Monday, September 19, 2011

Blogoversary Author Interview & Giveaway: L.J. Sellers

Hi Everyone,
Make sure you check out all the other interviews and giveaways by checking out the Blogoversary Tab or Picture at the top of the page.

Today we have an indie author who I was just introduced to a few weeks ago but I am very excited to delve into the next book in her Thriller Series.

Please Welcome L.J. SELLERS to Blood Rose Books Today

Can you remember the first book that you wrote? Did it inspire you further to be a writer?
Indeed, I can. I sat down on August 7, 1989 and started a book called Personal Justice. It wasn’t publishable, but I had a blast writing it and started another one immediately after. I knew then that storytelling was my future and that someday I would make a living from fiction. It took a little longer than I expected, but I got there.

Do you find that having a background in both journalism and editing helps you as an author? How does it help you?
My journalism career taught me sound writing principles, and it also gave me self-discipline. I don’t have writer’s block. I map out my story, then sit down and write it. I may get stuck sometimes with plot issues that need rethinking, or have days that the words are slow, but once I start a story, I usually finish the first draft within a few months. On the other hand, editing fiction taught me to look for the same errors in my own work. So now I self-edit a lot as I’m writing.

What has been your biggest challenge you have had as an indie author?
I have the same struggle as all new authors: to connect with readers and get them to try my books. As an indie though, reaching readers is more challenging because I’m not eligible for review by the major publications, or by some minor ones either, nor can I enter award contests. So indies still face barriers and stigmas that make promotion harder.

Most of your books appear to fall within the thriller genre. With authors like James Patterson and Jeffrey Archer, do you think that it is a harder genre to break into?
Five of my titles are technically police procedurals, a subcategory of the mystery/detective genre, which has plenty of bestselling authors as well. Three of my novels are standalone thrillers, but all very different. Genre novels, compared to literary fiction, are actually selling better as ebooks, so I don’t think my stories face any tougher competition than any other genre. So many people read thrillers that it may actually be easier to find an audience.

What do you think would be the hardest or most challenging genre to write a novel in and why?
Any genre that I don’t read would be challenging to write in, but for me fantasy would be the most difficult. My novels are all grounded in realism, even my futuristic thriller.
You recently released a book that is outside the thriller genre and moved more towards futuristic thriller genre. Why the change and did you have difficulty changing to a new genre?
After writing five Detective Jackson novels, I needed a creative challenge. I also had so much fun writing from Lara Evans perspective in my last Jackson book I decided she needed her own story. In addition, I’d always wanted to write a futuristic thriller because some of my favorite books are in that genre (The Tomorrow File, The Handmaid’s Tale), and I had been thinking about the future a lot. So all those things came together and The Arranger evolved.

You tackle tough topics in your books. The Sex Club is about youth having sex and about a religious fanatic. How do you find that most readers respond to these topics and why did you choose such topics?
The Sex Club is my most provocative title, and at the time I wrote it, I felt strongly about the subject. I was concerned that abstinence-only sex education would have significant negative consequences for teenagers…and it did. My other novels also highlight social issues I care about, but they’re less political. I chose the crimes and issues I feel most passionately about or am most fearful of. I believe fear and passion are the best story drivers.

You have five books within your Detective Jackson series and you have three standalone novels. Do prefer to write a series or standalone? What are your plans for your new futuristic novel, The Arranger?
As a reader, I like both series and standalones, and as a novelist I enjoy both as well. There’s more freedom and creativity in a standalone, but there’s more structure and comfort zone in writing a series. So doing both is a great mix. The Arranger officially launches next month, and I’m doing an extended blog tour, as well as several promotions aimed at Kindle and Nook readers. I’m hoping to reach a whole new set of readers, but I also expect many of my Jackson fans to try the book as well. My beta readers have already asked if I plan to start a new series with Lara in the future—because they loved it and want more. It was meant to be a standalone, but I’ll keep my options open.

I know that we touched on it above, but could you please give us more information about The Arranger, and any other works or events that you have planned?
The Arranger features Lara Evans from my Detective Jackson series, but it’s set 13 years in the future, and Lara is no longer a detective and is working as a freelance paramedic in a bleak new world. She witnesses a crime, then goes to Washington D.C. to compete in the Gauntlet. There, she spots the shooter lurking in the arena, and soon lands in serious trouble. 

Here’s the short blurb: In 2023, ex-detective Lara Evans just wants to win the Gauntlet, a national endurance competition, but a mysterious assailant wants her dead. Can she stop the killer and survive long enough to claim victory? 

I’m currently working on the sixth book in my Detective Jackson series.

What is one book on your shelf that you cannot wait to read (can either be a new or old favorite).
There are so many thriller and crime fiction novels that look good to me right now, but I just downloaded Before I Go to Sleep, which is about a woman with anterograde amnesia. I find the subject fascinating, and the book has terrific reviews.

I want to that L. J. for participating in my Blogoversary. If you would like to find out more about L.J.'s books you can check out my review of The Sex Club and L.J.'s website. L.J. has also very nicely offered two Ebook copies of the first book in her Detective Jackson series The Sex Club and two Ebook copies of her new book The Arranger. That you once again L. J.

1.  You do not need to be a follower to participate, but it is always nice for you to join.
2. Please Fill out the Form BELOW in order to enter 
3. This Giveaway is Open Internationally
4. The Giveaway ENDS on October 7, 2011
5. The winners will be notified via email and will have 48 hrs to respond, otherwise a new winner will be chosen
6. EBooks are provided by L.J. Sellers


  1. Great interview! I'm a long-time fan of LJ Sellers, and I enjoyed finding out some things here that I didn't know about LJ and her writing career. I loved The Arranger, and am looking forward to the new Detective Jackson book that LJ is working on now.

  2. Great interview. I have been intrigued with Sex Club, will go for it.

    I love thrillers but will say I prefer stand alones.

    J9 I didn't see the form for this one.

  3. Very cool interview & giveaway. I am excited to read these books. I love discovering cool new author. New follower.
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