Interview J.P. Grider
J.P. Grider (1966 – ) born in Paterson, New Jersey as Julianne Pellegrino was raised in Haledon, New Jersey, the oldest of six siblings. Her love of writing started early in her childhood when she started writing poetry in-between homework assignments. As part of a school work program as a Journalism major in High School, J.P. Grider worked as a freelance reporter for a local newspaper, writing feature stories about exceptional high-school classmates. She studied Television Production and Film Writing at Seton Hall University in South Orange, New Jersey where she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications. Two of J.P. Grider’s novels have won awards in the Textnovel Writing Contest, with her recently published, Unplugged (A Portrait of a Rock Star) reaching Semi-finalist position. Though Unplugged is not her first novel written, it is the first to be published. J.P. Grider writes General Fiction, Romance and Young Adult Paranormal stories. Find her on the web: Author Website, Facebook, Twitter, and Author Blog. Purchase her books on Amazon.
When did you first realize you wanted to be an Author?
I’ve always loved to write, but I had not considered becoming an author until about seven or eight years ago when I passed this old abandoned inn in my new home town. I thought to myself, ‘Wow, there has to be a story there.’ I set about researching the town, but ended up writing something completely different.
What would you say is your interesting quirk that only happens when you are writing?
Being a mother of four with a full-time job outside the home, I have to write whenever the time allows. However, throughout the day I will allow the dialogue from my stories to play out in my head so that when I do have time to sit down and write, I know exactly what I am going to write. Music triggers my inspiration. Mostly the music of Daughtry or Matchbox Twenty. When I get hooked on a band, I just obsess and only listen to that band. I’m on my 4th Daughtry concert this year, because their music just creates stories in my head and my heart.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in writing your books?
That the English language actually changed some rules of grammar. That and the fact that I have forgotten some rules also.
Where did you get ideas for your books?
My first published book, Unplugged (A Portrait of a Rock Star) originated as a fantasy in my head many, many years ago…back when Jon Bon Jovi just started out. I used to fantasize about meeting him and falling in love (like every other Jersey girl at the time). Well, one day, I happened to remember my little fantasies and just started writing about it.
My second published novel, Maybe This Life, was actually based on my great-grandmother’s life and then also loosely based on my own life. The two lives kind of parallel each other’s in the book.
I got the ideas for the two current books I am working on just from pure imagination really. My mind works all day and all night long. I may pick up things in my own life and then embellish and let my imagination run away with it.
Out of all the books you have written which is your favorite and why?
It’s hard to say. My first book, Unplugged , was a favorite because I found myself falling in love with Tagg (my rocker hero). I actually got depressed when I was finished with the story, because I missed him so much.
But the story I am working on now, A Touch of Honor, is a lot of fun because it is a young adult paranormal book. It will be a trilogy. Writing a young adult book is fun, because I get to remember what it’s like to be a teenager and get myself into that mindset. It’s great fun.
Who is your target audience?
Woman definitely, though a lot of men have read Unplugged and enjoyed it. The age group for my contemporary romance is probably woman from 30 to 60. Of course my YA book will target teens, but I’m hoping the 30 – 60 group will still enjoy it. I will still have the same romantic elements that are present in my other novels. And in my books, there will always be a happily ever after.
What do you think makes a good story?
To me, a good story has to have some aspect of romance. I really enjoy reading a good love story. Of course, there should be an interesting plot to go along with it.
Who are some of your favorite Authors?
I have eclectic taste in authors. I like Jane Austen as much as like Stephanie Meyers. I enjoy Nicholas Sparks and Susan Elizabeth Phillips. And lately, I enjoy reading many of the indie authors I have met on my writing journey. Some of them are Kathleen Ball, Amber Dane, Stefan Ellery and Jessica Lupo.
One actor would be hard to pick for Tagg Holland – he was based on three of my favorite rockers – Jon Bon Jovi, Keith Urban and of course my favorite, Chris Daughtry. Tagg really was a culmination of the three of them. But the heart and soul of it was Chris Daughtry. His voice just transcends me to another world.
So I guess that’s my answer – Chris Daughtry (who’s not even an actor) to play Tagg Holland.
For Maybe This Life – Zack Efron to play Rick Murphy.
What song best describes your book and Why?
For Maybe This Life – Katy Perry’s The One That Got Away. – Maybe This Life is a reincarnation story and in the first life, my couple was not able to get together. Fortunately, they may have a chance in a second life.
Who are some of the people that influenced your love of writing?
I have to say, after reading the first Twilight book, I really wanted to write a love story like that. To me, Edward is perfect – tormented and protective. I knew I wanted to convey that kind of love in my stories.
Chris Daughtry has definitely influenced my writing through his music.
My daughter, Sarah. She claims she DOES NOT want to be a writer, yet she is working on four stories simultaneously and she just has this wonderful grasp of the English language. It just comes so naturally to her that I’m in awe.
What kind of TV shows do you like and do you find that as a Romance Writer that you gravitate toward the shows that feed that love of romance?
I used to love TV so much that I majored in it. Now, I hardly ever watch it unless my kids are watching (then it’s Disney and Nickelodeon shows).
But I do love old episodes of Cheers and The Nanny – I love the romantic/sexual chemistry of the two characters not getting together, yet you know they want to. That’s just so sweet (and frustrating for the viewer). When I do watch TV, I do enjoy watching a romance.
What other genres do you write?
So far just contemporary romance, contemporary/paranormal romance and YA paranormal romance.
If you had one piece of advice for an aspiring Author what would it be?
Visualize your goal and keep it in the forefront of your mind. Staying focused is the key.
What would you like to say to friends and family of Authors (not just your own)?
Our characters are real people. To us, anyway. They are the residents of our hearts, our minds and our souls.
What projects do you have up and coming?
A Touch of Honor (my YA Paranormal Romance) should be released in February 2013 and Rewinding Time (my time-travel romance) will hopefully be out by the end of 2013.
Is there anything else you want to share with your readers?
Stay happy and think only positive thoughts! That’s how I try to live my life lately… what a difference it has made in my life.
Lena Giordano has just met Rick Murphy. So why does she have the glaring suspicion that she’s met him before?
How would you feel if a man you just met triggered visions of a haunted life that was not your own, but those memories inflicted pain and fear as real as if you had lived through them?
And, what if those visions were a warning of a similar fate?
Would you have the courage to change your own future by arranging those warnings, like pieces of a puzzle, to form a new destiny?
For Lena Giordano, finding that courage isn’t going to be easy. Abused relentlessly by her fiance, twenty-five year old Lena is putting herself in danger by not breaking her engagement, and her visions of her great-great grandmother, Angelina, are confirming this risk. Then, thirty-eight year old Rick Murphy appears, claiming he has been in love with Lena for nearly one-hundred years. Rick’s presence triggers nightmares even more intense than before, forcing Lena to put the pieces of her visions together to learn her destiny. Though for Lena, even after her paranormal puzzle is complete, the bravery she needs to open her heart is even more tormenting than the abuse she endures.
Take the journey with Lena through her surreal fantasy land and find out if her own self-worth is strong enough to deserve a man who would cross lifetimes to be with her.
Maybe This Life, a romantic suspense, is a story about past lives and second chances; a reincarnation, past-life, time-travel, love story – A romance of two souls who couldn’t stop at one lifetime to be together.