J.E. Rogers is a graduate of Western Connecticut State University. Infused with a reverence for life, she loves animals, and has always been especially intrigued by the unusual animals that can only be found in Australia. An avid student of every facet of the country, Rogers’ love of all things Australian has flowed into her first book. She hopes to spark an interest in young readers to the flora and fauna of Australia, while engaging them in a wildly imaginative tale of adventure. Her second book will introduce a new group of animals and places inspired by her passion for the Land Down Under.
She lives in Connecticut with her family, which includes a standard poodle named Phoebe, and a cantankerous cat named Libby.
What inspires you to write?
Inspiration is all around us; the people we meet, the places we go, our experiences on a daily basis. More than any of these, I am inspired by nature itself. It’s an awesome world out there, and there is so much I would love to see and do. There are beautiful places, and amazing animals. My deep desire is to see as much as I can. It is a privilege to be a part of it, and that privilege comes with a responsibility to care and protect it for generations to come. I hope my readers will be inspired to learn more about the world around them by reading my books.
Tell us about your writing process.
I write my ideas into blocks then use the blocks to build the story. I have been told that many writers create outlines. I don’t do that. I sort of dream the story. It runs through my mind like a movie, and then I write brief paragraphs, describing what is happening; creating a skeleton, so to speak. Then I build on that skeleton until the story is established, continually working and re-working until the story comes to life. Early on in the process, I have established the characters, imagining how the look, how they feel, how they will speak. The characters begin roaming around in my head, speaking about themselves, offering ideas, and helping me to focus. They talk to me, pointing me in the direction they want to go. I don’t argue with them.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I always listen to my characters. They are very much alive to me, and I trust them when they speak to me. They have given me their story, and I am more than willing to tell it. I tend to write my ideas, and often I will imagine what my characters would do if they were faced with the ‘idea’ that I have created. This is where a conversation with a character can become very important. If I don’t believe in them, they won’t speak to my readers either.
What advice would you give other writers?
I think the one thing that new writers need is tenacity. You have to keep trying. Depending on where you are in your writing process, whether you are in the midst of writing that book you always wanted to write, or you’re still in school studying the craft, the best advice I can give is keep at it. It’s the fire in the belly, the sense of urgency that will get you to where you want to be. Lastly, I would have to add that you must write for yourself, in other words, write about what you love, and the rest will fall into place.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I really wanted to go the traditional route, and it almost happened. I had a agent who showed interest, and I had a publisher who made an offer. The contract from the publisher was greek to me so I handed it over to an agent friend, who is a contracts expert. She called me after she reviewed the contract, and offered me two words; NO WAY. I would be giving away too many rights she said, and just not getting enough back. That’s when I decided to self-publish. For new authors, my advice would be to try to obtain an agent and/or publisher. Although it can feel like an exercise in futility, it is still a worthwhile exercise. I learned a lot during the process; writing a query letter, finding the right agents to approach, creating promo text, etc., etc. It has been quite the journey.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
This is a question that is on everyone’s radar screen, and we’re all talking about it. I don’t think traditional books will ever go away, but that may just be wishful thinking on my part. I’m not good at prognostication, but it’s safe to say that there are still changes on the horizon. What they will be is anyone’s guess. The electronic world has created a situation wherein anyone can publish. This has been a blessing and a curse rolled into one. Many critics complain that as a result of self-publishing opportunities, a lot of poorly written books are released. This may be true, but we readers must decide what is worthy and what is not by ourselves. After all, it’s a matter of opinion. What you might like, I might not. If nothing else, it will keep life interesting.
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?
I write middle grade fantasy, with an aim to educate.
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print