January 23, 2012

Writer Wrangler: J.R. Pearse Nelson

J.R. Pearse Nelson

Why write a novella series instead of full-length novels?
First of all, I want to thank the Talk Supe contributors for inviting me to take part in this interview! The truth is, I’ve written several full-length novels as well, but nothing I’m ready to publish yet. Queen Witch – the first book in a trilogy about a family of witches serving an immortal who does not have their best interests at heart – will be out by the fall, and will be my first published novel. It’s also urban fantasy, with just a hint of romance. One of the exciting opportunities self-publishing provides is the ability to publish different lengths of work, and cross genres. When I wrote Tribute in 2008, I didn’t try to force a particular length. I was surprised that it came out novella length. I actually put it on the shelf for that reason. Although Tribute was the first thing I wrote that I considered publishable quality, I didn’t feel comfortable approaching publishers or agents with a novella as a first-time author. When I finished Tribute, I knew I needed to write a sequel featuring Alise and Drake, supporting characters in Tribute. One scene that I cut from Tribute had these two together, and I loved the firecrackers.
What or who inspired the Sidhe?
Ooh, I didn’t make them up. They’re for real. In Irish mythology, anyway. In pre-Christian times, belief in the Sidhe was part of the daily life and lore of Ireland and Scotland; they’re also seen as descendants of the early agricultural gods, with power to aid or destroy mankind and his efforts. My series explores the conflict that is introduced when an old enemy (the Fomorii, also from Irish lore) threatens the Sidhe, and factions develop among the Sidhe to support or menace the half-humans. In terms of my inspiration for writing about them, I was reading a book on Irish mythology and ran across Aengus, the Irish love god. I thought: What would it be like to be the half-human daughter of a god who can seduce with a single glance? Hazel, the heroine from Tribute, was born.
How many novellas are you planning to write for the series?
There are six books in the series. Right now I’m writing Flight, the third book in the series. I promise at least two Children of the Sidhe books by the end of 2012, and the other two will likely come in 2013.
You're a blogger too, did the blog come before or after Tribute?
I wrote Tribute in 2008, so the blog came much later. I started blogging when I made the firm decision to devote more time to writing, and to self-publish my work. Through blogging, I’ve built a supportive network that helps me stay accountable and on track. That’s one thing that’s lacking when you’re beholden only to yourself for the entire process. No one breathes down your neck about deadlines, and sometimes that sort of pressure can help – for me, at least. When I put my goals and updates about them out there on the Internet, I find it easier to follow through and put writing first. The friends I’ve made through blogging, the writing challenge Round of Words in 80 days, and social networking have made writing even more FUN for me. Gotta love that!
Valentine's is coming up in a couple of weeks, aside from Tribute, what's your favorite romantic series?
It is really hard to choose one favorite series! I love series in general. It’s a sure way to hook me to tell me there’s a second book. I’ll always read it – sometimes even if I didn’t like the first book. But in answer to your question about romance…Johanna Lindsey’s historical romance series were favorites when I was a girl, and probably what led to a fascination with exploring different supporting characters in their own books. More recently, Anne Bishop’s Tir Alainn Trilogy had me engrossed for all three books in a row, and then I mourned the end of the series. That one features the Fae and witches, so of course I had to read it. Karen Marie Moning has also been a recent favorite, specifically her highlanders. Whoa.
As an Indie writer, what are the major challenges that you face? How do you handle your critics?
The major challenge is getting my book seen by readers who would be interested in it. I need to find places where readers gather, and introduce my work. Book bloggers are wonderful resources in this regard, as they’re often readers’ trusted source for the scoop on new books to read. (Thank you again, Talk Supe, for hosting me today, this is exactly what I’m talking about!) As for criticism, I’ve always been able to take writing criticism to heart, while not letting it affect my confidence. That’s probably due to my day job, where I both write and edit articles and reports on a daily basis. I’ve built up a thick skin when it comes to the red pen, or to answering questions and criticisms of my work. When it comes to my fiction, I’ve found criticism I’ve received from readers valuable in improving my craft. This is only the beginning, and I like to hear what readers think about the work I’ve published so far.

J.R. Pearse Nelson is an indie author of fantasy and paranormal romance. Her work is fast-paced, adventurous, and sometimes dark. Her novellas, Tribute and Vessel, are the first two books in the Children of the Sidhe series. While the genre of these novellas is paranormal romance, J.R. doesn't limit her reading or writing to one type of fantasy. She loves it all, from the epics to the dark beasties to the mythological, sociological side. An urban fantasy novel and two more Children of the Sidhe novellas are in the works for 2012.

J.R. is a native Oregonian, living in the beautiful Portland area. She lives with her husband, two small daughters and the family dog. Self-publishing is the realization of J.R.'s life-long dream to write fiction for an audience.

You can connect with J.R. online at her blog, twitter, and Goodreads. Visit 

Thanks again Ms. Nelson for guesting with us and yup, you're right about KMM's Highlanders, it does make us want to wear tartans and kilts. 

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