This week, we’re talking with J. L. Stowers about her new scifi novel, The Cost of Survival.
Tell us something unexpected about yourself!
I enjoy exotic gardening. My most recent accomplishment was growing a pineapple … I live in Idaho. So this was quite the feat as we are about as far from a tropical climate as you can imagine.
How did you get into writing?
I’ve been a writer as long as I can remember. Stories came naturally to me throughout my childhood. As I grew older, they became more developed. I finally feel as though my stories have matured enough to be sent out on their own.
What are you currently working on?
I’m currently working on the rest of the Genesis Rising trilogy. I’m really excited about the overall plot and can’t wait to share it.
Where did you get the inspiration for Calliope Jones series?
I spend a lot of time asking myself, “What if?” The Cost of Survival was inspired when we were trying to conceive our son. We had a difficult time becoming pregnant and it was emotionally exhausting. I also have several friends who’ve struggled with fertility issues over the years.
This caused me to ask the question, “What if women weren’t able to have children anymore?” Then, The Cost of Survival was born.
Tell us more about the main characters in your new novel.
I really love Walt Marshall. There’s a lot of me in that man. He’s grumpy, has a general distaste for people, and doesn’t like being told what to do. On the surface, he doesn’t generally seem very pleasant. However, Walt is also incredibly likable. I like to think the bitter side of all of us can relate to him in some way.
Early on in The Cost of Survival, we start to learn about why Walt is the way that he is. Throughout the book, the reader gets a better understanding of his behaviors and motives. By the end, you’ll be happy you met him. I know I was.
Who is your favorite writer and why?
Hands down J. R. R. Tolkien. The Hobbit was my gateway into in-depth stories that crossed over and examined human nature in ways we never considered. My father started reading it to me when I was 8 years old. We read The Lord of the Rings as well. From that moment, I’ve been a lifelong fan. I also greatly enjoy the works of Piers Anthony. I devoured book after book of his throughout my youth. I still have them all too. I’d say I have about 40 of his books. My oldest child just turned 10, which is when I discovered Piers Anthony. So I’m very excited to start sharing these with him.
What are your top 3 books of all time?
The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and the Incarnations of Immortality series. I know that’s more than 3… but there’s no way I could narrow it down any further than that.
Have you got any writing rituals?
Right now, with young children at home, I can’t rely on any specific ritual. As soon as the kids give me a moment, I’m working on my craft. I will say that I do my best writing with a Pepsi and something to munch on by my side.
How important is marketing and social media for you?
Marketing and social media are extremely important. They help me reach my fans.
Do you read your book reviews?
I do. I’m thankful for each one. I also read every email sent my way. I feel that it’s a great way to hear what my fans think and make sure I’m on the right track.
What advice would you have for other writers?
Keep at it. Writing is a marathon, not a sprint. And when I say that, I’m not just talking about how long it takes you to write your book. You have to prepare for a marathon both mentally and physically. Writing and publishing a book is remarkably similar. You prepare by constantly trying to improve upon yourself. And when you cross that finish line and press “Publish” it’s exhilarating.
What are you reading now?
At the end of a long day, I really enjoy a good laugh. I recently read the first Space Team book and am looking forward to the next one.
What’s your next step?
My next step is completing the second book in the series, The Price of Freedom.
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