1. Tell us about yourself. May include links to Facebook, twitter, blogs, websites, Amazon author page)My pen name is J. B. Havens, for obvious reasons I don’t wish to disclose my legal name. You can find me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/J.B.Havens. I live in rural Pennsylvania with my husband and three children. When not taking care of them, working at my evil retail day job, I’m reading and writing. Recently I find myself spending a lot of time self promoting and getting ready for the release of my debut novel, Core of Steel, available on kindle for pre-order and will launched on October 16th in print as well as Kindle.
I just turned 28 and have gotten to that point in my life where I am ready to do what I love, not just what pays the bills. I want to mesh the two. I love coffee in its many forms, especially this time of year when Pumpkin flavored everything is available.
2. How do you choose names for your characters?
I sometimes use names from people I know in real life, either first or last. That is usually for main characters. Secondary characters or characters that only make a cameo, I look up on baby name websites. I go with a first letter sometimes or a particular meaning I want to convey.
3. Do you talk about your book/characters as though they are real?
YES! All the time. In my head, they are real. I have their lives and personalities, everything about them, in my head. For me writing is just telling the stories that already exist in my imagination.
4. Do you listen to music when you write or edit? What kind?
Yes, I do a lot. Depends on what particular scene I am in. Sometimes just the radio but for action scenes in particular I have my MP3 player going with Korn, Godsmack, Breaking Benjamin or Rob Zombie. Anything like that. I have very eclectic taste in music. Which is reflected in my book. Music is a main theme throughout.
5. How long have you been writing?
Since high school but only recently have I actually completed anything to a point where I am ok with others reading it.
6. Tell us about when you realized you were ‘meant to be’ a writer.
I wish I could pinpoint a particular moment. I have always had stories I wanted to tell. It was just a matter of believing in myself enough to get them written down.
7. Do you have a muse?
Not a muse per say. More an inspiration. I love strong female voices in fiction. Real kick butt women. I wanted to create that type of character.
8. How do you improve as a writer? (Workshops, conferences, reading)
I read. A LOT. Though oddly I tend to not read my genre. I have close to 200 books on my kindle and that’s not counting books I have in print. I study the styles of other writers, see things I like and things I don’t. Then go from there with my own writing. Also I find the writer’s group on Facebook extremely helpful. Lots of different opinions and outlooks on writing. Helps you stay creative.
9. Writing quirks or superstitions?
I am slightly superstitious about letting too many people read my entire manuscript before publishing. I have sent bits and pieces to many people in my writer’s group but only a few close family members and friends have read Core of Steel in its entirety.
10. Tell us about your current work-in-progress.
I am currently working on the second book in my Steel series. Book one, Core of Steel will be available for purchase soon. Book two, Hardened by Steel is still in its infancy. I find starting the hardest part. Once I get a couple chapters down it comes easier but the first bit is a struggle.
11. What book are you reading now? I just finished Zombie Fallout 6 by Mark Tufo. I will be starting Zombie Fallout 7 shortly.
12. What genre do you write in? What about POV? Military suspense. Core of Steel isn’t a spy novel but it has some of the aspects of one like cool cutting edge technology and sweet rides. The POV is split, the main character is written in First Person, past tense. The rest is third person, past tense. I did it that way to make, Mic stand out more.
13. Tell us about writing preparation. Character Profiles? Outlines?
I don’t do a traditional outline. I scribble notes and tack them to my cork board in my office. It’s disorganized and messy but it works. When a thought or bit of dialogue comes to me, I jot it down and save it. To a degree I do character outlines, especially the farther along I get I need to keep who is going to be doing what, more organized.
14. Do you know how your stories will end?
Usually yes. I have the beginning and the end well ahead of time, I just need to fill in the middle.
15. Do you books have a message or theme? Or are they purely for entertainment?
The only message I have isn’t a deliberate one. I want people to see what our veterans do and sacrifice for us but my main goal is entertainment.
16. Do you have any favorite snacks or drinks that you eat/drink while writing?
Yes. Coffee! I always have coffee near at hand. As for snacks, nothing in particular. If I have to eat while writing I just try not to get too many crumbs in my keyboard.
17. Tell us about your other passions.
Tattoos. I am hugely passionate about tattoos. I have several and I love everything about them. The art, the deep meanings they portray.
18. What’s something interesting about you?
That’s an extremely difficult question. I don’t feel like there is anything overly interesting about me. It’s my characters that are interesting.
19. Share a small sample(limit to one paragraph, please) of your writing… can be a WIP or already published.
This is the first paragraph in Chapter 1 of Core of Steel. There is a prologue that explains the chair reference.
I sank into some stretches, trying to work out the kinks left over from our last mission. Today was my first day back, both to the track and my normal warm up. At least this time around I had no serious injuries to contend with, just some left over stiffness in the muscles of my arms and legs. Being tied to a wooden chair for days will do that to you. No new bullet holes to report, for me at least, can’t say that for the other guys. I slipped my ear buds in and the pounding bass of Godsmack filled my head. I finished up my stretches and slid my Ray Bans on to guard against the glaring summer sun.
20. Anything you’d like to say to your current and future readers?
Thank you for your time, thank you for going on this journey with me. There is no greater joy for an author than sharing their stories with their readership. Mic is an amazing woman and she has many more stories to tell. Stick with me and we’ll go on an adventure.