself “What happened before this conversation?” or “How will the person on the right relay this conversation to someone else?” When you start imagining how those exchanges look outside of the current moment, you’ve got yourself a part of a story. You’ve got the scene before and the scene after this moment. Then you can build from there.
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?
No. They’re fictitious. I think it’s important to think of my characters as people, but I don’t think they actually talk to me. I would rather list out all the attributes of my characters. What do they look like? What do they like to eat? Where do they like to go? Who are their friends? Are they happy in their current situation? How will they change over the course of the story?
What advice would you give other writers?
Allow yourself to barf out a story on the page. Don’t edit yourself. Just throw it all out there and then sift through it later on. If you keep editing that first page over and over again then you’ll ever finish the next 300.
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 do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer
What genres do you write?: women’s fiction, chick lit
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit, to allow you, the reader, to hear the author in their own voice.