JM Bray

Read more about JM Bray.

Interview By: Night Owl Romance

Date: July 03, 2014

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Current Release: Mending the Shroud

What's your book about?

The second in the fresh, exciting romantic fantasy Shroud trilogy takes up where Tearing the Shroud leaves off — with the lives, the loves, and the mythical world beyond the veil. After accepting bodily possession and saving the world, Vincent thought his life would get easier. He thought wrong. The Shroud may not have torn wide open, but it did tear a little, and the retribution for the failure is coming hard, fast, and directly at Vincent and the people he loves.

What should readers expect from you titles?

Sweet romance woven into layers of fantasy with vivid, humorous, interesting characters. My novels are easy to read, but be sure to pay attention to the layers, everything is there for a reason. I’ve even put in obscure goodies for detail lovers out there. The fight scenes are…well let’s just call them descriptive…Quentin Tarantino would be right at home filming them. I love knowing why characters do what they do and write from multiple points of view so we get to find out. I also like having nice guys finish first and Vincent and Jule embody that…if they survive. **cue maniacal laughter**

What's your writing process like?

It always starts with a “what if” moment and once I have one, I let it sit. I like to mull ideas, letting them stew and build in my mind. Then, if they’re still around a couple of months later, I figure they must be good enough to pursue. The benefit of stewing my ideas is that when I do start to write, they’ve build up like a pressure cooker and letting them out is almost a relief, rather than a struggle. Once I’m writing, I just follow where the story leads, happily surprised by what the characters decide to do. It’s like reading a book in slow motion. It happens faster than it sounds, as my mind latches onto things like a bulldog.

Which authors do you follow religiously?

Raymond E. Feist, Stephen R. Lawhead, Terry Brooks, Robert Jordan, Anne McCaffery, Dean Koontz, Allen Dean Foster, Stephen R. Donaldson, Fred Saberhagen, Ainsle Paton…there are more but I’ve read or am reading everything these folks have written.

What's next for you as an author?

I recently finished the first draft of Shrouded, the last in the Shroud Trilogy. It takes place fourteen, then twenty-four years after Mending the Shroud. I’ve been mulling two other novel ideas. One based on Mr. Brown, a secondary character in the Shroud Trilogy, and how he came to be who he is. The second is a time travel story that starts now and goes into the early 1930’s and includes a secret society, the first woman to ride a motorcycle in every US state and Randolf Hearst.

Getting a book to market often takes a village. Who has helped you on the way?

Good lord…the list would take pages. I need a city, not a village. Friends, like Flea and Knife, who let me glean their college selves then exaggerate them, beta readers, critique partners, auxiliary experts, punctuation police, an abundantly understanding wife, Ainslie Paton (an amazing author) who pushed for my best voice…and that’s before Escape Publishing saw it. Then there’s my stupendous editor, Belinda Holmes. She saw how the story could go to yet another level and patiently helped me realize it as well. The team at Escape does such wonderful work with all the details and artwork!

Do you have a favorite or interesting reader meet moment?

I do. It’s a small, but significant one. A week or so after Tearing the Shroud released, a young man I didn’t know walked up and introduced himself. He gushed about how much he loved the title. It's small but it was the first time it occurred, to know that someone, who has no connection to you, not only loved your work but wanted more… Wow!

If you could travel to another time, would you choose past or future or would you stick where you are at? And Why?

If I could take the knowledge I have now with me…I’d travel back to 1989. I know, that doesn’t sound very exciting, but here’s why. I wrote the first thirty pages of Tearing the Shroud that year, then “life” got in the way. I don’t regret not finishing it then, because I hadn’t lived enough of that “life” I mentioned and the story wouldn’t be what it is today. Ahh, but if I could take the “me” I am now, along… That’d be tempting!

Do you feel music has inspired your writing?

Absolutely. The first two novels are set in the mid 1980’s so The Cure, Cheap Trick, Echo and the Bunnymen, Modern English and more all played a part. Additionally I’ve found that having certain Pandora stations playing softly really sets the mood for my writing. A few are: Keren Ann, A.A. Bondy, Jose Gonzalez, and Carla Bruni. Interestingly, I can’t have music when I’m editing, only the initial writing.

Signing Off

Thank you readers for your faithful support and encouragement! Look for Shrouded around the first of next year and lots more to come in the future. If you find me somewhere on the net or in person, be sure to say hi, I don’t’ bite…much.