J.T. Bishop: I have always enjoyed writing. I would write little things here and there, but never complete them. Then I took a class about how to teach children to write and I loved it. I wrote poems, a memoir, a biography, and rewrote a nursery rhyme. We wrote the things we would teach children to write. After that, I still tinkered, but did it more often. Finally, in the fall of 2012, I started writing my book and this time I kept going. I haven't stopped.
LBBB: How long did it take for you to write your first book?
J.B.: I wrote the first book of my trilogy in eight months.
LBBB: How do you come up with ideas for your stories?
J.B.: In the fall of 2012, the end of the Mayan calendar was approaching. (Dec. 21.) I watched a video on Facebook that theorized what it all meant and one of the stories was about how the earth was a central hub of activity for extraterrestrials thousands of years ago. I didn't know about that, but it did make me wonder—what if they were still here? What if extraterrestrials lived among us? And thus, Red-Line was born.
LBBB: What is your writing routine like? Do you have a set schedule or are you flexible?
J.B.: I work full time, so I write on my days off. I love to have a full uninterrupted day where I can sit and write with no other distractions. I occasionally write in the evenings, but prefer mornings. If I write at night, I'll end up going to sleep much later than planned.
LBBB: What inspires you to write?
J.B.: I pretty much write what I love to read. I love great characters, snappy dialogue and diving into people's relationships. I love to put my characters through the wringer and see what comes out in the end. I can't stop writing when I get into a great scene.
LBBB: Are any of your stories written from personal experience, or any character traits that mirror yours?
J.B.: My characters are not based on personal experience. I do have an interest in spirituality, so those themes do show up in my work. I love speculative fiction - coming up with out of the ordinary situations. It allows me to really explore my creativity.
LBBB: When in a slump, what do you do? If you read or listen to music, what are your go-to books or music?
J.B.: If I'm trying to figure out where to go with a scene, I usually sleep on it. Just sitting and trying to think it out rarely works. It's better to walk away and take a break. I go to sleep and rest. Then, usually, I wake up in the middle of the night and that's when I get my best ideas. I keep a notebook by my bed so I can write my ideas down. Otherwise, I'll go back to sleep and won't remember my thoughts when wake up.
LBBB: How do you respond to negative feedback/comments with your work?
J.B.: I don't respond to anyone who leaves a negative review. It hits me in the heart when I read them, but I don't dwell on it. If you're planning to write and publish for any length of time, then you have to expect that not everyone will like your work. As long as the majority of people are enjoying my books though, then I know I'm doing okay.
LBBB: What is your writing space like? Do you work anywhere or do you have a special place just for your writing? Messy or clean?
J.B.: I sit on my couch, grab my laptop, and start writing. It's pretty simple. No TV or music either. Just a cup of coffee and a quiet space is all I need.
LBBB: Do you have a favorite author? Series?
J.B.: I love the Pendergast novels by Lincoln and Child. I used to read Stephen King all the time when I was younger, but I still love him. I just read his memoir, On Writing, and it was brilliant.
LBBB: Any fur-babies?
J.B.: I had a cat named Minnie. She passed away when I began to write. I always wonder about her timing. I have not found a new fur baby yet.
LBBB: Thanks for stopping by and letting us pick your author brain!
I work as a Customer Service Manager at a swim school full time, but love to write in my spare time. I also love to hike, travel, enjoy good food and watch good movies.