Interview1) What is your your favorite marketing task?The most productive marketing tool I’ve used is the Free Days program through Kindle Direct Publishing. KDP might be exclusive, which bothers some writers, but one major benefit is the free days. I believe this has been the most productive marketing tool I’ve used—-and it’s free. I have done Interviews (obviously), had reviews and paid for Ads, but nothing has proven as effective as the Free KDP days.2) Why did you decide to Self Publish?I had my first novel, Kiva Fire (about to be re-released as The Spirit Keepers, February 2013 @amazon.com), published by an Internet publishing company in 2001. This was before Internet publishing was popular and, while they did minimum promotion, there really wasn’t much activity. Now I’m having the opportunity to publish a novel myself and take all the responsibility for maintenance of my website and other vehicles for self promotion. It’s been a whirlwind of activity lately and has taken almost every moment of my time, but I love it. It gives me the chance to develop my own outreach and to really connect with people who are interested in my work. It’s been a joy so far.3) What do you have under your bed?Besides dust bunnies and well-worn slippers? I have a number of other manuscripts awaiting the light of publication. As I mentioned above, a romantic suspense, The Spirit Keepers, which takes place on a Native American Pueblo in New Mexico, will be released next month on Amazon, and will be followed by another novel next summer.4) Are you a plotter or a pantser when you are writing?I’m both a plotter and a panser. I develop a skeleton of my plot and highlight my plot points in an outline, before I flesh it out during the writing process. Once i have a general outline and character studies, I let it fly, allowing the story to evolve in a way there’s organic and realistic.5) Do you write in a bubble or do you prefer critique groups, writing buddies or other companionship during the process.Right now I’m primarily a Bubble girl, but I haven’t always been that way. For many years I attended writing classes, professional meetings and critique groups where I shared my work and honed my craft. That experience was invaluable.6) When do ideas come to you and how do you capture them?Ideas can come to me at any time and in so many different ways., I don’t wish to bore you by enumerating, but I can tell you I always base my plots on a locality and an experience I have had. My last suspense, Out of the Shadow, came to me in a darkened bedroom. The “what if” scenario played out in my imagination and I immediately knew I had the beginning to an interesting story. My new story, The Spirit Keepers, is located on a pueblo, similar to Zuni, where I lived for years.7) What is your favorite word processing program and what other tools do you use: pen, notebook, white board, index cars, finger on fogged mirrors?I began writing long-hand and then imputing my novels into a Word Perfect program on my desktop computer. I’ve come a long way from there and now type my material directly onto a Word program on my laptop. How wonderful progress is: I now carry my work in progress with me wherever I go.
8) What challenges have you faced in your writing career?
I think the most difficult challenge I’ve faced is the challenge of not fitting in with what is fashionable at the moment. I don’t write to mimic the fad of the moment, I write because I’m moved to tell a story and I want to share it with others. I have had a number of agents and editors say they enjoyed my story or liked my writing, but they weren’t sure they could sell it at the time. But now I can publish it myself and I don’t have to try to copy the current trend.
9) What has been your best moment as a writer?
I’ve had a number of great moments, but I believe the most exciting is when someone lets me know how much they enjoyed my work. That has happened a lot latelyI posted my new mystery/suspense on Amazon. I write because I want to share my story with others. It’s pure joy when they appreciate what I have to say.
J S Winn earned a graduate degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Metaphysical Sciences. Her previous mystery novel set in the American Southwest, Kiva Fire, garnered much critical praise. She has had a play produced by the Actor’s Alliance Festival in San Diego, and her poetry has been anthologized by the San Diego Writer’s Workshop in For the Love of Writing. Her play “Gotcha!” was selected for a reading at the Village Arts Theater in Carlsbad, California in May 2012.
She presently lives by the beach in San Diego County, California.
For more information about Out of the Shadow, please visit http://www.jswinn.com or contact the author email@example.com Also, visit her blog at authorjswinn.wordpress.com, her twitter feed at @authorjswinn and her facebook page at authorjswinn.
Two Women. One Goal. To discover the truth before it’s too late.
The survivor of a rape and her husband’s murder, Becca Rosen wants nothing more than to move on with her life, but how can she when she’s being stalked by a psychopath with an attitude—and an agenda. The police are no help because they’re convinced, with her history of mental illness, Becca has faked the rape to get away with murder. And Becca has begun to have flashbacks and nightmares of childhood abuse, possibly at the hands of the rapist. Not knowing where to turn, and feeling like she might go crazy again, Becca hires a psychologist, Dr. Sarah Abrams, to help her unearth who’s behind the crimes of the past … and the present.
Three men come into Becca’s life around the same time. While each of these men has his charms, Becca can’t be certain whether any one of them is the perpetrator. Or could it be someone else? Together Becca and Sarah start on a course of hypnotherapy to discover the abuser’s identity. Will their work reveal the real killer before it’s too late, or will Becca fall prey to this demented criminal?
She had been dreaming … perhaps was dreaming still. But the moment David crawled into bed beside her, the dream slipped away. Becca stretched, glanced at the clock, which read 3:02, and snuggled up to the warm body next to hers. Then she caught a whiff of scent that was strangely disorienting. His hand came down over her mouth.
Surprised, she made a muted appeal, tried to squirm out from under him. Was he being playful in the middle of the night? She couldn’t imagine it.
The hand pressed down harder. “Don’t move or scream or I’ll kill you,” said a muffled voice through what appeared to be a ski mask.
Becca reacted with the horror of a dreamer unable to run from her assailant. Wild with fear, she made an effort to cry out, but it was useless with the hand covering her mouth. She jerked her head to the side to loosen his grip, but he held on firmly. She was at his mercy.
Was this actually happening to her, or was it all part of a horrific nightmare? She pounded palms into the intruder’s chest, but with his superior strength, he managed to roll on top of her, pinning her beneath him. Barely able to breathe under him, she pressed her legs together in a desperate attempt to keep him out. But he jerked up her nightgown; tore off her panties as if they were paper; pried open her legs. And violently forced himself into her.
Becca screamed, fought back, tried to dislodge him, but he clamped down on her arms with his. Another scream escaped her lips.
“Shut up,” he said, “Or you’re dead.”
She swallowed the cry that rose to her throat; stifled the desire to kick and flail. Her brain raced, her muscles tensed. “Please God, please God, please God,” loped through her mind with the insistence of a demanding child. A loud buzzing sound filled her head.
He groaned and moved harder against her. Her insides felt as if they were being torched. Pain followed every thrust. The more she struggled, the more it hurt, but she couldn’t lie still for long. He continued to hump steadily, ignoring her efforts to dislodge him, until she managed to free a hand long enough to smash her palm against his jaw and, with all of her might, shove him away. He reached up and slapped her across the face with such force tears sprang into her eyes. It was over for her, there was no winning this war. She shut down her mind, felt her awareness leave her body; became numb to his ongoing assault. After what seemed like an eternity, he grunted and collapsed onto her, his body slick with sweat and sickening to the touch.
The clock showed 3:15 a.m. when he finally lifted off of her. “Be quiet,” he snapped. “Don’t move or call out, if you know what’s good for you.”
Becca watched, stunned, while he hurriedly pulled up his pants. Even in the dark with his back to her and a ski mask obliterating his face, something seemed eerily familiar about him. But what was it? Did she know her attacker? Before she could consider, he turned back to her and said, “You haven’t seen the last of me.” Then he was gone.
Becca lay paralyzed for a few agonizing minutes. Then she rolled onto her side in a fetal position, wrapping her arms around her knees, clutching herself. Every cell in her body quivered, every muscle quaked. Bile rose, sickening and sour, at the thought of the rape. Horror gripped her; nausea followed. She felt defiled. Disgusted. With slow, deep breaths she tried to calm the churning inside.
Minutes passed before she could lever herself up and lower her legs over the edge of the bed. A burning sensation flamed in her crotch, causing tears of fear and fury to run down her face, dampening her nightgown.
She listened closely, reassured by the silence around her, then stumbled from bed on legs that shook like jelly, tripping over bedclothes tossed carelessly to the floor. She had to steady herself with a hand on the footboard before she could tiptoe toward the living room.
All at once she remembered David. What had happened to him? Why hadn’t he been there to protect her? Another wave of terror gripped her and she wrapped her arms around herself. Something was terribly wrong. David might not be the most attentive husband on the planet, but he would have reacted to the break-in. He would have done something.
Becca hesitated at the entrance to the living room before working up the nerve to switch on the overhead light. She immediately spotted David sprawled across the sofa in a pool of blood.
In a panic she rushed to his side and tried to take a pulse. Although faint, his heart still beat. Relieved, she tore open his blood-soaked shirt and pants. The extent of the wounds on his chest and stomach could not be determined because of the absence of coagulation.
What to do now? All her years of nurse’s training fled her the moment she spotted him, but she had to think fast. On impulse she rushed into the kitchen and wet down a towel, returning to soak up a profusion of blood. With the towel pressed against a deep gash on his belly, she hoped to arrest further blood flow.
She scooped David’s cell off the coffee table and dialed 911. “Please help me,” she wailed into the receiver. “I’ve been raped and my husband’s been stabbed.”
By the time the police thundered into the apartment, followed by two paramedics, Becca cradled David’s head in her arms. A policewoman took her aside to prevent her from interfering with the paramedic’s effort. Huddled in the corner with the cop by her side, she again glanced at the clock on the mantle: 3:42 a.m. So much had happened in such a short time, it seemed surreal. It struck her as strange she could measure such a monumental life change in mere minutes.
The paramedics immediately went to work, attempting to revive David. After vain attempts at cardiac resuscitation with shots of adrenaline and epinephrine, and shocks from a defibrillator, one of the paramedics turned to her.
His flat eyes told her everything.
Thanks for visiting with J S Winn and keep coming back. A new author shines here each week. To see all of the Writerly Wednesday Posts go to http://writerlywednesday.com .