Wordy Wednesday with J B Rockwell

I nearly ran out of authors for you all to read about! Can you imagine, the horror! Luckily the world is full of amazing people writing tales for our enjoyment, which is just as well as I know most of use read a book in much less time than it takes to write one! Twitter put me in touch with some new (to me, and sometimes actually new) authors and I popped them into the virtual hot seat for a full grilling!

First up let us all meet J B Rockwell. Sweating in the interview chair, quaking slightly, clutching her beverage of choice, and looking forward to the slice of cake which she has been told she can only have once this interview is complete.

Hello JB, may I call you that? Tell us all about you:

So, I’m J.B. Rockwell *waves* and I write speculative fiction—sci-fi and fantasy mostly, though I did have one light horror/weird book published that’s…well, weird. I’ve got four books published now (yay!), the first two books fantasy trilogy (BREAKSHIELD and SEIOKANA, with Book 3—REAPER—due out this November), that light horror book I mentioned (BIMIANGUS, which I put more in the creepy/weird category since it’s about a creepy bull…I KNOW!) and my latest (and favorite) book: SERENGETI, which is sci-fi. Oh. OH! And SERENGETI comes out in audio book at the end of April! SQUEEE!!!
Mostly I write adult spec pic but I’ve also dabbled in young adult fiction and middle grade level fiction.
As for me, personally, I’m a wannabe archaeologist. Oh, and I have three cats. That’s important because I only had TWO cats until number three showed up after a snow storm and never left.

Do you have another job or are you a full time author? If you do something else what is it and do you like it?
Yes, I’m a slave to the day job. I DREAM of writing full time but right now I work in information technology for the US Coast Guard. That also means I only get to write on the weekends so I jealously guard my scarce writing time. I like working for the Coast Guard. It’s a pretty cool organization. The Mighty Mite of the Military, as it were. :)

When did you start writing?
About 5 years ago—I know, I’m a late bloomer. I’ve always loved to read but I was completely intimidated by the idea of writing a book myself. Then I got an idea and decided to challenge myself and go with it. As with most authors, that first book was very…first bookish and never made it off the shelf. In fact, is still isn’t published, but one day I’ll pull it out and rewrite now that I actually have somewhat of a clue about writing.

What 3 things are guaranteed to make you smile?
Puppies. Kittens. Anything cute with fur. (I’m counting that as one)
Hearing that someone really, truly enjoyed one of my books or short stories, especially if they liked the humor I tried to build in. - you see readers, reviews matter, make an author smile, review a book!
Hanging out and chatting with good friends. I mean GOOD friends. Because we always end up cutting up and laughing our butts off.

Do you have any pets? If yes, what, and do they help or hinder the writing process?
Yes! The aforementioned three cats. I’d like to add a dog too, but right now my working days are too long and it wouldn’t be fair. Cats are great, they just sleep until you get home and then demand food and snuggles. Sometimes the cats help with the writing and sometimes they are a complete roadblock. My best writing moments are sitting in front of a roaring fire with a sleepy cat cuddled up beside me and a good movie or some really good music in the background. But when the cats aren’t sleepy they have zero patience for writing. So, if they’re stirred up and wanting attention there’s no sense even trying to write. On the other hand, I’ve found a lot of inspiration in watching my cats. I’ve written stories with both foes and dragons in them and much of their mannerisms are based on watching my cats be cats. - evil cats?

Who is your favourite author? Do they influence your writing or are they a total break from the sort of thing you write?
I’m a HUGE fan of C.J. Cherryh. She’s one of those authors where I just buy the book because here name is on it. Her writing has definitely influenced mine—no one writes a broken character better than her—but I am in no way, shape or form saying I write as well as her. Just, some of the themes she uses, the way she builds characters and the way she weaves her stories together—I’ve tried to borrow some of that awesomeness and adapt it to my own stories. Plus she writes both sci-fi and fantasy equally well so I feel a kinship.

Which book(s) are you reading at the moment?
I’m actually re-reading the Richard Sharpe books by Bernard Cornwell. I love them. I read a lot of sci-fi and fantasy, obviously, but historical fiction is another love of mine.

Where do you do most of your writing?
When it’s cold or icky outside, I write in my living room by the fireplace. When it’s nice, I sit outside on the patio in the dappled sunlight with the trees all around me. I have a very zen patio. :) I also carry a little moleskin notebook around with me and I’ve been known to scribble down ideas and entire passages while standing in the feed zone at one of my husband’s bike races, waiting for him to come by and want a water bottle.

Tell us about the character that you've written that you like the most - no spoilers!
I’ve got a series of short stories of written, about half of which have found homes in anthologies and e-zines about that this half-crazy, over-machoed starship Captain named Phinnaeus Crowhammer who’s always getting into trouble. He’s a fun character to write because he’s foul mouthed and completely sexist in an entertaining way. Plus he’s got an eclectic crew that includes an otter who pilots the ship. Those stories are pure fun to write.

What is your favourite biscuit?
Ha-ha! This always cracks me up. UK biscuits = US cookies :) I have to say, I’ve never found a biscuit I didn’t like, unless it has raisins instead of chocolate chips—WHAT IS THE POINT??? I think my favorite of all time is still the good old, tried and true chocolate chip cookie. I mean, what’s not to like? - separated by a common language, drawn together by a love of biscuits/cookies :-)

Tea or Coffee?
Coffee. I know, I’m a heathen. Then again, I’m American. I also quite fancy cocoa. not a heathen at all - I'm a real coffee fan, hot as hell, dark as night, sweet as love...actually not sweet I don't take sugar...bitter as my soul?

In the film of your life who would play you? (why)
OH GOD THIS WOULD BE A HORROR MOVIE WHY WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS??? Um…I think Reese Witherspoon is closest to my basic size, shape and looks (not that I look like her but running through actresses she probably comes the closet to not-not looking like me…if that makes any sense). Personality-wise, I like to think I’m more like Felicia Day: cookie and off-kilter but fun to hang with. :) - ha I'm the interviewer - I do it because I can!

If you could genetically cross an animal and a vegetable, what would you pick and why? I like the idea of a potato and a sloth...could you get a lazier creature? (my soul mate)
Good question. I think a pumpkin and a hedgehog. You’d get this fat, orange, prickly little critter with a long snout and tiny paws that would alternate between sleeping and waddling about—ADORABLE!

Find out more about J B Rockwell at her Author site: www.jenniferbrockwell.com
Find her on Amazon (and buy books) at: http://www.amazon.com/
Over on Goodreads : https://www.goodreads.com/
SERENGETI: http://www.severedpress.com/books/serengeti/
Follow her on Twitter: @Rockwell_JB
'Like' her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rockwellJB/

Huge thanks for taking part - as usual readers are welcome to come and chat over at my Facebook Page or my Twitter. Until nest week. Keep reading! (oh and you can have that cake now)