New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author, J. Sterling joins us today to talk about writing relatable stories, how she feels about balance, and believing in love.
Her latest book, Guy Hater, is available NOW [in Kindle Unlimited]!
P.S. J. STERLING is here you guys! J. STERLING! (Sorry for the shouty, boldy caps…I’m not yelling…just super excited that she accepted my invitation!)
Tell us about you! Can you share some interesting tidbits we may not know?
I’m not the author who will tell you that she’s always wanted to be a writer. I didn’t. I was always writing- I mean, ALWAYS writing in some form (message boards, journals, notes), but I didn’t want to write books. Now, it’s all I want to do! 🙂
What inspired you to start writing?
I had a dream one night that wouldn’t get out of my head. I knew that I wanted to base a story around the dream, but it never seemed like the “right” time. Years passed (literally) and then the dream popped up in my head and pulled at me- bothering me day in and day out. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. And then I got FIRED. FROM MY JOB. And you know what I did? Bought a laptop the next day and started writing that book. 🙂
“There’s something about having life experiences that changes you. I’m so grateful for my moments.”
Other than writing, what are some of your passions in life?
Photography… I love taking pictures and capturing moments. Watching my son play baseball. Spending time with my man. ❤ Traveling and meeting new people- there’s something about having life experiences that changes you. I’m so grateful for my moments.
What was your debut novel, and how has your writing process changed since your debut?
IN Dreams was released in Fall of 2011 and dear god, I hope my writing has evolved. LOL I try to write better with each book- grow somehow- I try to break my own writing habits so that I can come out of my self-imposed shell. I always want to learn and grow and reach new readers.
“I love self-publishing because I enjoy having all the control over my art.”
What is your favorite part of the writing/publishing process and why?
I love writing a story that I feel is relatable. I write what I know- and I hope that means that other people will feel that when they’re reading. I like to think that I write realistic romance. And I love self-publishing because I enjoy having all the control over my art.
What is your most challenging part of the writing/publishing process and what do you do to make it easier?
The most challenging part is reaching an audience and growing your readership. It’s a very difficult thing to do and it’s constantly changing. That is by far, the hardest part.
What does a typical day look like for you? How do you find balance?
I write and handle all of the aspects of running my business and career. I have one teenage son who is hungry every hour and eats all the food. LOL I’m good with the balance honestly- It’s the guilt that kills me … I’m never writing enough, or fast enough, or spending enough time writing… it’s just NEVER ENOUGH.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
I wouldn’t change anything, so I wouldn’t tell her a thing. She needed to go through all the hard times and the harsh reviews to become the person she is. Plus, she’s stubborn and opinionated and wouldn’t listen to me anyway.
What do you love about writing romance?
I love writing happily ever afters… after searching and waiting for my own for SO DAMN LONG, it just feels GOOD to write about happiness and love. There’s so much crap and hardness in real life- we all want to escape and feel good. I like giving people things to feel good about. I want there to be a smile on your face and warmth in your heart when you get to the last page of one of my books. I want you to believe in love again- or have that flicker of hope spark back to life.
“He pays attention to the little things”
What kinds of things do you find romantic in real life?
I find just general thoughtfulness romantic. When he calls me back just to make sure I’m okay, and we’re okay, because he thinks my tone was a little bit “off.” Or when I get the most ridiculous bouquet of flowers filled with fresh lavender because I told him I liked the way it smells. He pays attention to the little things- he listens, he hears, he observes. And he’s a man. I know we’re all about independent women not needing anyone these days, but I’m pretty damn independent and I still need my man. He makes me better.
Do you read your book reviews? If so, how do they affect your writing (if at all)?
Yes and No. When a new book is released, I absolutely want to see what people are liking or not liking about the story. At some point though, I have to stop because they can affect you and ruin your day. lol
What is the craziest, funniest, or most surprising thing that has happened to you since publishing your first book?
Hitting the New York Times and the USA Today bestseller list wasn’t something I had even thought about, strived for, or wanted when I started writing, so THAT surprised me. And the success of The Perfect Game continues to blow my mind daily- that book changed my whole life and I’m so grateful and I just hope it continues to grow and reach new people and touch hearts. 🙂 I’m best friends with some of the biggest and best in our industry. I’m truly blessed.
Guy Hater is coming out on October 9th [today]! I’m really excited about this book because it deals with a hard situation- about being stuck in a relationship when it’s lost its luster… or you’re just plain not happy anymore. I know SO MANY PEOPLE who are in those kinds of relationships and for me, there were very personal reasons why I wanted to tell this story.
Is there any other news you would like to share?
Heading to Manchester England for a book signing in November and all the information is on my website!
Five Facts Just for Fun!
1. What’s your favorite ’90s jam?
2. What was the last gift you gave someone?
3. What were you like as a kid?
smaller than now. lol
4. What was the last thing you binge-watched & what did you think of it?
omg shameless- I WAS HOOKED LIKE AN ADDICT
5. What is the one thing (other than your loved ones) that you cannot live without?
Available NOW (FREE with Kindle Unlimited)!
AMAZON: USA / UNITED KINGDOM / CANADA / AUSTRALIA
Frank Fisher is quiet, pensive, and sexy as hell. He’s also stuck in a loveless relationship, bound by a promise he made years ago. It’s one he intends to keep, no matter the cost.
The night Claudia walks into his bar, both his life and his perspective are forever changed. She’s feisty, strong, independent and everything he never knew he needed. She’s also everything he never knew he wanted, and now he’s torn.
Will Frank follow his heart, or will guilt and obligation continue to rule his life? Choices aren’t always easy, especially when you’re a man, and Frank’s indecision may cost him more than he’s willing to lose.
AMAZON: USA / UNITED KINGDOM / CANADA / AUSTRALIA
Also by J. Sterling
The Game Series
The Celebrity Series