Interview with Papi Z (The Literary Syndicate)

Welcome everyone! Here we are with another fantastic episode of Papi Talk! This week we have Author JS Riddle on the couch just dying to be pried and probed, Papi Z Style!

js riddle


Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule JS! I appreciate it a great deal!

Papi Z– When did you decide to be a Writer? And why?

JS– I would have to say I never really made a decision, it just happened. It began when I was a young adult/teenager. It slowly progressed from writing down my sporadic thoughts, some poetry, to short stories, and it expanded from there. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I finally switched gears in the brain thinking that maybe there was something more I could do with my work besides stacks of paper lying everywhere, hiding away from the world.

Papi Z– So it wasn’t a special book or poem you read and a light bulb went off? Just something that you always did?

JS– Imagination. Dreams, nightmares, ADD mostly. I’m sure it was subconscious with the works of King, Rice, or Tolkien floating around in the back of my mind. I read heavy stuff when I was young I just wrote for me so I never thought about it at the start.

Papi Z– Stephen King has been a huge influence upon me. I read The Stand and wanted to write.

JS– The Stand was a wonderful, yet very deep book. So many things go on with it that you can’t help to be drawn into that world and come out ready to create your own. King is one of my all time favorite authors.

Papi Z– What have you found to be your biggest struggle as an Author?

JS– Visibility and the digital attention span. As an Independent Author I do my own marketing and promotion and networking is a big key. How does one stay noticed when the digital world is going at warp speed?

Papi Z– By publishing at the same speed?

JS– It is very hard to publish when you’re working so hard to get your other work noticed and out there to the world. I’m not a professional at marketing or even pretend to know much about social media. I would love for there to be a magic button to do all of that for me so I can focus completely on my writing.

Papi Z– Maybe a small indie publisher could help? Have you submitted your work to one of those?

JS– I submitted to publishers a while back before I fine tuned my work, but finding a small one was something I honestly felt I had little or no access to. As mentioned before, doing things on a social level has been hard and finding something to fit my world while stuck in the deep south…….I didn’t think that I had many choices. The world seemed to be shifting to digital at that time so I delved into that and made it my focus.

Papi Z– Thereby losing the benefits and marketing knowledge and power of a publisher.

JS– That’s what happens when you live in a Hobbit hole like mine. Publishing houses wanted agent submissions, agents began to dwindle, and I felt I had no reach in places like New York City or Los Angeles where there were aplenty. I honestly wish that I had a bit more of an awaking on what was available earlier on instead of the idea of only the huge traditionally big publishing houses. I may revisit the idea when I have more things written out on the actual computer.

Papi Z– What do you enjoy most about the writing process?

JS– The light bulb factor. My brain works on association. I can be doing something simple, say watering the flowers and end up with a secret society of vampire hunters. The process is amazing if someone is there to bounce ideas off of. I get more excited than a kid in a candy shop.

Papi Z– A secret society of miniature vampire hunters living among the flowers?

JS– Now THAT would be something I can bet another author I know could use. That idea popped into your head pretty quick, might I add.

Papi Z– I am an idea guy… he he he Papi Z, lord of the miniature vampire hunters! Grr, fear me Spawns of Satan! ha ha ha

JS– I will bow before the mighty king so I won’t be bigger than the miniature lord. ;)

Papi Z– Tessa is a well developed, strong female lead. You didn’t take the easy way out and make her sparkling, submissive or a psycho. Why did you take the road less traveled?

JS– Well, sparkling should stick to unicorns. Silliness aside, I have always been determined to make the female character a central figure. I grew up with true ideas of women being non-submissive and felt there needed to be someone who screamed that old saying “I am woman hear me roar“. I dislike keeping to the same thing over and over again. What’s the fun in that? I don’t even have a box to think outside of. When I started writing I honestly didn’t have her as she turned out. She went from a simple vampire torn between two worlds and somehow ended up someone with such a dark past, a long journey of growth to finally something so triumphant and grandiose. I think when I really fell inside her character I knew she HAD to be strong. Everything around her made her what she became and it really shines through; its why I chose Rise of a Queen as the title.

Papi Z– And an apt title it is. I enjoyed the depth of the character, well done.

JS– Thank you. I thought it was very fitting to her specifically.

Papi Z– There are some romantic scenes in your book, but nothing I would consider hardcore. IS your book still for sale, or has it been taken down in the purge as well?

JS– Well romantic is a bit…..broad. Since everything has its place for story progression it was bound to happen and I felt the need to leave them out would really rip the story to shreds. So far I have stayed clear from that devil of a purge. The book is for sale through Amazon at the moment (A little experiment for myself) and they have not found an issue.

Papi Z– Good. I just read an article that said KOBO has removed all self published titles, regardless of genre, and Amazon and B & N is clearing out anything remotely “erotica” but only from self published authors.

JS– To me that sounds a bit prejudice to anybody not published through the big houses. Isn’t there going to be a mainstream movie made from an author who made an (ill) attempt at erotica? (Just my opinion) Of course my own thought is that the Big’s felt threatened and instead of competing with the self-published author they want to wipe them out; again that’s all my own speculation. I think that anything that I have written is not quite to that point, maybe skirting the line would be easier to say. I don’t think I’ve written anything more detailed thanAnne Rice has. Or even Stephen King at that!

Papi Z– There are mentions of new technologies in the book that permit the Vampires to walk during the day, but only in general terms. I liked that about this one. It didn’t have the same feel as the traditional Vampire story, it broke free of the molds and strides it own path. Is this something that will be explored in greater detail later in the series?

JS– I would like to go into more detail about the technology since the door is left wide open, I know some people would like to hear more, but I can’t make promises. I like the fantasy of it, the interweaving of historical past and mythology mixed with a futuristic, yet somewhat plausible, feel. I am really character focused and if I find that it takes away from them too much it would defeat my purpose of the reader becoming that character; my main goal.

Papi Z– How many of your preconceived notions about writing have come true? How many have fizzled into thin air?

JS– My idea of a writer sitting in front of a typewriter churning out book after book while they enjoyed the quiet of their little sanctuary in the woods. That is how I thought writers lived, that it was so easy for them to make such great masterpieces. I realized that once I decided that writing was what I wanted to do with my life that it was much more than writing something, sending it in, and make lots of money.

I have drawers full of unfinished work that could tell you that its not that simple. Its a tough world and even harder to become on of the few, the chosen. If you had asked me even ten years ago if I would be turning my work into an e-book I would look at you silly. I did have a thought running around in the back of my mind that authors would one day have more control over their work and world. That seems to be something that is very true to this day with the self-published authors leading the way.

Papi Z– If you could have a Literary career in the mold of a current Author, living or dead, who would it be, and why?

JS– Since we’re not talking of ancient authors (which would be Homer by the way but with a big explanation behind it) I will go with Stephen King since he is this century. He doesn’t care what people say or what rules that are out there. He keeps to himself when he wants to and is not screaming for attention like some recent authors that I have seen (sparkly followed by its fan fiction). Would love for my work to be on the big screen or television? Sure, I think that it could be done, but its not my goal. I want to keep out of that box and I think King does just that. (I’m going to have to watch and see about the big purge. I don’t understand it myself and just makes my conspiracy of the big publishing houses having their big say in all things written a bit more solid)

Papi Z– Which fictional character(of any genre) would you most like to meet? What would you ask them?

JS– Guy Montag of Fahrenheit 451 fame (Ray Bradbury). The big question would be “Why did it take so long to open your eyes?” I know it is completely the point of the story and its what makes a person really get involved and feel for the character but sometimes I would just wish that if he had made his realization sooner that there would be much more accomplished and even continue on into a series.

Papi Z– How do you write? Pen and Paper? Pencil? Computer, typewriter, or cave drawings?

JS– Left handed illegible pen/pencil to paper. Its the easiest for me and its the best for traveling. Now the deciphering that comes to stick it on the computer….that’s painful but obviously necessary. I used to use a typewriter, she’s my sweetheart. I could only imagine what one could come up with through cave drawings. I think I’d be kicked out of the tribe.

Papi Z– Cave drawings would be fun I think. Kind of like Pictionary…

JS– I draw stick people well.

Papi Z– My stick people are awful. :) Has there been a character you wrote that you intended to elicit a specific reaction, and received the exact opposite reaction?

JS– Isaac. I get a reaction from some people I didn’t expect, or even thought of regarding his reception. There is definitely a Team Greco vs Team Isaac even though the two are never in competition for Tessa’s attention.

Papi Z– I am Team Greco!

JS– Issac was created for a huge necessity factor to spin the story forward. I think if I gave him a bigger role, maybe the idea of him around would have a different effect.

Papi Z– Is there a way for Greco to come back from the dead? And maybe sparkle? I bet sales would sky rocket then… he he he

JS– Never a sparkle except in Tessa’s eye. Throughout Rise of a Queen he comes back, obviously when Tessa revisits her past. A true resurrection wouldn’t suit the story since it will move forward with Ariana. I have toyed with the idea of a prequel of sorts, but then that is only an idea. His story could become a good one I think.

Papi Z– *sigh* Okay.

JS– You’re not the only one that wants more Greco. I will say that he is still around, but more on a Tessa level and gives her the support that she needs.

Papi Z– Rise Of A Queen is a great read. What are you most proud of with it?

JS– Tessa’s growth. I am very happy with how she turned out. How humanly inhuman she became. I never expected her to become what she did and have such a driving force. Some of it was written in such a whirlwind of emotion that it felt like my brain forgot to tell me it was commanding my fingers to write. I look back and I realize how vulnerable I made her yet someone to truly fear at the same time.

Papi Z– You accomplished that quite well. Excellent job. Last question young lady! How many books are planned in the series?

JS– Well it started out as one. Just one. The Vampire Realm. It has progressed into three, with that possible prequel I never made a full promise on The second one is going to be a great buildup of characters, giving them their own voice and role with my beloved battle to be played out with the third focusing on a mad king bent on eradicating all things unlike Ariana and him. Let’s just say it doesn’t play out to his liking.

Papi Z– Thank you very much JS, this was a lot of fun!

There are a number of ways to contact JS Riddle. Also purchase her book. It is a good one. Thank you for stopping by.

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