It’s been a while but we’re back with a brand new interview that I am so happy to share with you all! Please welcome R.J. Loom to the page.
R.J. is is 38 and lives in Ohio. (I love Ohio.) Her book, The Ilia Stone went LIVE yesterday!!!!! Congratulations!!!
Let’s get the interview started, shall we?
Describe yourself in three sentences.
I am an introvert who loves to laugh. Some may say I have a small addiction to reading and Dr. Pepper. I’m also the youngest of six kids and I’m the daughter to a poor immigrant (as my dad would say).
For you, what is the hardest part about writing in your genre? (new worlds, new concepts, futuristic ideas?)
Sex scenes. Lol It’s not that I have a hard time writing them, I just can’t write them and think that somebody is actually going to read it some day.
Also, I cannot write in order. I’ve found that the best way for me to capture the visual and emotion of any scene is to write them as they come to me — which usually is not in order. Since I have to have things make sense and I tend to dwell on details, writing out of order may make for more work in pulling it all together and ironing it all out. But it works for me.
What is your favorite pass time when you’re not writing?
I love to spend time with my family, travel and read.
Is writing something you consider a great passion or is it just a hobby?
I’d have to say it’s a passion that has always been there but I didn’t realize it until about five years ago. That is when I began writing and building stories through a group on social media. But when I think back, I had always played grammar or word games with my dad or my siblings. This usually involved describing things or telling a story in such a way to make the other laugh. (Did I mention, I love to laugh?) It was a creative outlet that I’ve always used even before I started actually writing the words down.
In your opinion, what is the best way to promote your work?
I think the best way to promote my work is probably the most difficult for any introvert like me. I have to put myself out there and interact with people. This goes against my lifelong tendencies to sit back and observe rather than participate. Quietly reading blog posts without commenting or “liking” posts on Facebook is not building relationships with potential readers. It does not let anyone know I wrote a book, much less entice them to read it. I’ve come a long way in this area but it’s something I’m still working on.
Are you an independent author or are you traditionally published?
I am published through Dead Bound Publishing.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
If you’re passionate about writing, don’t be your own worst enemy. Do not be the person that tells you your work is not good enough or that you “can’t” do it. One of my favorite quotes kind of sums it up best…
”Whether you think you can or think you can’t – you’re right.” – Henry Ford
Don’t let criticism bring you down. Appreciate it for the learning experience it is. Grow from it. Write because you enjoy writing without putting expectations on it.
How do you feel about your family and close friends reading your work?
I think I just had a mini panic attack just reading that question. Although, I think this goes back to my earlier response about putting myself out there. This would also be an example of me being my own worst enemy. For most authors their family and close friends would be their strongest supporters. I’ve had no problem with people I didn’t know reading what I wrote. Family and close friends? Not so much. I knew in writing my debut novel The Ilia Stone this was a hurdle I would have to face. Because I would not allow my aversion to attention get in the way of my novel’s success. It has nothing to do with the content of the book. I’m proud of what I have written. It really has everything to do with bringing any attention to myself. I prefer to lurk in the corner, writing and people watching. Preferably with a Dr. Pepper within reach.
How do you overcome writer’s block?
Taking a drive or listening to music. When that doesn’t work or inspire me, I have to just get to writing. I’ll pull up a blank document if I have to and write about something that happened that day. Getting started writing something gets the words flowing.
Do you get easily attached to your characters?
Yes. I think it’s hard not to when they live in your head for so long.
Do you base your characters on people you know?
Not necessarily. I may take certain personality traits from people I know or have known but I wouldn’t say that this character is modeled after this person.
What inspired you to write your first book?
The idea for my debut novel The Ilia Stone came to me while vegging out watching a Clash of the Gods marathon on the H2 channel. It got me thinking, what happened to the Greek Gods? What if their powers existed today? What if…? Yeah, I guess I kind of fell down a rabbit hole of ideas from there, piecing together not only a journey of an ancient artifact but one of self discovery for the characters as well.
How long does it typically take for you to finish writing a book?
It took me about fourteen months to write the rough draft of The Ilia Stone. Although, it started out as a pet project that I played around with, writing here or there for the first eleven months. The last three months I got serious about it and set weekly word count goals. This helped me make sure that I actually would sit down and write. By that point, I had the whole book (actually the whole trilogy) plotted out and the research done. Once it’s released in September, another seven months will have passed. So just shy of two years I guess.
Do you prefer to write in a notebook or type on a computer?
I prefer to type on a computer. But I do jot down a lot of notes.
What is something you MUST have to keep your writing mojo strong?
No interruptions and good music.
Do you have a dream cast for your novels?
I’ve thought about this a lot. When I got stuck writing, I tried to envision what my characters would look like. Although, I haven’t come across anyone who fits them perfectly. I guess for Nia, I picture her to look like Aqua di gio model, Emily DiDonato if she had green eyes and lighter hair. Theo James is the closest I’ve come to Gabriel and even he’s not quite right. Then there is Viktor…I guess to me, he’s a cross between David Gandy and Jonathan Rhys Meyers.
Can you tell us about what you’re currently working on or any future works you have planned?
I’m currently working on the second book in The Ilia Stone trilogy. I’m also working on Fractured Palace (working title) which is a New Adult romance. It’s a story of childhood neighbors who reunite after years apart only for the heroine to discover a truth that could make the happily ever after she’s always dreamed of unattainable. These two as well as a short story for an anthology through Dead Bound Publishing are my priority at the moment. But I’m also working on a psychological thriller called Asylum’s Truth, which takes place back in the days when the treatment of psychiatric patients was questionable, if not barbaric.
HOW TO GET IN TOUCH WITH R.J.
The Ilia Stone is available NOW!
You can also find it here: