My Interview with J.W. GOODWIN!
I’m always thankful when authors take time out of their busy lives to meet with me. However, I have to say that I’m especially grateful to you, as I know you’re incredibly shy. I appreciate you allowing me to introduce you to my readers!
1. I think the way we see ourselves is quite telling, so I always begin my interviews by asking the same question: please tell us how you’d describe yourself?
I’m a creative individual who has been described as a happy-go-lucky person.
When I’m involved in something I believe in, like writing, I put my all in it. There are no short cuts for me until it’s perfect, but I’m slowly learning I need to accept that not everything can be that way.
I love exploring and seeing new things, but get overwhelmed when it’s too much. I’m also very caring and protective over my friends and family, some even say overbearingly so when I try to push them to do better because I feel like they can.
I do love my video games too because they offer a new dynamic to storytelling, that’s why I play them.
2. I’ve heard you say you considered your life to be ‘boring’. I find this to be an interesting assessment, and I’d like to focus the first set on questions on this notion of yours.
· Why do you consider your life boring, and what would’ve made you think it wasn’t?
o I think it’s rather boring compared to some of my friends and family. My life has been more routine while others have been places, lived in cities, and done more things. I’ve always been intrigued by how other people have lived and their experiences.
o My guess where this view came from is the media. Commercials can be ruthless when it comes to how the good life should look like.
o Not sure what would have made it seem not so boring, perhaps a trip to Disneyland but that may not be necessary. It’s weird what shapes our reality.
· You’ve traveled abroad, specifically Germany. Regardless of the reasons why you made the trip, don’t you think that’s exciting? What did you enjoy most about the experience, and do you think it impacted you as a writer in any way?
o I don’t think the trip impacted me as a writer, but it was sure an experience. I still get excited when I talk about it and wish I could go back.
o I loved the culture and architecture there even though I had a hard time trying to communicate. I learned that I need to learn some local dialect if I ever travel abroad again.
o The food was the best though, I think I mention it first whenever I talk about it, but I always get excited over good food and everything I ate was awesome.
· You have an active imagination and you’re highly curious. To me, that makes life an adventure in and of itself. What do you consider adventurous, and why?
o An adventure is doing anything outside of your regular routine and getting out of the house. If it gives you a break from being a robot and you see/try something new then that’s an adventure.
o My favorites are walks on forest paths, car rides on backroads and trying new foods. I have mentioned that I love food right?
· If you could change anything about your life, what would it be and why?
o I would have loved having a writing mentor when I really got into writing so I could be better at editing than I am.
o If anything else would have changed I highly doubt I’d be the person I am today. So even though I consider my life kind of boring, I wouldn’t change it; I’d hate to be any different than I am.
3. I know your stories are inspired by your dreams. As a writer, I can relate to this source as a muse, but I also know you’ve written fan fiction as well. I am intrigue by this as I’ve never known much about that hidden world of literature, so I’d like to discuss it, if that’s okay.
· Can you please example to my readers what ‘fan fiction’ is exactly, and tell us what sort you’ve written?
o Fanfiction is defined as “fiction written by fans of a TV series, movie, etc., using existing characters and situations to develop new plots” (taken from dictionary.com).
o Many people write this type of fiction because they want to be part of their favorite series, at least that’s what I’ve done.
o There are many different kinds. Some are super short with what’s called ‘one-shots’ or one chapter long while some others are a novel length.
o I’ve done a few one-shots for the Naruto fandom, but never finished anything longer. My ideas are normally too big for me to finish.
· Do you still write fan fiction? If you are comfortable sharing it with us, where can we read your fan fiction; do you have a link you can give us?
o Not anymore, but I may return someday. I’m using all my brainpower to put together the monstrosity I’m working on now, which keeps growing the longer I’m at it.
o I was going to say I took them down, but it looks like I posted it somewhere else that I’ve forgotten about. It’s only two, but I’ll share them – I was and still am proud of what I accomplished. If I can remember correctly, they are a bit saddening. Just click the titles à Kamisu Yuki & Yuki Kamisu
· How does writing fan fiction differ from writing a dream-inspired story?
o Fanfiction already has characters, settings and plots you can use and follow along or alter.
ü The pro to this: you already have a fan base who are willing to read what you’ve written.
ü The con is fans can be very picky with what you’ve done with it if it doesn’t fit what they think of the characters.
o With a dream, you need to build something that no one else has before; you start from scratch with nothing but a small glimmer of what it could be.
ü The pro is you can do what you want.
ü The con is you need to build your own fan base.
· Every author has a unique approach to writing. Some listen to music while others prefer silence. What is your writing process like?
o As I asked in another interview, is chaotic a writing process? I write with what comes to me. If I don’t have words that day, I do something else that pertains to the story, hoping for a bite from the elusive words. My process is all over the place so it’s hard to describe.
o As for music, it depends on how easy the words come when I’m writing. If the ideas are flowing and concentration comes easy then I love having instrumental stuff as background noise. I listen to two particular artists, Adrian von Zielgler and BrunuhVille, on YouTube. Their music makes it so easy to write. If not, I hope my house is quiet so I can get some writing done, or else nothing will get done. The curse of having attention issues.
Ø Do you write from notes or do you keep an outline of any kind?
ü I’ve got so many notes, diagrams, character sketches/outlines, among other things that I could fill a 3 ring binder with. As for outlines, I’ve got some, but following them is an option if I can find them in the mess of papers. Mostly, I write what the characters want me to write. If that’s not what I planned, then it’s no big deal. Not like I could find the outline anyways.
Ø Does your writing process change depending on what you’re creating? I mean, do you follow the same steps when writing fan fiction as you do dream-inspired stories? If not, how does it change?
ü Doesn’t really change. I’ll have an idea and I roll with it, hoping it will turn out awesome in the process. If not, then it was good practice.
· Do you think it’s easier to write fan fiction, where the characters and plot are based on an existing foundation or do you think it’s easier to work from scratch, where you invent everything yourself? Personally, I can see the pros and cons of each; both can be challenging and rewarding in their own ways. J
o There are truly pros and cons to both.
o I enjoyed writing fanfiction because I could get into the story without having to spend much time creating characters and settings, but I like working from scratch because I can make up whatever I want.
o As for ease, I’ve been noticing my own world is easier to work with than preexisting ones. I make up the rules and don’t have to worry if it fits the criteria of what the original author made. Doesn’t mean I didn’t stretch the boundaries though.
· You’ve been quoted as saying you never finished your fan-fiction, but your dream-inspired story was different; it demanded to be written to completion. Do you think that’s the real difference in the writing styles – fan fiction doesn’t really have an end while a novel does?
o That may contribute to some of the fanfiction I started. It’s more because I can grow disinterested in something if I can’t figure out how to get past a blockage. The only reason I finished my novel was my good friend’s interest in it and her insistence that I get to the ending. If she didn’t push me to finish, I doubt I would have.
4. You have said “reading was the bane of my existence” and you tried to avoid it while in school. However, the HARRY POTTER series by J.K. Rowling was the exception. Let’s explore this a little more!
· Now, being an avid reader and writer, is it weird to look back to your childhood and see you’re dislike of reading?
o No because I still have a hard time finding something I enjoy reading. The book has to have a good pace as well as keep my attention to keep me interested in it. If not it takes forever for me to finish it if I decide to push through.
o I started writing because I wanted something to read. It’s weird I know, but it’s how it happened.
Ø Why do you think you found reading so distasteful? Was there something specific you disliked?
ü School made it a chore; I had to read books to do book reports or some other type of homework.
ü It takes me a long time to read anything, even longer to understand it, so something that may take someone an hour would take me a few hours. Honestly, I could have used that time doing something else, like reading a book I actually wanted.
Ø What advice would you give to someone who finds reading just as deplorable?
ü If you’re picky, like I am, I have developed a system that lets me know if a book is worth my time and/or money. First is if the title doesn’t interest me I probably won’t take it off the self. Second is the blurb of the book, if that doesn’t interest me then it goes back on the shelf. Third is I read the first couple of pages because I usually get hung up on the writing style of the author, if I want to keep reading after a few pages then I grab it.
ü Don’t give up. There are millions of books out there, you will find one you like if not more. I know I have.
ü Another tip, if you like video games anyways, see if the company printed a novel for it. I know for Bioware’s Dragon Age series they have many, and I love David Gaider’s writing style.
Ø If you could go back and talk to yourself, what would you want to say? Would you encourage yourself to read more? If so, why do you think it’s so important?
ü I would tell myself that it’s ok not to be fast at reading and don’t give up. I’d probably tell my young self the steps I do now. I probably wouldn’t listen as some deranged woman from the future would be talking to me, but that’s beside the point.
ü Reading is important because you learn things. You can escape your reality, even for a moment, by reading.
ü It can be loads of fun if you find the right book. The trick is to find what you like, that’s all.
· What do you like about reading now that you’ve discovered the joy in it?
o If it’s a book I enjoy, I like the journey it takes me on. My imagination can only create so many adventures and it’s nice not to have to make my own once in a while. Fiction is all about the adventure inside the cover.
Ø Has writing encouraged your appreciation for reading or has your connection to books inspired your writing?
ü It’s definitely the writing that encouraged my reading since it made me realize that there must be other people who write similar to me. If that was the case then there were books out there that I would want to read.
· It isn’t unusual for a reader to become addicted to reading because they’ve connected to a book or series. That being said, what drew you to J.K. Rowling’s work? I know you love nature and you’ve even described it as “magical.” Nature is a huge part of Wicca and with the magic and witchcraft in HARRY POTTER, for me, there’s an obvious connection here, but I don’t want to make assumptions.
o My dad gave me the first Harry Potter book as a gift for getting good grades. I wouldn’t be surprised that he grabbed it because he wanted to share his love of reading with me. That’s how I got the books, but J. K. Rowling’s writing style made me want to read them.
o I loved the magic and mystery of it all and to top it off, Harry was a loner, like I was in school. I felt a connection there, though Ron is my favorite.
· What books or series would you recommend to a struggling reader?
o That one is a tough one because it all depends on what you like.
o One series for younger readers is Alfred Hitchcock and The Three Investigators by Robert Arthur. They’re an older series, but I liked them.
o Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling would be another one.
o For a third, try Graceling by Kristin Cashore. I loved that one because it had a bit of everything in it.
5. What can we expect to see from you over the coming year?
Hopefully, the second novel to my series, once I straighten out the world’s timeline; been fighting with that thing for a few days now. If not, there will be postings of interesting stuff, example links to helpful websites for writers, on my author page on Facebook while I plug at the book. Fingers crossed!
I want to thank you again for meeting with me. I feel like there are many people who will be able to relate to you and your journey into the literary world. Contrary to what you may believe, I think you are a fascinating woman and I’m proud to be your friend!