You can’t write or create for other people because then their approval becomes everything and that is exhausting. I would love to know that my stories made others laugh or cry and that they’ve enjoyed them, but I write what is inside of me.
J.Q. Anderson – 28 January 2016
The Back Flap
Meet Jake and Natalia.
Jake was once a water polo Olympic Gold Medal Winner.
Now he is an Escort. The lucky few women he selects as clients pay small fortunes for a weekend with Jake.
Natalia just graduated from culinary school in Buenos Aires. She works the ski season in Aspen. She needs the money.
The moment they meet a sudden attraction grips them.
It can’t be: She’s engaged. He’s a hooker.
A story about passion, deception and what lies hidden in the darkest corners of love.
About the book
What is the book about?
Intercepted is the story of two people who thought they had love figured out, but fate got in their way and took them in an unexpected direction. It is a love story about finding that deeper connection that shakes our world upside down.
When did you start writing the book?
I started this story last summer (2015). I was in the process of editing another novel (Kings of Midnight) and it was taking a while. My brain needed a creative escape. So I put the other novel aside for a bit and wrote something new!
How long did it take you to write it?
About two months. Once I started, I couldn’t stop until it was finished. I wanted to see how the story would turn out!
Where did you get the idea from?
It just came to me as I was swimming one day. I get lots of ideas all the time. I wanted to write about the kind of love that hits you like a freight train. Relationships today seem so superficial, people only go so far and don’t seem to ever explore their own feelings beyond that point. Falling hard for someone is risky and scary and when things don’t work out it hurts. I feel like most people don’t want to go there, so they stay in the surface.
Were there any parts of the book where you struggled?
Writing about breakups is always hard because I go into my own feelings and experiences when somebody has hurt me, or life slapped me. It has to be genuine, and for that I feel like I have to dig deep. While I write those scenes I am in a somber mood and don’t feel like interacting much with other people. It makes me feel sad, but the results are so much better when I allow myself to go there.
What came easily?
The snarky sense of humor of the characters, I guess, and their inner thoughts. That is the way I am as a person, and my characters always have a little bit of me in one way or another.
Are your characters entirely fictitious or have you borrowed from real world people you know?
There is always a piece of one or multiple people, even other fictitious characters in every person I create. They have their own soul entirely, but when you read books with powerful characters it triggers personality traits that remain. It inspires me to shape a character a certain way.
We all know how important it is for writers to read. Are there any particular authors that have influenced how you write and, if so, how have they influenced you?
At the top of my list are Carlos Ruiz Zafón (El Juego del Ángel), and Jorge Fernandez Díaz (El Puñal), for fiction that takes you to another world. As far as contemporary romance authors, I like many from the U.S. like Colleen Hoover or Stephenie Meyer. I have favorites according to the genre. My likes are very diverse. I read one or the other depending on what I enjoy, but also what I think I need to learn. Reading is a great way to grow as an author. Stephenie Meyer (Twilight) is incredible at descriptions of settings and character physical reactions. I have learned a ton from reading her. Colleen Hoover (Slammed) is great at making a deep emotional connection. She can make me laugh and cry in the same sentence. E.L. James (Fifty Shades of Grey) is great at showing the character’s inner thoughts and has a great sense of humor.
Do you have a target reader?
I write the stories that I personally would like to read. Some readers are diverse, like me, and others have a favorite genre and stay within those lines. My target reader is a smart one that enjoys taking a break and having fun, but also likes to connect with the characters and the story on a deeper level.
Do you have a writing process? If so can you please describe it?
I go with an idea and start writing. Then I stop and think where I want the story to go and shape it loosely. I want the characters to have a say on what happens and not force them to follow a certain path. The story has to flow and it shouldn’t go against the character’s personality. I edit as I go, then once I am finished I edit the story as a whole, to make sure it all goes together. Then I let it rest and edit it again.
Do you outline? If so, do you do so extensively or just chapter headings and a couple of sentences?
I outline very loosely. Enough to not stress about having a plot that makes sense, but not too much that the characters will be forced into a specific direction.
Do you edit as you go or wait until you’ve finished?
I edit as I go, then again once I am finished. Many times the editing phase is when the real story comes out because you have to re-think things until they become real and they make sense as a whole.
Did you hire a professional editor?
My editor is a personal friend and I have a great relationship with her because she gets me, but also is not afraid to tell me when things are not working. If I didn’t have her, I would definitely hire someone. It is essential to have some balance and get perspective.
Do you listen to music while you write? If yes, what gets the fingers tapping?
I like things quiet when I write. But I think a lot about writing throughout the day, especially when I go out running. I listen to very diverse music and it often triggers my best ideas. I listen to everything, from Latin rock to British bands and classic or 80s tunes. I love the Wombats, The Cure and Andrés Calamaro.
Did you submit your work to Agents?
I did send my early work to some agents and I received great feedback. I didn’t like the fact that the decisions to publish were so impending of whatever is selling at the moment. I don’t want someone else to tell me what I need to write in order for my story to be successful. You can’t write or create for other people because then their approval becomes everything and that is exhausting. I would love to know that my stories made others laugh or cry and that they’ve enjoyed them, but I write what is inside of me.
What made you decide to go Indie, whether self-publishing or with an indie publisher? Was it a particular event or a gradual process?
My first draft of Kings of Midnight (the novel I am about to publish) received an award from an agent at a writing conference and that opened a lot of doors. I am not against publishing traditionally at all, but I am a business owner when I am not writing, so the whole idea of creating my own brand was familiar and something I knew I could do. I am having fun building my profile as a new author, but if things ever change and going with a publisher makes sense I would explore that. I know what I want, but I am also flexible and open minded when it comes to business.
Did you get your book cover professionally done or did you do it yourself?
I hired a professional, but I had a lot of influence on the design. She helped me put it all together and the result was 100% what I wanted.
Do you have a marketing plan for the book or are you just winging it?
I am learning what works and what doesn’t. I am trying things like campaigns on Amazon and Facebook ads, and change tactics according to the results, but I always have something moving. I think that is essential. My main focus at the moment is my next novel, but I don’t lose sight of sales.
Any advice that you would like to give to other newbies considering becoming Indie authors?
Work hard and stay true to what you want to write, and don’t be discouraged when others don’t like it. Some people will and others won’t and you can’t control that. When somebody sends you a note saying they LOVED your story, it will make you smile and you’ll know people out there will enjoy your work. But it has to make YOU happy. That is the whole point. As far as getting your work out there, connect with other authors and listen to what they have to say. Authors are great at sharing. I have gotten lots of help from experienced professionals and it opened my eyes to so much.
Where did you grow up?
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Where do you live now?
San Diego, California
What would you like readers to know about you?
I am a professional translator, and own my own business. I am also a wife and mother of three amazing kids. I love writing and I am so stoked I found such a deep passion that I can share with others. My other passion is cooking, which I enjoy every day!
What are you working on now?
I went back to my original novel, Kings of Midnight. I want to publish it by spring. It is the first of a two-book saga. The second book is also almost finished. After that, I have a very different fiction novel in the works about trafficking. It is darker, but I hope it will be a compelling story that will show the readers what trafficked women endure and how many of them there are everywhere.
End of Interview: