15 September 2014


Thank you Albert Wendland for inviting me to participate in the My Writing Process (#mywritingprocess) blog tour.

1) What am I working on?

Right now I'm juggling a few things. As long as they don't fall at the same time, I'm good.

ALL SAINTS is the next part of the MURDER BALLADS AND WHISKEY series. It tells Ben's story after the events in THE REVELATIONS OF PRESTON BLACK. Ben is dealing with his PTSD and some other issues as a few of some of Dani's old enemies close in. Right now I'm working on a section from Dani's POV that sets the stage for the events in ALL SAINTS to play out. I'm really excited to be telling her story, and in a way, I think I'm seeing MURDER BALLADS AND WHISKEY is as much about her as it is Preston, Katy and the gang. 

The other big thing I got going is the thriller I'm working on with Heidi. Kind of like CHILD 44 meets THE X FILES. Very, very excited about this.

Lastly, I'm repackaging THE DEVIL AND PRESTON BLACK and THE REVELATIONS OF PRESTON BLACK into an Amazon bundle which will include song lyrics, short stories, some article I've written about the music I curated for the books. Kind of a Preston Black 'starter kit.'

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

If anything, it's urban/dark fantasy meets rural noir. The back cover blurb for HELLBENDER describes it as 'JUSTIFIED with witches,' but it's a lot more than that. THE DEVIL AND PRESTON BLACK reveals some strong literary elements while sticking to a fairly structured plot. Most of the horror elements are subtle, and of a more personal/less supernatural nature. THE REVELATIONS OF PRESTON BLACK is a more tightly structured plot that lets it sit firmly in the catbird seat between dark fantasy, horror, and supernatural thriller.

The best part of this nebulous genre labeling? My readers come from across the spectrum. Literary readers see deeper meaning in Preston's actions. Romance readers see the love triangle between Preston, Katy and Dani. The only thing it isn't, is SF (until PRESTON BLACK AND THE SPIDERS FROM MARS, that is.)  

3) Why do I write what I do?

I write what I know and love. Music, travel and the power of place, meeting the girl of your dreams. I try to live in a way that puts her first, and I think that's why the relationships are always at the center of my plots. And then there's the drinking...

4) How does my individual writing process work?

My process doesn't emanate from any particular place. The plot of REVELATIONS came from an image I had in my head—a woman walking through a swamp with fistfuls of vipers. HELLBENDER was conceived when a crazy weekend on Spruce Knob, West Virginia joined forces with a bunch of guide stories I hoped to tell one day. The book is is essentially a result of my love of the mountains. THE DEVIL AND PRESTON BLACK is my love letter to music.

But the process begins with a complete outline. Okay, 80% of an outline. Pages and pages of research—setting details, colloquialisms, historical details. I need to get as immersed in a world as I possibly can. The details let plot points reveal themselves to me as I go. That deep knowledge lets my outline—maybe that final 20%—materialize while I write.    

Here are some other participant responses:
Heidi Ruby Miller
Anika Denise 
Shawn Hopkins
Eva Hudson
Rhonda Mason
Albert Wendland
K. Ceres Wright


  1. I am so excited about our collaborative project!! :D

    Great post, J.

  2. Kudos on this -- love the mixtape and the news about your collab with Heidi, which is sure to pack a wallop! Here's to the next chapter...