#DreamTeam Interview Date 2/23

Hello out there, and good evening!

The Dream Team panel discussion with the characters and writer of the Dream Series will be released on 2/23! I also have a special surprise for all you Dreamers, so stay tuned! It’s gonna be good! 🙂

 

A Journey in Writing Part 1

A Journey in Writing Part 1

I’ve wanted to be a writer since I could hold a pencil, before I even knew what the alphabet was I would just draw scribbles on every blank page I could find.  It was a compulsion to mark the page. When I was five or six I visited an office with my parents, and saw a woman behind a desk using a typewriter, and I lost my entire little mind! I couldn’t sit still, I needed to be closer to see what she was doing, and then of course I wanted to do it, too.  I got a whipping for not sitting down when I was told to, but I thought it was totally worth it to see that miracle called a typewriter.

It would take me a decade to get a typewriter of my own, and it was the most expensive thing I had ever owned. The value of the stories I could tell juxtaposed against that cost twisted me up for a very long time.  I wrote in high school, but gave it up for more practical things because the world wore me down.  Looking back at my yearbook stories and my newspaper stories I was so cynical that it burns me now to see it.  I can’t remember being that person, and I am glad about that.  I understand better now what my acidic tones and snappy wit was covering up.

What does a dream cost, and when is the price too high? Without ever really asking that question I decided it was all too high, and packed it in while still going through the motions with deadlines and stories that filled the page, but left me empty on the inside.  Then life, and the real world spun out around me.  It would be six years before I tried again, called back to worship the blank page,  and partake of the holy experience of writing in the slim light of my room and the wee hours of the morning.

I found that notebook the other day, but I haven’t been able to look at yet. The reflection I might see there makes me hesitate.  I will soon, and if I find anything worth sharing I will do so here.

So, fast forward from 1995 to 2013, and I tried once again to do what I had always longed to do.  Write.  That was the goal at first, to just fucking write.  Something, anything, everything, never mind if it sucks.  Just write something to fill this empty hole in me left by a dream abandoned in another life.

I started with fanfiction because, honestly, I just needed more Eric Northman in life.  I was insatiable.  From the show True Blood, to the SVM series, to all the incredible fanfiction written by masters,  I could not get enough, so, I started writing my own. I spent three years remembering what I had forgotten, and learning even more in a world that could never be mine, but I was writing, and even if it was bad writing, and I don’t think it was, I felt so fucking ALIVE. Like never before, ever.  Writing was the itch I could never reach fully satisfied, and I was so incredibly happy for the first time in my life I could barely contain myself.

I was a month in when I realized that all my failed relationships were because I had been trying to substitute one kind of  love for another, and that no one person could ever be the universe I truly needed. It was too much to ask or expect when what I truly wanted was to scribble on the page, and split myself apart to find the pieces that cut and the pieces that loved and give them a life of their own.  Writing is the holiest of loves to me, and all I needed was the strength to bleed out onto the page and tell stories.

I tried to share that incredible feeling with the people in my life.  I mean, just sit down and talk about how good it felt, and how it topped every experience I had ever had up to that point in my life, and I was rejected by all of them.  They didn’t get it.  The kind of feeling I was describing left them berating me for spending my time alone rather than with them, and they ganged up on me in packs to tell me that I was getting too big of a head, thinking I was all that, but I wasn’t.  I was just incredibly happy, joyous even.  Until that moment I had not fully realized how many people want you to not be happy.

I don’t know if it’s because they aren’t happy, or if it’s because they fear you moving away from them because they can’t directly share in the experience that is making you happy, but whatever it is, I had hit the first hurdle this time around.

Looking back, the whipping I took, for not being able to contain myself at six, was the beginning of a series of similar events that cropped up each time I came close to realizing this dream in my secret heart, and I got really fucking angry.  Not at the people doing it, but at myself for letting them do it.  I could have had this joy my entire life, but I had always folded, and abandoned it in the face of one kind of whipping or another.

It’s now three years later, and I did not fold this time.  I kept going.  I am still going.  I will keep going. I am still hitting hurdles.  Nothing about this has been easy, and some days are harder than others, but I am not going to stop.

I am out beyond the edge of the land now, and I  may fall and break myself before I get to other side, but at least I will be doing something I love, at least  I will be ALIVE when I go down.  That’s not nothing.

I am still learning, and failing, and getting whipped in one form or another.  That’s okay.  I am supposed to learn and fail, and I think it’s the world’s job to whip me, though I would really like to be wrong about that. It’s all right though, because we are both going to keep doing what we do, and then we’ll tally the points at the end and see where we stand.

I told you I would share my experiences of being published, in hopes of shining a light on the path for those beside me, and those following behind.  This is the beginning of that promise.  I thought it best to begin with who I am, for context on the stories I have yet to tell you.  Feel free to ask questions, or just to tune in as I keep my word to you.

Next time we will begin with how I worked up the nerve to publish, and the first steps I took to make that happen. Until then, this is the Storyteller signing off.

One last thing, whatever your joy is, hold it close and nurture it like your life depends on it, because it does.  Without joy we are just killing time here, and that, my friends is waste of something beautiful.

Much love to you all,

A Journey In Writing Part 2 – The Mindset

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Storyland Rec: The Art of Sean Fitzgerald

To me, this is what it looks like behind the walls of time that move around us, setting up the seconds of our lives.  If you find yourself here, you are at the nexus of all possibility, and on the edge of every world.

 

 

Source: Sean Fitzgerald

Happy Travels!

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Storyland- “Glitches in the Matrix”

I like the supernatural and the strange.  If you have spent any time talking to me, or reading me, this isn’t a newsflash.  If you haven’t met me, Hi! I like the supernatural and the strange.  Now, you’re all up to speed.  🙂

I saw this on FB this morning: People Share the Creepiest ‘Glitch in the Matrix” Moment They’ve Ever Experienced.

I read this with the kind of glee in my soul that is usually reserved for five year olds on Christmas morning, followed immediately by the cynicism of a teenager on Christmas morning, because, folks, that’s what it’s like in here, even on a good day.

The stories in this article may or may not be true. I can’t speak to the literary integrity of knowable.com. Either way, these stories are super neat and make nice fictions, if they are not actual truths, so check them out.  I wouldn’t be surprised if some of them optioned for screen plays and make to your local theatres soon.

It also inspired me to share a glitch in the matrix story of my own.

First for the folks who have never seen The Matrix, and there are three of them, currently living in the small county of Boycott Culture, USA, the expression “glitch in the matrix” is a pop culture reference to the film The Matrix (1999). In this amazing story the human race lives in a controlled computer environment, and when the machine overlords do a reset, or change something in the already planned/written code, there are usually cues that tell you something is off.  These shifts in perception account for deja vu, precognitive events, and changes in perception and awareness regarding the world around us.

My story that I am about to share is a true story.

In 2000, when smoking was cool, or at least cooler than it is now, I was on a smoke break with two co-workers.  Our office was in a small office park with interconnecting parking lots and frequently  during breaks and lunches more health conscious co-workers would walk during their down time.

Anyway, me and two co-workers were shooting the breeze and smoking it up in a car in the parking lot when two ladies walked by on their break.  Two minutes later those same two ladies walked by again, from the same direction, saying exactly what they had said the first time to each other, like the first time had never happened at all.  They had not returned by us, and enough time had not passed for them to make a complete circuit of our industrial park.

All three of us recognized what had happened and looked at each other for confirmation of what we had just seen.  I was amused, as I often am by the strange and the supernatural, but the two people I was with wigged out.  One refused to discuss it all, and the other acknowledged what had happened, and then also refused to discuss it further.

The glitch was fascinating to me, the other people who observed it denying it ever happened, was less so. I have found that reaction is most common, and over the years have become more sympathetic to people to close their eyes to the strange and hum a little song until it’s gone or over and they can pretend it never happened.

I don’t ever want to be one of those people, but I can be more sympathetic now.  So, that’s something.  🙂

What about you?  Any glitches in the matrix you want to share?

Happy Glitching! 🙂

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J. A. Brown Interview with BareBack Magazine October 24th, 2016

**Interview with Natasha from  www.barebackmag.com for Dreams, the first book of my Dreams Series. **

Natasha: Hi J.A. Brown! Thank you for the interview. Can you tell our readers about yourself and how you got started as a writer?

 J.A. Brown: Hi, Natasha, thanks so much for letting me visit with you!

I have always enjoyed writing, even back as far as high school, but did not set myself free to do it until a few years ago. I was inspired to pick it up again, after almost twenty years, by my favorite fictional vampire, Eric Northman, as portrayed by the incomparable and incredibly talented Alexander Skarsgård.

I spent three years writing fanfiction, telling the kind of stories I wanted to see on the screen, or in books that focused on the type of characters that interested me most. The ones that were multi-layered, complex even dark at times.  I don’t think that people are any one thing so I find myself drawn to characters that have a full spectrum of personality traits, and make choices that the everyday person tends to shy away from making.

 After I had rekindled my passion for writing, and improved my skills, I started telling original stories, and creating original characters that I wanted to share. I wanted to grow my own worlds that hopefully will entertain and also inspire other budding writers to sit down at their own keyboards, and let their imaginations soar.

Natasha: How would you describe your style of writing? And what can readers expect from your stories?

J.A. Brown: My style tends to be both visual and intimate. I want the reader to see the scene as clearly as I do when I am writing it, and I want them to be able feel it. I think a story can have a big backdrop and a complicated plot, but what makes it work is the dynamic between the individuals.

I want each interaction, whether an erotic scene or a conversation that contains mostly exposition, to be a scene that pulls the reader in, and makes them either want to be that character, or believe for short time that they are, before the real world intrudes again.

 Readers can expect intensity in my storylines and characters that pull them in.  That doesn’t necessarily mean all drama or angst, because I think humor has an important place in storytelling. It adds another dimension of personality when you see the humor of a scene as well as the dramatic impact of what is happening.

Natasha:  When it comes to writing, do you have a certain routine or writing process that allows the ideas to flow better? Where do you get your ideas for your stories?

J.A. Brown: Music is key to my writing process. I have several growing pages on my website for Storyland Soundtracks that link the viewer to iTunes if they are interested in purchasing the music that I am using as a backdrop while I write.

I think music is so important to me due to the influence of television and movies, and the realization that a good soundtrack can set the tone, and enhance the emotional connection we make to the characters and the story.

I also make tons notes in notebooks, and on whiteboards, and when it all starts to be too big, I focus on bringing it back to being intimate again. If I can see a scene through the eyes of one of the characters, and focus on their actions and reactions to what is happening that is when I feel the story coming together.

I get my ideas from everywhere.  A line that someone says to me in real life, a movie, a picture, or a music lyric, sometimes the beat of the music itself will spark something for me.  I love to find that one small thing that may have been overlooked, and bring the audience back to realize it in a new way.

Natasha: Let’s talk about “Dreams”. The title is very intriguing and I love the book cover. Can you talk about how you came up with the title and a little about the story?

J.A. Brown: Thank you, Natasha.  That cover was designed by Christi Carlson of Golden Designs, and she is available for commissions. I worked with her to create something that would set the tone for the story, and I think she did a fabulous job! She also created the design for my Storyteller website. Yes, that is a shameless plug for her. J If you know anyone in need of cover art or web design, I recommend her whole heartedly!

Dreams is a story that started from a writing prompt for a Christmas contest last year.  I was going through some changes in my life with my job, and in my heart I wanted to be storyteller.  I took a deep breath, and said to myself, “Let’s go all the way.”

The vampire genre is a well mined area, but I had not found a lot of stories with a heroine that was strong, dark and sharp from her own life experiences.  It was very important to me that Sara Siler be those things, and that when she wished for vampires to be real, she wished it with every fiber of her being, and that she embraced the realization of it the same way.

In addition to a heroine that knew her mind and owned her choices, I changed it up by telling this story from the male lead’s perspective.  Eli Solomon is an ancient vampire, with the appearance of a young man able to pass for a college student, coming to the end of a yearlong sabbatical from his regular job when he meets Sara.

The story is set in the space of the week between Christmas and New Year’s and focuses almost exclusively on them learning about each other and falling in love. 

The title is about Eli’s dreams, Sara’s dreams and my own of being a storyteller as well.

 Natasha: How would you describe yourself and your personality? Are you like any of the characters that you write about?

J.A. Brown: I would describe myself as analytical.  When I am confronted with emotions I pull back and process it extensively before acting or reacting.  Sometimes, I get locked into my own head, and have to make myself remember that there is a world happening out there while I am tucked away thinking and re-thinking things.

At the same time, I can be a fly by the seat of my pants kind of woman who believes deeply in intuition, and shooting from the cuff.  I never know which way that’s going to go.

Each of my characters has a little something that belongs to me, it’s how I get into their skin, and think the way they do, which is not necessarily the way I do, because the one little thing I give is often exaggerated and not offset as that trait is (should be) for me personally. Think of it like taking a picture, and then enlarging it to focus on one tiny element of the photograph.  It helps keep me connected because if I can’t relate to them, I don’t believe I can help the reader relate either.

Natasha: Besides writing, what do you enjoy doing on your spare time to relax?

J.A. Brown: I enjoy photography, painting watercolors, movies and thought provoking television which can vary depending on mood and research I am doing for a story. I can be as engrossed in a documentary as I am in an episode of a serial. 

Natasha: How does your family feel about you writing erotica

J.A. Brown: Smiling here.  They support my writing, but they don’t read it.  I don’t talk to them about it in depth, because it makes them uncomfortable.

For myself, I hope we can someday live in a world where we can embrace our sexuality, and realize that it does not define us.  I want to be in a place where we, as a society, can see that every story is a love story, and that people who love each other share themselves, not just emotionally but sometimes physically, and that it can be beautiful and healing.

Natasha: Can you share with us anything you are currently working on, and/or any new releases?

J.A. Brown: I am so excited to share that Dreams already has a sequel published called Nightmares, available now! The third part of the series, Awakenings, is slated for release on 11/1/16, and I have fourth book planned for 2017. These can be purchased on the following sites:

 Amazon Kindle & Paperback | iBooks | KOBO | Smashwords

I also have another series that I just published the first book of this week, called Put Your Lights On, A Pillars of Light Novella.  It’s a Fantasy/Horror/Romance Rated M for violence/horror and adult situations.

PYLO is currently exclusively available on Amazon Kindle Unlimited & Paperback, because I wanted to share my stories and style more freely with readers so they can see if they enjoy my storytelling.

Natasha: How can our readers learn more about you and your books?

J.A. Brown:  You can find me on my website, please sign up for my newsletter while you are there, and in these other locations.  I look forward to hearing from you all!

jabrownstoryteller.com

My Amazon author page

Smashwords Profile

Goodreads

Facebook

Twitter

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Storyland Fantasy Movie Casts 1

Good evening all-

Last night I watched the episode of Black Mirror called White Christmas.  It starred the amazing John Hamm, of Mad Men fame.  He is always a delight to watch, no matter what he is in.  That said, my over exerted brain cells started spinning.  mom2goalies came along tonight and added some fuel to fire by talking about how awesome it would be to see Jamie Dornan and Alexander Skarsgård on the screen together, and I totally agree with her. (They are my fantasy dream cast for Eli Solomon and Malik from the Dreams Series :).

I know they have fantasy football teams, so why not Fantasy Movie Casts? Anyone want to play?  I will name some actors and you can suggest a movie plot that would best showcase their skills.

Josh Harnett, Billie Piper, Margot Robbie, Michael Pena

I think these folks have some serious acting chops.  What kind of story would you like to see them in? It can be just a genre, or if this cast inspires a full blown story idea feel free to share it here!

Happy Fantasies!

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