J Rose Black
Verified Silver Account
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tell us a little bit about yourself, your hobbies and interests.
I've been known throughout my career (IT) as a "Jill of all trades", which was meant to convey that I could pick up / solve / master whatever challenge someone needed me to tackle. I think that more or less describes how I approach genre writing as well... But, hobbies: reading, writing, Orange Theory Fitness; I used to play a lot of soccer. My children are getting to be of an age that "chauffeur" probably applies. Fan of anime and manga. Lover of fighting robots; dog mom.
When and why did you start writing books?
This is a lonnnnng story. At age 8, my teachers singled me out for my creative and descriptive writing assignments. One of my stories was submitted to a kids magazine (about human beans as pirates. problem? the Human Beans on my trapper keeper folder were copyrighted characters - even though none of them were pirates). In 5th grade, I was sent to a "Young Authors Extravaganza". In 9th grade, a poem I wrote for an assignment won an award. I was always always always reading. My mother, when I would get grounded, she would take my books. I knew I wanted a job where I could write; I started with journalism and figured out that was not a very lucrative profession...for quite a while. Ended up going pre-law, and we wrote so many papers in college... When I finally graduated, I sat down to write my first mystery novel, got like a few hundred words on paper, bought a bunch of "how to" books, and ultimately was trying to force something that just was more mental and not emotional. Job wasn't particularly going in any direction, so I reinvented myself as a "technical writer" - writing procedures and manuals. This eventually led to proposals and published articles / whitepapers, etc. And then I watched the first X-Men movie, and really felt heartbroken over the Logan / Jean subplot. And I wondered if that ever resolved in a positive way... Searvhed out X-Men comic storylines, etc. etc. And stumbled on what confused me at first, and then I realized: Oh, wait, those 'continuations' I imagine in my head (about anything from movies to books to TV shows) - people write those down. And it's a "whole thing" called fanfiction. Huh. So, I enjoyed some X-Men fanfiction for a bit. Started looking around for what other fanfiction was out there. Kinda forgot about it all. And then, one night, in the midst of my glut of Law and Order reruns... There was some anime show with fighting robots. And a ragtag soldier boy - with a princess staring at him and sighing. I was in my early 20s at the time, had no idea what "Gundam" was. Couldn't really get over the word... But, I tuned in to that "Wing" show - waiting for that idiot to kiss the girl. I started researching the show, trying to find continuations, side stories, whatever I could get my hands on. And then I remembered: Fanfiction. Sure enough... And I read it all. Searched for hours until I couldn't find anything more that I hadn't read. And finally, when I ran out of fanfiction for my favorite couple - I took to writing my own. That was 2000. I wrote at least a half dozen full-length novels (from 50k -150k words ea) inside of 5 years - the same characters in different "worlds". I went from not being able to get 3 chapters on paper no matter how hard or desperately I wanted to write - to book-length stories just stockpiling in my brain and only lacking the fingers / time / processing power to get them on the page fast enough. It's truly a different experience when your heart is in it than when it's not.
What made you decide to tackle writing as a career?
It was just something I'd always been told I was good at. I think we instinctively prefer to do things we're good at because they're generally "easier". But, ultimately, I didn't decide to tackle writing as a career. I chose to tackle having a career that relied heavily on my ability to write and communicate effectively.