I am excited to feature the amazing Jina Bazzar in today’s Writers’ Corner interview. Jina’s third book, Heir of Fury (The Roxanne Fosch Files #3) was published April 29th by Shadow City, a Next Chapter imprint.
What do you love most about writing?
The ability to go places, live different lives, do things I wouldn’t, or couldn’t do, in real life, while giving readers the chance to do the same. In other words, the endless possibilities. Remember that make-believe game you played as a child and pretended to have superpowers? Or the dream you have at night of flying above the world? Or the loving soul mate you secretly wish for? I can have all that, and so much more, through my writing.
What do you think is the most difficult part about writing, and how do you motivate yourself to continue?
I think the tedious, laborious task of editing a second, third… twentieth draft is the hardest. Many times I have to put the story aside and distract myself with something else, then force myself to go back and pick up the manuscript and continue. For Heir of Ashes, the process took years to complete, but the overwhelming sense of accomplishment it gave me afterward encouraged me to keep pushing myself.
Tell us about how you came up with the idea for The Roxanne Fosch Files series!
Well, my answer here is boring at best, pathetic at worst. There wasn’t anything special about it. I didn’t dream or see it in a vision or anything. I had a vague notion of the main character and how I wanted the book, Heir of Ashes, to end, contemplated the first scene and began typing. I let the characters and oddly enough, logic, guide me. By the time I was done, I had planted the seed for the next book, Heir of Doom.
Do you consider yourself to be a traditionally published or self-published author? Tell us about your publication journey.
I do have a contract with a publishing house for the trilogy + a novella in the Roxanne Fosch Files world. Technically, that means I’m traditionally published, but personally, I think there’s a difference between big publishing houses and small presses–aside from the obvious. Let’s say, I feel I’m about halfway the point between traditionally published and self-published.
When I first finished Heir of Ashes, I began querying agents, because I thought I absolutely couldn’t do it alone. But when rejection after rejection filled my inbox, I took another look at the indie route. The agents said authors need to build a social following, to get word of the book out there before they can consider your work. So I started my blog, created a Goodreads account, intending to come back once I had all the requirements down. Then I read about beta readers, and started looking for some. By the time I had a good following and my book had been beta read, I won a developmental editing service free of charge and I thought, “Hey, I’ve done half the work already, why not self-publish?”
(And boy, was I wrong.)
So I got myself a cover designer, queried in a few early reviewers, and published my book. But it turned out that marketing was half the publishing process, and six months after Heir of Ashes was released, I sent out some queries and got myself my first publishing contract with a small publishing house, Shadow City, an imprint of Next Chapter Publishing.
It’s a strange and tough world out there right now. Do you find that the current climate helps or hinders your writing?
Mostly hinders. This extra reading and writing time everyone is talking about blew past me without a glance. With the kids home 24/7 and bored with little to do, the chaos keeps me distracted long enough that my writing took a back seat to everything else. But like a friend recently said, I have a roof over my head, food on the table, and my health is fine, so there’s no need to make life hard by complaining.
About the Author
I’m a freelance writer, a blogger, a mother, a baker, a chocolate fiend, a coffee enthusiast, and sometimes a poet. Like most writers out there, my love of books began at a young age, with comic books and alphabet poetry two of my favorite and earliest memories. My first attempt at creative writing happened during my senior year in high school, a pastime project that wasted plenty of A4 papers and the ink of multi-colored pens. Soon after graduation I developed a chronic disease that caused gradual vision loss, and during my twenties, I became blind. Reading became just a fond memory, and writing not even that. That is, until I started working for a non-profit organization for women with disabilities and became acquainted with screen readers. After I quit my job, I picked up reading with vengeance, but soon began writing, this time with an aim to pursue a career. Heir of Ashes is my debut novel, a creation born from my love of anything fairy, of action-packed stories and a touch of romance.
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