Hey, J.M., thanks for joining me for today’s Author Q and A.
Okay, Let’s jump right into it!
You have written so many books and novellas up to this point. Thinking back to your very first, what inspired you to write?
I’ve written all my life, since I was eight and had creative writing in school. I wrote the worst poem known to the literary world, but later won an award for stories. Yet the moment I knew I didn’t want to do anything else was when I was thirteen and I read Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs. I gotten into Kesey, Kerouac, Ginsberg and the Beat Writers/Poets. I read Naked Lunch a 1950s junkie novel, the frenetic energy, the rawness and all, I said I wanted to write that.
It resonated with my brain, it was around that time that I started dealing with Mental Illness. It made me not feel so weird and that probably makes me weird. I never anticipated writing romance, but my Body Positivity philosophy made me want to write romance for all body types, shapes and sizes. Readers seeing themselves in my books is what keeps me going, while I write my weirdness in the background.
I never read a story about a trans character before, at least not as a main character, what inspired you to make that choice?
Transgender Men are shown in MM Romance, but what I saw of Transwomen in the romance genre were a lot of stereotypical fetishization stories. I’m not saying that’s all you can find in Trans Romance, but a good portion of it is. I wanted to write stories that put Trans Women in the starring roles where they can get those HEAs their cisgender sisters get so easily. The news and statistics show that Transwomen are vulnerable to violence. So for me, showing my Trans Sisters finding their happily ever after’s in a respectful and positive way was natural for me. It goes with my Body Positive/Diverse beliefs. Every Body is Worthy of Love and Respect.
Can you share briefly what your writing process is like?
Writing for me is a part of my routine. I do forty-five minute sprints throughout the day. Sometimes writing up to ten hours a day. Strict schedules work well for me when writing and I rarely give myself a deadline only because I tend to work on several projects at once and publish whatever is finished first.
Do you have any advice for first time novelists?
This might be controversial advice, but right what you love and avoid the trends. I find that once you start writing to market you’re locked into that by readers. To me I believe readers can tell when you’re forcing a story you’re not feeling. Being different isn’t easy, it’s a lot of taking hits to your pride, but in the end I’d prefer to write something unique every time than write the same book on repeat. Trends come and go, what’s popular today might be totally ignored tomorrow. So, as I said, write what you love. Write your passion.
Ok, ok enough of all the serious stuff. What’s your favorite color?
Outside of romance, what is your favorite genre to read?
To be honest, and I’ll probably hear the collective gasps, but I don’t read a lot of romance. I write the romance I want to read. I’m typically Urban Fantasy, Horror or Nonfiction. My weakness for political science is ridiculous.
If Claiming Whisper was an ice cream flavor which would it be?
Something coffee flavored.
What was your proudest moment when you were 5 years old?
I barely remember what I did yesterday much less when I was five. So I have no idea.
If you had a super power, what would it be?
Not having to sleep. At this point in history, sleep should be voluntary.
Where would you visit that you haven’t already gone?
There’s a ton of places I wanted to visit, but I think the one I want to see the most is Ireland.
What pizza topping do you hate?
Green peppers and Onions, pizza or not, they’re not my favorite.
Alright now, one last question before we wrap it up. Are you working on anything that my friends and I can look forward to?
I have so many stories in the works under J.M. Dabney and my alter ego, Siobhan Smile. I’m back in my Powers Universe, Masiello Brothers, and Yuri Sorenson Mysteries with J.M. Dabney. Siobhan has some Daddy/Mommy stories along with some Domestic Discipline stories coming. There’s so much I can’t really say what’s coming out next.
Thanks so much, J.M., for taking the time to answer a few of my questions! And to all of my friends out there, be sure to check back for more Author Q and A sessions in Cozy Carter Chats!