CJ was an elementary school teacher in the big, bad city of Los Angeles. She spent her days teaching first graders subtraction and going over the weekly spelling words, among other subjects. Although CJ loved her job of molding future minds, she couldn’t see herself doing it for much longer. She finally decided to leave her teaching career behind her and start a new adventure. An adventure that had always been her passion, writing.
After leaving teaching behind, CJ reconnected with her oldest friend and, together, they began writing their first script, a sitcom. It had fallen into the hands of a director that took it upon himself to help these two budding writers on their way. After pitching it around for a year, the three decided to shelf the sitcom and work on other projects.
CJ knew she wanted to continue to write, so she sought advice from a place that had always helped her see her true path, Balboa Island, the setting for her book series, REgarding Lilianna. CJ sat on the seawall that encircled the island as the entire plot for her debut book, REcovered, began to unfold before her.
CJ Hartland – Now
Rave reviews for REcovered have further inspired CJ to continue the series with book two, REkindled, which is scheduled for a September 2014 release. She has been fitting writing into her nightly routine, after her, pride & joy, baby boy and love of her life, husband go to bed.
CJ loves hearing from readers, please email her at HartlandCJ@gmail.com or follow her on twitter @CJHartland.
What inspires you to write?
Writing inspiration, for me, comes from many sources. I get most of my ideas from my own life experiences and expand. When I come down with writers block, I play music that has the same feel of the scene or chapter I am trying to create. Sitting on the sand at the beach clears my mind when I’m bogged down with too many ideas and helps me to categorize my thoughts.
Tell us about your writing process.
REcovered is my debut book and I wrote it day and night for three days. I couldn’t stop. I was visiting my favorite place in the world, Balboa Island, (which is also the setting for my series) watching the tide as the whole plot played in my mind. I rushed home to start writing and didn’t stop. When I finished writing REcovered, I closed my computer for a year. After I had my baby, I opened the computer and rediscovered REcovered, I read it, edited it and loved it, so I self published it on Amazon.
Now, I’m working on the second book, REkindled, and my process is very much the same as REcovered. So… I guess that makes me a “by seat of my pants” writer.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Before I write a scene of dialogue or an… adult scene, I play it through in my mind which, on occasion, has had me talking to my characters… out loud.
What advice would you give other writers?
Don’t force it. If you’re stuck, take a break. I’ve found when I force the writing, I hate it on the reread. Although, what I hate inspires what replaces it… hmmm. So maybe DO force it? Sometimes, I write a few paragraphs just as a place holder, to get me to the next few paragraphs. That helps me bridge scenes together.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I love the writing and creating process, I didn’t want that joy to be replaced with stress, waiting to hear if a publisher thought I was good enough.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think this is the future of book publishing. Self Publishing is a great, great thing. The hardest part is finding a way to let people know about your book.
What do you use?
What genres do you write?
Romance, Suspense, Erotica
What formats are your books in?