About JM Stewart:
JM Stewart writes passionate, heartfelt contemporary romance. She’s a wife, a mother, a spiritualist, and lover of puppies, and happily addicted to coffee and chocolate. She lives in the rainy Pacific Northwest with her husband, two sons, and two very spoiled dogs. She’s a hopeless romantic who believes everybody should have their happily-ever-after and has been devouring romance novels for as long as she can remember. Writing them has become her obsession.
What inspires you to write?
Gosh, this is a hard question. Life? People? I’m a people watcher by nature, and I have a vivid imagination. I love sitting and just watching people, imagining what their lives are like, etc. I’m also a romantic. I adore the process of falling in love.
Tell us about your writing process.
I’m a bit of a hybrid. For the most part, I’m a ‘seat of the pants’ writer, but I need a few things before I can actually start a book. I need the characters first and foremost. Then I need to know who they are, deep down, or at least some semblance of it. I need to know what my premise is and at least a couple of scenes. Aka, I need to know about where I’m going, otherwise I’m just drifting aimlessly. I mean, my brain goes everywhere with a possible plot, and knowing my characters wants and needs helps me to settle on one particular direction. Then I just let my characters take over and tell me their story. But I don’t write anything down beforehand. It’s all just in my head and most of it comes from the characters, so my stories are always character centered, rather than plot.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Are there writers who don’t?! lol Seriously, yes. All the time. They come to me at night while I sleep. Or while I’m showering. Or doing laundry. Or watching TV. Sometimes, when I get stuck on a story, I’ll open a document and have a conversation with them. How do you interact with your characters while you are writing? I always listen to my characters. My plots are always guided by them. I consider this their story, so I let them tell it. I consider myself more of a secretary. I like to say I just take dictation. lol
What advice would you give other writers?
These days, publishing is easier than ever and the market is flooded. So forget trends and write what you love. I think it shows. When I read, I can tell a writer who loves the story they told…or a writer who wrote it because it was popular. You can feel the “heart” of a book. Or maybe I’m just weird. lol The books that touch me are the ones I tell people about.
Also, it’s never too early to start on social marketing. Start a Facebook or Twitter profile now. Let people in on our process. On who you are.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I’ve always known I wanted to publish traditionally. I want to end up on store shelves some day and that requires the big publishers. These days, self publishing is easier than it used to be, but there are still a lot of variables. Frankly, I like that I don’t have to pay for a good editor or a fantastic cover. I just don’t have the knack for all the kind of detail and I’m lazy. All I really want to do is write. lol
I personally started with small press, because small presses are more likely to give a first time author a chance. Bigger publishers have their set ideas about what they want and what sells, so it’s harder to get in with one. You can start building your readership with a small press.
What would I advise new authors to explore? Everything. Do your homework and research the methods that are out there and decide what’s for you.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think we’re seeing it. Self publishing is easier than ever and it’s on the rise, but readers also want quality books. Not just a book thrown together. I think digital is here to stay, because buying a book is now as easy as downloading it onto your phone. But I don’t think physical books will ever die. Readers (me included) still love holding that physical book in their hands. Personally, I have an e-reader, though, because I’m getting older and my eyes are going. Those small prints on physical books are just too hard to read. An e-reader allows me to adjust the font size.
What genres do you write?: Contemporary romance, Contemporary erotic romance
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.