Good morning, bloggers!!
Welcome to another edition of Featured Guests Interviews!! Today, we have JH Champine. A talented author that is definitely worth checking out! We’re going to dive into her thoughts on writing, characters, and her debut novel–AN UNUSUAL PATH. So sit back, relax, and enjoy…………
1) You have been writing since you were a child. What were some of your first ideas?
I was always the kid who put a twist on a story, or even a simple question. Once in elementary school, probably around Halloween, we were asked to write about what we would do with a pet spider. I wrote that I would probably kill it because I hate bugs, and my teacher wasn’t happy. Oh well. I still remember one of the first real original stories I wrote for a contest when I was about 12. It was a mystery (one of my favorite genres as a kid), about a family who moved into an old house filled with mysterious noises. They searched and searched for the source of the noise until they found a padlocked door hidden under the carpet. The story ended with the couple standing over it, deciding whether or not to open it, while something starts banging from the other side. Someday I might finish that story. We’ll see.
2) When did you decide to pursue a career as an author?
The story that became An Unusual Path has been in my head for a long time. Years. I had these two characters living in my brain long before I ever named them Jack and Amy. I finally reached a point where I had to get them out and tell their story or my head was going to explode. Jack and Amy fought their way to freedom.
3) What inspires your writing?
I love a good conversation. Some of my favorite moments have been sitting with friends over a bottle of wine and just talking for hours while losing track of time. I try to bring that to my writing, especially in witty banter. In An Unusual Path, the exchanges between Jack and Katie were so fun to write, and I can only hope my readers enjoy them as much as I do.
4) What part of writing do you find most exhilarating? Most difficult?
I am always thrilled to see a story come together. There’s something about that moment when you finally visualize what a character is going to do next, or what they’ll say in a certain situation. So many people grab a little notebook in those moments. I tend to grab my phone and send texts or emails to myself. It may sound silly, but it works.
The most difficult part of writing for me is simply finding the time to write. No matter how hard I try to carve out a chunk of time to sit and pound some pages out, it never fails that I get interrupted. Welcome to life with a family.
5) What has been your biggest accomplishment as a writer?
It may sound so little and simple, but I cried when I sold my first book. It became available online late in the evening, and I texted a friend who has been so supportive of me. He wrote back, “That’s so exciting! I just ordered it!”, and I sat there in shock. Their copy was the first one I signed, sitting in their kitchen, and I’m so glad they got to be the first.
6) Please entice the readers with some details on what they will find in your novel, An Unusual Path.
I don’t want to give away too much- for the good stuff you’ve got to read the book! In An Unusual Path, readers will meet two best friends, Amy and Jack. They have been incredibly tight since childhood, and while they live in different cities they are still inseparable. Now in their 30’s, living and loving life, they just start to feel like they’ve settled into a good place when something unthinkable happens. How will they get through it? Can they pick up the pieces?
7) What do you hope your readers experience from this debut novel?
My hope is that as readers are traveling down An Unusual Path (yes, that pun was intended), that they will both laugh and cry. The story has it’s ups and downs, just like life. The characters will laugh and cry themselves, and I hope the readers go through those emotions with them.
8) Tell us about the process of creating your characters.
The more I dug into the characters, the better I got to know them. Some days I would be out running errands, then suddenly overhear a conversation and immediately think, “That’s totally something Jack would say!” Incorporating those little details helped me really dig into them, and allowed me to really think about what they would do in certain situations.
9) What do you think makes you stand out from other authors?
All I can do is try to tell a good story. If a reader loves it, I’ve done my job. I think if I worry too much about standing out, it can distract from what’s important. To me, the people who stand out the most are the ones who try to the least. Hopefully my book will speak for itself.
10) What advice would you give an aspiring author?
Tell your story! Don’t be afraid, or worry it’s going to suck, or any of that mess. If you’ve got something to say, chances are there is someone out there who can’t wait to hear it. Start out by just getting the raw material down on paper- “making it pretty” will come. But tell the story. Know that really getting it to a place that you’re happy with can take some time, but it’s absolutely worth it. That first time someone says to you, “I loved your book!” will make it all worthwhile, and leave you with a smile that you can’t wipe off your face.
11) What can we expect next from you?
I am already working on my second novel, which I am really excited to delve into. There are also plans to reformat an old blog of mine into a third book, so stay tuned!
12) Where do you hope to see yourself in 5 years?
Ah, the dreaded question! We are never done answering this question, are we? (I’m chuckling, of course!) I guess my hope for 5 years from now is to have readers that are eagerly anticipating my next book. How many I will have written between now and then has yet to be determined, but my dream would be to have a solid fan base of readers who love my work, I love them for their support, and simply can’t wait to write for them. If I can treat them as well as they’ve treated me, life is good.
13) Is there anything else you would like to add for our readers?
I just want to say thank you for all of your kind words about An Unusual Path. Every time someone says how excited they are to read it or how much they loved it, it really does make my day. If you love it, tell a friend. That’s all I can ask.
Did you enjoy meeting JH Champine? Curious about her book? You can find this talented lady and her awesome book at the links below.
Until next time………………………………………Happy Reading!!!