About J.B. Stilwell:
I’m a paranormal romance/thriller novelist who was born and raised in the Huntington, West Virginia area. My series, The Mountain State Vampire Series, is set in West Virginia with an emphasis on Appalachian culture with a paranormal twist.
I’m eclectic and have diverse interests, which show in my writing. I have a degree in Sociology in which my studies focused on crime/deviant behavior for undergrad and race/gender relations in post-grad. I love to travel, particularly to India, and my varied experiences around the world are woven into my stories.
Aside from writing, I love to read (J.R. Ward is one of my favorites!), listen to music, watch good TV/movies, crochet and above all else, spend time with family and friends. As I often say when introducing myself–Mom. Writer. Crafter. BtVS. Enough said. 🙂
(for those of you who are not in the know–BtVS=Buffy the Vampire Slayer, as in the TV show; go, watch it)
What inspires you to write?
My life experiences and what I observe of those around me are what inspires me most. When I first started writing, it was about self-preservation. I live with various mental illness, including bipolar disorder, anxiety, and PTSD. My struggles with depression began at an early age. Growing up, you didn’t talk about such things, so I kept it inside and tried to cope the best way I knew how. Since I felt like I couldn’t talk to anyone, I wrote. The subjects were often dark and violent, but it allowed me to expel the thoughts that were plaguing my mind. I’ve said many times that in doing that, writing saved my life.
Tell us about your writing process.
I write a couple of different ways depending on the project. With “The Source,” I had been mentally envisioning the story for a long time, so when it was time to write, I just sat down and wrote it. With “Mining the Dark,” I made an outline primarily composed of the main events I wanted to capture in the story. My outlines tends to be very sparse, with the most basic information. For the most part, my writing happens when something strikes me, and I put my fingers on the keyboard. Many times, things happen in my books that shock even me! I often feel like some energy in the universe is using me to channel its stories–I act as a conduit for storytelling.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
YES. And sometimes they won’t leave me alone. As I stated before, sometimes I feel that it’s not even my story–I’m telling it for someone else, and s/he is guiding me as to what happens.
What advice would you give other writers?
Don’t listen to others, including that negative voice inside telling you that you can’t do it. You CAN and you WILL. Don’t wait for “inspiration to hit;” sit down and write. Just do it. Now. And tomorrow. And the next day. Don’t stop.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
Independent publishing caught my attention when I was working at Amazon. As I learned more about the process, I decided to go in that direction rather than solicit a traditional publisher. I’m so glad I did, but I won’t lie, it’s a LOT of work. That’s why for my second editions and new books I’m going the team publishing route with Booktrope Publishing.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
The future is limitless. Actually, the only limitation is your imagination–in both technology and writing.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Paranormal fiction
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.