Friday, November 10, 2017

The Gal's 2017 Halloween Frivolities Day 20: Among the Stacks with J. Peter W.


The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Welcome to The Gal.  I'm so happy you decided to join us today.  Tell us a little bit about yourself.

J. Peter W:
My pen name is J. Peter W, but you can call me Justin.  I am an indie author of dark fiction; mainly YA dark fantasy, bizarro, and horror.  I live in Richmond, VA with my wife and three children.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What are five things people don't know about you?

J. Peter W:
My day job is a stay-at-home dad of three kids under the age of five.  A 4 year old, a 2 year old, and a 3 month old.  

I used to be the lead singer and guitar player in a band called A Dead Girl (there are still some YT vids up if you search).  (I went and looked.  This is what I found.  You're welcome.)


I went to school for graphic design, but after a few bad experiences in freelance, I gave it up.

My two biggest hobbies are working out (stationary bike and free weights are my favs) and gardening.

I can spend all day outside doing landscape and garden upkeep.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What is the first book you remember reading?

J. Peter W:
I'm not sure if it was the first book I remember reading, but The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster was definitely the book that stuck with me the most growing up.  Still to this day I love the witty and sarcastic tone of the writing.  I love the bizarro-esque adventure that Milo goes on.  I can't wait to share it with my children.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What are you reading now?

J. Peter W:
I just started the latest release from Andersen Prunty, Kill Your Neighbors.  He's been my favorite author for the past several years now.  No one writes a sad, middle-aged man placed in a strange situation like Prunty does.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What made you decide you want to write?  When did you begin writing?

J. Peter W:
I started writing poems in school which led to writing song lyrics.  Somewhere around late high school I began writing short stories but had a difficult time keeping them genre-specific.  I would always want to veer from horror to fantasy or go into a whole new direction with something strange and bizarre happening that made no sense.  After graduating high school I really began reading more and more genre fiction and wrote six novels that never made the light of day.  It wasn't until my early twenties that I was ready to start sending material out into the world.  And even then I think most of that was terrible.  Finally, in my thirties, after twenty-plus years of writing I think I have something worth-while for readers.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Do you have a special place you like to write?

J. Peter W:
Lately its more about finding the time to write rather than the place.  If I can squeeze in a fifteen minute writing session a few times a day I will be happy.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Do you have any quirks or processes that you go through when you write?

J. Peter W:
I used to be more quirky about it, writing with specific playlists playing and superstitious items on hand, but I've moved on from that.  Anywhere and anytime I can write I go for it.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

J. Peter W:
All of it is challenging and I love every minute of it.  I find the after-writing, the marketing and promotion, to be the most challenging part about being an author.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What's the most satisfying thing you've written so far?


J. Peter W:
I just completed a YA dark fantasy trilogy titled The Lost Ones Trilogy.  It was my first attempt at writing anything longer than a standalone and I can't help but smile every time I think about it.  It was something I was planning for years and never thought I would actually complete.  Satisfying is an understatement.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What books have inspired you?  Who are some authors that have inspired your writing style?

J. Peter W:
Like previously stated, The Phantom Tollbooth really opened my eyes to a how silly and strange books can be.  The authors that inspired me and have influenced my style the most are, in no particular order: Dr. Suess, Norton Juster, Roald Dahl, Lewis Carroll, Holly Black, and Neil Gaiman.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What do you think makes a good story?

J. Peter W:
Relatable and/or unusual characters placed in an interesting and/or strange situation.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What does it take for you to love a character?  How do you utilize that when creating your characters?

J. Peter W:
For me to love a character, I have to be able to find something in them that I connect with; albeit a physical or behavioral characteristic or even a situation they find themselves in.  That is always in the back of my mind when I create a new character.  If I can't find that connection, I know the reader won't either.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

J. Peter W:
I don't think I've written one character more like me than any other.  I try to put a little bit of me in all of them.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Are you turned off by a bad cover?  To what degree were you involved in creating your book covers?

J. Peter W:
When it comes to choosing new books to read, I think I initially give equal weight to both title and cover.  If one is strong but the other is weak, I will still check out the synopsis, but if both are weak I will probably pass on it.  There are so many great books out right now that the reader needs to be interested in the first three seconds of coming across a book. That means a great title and a great cover are extremely important.
            When it comes to my covers, I create them all.  I was a graphic designer after all.  I love the process of creating covers almost as much as writing the books.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What have you learned creating your books?

J. Peter W:
I've learned that the only limits are the ones we put on ourselves.  I've learned to trust my instincts and push myself to create the best thing I can.  But the biggest thing I've learned is to have patience.  It's a long process to write a book.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What has been the hardest scene for you to write so far?

J. Peter W:
Honestly, I do a lot of pre-writing work.  I do very detailed outlines, so when it gets to the actual writing part I have everything worked out and rarely have difficulty writing any scenes.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?

J. Peter W:
I was hoping this question would be in here, haha.  My series is a combination of fantasy (goblins, elves and faeries) and horror (ghosts, zombies, and demons) set in a coming-of-age adventure.  I don't think the YA dark fantasy genre has been done like this before. If it has, I haven't read it.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
How important is the book title, how hard is to choose the best one, and how did you choose yours (of course, with no spoilers)?

J. Peter W:
Like I said earlier, the two most important initial parts of a book are the cover and the title.  I think its extremely important to have a strong title.  I try and choose my titles by pulling an element from the story.  The titles of my trilogy are The Bone Carousel, The Blood Masquerade, and The Flesh Labyrinth.  I believe all three illicit a strong visual and are all taken from climatic scenes in their story.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What makes you feel more fulfilled: Writing a novel or writing a short story?

J. Peter W:
Writing a novel has always been more fulfilling.  I can go years without writing a short story, but when I do, I tend to write several after each other.  For me, I put more focus and attention on novels.  If the idea can't grow large enough, then I will set it aside for a short story.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Tell us a little bit about your books, your target audience, and what you would like readers to take away from your stories.

J. Peter W:
I think all my novels are accessible to readers of all ages, especially the fantasy trilogy.  I label it as YA because I think it fits there the best, but I have many adult readers.
            When I write a novel, I'm only aiming for the reader to be entertained.  I want an enjoyable, fulfilling read.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What can we expect from you in the future?

J. Peter W:
The first two books of the trilogy are out now and the third will be out soon.  After that, I have a couple of bizarro novellas that will be coming out early-to-mid next year and a horror novel toward the end of the year.  In the meantime, I am in the planning/world-building stages of my next YA fantasy series.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Where can we find you?  (STaLKeR links.)

J. Peter W:
To keep up with my releases and to join my reader team, you can go to my website.  Asa  member of the reader team, you will get early access to all of my books in exchange for a review.


About the author:
J. Peter W. is an American author.  He writes Bizarro, Horror, and Dark Fantasy books.  Currently residing in Richmond, VA, he hides from the sun, writing with night eyes and night fingers.  Other than writing, his hobbies include graphic design, gardening, playing music, and playing with his children.
            When he retires, he plans on building an elaborate labyrinth in the backyard filled with orange statues and weird animatronic figurines.  You will be invited!

About the books:
A boy born with faerie sight.
A journey into the world of the dead.
A place darker than anything he could have imagined and filled with creatures that make the fey above ground seem like things from children's tales.
            
This is the story of Makin Riley, a curious boy, whose obsession with faeries and monsters leads him to a cemetery that holds the doorway to the world of the dead.  After being spotted by one of the reapers that travels between the worlds, the creature takes Makin's little brother's spirit, leaving him for dead.  Now, Makin and his friends, Frankie and Marcus, must journey into the darkness of the dead world in order to save his brother's spirit while there's still a chance of bringing him back to life.

The carousel is destroyed.
The Collector is defeated.
The world of the dead has been opened.

When Makin Riley went down into the world of the dead with his friends, Frankie and Marcus, they hoped to rescue his little brother Stevie's spirit and bring him back to life.  They never intended to unleash something evil into the world of the living.
            Now the living must come together, both human and fey, in order to figure out a way to return the dead back to their world.  But a rogue elf named Echron sees this as an opportunity to get revenge on the courts that banished him.

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