Exclusive Interview with

JD Penley

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When did you start writing?

I started writing back in 2018 as a way to deal with alot of things that were happening in my life.

JD Penley
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What makes writing your passion?

I get enjoyment from creating characters and worlds for them to explore. There is no better feeling than finding that groove and having the character lead you where the story goes.

JD Penley
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How long have you been writing?

Almost 3 years now.

JD Penley
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What was the feeling when you published your first book?

Excitement, terror, pride, and sadness.

JD Penley
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What’s the story behind your choice of characters?

The characters from my first book came about as an answer to typical vampire tropes. I got tired of the sullen, brooding, emo and whiny vampires, or the stereotypical monsters. I wanted to do for vampires what Stan Lee did for me with superheroes. Stan Lee made Spider-Man someone I could relate to, and so I wanted my character Lucas to do the same.

JD Penley
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What annoys you the most in pursuing a writing career?

The amount of work it takes to get your work noticed, to be successful. It seems like its more work promoting the books than it is to write them.

JD Penley
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How do you get over the “writer’s block”?

I've gotten lucky so far, and I haven't experienced that yet. My plan though, would be to go out and enjoy time with my family, to go and just enjoy the world around me and take it all in. I've found that ideas have come to me in the car, out in a park, or even at work.

JD Penley
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We all know the writer’s path is never easy, what makes you keep going? What advice would you give to new authors?

My drive to keep going is in part due to several different factors. I want to grow as a writer, and be successful to a point where I can transition away from a 9-5 job and focus only on writing. I want to provide a good life for my family, not just survive paycheck to paycheck. Lastly, I want to show others that this is an obtainable goal, so in line with the advice for new authors....NEVER GIVE UP. Find your story, tell it, and make yourself a part of it.

JD Penley
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If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, what would you say?

Avoid your first marriage at all costs, marry that girl that got away (which I actually ended up doing after all) and start writing sooner. I'd tell him all about my successes, and how to make things work, and I'd also tell him to invest in crypto currency early...lol

JD Penley
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Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the bad ones?

I do read them, and I enjoy hearing about people's thoughts on my work. I have gotten lucky and have had a "bad" review, but I would listen to what they have to say and not take it personal. My stories may not be for everyone, but for those that enjoy them, it fills me with joy to hear about it!

JD Penley
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What is the feeling when you get a good review?

I'm over the moon! It feels good to be validated by a reader, to know that my work touched them in some way.

JD Penley
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Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?

I have actually in a small way. I've created characters based on my daughter, my wife, and friends, as well as giving my main character parts of my life in a way.

JD Penley
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Which of your characters you can compare yourself with? Did you base that character on you?

Lucas was a part of me as well as a range of emotions I was dealing with at the time.

JD Penley
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What do you think, the book cover is as important as the story?

The cover tells a story before the book is even opened. I think for fiction it has to get your attention and pull you in before you even look to see if you might be interested in the story.

JD Penley
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Do you connect with your readers? Do you mind having a chat with them or you prefer to express yourself through your writing?

I love talking to them. I have a group on Facebook for the fans of my author page where I post giveaways and book promos I do with other authors, and fans can message me for a chat from there as well.

JD Penley
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How do you feel when people appreciate your work or recognize you in public?

I love when people appreciate my work, but I haven't gotten big enough to be recognized in public.

JD Penley
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Who is your favorite author? Why?

Favorite author is probably Drew Karpyshyn. Loved his work on KOTOR and Mass Effect as well.

JD Penley
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What’s the dream? Whom would you like to be as big as?

I want to be bigger than J.K. Rowling.

JD Penley
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Would you rewrite any of your books? Why?

I actually rewrote my first novel after 2 years. It had sat stagnant and the cover needed a facelift. I ripped the book into two separate novels (book 2 is actually coming out very soon) and just poured through it to make it even better.

JD Penley