Author name: Jason R. Koivu
Books: Beyond Barlow, The Rue of Hope (#2 in Beyond Barlow series)
What’s your story and how did you become a writer? I got the bug early on, but didn’t do much about it until I started self-publishing some travel journal stuff after my wife and I went to Oaxaca in 2014. It was a great trip to a wonderful place. I wanted to write about all the amazing things we did and saw, so I kept a daily diary and that eventually was turned into a book. A couple years after that I secured a contract with a publisher and since then I’ve mainly been working on my fantasy series.
How do you balance your work with other demands? I run a photo booth operation, doing occasional party events in the evenings and on weekends, so I have an unusual schedule. It gives me plenty of free time for writing.
Name one of the happiest moments in your life: Getting that first book contract was an incredibly happy moment. Not to bring down the mood but…Just minutes after receiving the news of the contract, I opened the email that informed me a friend of mine had taken his own life the night before. So, that day will be forever burned in my memory, the two events always entwined.
What’s your approach to writing? Are you a “pantser” or a planner? Planner. I organize the crap out of the books I’m about to work on. I used to pants it as a kid, but after a couple unfinished manuscripts that went nowhere because I didn’t have an ending or I boxed myself into a bad idea, I decided any future work would include outlines. However, once I construct the skeleton, I allow myself the freedom to dress it in flesh and muscle of my choosing. Changes to my plans happen often and I embrace them.
Could you write in a café with people around? Sure! My favorite brewpub down the street from my house has a nice corner spot at the bar where I can be out of the way while I type. Writing in public isn’t ideal, because of the distractions, but over the years I’ve developed a fair ability to block out extraneous noise.
What’s your favorite book and what are you reading now? The most meaningful book for me would be To Kill a Mockingbird. But for pure nostalgic enjoyment it’s The Fellowship of the Ring. Right now, I’m reading The Murder on the Links, Agatha Christie’s second book in her Poirot series.
What’s your favorite way to read a book: hardcover, paperback, eReader? I love a paperback, but it doesn’t much matter, just as long as I’m reading.
Do you think print books will always be around? No. Not in profusion, at any rate. But I hope to be dead by then. J
Would you ever read a book on your phone? I have and it wasn’t fun. But it was on an early iPhone which had small screen, so…probably not the best conditions for a good reading experience.
Do you listen to audiobooks? If you do, what do you do while you’re listening? Yes, I go through quite a few of them. I line up some household duties and knock them out while listening. The dishes, laundry and yard work don’t require concentration, so it’s a good time to listen to an audiobook. Plus, it makes it feel like the drudge work is going by faster. I actually look forward to weeding the garden or raking the lawn if I’ve got something good to listen to.
Do you like using social media to promote yourself and your book? If so, what’s your favorite platform? Probably Instagram, because I don’t have to talk about myself. I hate doing promotion. I don’t like selling myself or my work. It doesn’t feel right and I’m not good at it…. How’s this interview going? Lol
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