Exclusive Interview with
J. C. Seal
When did you start writing?
It started in October 2018. I’ve always loved reading, but never thought about writing before. It was triggered by a dream I couldn’t get out of my head. A switch was flipped inside my head. Suddenly all those words were there, inside me, pressing their way out. That's the reason I started writing Fallen Angels.
What makes writing your passion?
I don't do it for the money, or the fame. I write because I want to make people happy. Fallen Angels was originally written just for myself. Writing it made me happy. When it was finished, I longed to share that joy with others, so I published it, hoping that readers might have a few hours o joy reading it.
How long have you been writing?
Doing the math right, it's about one and a half years now, but it feels like ages already.
What was the feeling when you published your first book?
Elation, anxiety, a mixture of soaring the sky and wanting to dig a hole to hide inside. Fear of getting ripped apart, of people making fun of me, calling me crazy or stupid. Then, getting told: "Hey, I like your book." The worst Roller Coaster ride of my life.
What’s the story behind your choice of characters?
The writing of this book was triggered by a dream I couldn’t get out of my head after waking. A dream of a lonely man with a secret, and a woman about to discover the truth. I won’t tell more, only that the scene ended with them both hanging in the air bathed in light, Angel wings sprouting from the man’s shoulder blades. So, in a way, the dream chose my main characters. The others came along as the story evolved, just appearing inside my head, saying "Hi!"
What annoys you the most in pursuing a writing career?
I never seem to have enough time. Working (yes, I go to work to pay my bills), writing, marketing and social media. The last two take so much time, but they are inportant to get recognized. Readers can't read my book if they don't know about it. I just hate that it takes so much time away from actual writing.
How do you get over the “writer’s block”?
I don't believe in its existence. There are days when I don't write, sure, but that's okay. No reason to panic. Some scenes need to "age" inside my brain like a good whiskey, they take a few days, sometimes weeks until they are ready to get written. I use those days to read or watch TV.
We all know the writer’s path is never easy, what makes you keep going? What advice would you give to new authors?
I know I’m repeating myself here, but it can’t be said often enough. Believe in yourself, in your vision. Don’t stop writing because others tell you it’s not worth it. Don’t despair when you are smiled upon, when your “antics are tolerated”. Find the right group of people to support you, people who share your dreams, who help you make them come true. I was lucky I did.
If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, what would you say?
Nothing, because it would endanger the development of my younger self. I wouldn't be who I am now if things had gone different. So, no changes in the timeline, it's not a trip I would make.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the bad ones?
I do. The worst I got was a three-Star, that's not really bad. She had some valid points in it, too, so I tried to learn from her observations. I'm not sure if I could stomach a bad review just written out of spite, though. I guess I'd be mightily pissed.
What is the feeling when you get a good review?
Adrenline high, soaring the wind, being happy and thankful that I managed to make another reader happy. It's an indescribable feeling, knowing someone had a good time because of my work.
Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?
All my books are part me, lots of the happenings contain a hidden true story. Writing is baring your soul to strangers you will never meet.
Which of your characters you can compare yourself with? Did you base that character on you?
All my main characters are part me, too. Different aspects of me, but all hold a piece of my soul, of my personality. I didn't deliberately base them on myself, or tried to turn me into a MC, but to fill their life with experiences that ring true, part of the experience must actually contain a grain of truth.
What do you think, the book cover is as important as the story?
It is, to get the reader attracted to your book. The story might be 5-Star, but if the cover sucks, nobody will read it.
Do you connect with your readers? Do you mind having a chat with them or you prefer to express yourself through your writing?
I am present on Facebook, twitter and Instagram. If readers want to connect, they can just visit my page or profile, write a comment to my posts, or ask a question. I don't bite, so, dear readers, don't be shy, just ask.
How do you feel when people appreciate your work or recognize you in public?
Appreciate my work -splendid!
Recognized in public - hasn't happened yet...
Who is your favorite author? Why?
I can't pick one, there are so many great authors I read. Those that inspired me most when I was young were: Marion Zimmer-Bradley, Anne McCaffrey, Jean M. Auel, Dean R. Koontz, Stephen King, to name a few.
What’s the dream? Whom would you like to be as big as?
... J.K. Rowling or Stephenie Meyer...
The dream would be, to earn enough money to write full-time. Who knows... One day...
Would you rewrite any of your books? Why?
I guess I would go over Fallen Angels again, to get a few small kinks out that slipped through my fingers. But all in all, no. After professional editing, there should be no serious issues left that would require rewriting it.
If you could switch places with any author – who would that be?
Really switch places - no thanks, I like who I am.
What would you say to the “trolls” on the internet? We all know them – people who like to write awful reviews to books they’ve never read or didn’t like that much, just to annoy the author.
Poor, lost souls, thriving on making others miserable. I feel sorry for them.
What would you say to your readers?
Enjoy reading my books. Please leave an honest review on a platform of your choice after reading. It doesn't have to be a 5-Star, so don't worry about that. Just be honest. It doesn't have to be long, either. A simple "I had a good time reading this book" is enough to give us authors the boost we need to carry on writing.
Share a bit about yourself – where do you live, are you married, do you have kids?
My pen name is Janina Carol (J.C.) Seal. I’m 48 years old. I live in Germany, in a small townhouse, with my husband, daughter and tomcat.
What is your day job if you have one?
I work part-time as a lab technician in cancer research.
What are your hobbies? What do you do in your free time?
Writing, reading, gardening, remodeling the house.
Did you have a happy childhood?
Yes, I did.
Is there a particular experience that made you start writing?
I guess I already answered that somewhere above.
Do you have unpublished books? What are they about?
I have three WIPs in the pipeline right now. The most advanced with 20k words is about a cursed human Archaeology Professor who gets drawn into the Angels-and-Demons world when trying to puzzle out what ails her.
What do you think should be improved in the education of our children? What do we lack?
I better not answer that question, it would probably exceed the permitted amount of words for this interview.
If you were allowed 3 wishes – what would they be?
Health and happiness for me and all my family and friends, better for the whole world :-)
For me, enough money to write full-time.
What is your favorite music?
Nothing specific. I go with the time and listen to the charts.
Share a secret with us 🙂
I'm an introvert. I don't like crowds. I'm rather emotional, so, if I call you a friend, it has a special meaning. There are not many given that title, but if so, distance, or even having met in person isn't relevant.