Featured Author: JW Robitaille
Q: In three words, describe yourself.
A: Hard-working, resourceful, creative
Q: How many books have you written? How many of those are published?
A: I've written 11 books. Eight are published or about to be published. The other three are a YA series that I haven't released yet.
Q: Do you have an upcoming release? If yes, tell me the title and impending release date.
A: Consequences, the fourth Cory Marin detective novel, is due out on 7/19.
Q: Tell me about how you come up with your titles for your stories. Do you create the title before or after you write the book, and does it ever change from the initial title?
A: I generally come up with the title as I'm working on a novel and the theme is solidifying in my mind.
Q: Out of all your characters in all of your books, who/what (sometimes a setting can also be an important “character”) do you think is the most interesting and why?
A: Location is a character for me because all of my fiction is set in Gainesville, Florida, a college town. I'm particularly fond of the group of characters I've created for the Cory Marin series because I feel like they've all become my friends.
Q: If you could “create” your own genre of what you write, what would you call your books?
A: I write character-centered stories. I would call the Cory Marin series character-based detective fiction or literary detective fiction.
Q: Without quoting your back cover blurb, tell me about the last book you published.
A: Consequences, the one due out in July, focuses on three female detectives taking on a high school sexting scandal because they can't stand to see how powerless the girls are. Each detective has a backstory that helps explain her determination to help the girls.
Q: Tell me something about yourself that is separate from writing.
A: I've also painted (primarily oils but also watercolors and pastels) for almost as long as I've written. I took a painting class when I was frustrated with not being able to bring my first novel together. What that class taught me was that you can't do anything (a book or a painting) in your head. It has to happen on the page or on the canvas. I've painted and written ever since. I'm also a do-it-yourselfer. I love having a vision of what I could make (whether it's a novel or restoring a house or a painting) and then seeing it come to fruition.
Q: Who are your top THREE favorite authors?
A: Louise Penny, Donna Leon, Ian Rankin
Q: What is the last book that you read? (Not counting anything you wrote)
A: Less by Andrew Sean Greer. It's quirky and funny and charming. I mostly listen to audiobooks and I go through 2-3 per week.
Q: When writing, do you have a system or something you plan, or do you just write?
A: With detective novels, I have to have a crime and at least a pool of suspects before I start (even though I often know who did it and why). That pool of suspects often grows as I write, as do subplots, so the plot gets more and more complicated as I write.
Q: Why do you write?
A: I write for much the same reason I paint: because I love to reflect some part of the amazing complexity and beauty of the world I see.
Q: Do you currently have a WIP? If yes, what’s the title, and is it part of a series or standalone?
A: This summer I'll be working on the fifth Cory Marin novel. It's tentatively titled Spring of Fire.
Q: Do you read your own work a lot? If so, what does it do for you?
A: I only read my work when I'm doing a public reading. It's fun to revisit the opening of Romancing the Crime, the first Cory Marin novel because I realize I set up the major characters in that first chapter.
Q: I play music when I write, and depending on the setting or mood of the story depends on what I listen to. Do you listen to music when you write? If so, what genre or artist/band do you listen to?
A: I tend not to listen to music (although I always do when I'm painting and Tom Petty, Dire Straits, and Bruce Springsteen are my faves for painting). I write in the morning. I also tend to write when I'm walking. I use the notes function on my phone to record scenes and dialogue as I walk. I can then send the file to myself and clean it up.
Q: As an author, I find that the hardest thing to write (for me) is the blurb that will be on the back cover or book’s description. When you write, what is the hardest line to write, the first line, the last line or the synopsis for the book?
A: The synopsis is definitely the hardest. It's really hard to condense the complex world of a novel into a paragraph or two.
Q: What does it mean to be a “successful” writer?
A: To me being successful means doing the work, writing, editing, and publishing stories. It helps if people like the work, but for me, the primary measure of success is that I'm writing and completing projects.
Q: What do you want to accomplish, so when you look back at your life, you can say “I did that”?
A: My two boys are the part of my life I'm proudest of, but I'm also proud of having restored the house we live in (and several other houses) and having accomplished the things I set my mind to, whether that was painting or writing novels.
Q: Any final thoughts that you want to give to your fans or even future authors?
A: Jump in and get started on whatever it is you want to do. Don't put it off, and don't give up once you do start, no matter how tough the going gets. The only thing you will regret is not trying.
Fiction website: https://jwrobitaille.com/
Do-it-yourself website: https://thiswomanwashere.com/
Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.com/JW-Robitaille/e/B019LQI974?ref_=dbs_p_ebk_r00_abau_000000
Book Bub page https://www.bookbub.com/profile/jw-robitaille
Facebook author page: JWRobitaille