Our feature today is from J.F. Silver. Several things are impressive about J.F., but for me, what stood out the most is his belief that age is simply a number. I enjoyed getting to know him, (and his wife… as she’s a huge inspiration) and I know y’all will too.
Name: J. F. Silver
1. Tell us about yourself. May include links to Facebook, twitter, blogs, websites, Amazon author page.
I’m the author of an erotic series titled, “Mr. and Mrs. Average Joe.” It tells the story of an older couple discovering new pleasures late in life. This is somewhat appropriate since I didn’t begin writing until I was fifty and published seven years later. What began as one story for my wife on her birthday grew into a full blown series over the next few years, though only for the two of us to share. One day, I was sitting in a waiting room and read an article about the exploding popularity of erotic fiction in the wake of “Fifty Shades,” and especially, e-books. I took this as a sign and decided to pursue my passion and try to get published. It was a fun journey and took nearly a year but I got there, signing my first contract with Stiff Rain Press last fall. I now have three books released, the latest just this month.
About me personally: Just an average guy, I’ve been lucky enough to be married to my soul mate for thirty-seven years. (See question 7 for more on this) We live just outside of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where we raised two beautiful daughters and now have three grandchildren. Life is good enjoying this new adventure as an author. Here’s more info:
Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/J.F.-Silver/e/B00JFGFPBY/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1413760514&sr=1-2-ent
2. How do you choose names for your characters?
When I wrote that first story for my wife, the idea was just a fantasy for the two of us so I used our real names. She loved the story but suggested using our middle names instead. I agreed and the characters became Joe and Elaine. She also came up with the “Mr. and Mrs. Average Joe” title. Last names are seldom used in my stories and I try to keep things fairly simple.
3. Do you talk about your book/characters as though they are real?
Is this a trick question? (LOL) Um, well, due to the personal nature of their beginnings, I definitely talk about them as real people. And though the stories are fictional, as a writer, it helps to imagine myself in those situations.
4. Do you listen to music when you write or edit? What kind?
Yes, definitely. We always have music playing in our house. I’ve been an avid record collector as long as I can remember and we watch very little television. I’m also a musician though some may argue if a drummer/percussionist qualifies as such. We have a slogan written on our wall that says, “Music is the Voice of the Soul,” and it manages to find its way into all of my books as well. We have an extensive collection and listen to all types of music. While writing, it may be jazz, New Age, or acoustic but having grown up with classic rock, we dabble in that, too. But honestly, like finding a good new book or author, I probably get the most pleasure discovering new artists.
5. How long have you been writing?
I had always wanted to write and started a few things over the years but it wasn’t until 2007 that I really got going. I had just turned fifty and if my wife hadn’t liked that first story, may have ended then, too.
6. Tell us about when you realized you were ‘meant to be’ a writer.
For me, it was receiving news that my book was deemed worthy of a publishing contract. It had started as a hobby but I put a lot of time and effort into it. Now, when I get a nice review or a reader tells me that they loved my books, it’s a great feeling and one I hope every author gets to experience.
7. Do you have a muse?
I certainly do, an actual muse in the true sense of the word. After that first story, my wife not only encouraged me to write more, she also suggested the plot line on which the entire series is based. As a male author, I realize that most readers of my genre are women and we read through everything together. She really helps me keep the stories “women-friendly” and continues to offer ideas. I’m very grateful for my muse.
8. How do you improve as a writer?
I think my writing has improved with each of my books. With that first contract, I was extremely fortunate to work with a great editor named, Kris Jacen. She liked my book but was very honest about all the flaws in my writing. Being new at this, I listened and took her advice and now try to avoid those problems going forward. Each book has been easier to edit as we’ve gone along. For me, working with an experienced editor was invaluable.
9. Writing quirks or superstitions?
I always have music playing and do all of my writing on a desktop computer sitting at a desk. We own a laptop but I’m much more comfortable typing on an actual full-sized keyboard. Although, “typing” is a relative term is my case. It’s more like my own advanced style of “hunt and peck.” My wife and daughters laugh at me but I get it done.
10. Tell us about your current work in progress.
I’m currently working on “Life’s Too Short,” the fourth book in the “Mr. and Mrs. Average Joe” series. It continues the tale of Joe and Elaine, an adventurous couple in their fifties, and their very close friends. All of the books are about having fun and discovering new pleasures as we get older. They never get too deep or serious but do deal with real life and the problems that come with it. This book is about embracing life before it’s too late. The biggest challenge I have now with an established series and characters, is keeping it from getting stale. So, we’re going to see some new characters and scenarios to hopefully, keep our readers engaged and wanting more. Needless to say, this one will feature even more fun situations.
11. What book are you reading now?
I’m currently reading two. “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho. I’m taking my time with this one and yes, it’s the first time I’ve read it. Shame, I know. The second my muse and I are enjoying together: “Swinger Secrets” by an excellent Canadian author named Mia Moore. This one finds itself in a similar genre to mine.
12. What genre do you write in? PoV?
My books are contemporary erotica with multiple partners/swingers, interracial, bisexual, light BDSM, exhibitionism/voyeurism, toys, etc. Yeah, a little of everything. My editor may have described it best: “a M/F/F/M romance with well-seasoned characters.” Perfect.
I made the decision by default early on to tell the story from Joe’s point of view. This was my biggest challenge editing the first book and many sections needed to be rewritten. Many of the upcoming stories already exist in some form and will need similar treatment.
13. Tell us about writer preparation. Character profiles? Outlines?
Since my stories and characters have existed for quite some time, I don’t do much. The upcoming storylines are pretty clear though always evolving. Some may happen earlier or later than previously planned but the ideas are there. Since we don’t have many characters, it is fun to create and introduce new ones to the mix.
14. Do you know how your stories will end?
Each of my three books has ended with a hook and teaser for the next. In reviews, at least so far, readers seem to like the second book more than the first. I’m hoping this trend continues with the third, and so on. We’re trying to hook more readers with each book who would like to go back and discover the series.
15. Do your books have a message or theme? Or are they purely for entertainment?
I certainly try to make them fun and entertaining. But they also began as a personal fantasy. When my muse offered that first suggestion, they evolved into shared fantasies, which they still are. So if we have a message, it’s about communicating with your partner. When asked to sign copies of my books, I always write, “Share Your Fantasies,” because that’s how we turned ours into a series of books. I also love when reviewers write something like, “I hope it’s that hot for me when I’m fifty!” It can be. These are the ideas I try to get across while hopefully keeping readers entertained. The books are really fun.
16. Do you have any favorite snacks or drinks that you eat/drink while writing?
No, not really. I do most of my writing in the late afternoon/early evening and we may just have a glass of wine around four o’clock each day. Of course, as a writer, coffee is the key ingredient to any decent morning.
17. Tell us about your other passions.
In addition to my writing and music, I’m a big baseball fan. I grew up listening to games on the radio and have always found it a good metaphor for everyday life. I also love trivia games and for some reason, have a knack for storing otherwise useless information. A real passion for me though, is playing the drums with my grandchildren. That’s a joy beyond words.
18. What’s something interesting about you.
I don’t know how interesting this is. Most of my previous professional life has been spent in the cleaning business, managing large crews in mostly gigantic buildings. I can explain how to clean a shopping mall, office tower, factory, even a baseball stadium. Too many scenarios to mention but, believe me, I’d rather be a writer.
19. Share a sample (limit to one paragraph) of your writing.
This is from “Along for the Ride: Mr. and Mrs. Average Joe 3,” which was released October 15th. Just in time for Halloween, the title characters are nervously about to attend their first masked Swinger’s Ball dressed as a sexy Mr. and Mrs. Zorro:
Downstairs, a few couples were waiting in line at the entrance to the ballroom. Not everyone was masked. We had a sexy Elvis with Madonna from the cone bra era and the first Batman of the night, this one accompanied by a very curvy Catwoman. We exchanged hellos though nobody said much while we waited. But, these women, including Elaine, were hard not to notice and the atmosphere was already flirtatious as eyes, masked or not, checked them out. Hell, I was guilty. Catwoman’s suit was really tight.
“Remember our plan,” Elaine whispered to me. “You and me in that Jacuzzi later.”
I gave her a kiss and replied, “I don’t think I can wait that long.” She smelled so nice and looked ridiculously hot in her low cut black top. We held hands while I gave the tickets to a witch sitting at a small table. Each ticket was unique and she checked her list. Smiling, she asked if this was our first time. When we answered, she went over the rules, the most important being no nudity or sexual activity outside the ballroom. Next, we walked down a dimly lit hallway that ended at a large black curtain. A tiny opening was all that separated us from whatever waited on the other side.
“No matter what,” Elaine told me, “No names and our masks stay on.”
“I agree. Are you ready, Mrs. Z.?”
“Yeah, let’s do it.” Holding hands, she went through first.
20. Anything you’d like to say to your current and future readers?
I’d like to thank everyone who has purchased and read my books. I am so grateful! And especially to those who have taken the time to write reviews, I can’t thank you enough. I think many of you have been inspired! My stories are all about communicating, keeping an open mind, trying new things and above all, having fun. Life’s too short. Enjoy!
Thanks so much for being featured, J.F. Good luck to you and the “Average Joes.” 🙂