Several weeks ago we published the e-book version of RJ Nolan’s novel L.A. Metro (2nd edition). Now the paperback is also available on amazon. On this occasion, we interviewed RJ. So, here is the chance for all of her readers to get to know her a bit better.
First of all, thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions.
How many years have you been writing now, and how did you come to it?
I’ve been actively writing for ten years. When I was younger, I always had stories running through my mind that I used to entertain myself when I was bored or couldn’t sleep at night. It wasn’t until I got older that I realized not everyone had full-blown, novel-length stories in their imagination to keep them entertained. Eleven years ago, I found online lesbian fiction. It gave me an outlet to share all those stories. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Why do you write? What does it mean to you?
First and foremost, I write for myself. It is an integral part of who I am. And I would feel as if a part of me was missing if I was unable to write. I enjoy getting a chance to tell my characters’ stories. Of course, it’s wonderful that my readers also enjoy reading about my characters.
How long does it take you to write a novel?
On average, not counting research, approximately twelve to eighteen months. Sometimes longer, depending on how often I am able to sit down and write.
How much time per week do you spend writing?
My goal is to write at least three hours per day. Unfortunately, that is rarely the reality. For some reason, my Great Dane, Thunder just doesn’t understand how I could possibly want to sit in front of a computer screen instead of play with him. Or more importantly feed him. On average, so far this year, I’ve managed to work three hours per day approximately four days per week.
When and where do you write the most?
I get my best writing done in my writing nook tucked away in a back room away from distractions.
What puts you in a bad mood?
That’s easy. Writer’s block. It aggravates me to no end to sit in front of the computer, facing a blank page and nothing …
Coffee or tea?
Definitely tea. If I am writing, you can be assured there is a cup of hot tea nearby. My current favorite is called: Vanilla with Pieces. It’s a blend of Ceylon black tea and cut bits of Tahitian vanilla beans.
How much of yourself is in your characters?
The main trait I’ve given my characters is my love of animals. I’ve shared my life with several Great Danes. They hold a special place in my heart. It has become a signature of my novels that somewhere in the story you will find a Great Dane or at least the mention of one.
What do you find the most challenging part of writing?
I can’t say I find any part more challenging than any other. I love to write, and I love editing. I guess if I were to pick one thing, I think the most challenging thing is letting go of the story and submitting it to my publisher. I always want to go over it—one more time.
What are you reading right now?
I don’t read when I am actively writing. Once I reach the editing point, then I will start on my to-be-read list.
What do you think makes a good romance novel?
Well-rounded characters that the readers come to care about and root for. Also, your readers need to be able to relate to the characters and want them to overcome any obstacles placed in their path and succeed.
What advice would you give new authors?
Find a good beta reader. Preferably, someone who is not a family member. I know that’s tough, but it makes all the difference. And once you find them, listen to them. Every story can be made better by a good beta or editor. Also educate yourself. Learn about grammar, punctuation, all the technical things that go into writing. And last, but not least: keep writing.
What are you working on right now?
I’m working on the second book in the L.A. Metro series: In a Heartbeat. It’s the love story of Sam McKenna, a police officer, and Riley Connolly, a trauma surgeon.
What future writing projects can we look forward to?
There will be a third book in the L.A. Metro series. A new doctor will be joining the staff in the ER.
Are you going to republish your other books?
I do hope to eventually have the time to re-edit and republish my earlier novels.
Thank you RJ. It was a pleasure talking to you.
And for all those wanting to know a bit more about Kim and Jess from L.A. Metro, RJ wrote a short story and allows us a glimpse into their lives before they met. And because RJ is a nice woman, we can offer “The Wish” as a free download from Smashwords and our website.
The Ylva team