Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Interview with an Author: J.D. Stroube

Because I love showcasing the amazing talent of all the indie authors out there, please welcome J.D. Stroube and her debut urban fantasy , CAGED IN DARKNESS. To learn more about this author, her inspiration, marketing plan, and her upcoming releases, read on!

J.D. Stroube is a debut author, who released her first novel on August 1st. Caged will be her first series. J.D. will be coming out with three more series and a stand alone novel within the next year and a half. 

She is a psychology major, who attends Roosevelt University and intends to open her own practice in the future. She lives in Naperville with her husband and is extremely close to her family. She began telling people stories when she was three years old. Although, those stories mostly consisted of scribbles on the back of menus. She began writing short stories at age six and her first novel at 12, which was a horror story that was accidentally tossed with the trash.


A witch raised in a cage of darkness...

Savannah Cross was born into a life of isolation and abuse. As a child, she witnessed her parents perform acts of malevolent evil, and now feels permanently tainted by their dark deeds.

When a coven discovers a tear stricken child, wounded on their elders lawn, they offer her a sanctuary she has never known. Savannah spends the next several years shattered, continuously looking over her shoulder, waiting for the darkness to claim her.

On her 16th birthday, Savannah’s life takes a drastic turn.She is consumed by overwhelming power that forever alters her emotionally and physically.

She must choose between two loves; the one who taught her to smile or the darkly seductive stranger who tempts her towards another path. Savannah must decide between the coven that was her haven and another one vying for her initiation. Just as Savannah begins to grasp what fate has in store for her, an evil looms over her loved ones; coming to claim an unbreakable debt.

How will she choose and survive the greatest evil she has ever witnessed... long enough to have a choice to make? 

What inspired you to write your first book?
The inspiration behind Caged in Darkness began with my craving for a paranormal book that was not a vampire novel. I have always been fascinated by witches and the Wiccan religion. When I couldn’t find a book to sate my craving, I decided to write one. Caged in Darkness ended up evolving past the plot I originally imagined and took on a life of its own. When I was developing Savannah’s character, I gave her a dark past that she overcomes. As a psychology major, I have an appreciation for anyone who manages to carve their own path. I fueled Savannah’s personality with a great deal of my own. 

What book are you reading now?
I am currently reading many different books. The Game of Thrones is my favorite out of the ones I am reading. I began reading it because I watched the show and couldn’t wait to find out what would happen next. It’s refreshingly original and it’s nice to read a fantasy novel since I rarely do.

I have many favorite authors. My favorites depend on the genre. Historical Romance, my favorites are Eloisa James, Sabrina Jeffries, Sarah Maclean, Lisa Kleypas, and Julia Quinn. Mystery my favorites are Lisa Jackson and Kay Hooper. Fantasy would be James Clemens and Jim Butcher. The genre with most of my favorite authors is probably Young Adult. I absolutely love Rick Riordan, Richelle Mead, Rachel Hawkins, Claudia Gray, Cassandra Clare, J.K. Rowling, Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, and L.J. Smith. I love reading most genres. However, my favorites are Historical Romance and Young Adult. 

Why do you feel you had to write this story?

I’ve been writing my whole life, but have always been insecure about letting people read my pieces. My friends and family told me that I was a natural and was destined to become a writer. It has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember. However, I always had a little voice telling me that they were only saying those things, because they felt obligated. My professors often compliment my essays, but those are academic. Then, about six months ago, I had to write a personal narrative for one of my classes. My professor called me and told me that my essay was phenomenal. It was vastly different hearing it from her, because I knew she didn’t feel an obligation to compliment me. I also befriended a girl from my University, who quickly became an email buddy. We would tell each other about our experiences. Every time she read my emails, she would mention that she felt pulled in by them. She continually told me I should be a writer, which was amazing since I never told her about that dream. Finally, I decided that I needed to publish my books. I am sure there will be some people who won’t enjoy my books, but hopefully the people who do enjoy them will out number the ones who don’t. 

How do you market your books?

I plan to release my novels quickly. As a reader, I despise waiting a year for the next book in a series and I refuse to do this with my readers. I have three series and a stand alone novel that I will be releasing. I think people will be interested in reading my books because my writing style is unique and I have an extraordinary imagination. The people who know me, often comment on how I see the world differently. I am extremely descriptive, obsessed with editing, and I try to incorporate many twists to my stories. When I read, I can usually figure out everything that will happen in a book within the first few chapters. I don’t want people to have that issue with my books. I try to ensure that my readers will be completely surprised by my books. I also make my characters personalities realistic. There are so many different people in the world and each personality is unique. My characters aren’t perfect; they have flaws. However, I think their flaws are what make them captivating. 

If you had to chose, which author would you consider a mentor?

The authors I most consider my mentors are James Clemens and Richelle Mead. James Clemens pulled me into his Banned and the Banished series because he constantly introduced new developments into each book. His books were so unique that I still have not found a fantasy author who lives up to him. His series has remained by favorite since I was in junior high. Richelle Mead captivates me with her writing because it is so sincere. She goes the extra step to create her characters and her plot. I admire both authors.

Behind every great writer is a great support network. Who are your cheerleaders?
I’ve been lucky to have an amazing support network! My family is encouraging and is with me every step I take. My friends (Lisa, Jackie, Sarah, Regina, and Kari) all help with my editing and constantly beg me for the next piece I write. They really help to boost my self esteem. My husband is phenomenal, because he doesn’t let me give up. My father has always believed in me, which makes it easier to believe in myself. Surprisingly, my cover artist “Regina Wamba” has been great for support. We became friends during the process of creating the cover for Caged in Darkness. I feel blessed to know that I have so many people to catch me if I fall. 

If you couldn't be an author, what would your ideal career be?

I am hoping to make writing novels a career. However, I also understand that many authors cannot make a living on writing alone. I write because it’s my passion, not for money. For now, writing is something I do purely because it makes me happy. My career will be a psychologist once I am finished with the massive amount of schooling it takes to become one. 

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
My interest in writing originated when I was too young to write properly. My stories were scribbles back then. I remember beginning because my family told me to write a story during dinner. I think it was to get me to sit still, but it turned into one of my favorite things to do. When I gazed on my scribbles, I saw a real story and would read it to family members. As I aged, I became a better writer. My family quickly picked up on my natural ability and encouraged it. 

Thank you for joining us J.D!

Caged in Darkness is available on:

Connect with J.D.

Upcoming Releases:

Release Date: October 14
A bloodstone dagger to ward off evil…

In a matter of weeks, Savannah Cross has ascended, overcome a prince of darkness, and lost one whom she loved. Her powers have become a liability in the wake of her shattered world. Her rapid descent into a delusional vortex has made her unable to tell fantasy from reality. She knows her visions cannot be real and yet are as unquestionable as the air she breathes. Her only solace is the demise of the evil that would have destroyed her loved ones, but can evil ever truly die?

Willow watches as Savannah spirals into chaos, but is unable to help. She must answer Death’s ultimatum with one of her own. How will she leave behind everything to embrace a sisterhood of immortals, who do not accept her?

Savannah must pull herself from the dark void that has invaded her soul, while Willow must learn to embrace the hellhound within, because an evil has awakened to avenge hell’s lost prince.

Will they be strong enough to face the wrath of hell?

Release Date: December 16
The myth is wrong…

Death is only a man, but one who has control over all living beings. He chooses who will live or die. He commands the fates and gives the order to cut the thread of life. However, Death isn’t alone.

In the beginning of time, he realized that it would be impossible for a single figure to wield power over life and death, while still having time to punish the wicked. Death summoned the tainted souls of the dead and from them created a race of females. They would be the takers of souls, the guardians of the afterlife, and the harbingers of death.

They are Death’s Hellhounds. Wild, impulsive, and terrifying, these sisters have a solitary goal: to hunt down unspeakable evils. When Death calls his Hellhounds to embark on the Wild Hunt, they must forsake their humanity to consume the most depraved souls in existence. Six remain in the veil between life and death, but step through the threshold when Death calls.

Kali has spent her immortal life avoiding attachment. She hides her true self from all but her sisters. When Death gives her an assignment to hunt a rogue angel, she must confront the one man who places her heart in danger. Alone, she must face an enemy too powerful for a solitary Hellhound and find a way to break Death’s leash.

When wicked souls turn from the light,

And baying calls ring through the night.

Face your end or turn to flee,

For Death’s Hellhounds have come for thee!

Release Date: April 12

Synopsis soon to be posted on her website.

What are others are saying about Caged in Darkness?
"WOW! This book was pretty intense! This book has it all - my favorite shifter of a Panther - the romance triangle, and the friendship and love that grows between these witches :)" Jen Stewart
 "A twisting fantasy read. The author includes many twists to keep the reader on the edge of his/her seat. The ending is not predictable at all-a little unexpected. This book is fast-paced and fun to read. This book is recommended to fantasy readers." Chels

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