Exclusive Interview with

SJ Wilke

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When did you start writing?

I have stories I wrote as a child. However, my first serious endeavor was started in 2010. I've always had an active imagination. Being a reserved person, writing stories was my way of dealing with the world.

SJ Wilke
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What makes writing your passion?

I love to tell stories. Writing also allows me to do all the things I can't do in real life. I can be as dark as I want. Fall in love as many times as I want. And travel the universe. I can defy the laws of nature and physics.

SJ Wilke
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How long have you been writing?

I can't tell you. It's impolite to ask a woman how old she is.

SJ Wilke
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What was the feeling when you published your first book?

TADA. Where's the news crew? Spread the word. I think I still have that feeling even after 18 books.

SJ Wilke
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What’s the story behind your choice of characters?

I like taking a normal, average woman, then giving her some normal ability that she uses in an extraordinary way. I like the underdog that learns, grows, and comes out strong.

SJ Wilke
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What annoys you the most in pursuing a writing career?

Advertising. How do you get the word out when you're a starving artist? I can sit down and write a novel in a month, but I find it difficult to write a paragraph of marketing material.

SJ Wilke
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How do you get over the “writer’s block”?

Go do something else. My mind wanders all the time. Going for a walk or taking out my kayak gets the creative juices flowing.

SJ Wilke
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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?

The one thing that I did that helped me tremendously was to offer the books for free on a site that allowed the user to interact with me. For one year, I made my "fans" push me to pump out material. I was posting a chapter almost every day and getting feed back. This support was tremendous.

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

Never look back. Just keep going.

SJ Wilke
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Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the bad ones?

I love book reviews, good or bad. I get insight from even the bad ones. I love it when someone finds a typo or a continuity issue. I even rearranged the chapters in one book because of reader feedback. It made the book better.

SJ Wilke
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What is the feeling when you get a good review?

It depends on what they say. "I loved the book" is different from someone giving me a synopsis that shows not only did they read the book, but they got it... they understood some of the intricacies I wove into the story. Those are the greatest reviews.

SJ Wilke
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Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?

All the time. There is the advice to write what you now... but then stretch it a little to make it interesting. I have some psychology training which allows me to nail personalities.

SJ Wilke
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Which of your characters you can compare yourself with? Did you base that character on you?

Seroje: The Seeing Eye is about an autistic woman. I am also autistic, very much like Seroje, but without all the cool abilities like the photographic memory. I think she's even a better shot than I am.

SJ Wilke
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What do you think, the book cover is as important as the story?

People do get snared by snapping looking covers. All of my covers are original art. I don't mean just an original cover. The art of my covers are actual paintings created just for my books.

SJ Wilke
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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 will always chat with readers. I've received facebook posts, emails, and posts from platforms. I am more than willing to have a conversation.

SJ Wilke
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How do you feel when people appreciate your work or recognize you in public?

Ha. Ha. I've never been called out in publish. I love it when people have actually purchased a book and want to talk to me about it. I don't have a public image. At the moment, I'm in a small town, and no one knows where I am.

SJ Wilke