J.A. HUSS: I THOUGHT THREE, TWO, ONE WOULD RUIN MY CAREER
Posted by Ognian Georgiev
J.A. Huss celebrated the best year of her writing career in 2015. Her novel Three, Two, One hit the bestselling ranks and became one of the top titles in romantic suspense genre.
Our next guest likes to write about family, loyalty and extraordinary characters that have problems with some basic emotions.
It’s a great pleasure to welcome Julie Huss at Land of Books.
– Julie, Three, Two, One became one of the biggest hits for 2015. Did you expect that the book will become NY Times and USA Today bestseller?
– No, not at all. I really thought that book would ruin my career because it’s so out of the mainstream of what people are writing. No one, as far as I could tell, was focusing on what a real love relationship between three people would be like, and that was the main focus of my book. That these three people were one hundred percent in love. When you add in the erotica and the dark suspense, that makes it even less mainstream. So I really have no idea why this book was the one to take off for me.
– How did you decide to write the story?
– I just couldn’t get the idea out of my head. I sat on the story for almost a year, then debated using a penname, and finally I just decided to put it out there.
– What was the biggest challenge during the write up process?
– My biggest challenge is always time. Pushing new releases out every two to three months is the most critical part to succeeding in indie publishing. So the deadline was my main issue. The story wrote itself once I started because I had thought about it for so long.
– Tell us something more about your main characters JD and Ark? Are they close to someone from your real life?
– No. They are 100% fictional. But I did name JD after my trainer when he was being particularly mean to me during a workout. 🙂 I just knew going in that they were best friends (like real best friends who would die for each other) and they were complete opposites. But somehow that worked. They were perfect complements.
– How much time did you need to finish the story and to publish it?
– I wrote this book in 42 days from start to finish. This is pretty typical for me these days.
– Another of your 2015 hits Eighteen was billed as based on a True Story. What was the real inspiration for Shannon and Mateo’s romance?
– Shannon was based on my crazy life as a teen and Mateo was based on a guy I dated when I was sixteen. (not eighteen) He was much older than me. All the main characters are real people but I changed all their names.
– Who are you?
– I am just a girl who likes science, books, and horses. 🙂 Really, that is me in a nutshell. I’m also pretty smart and artistic, so that’s where the writing comes in, I guess. I wanted to be an artist when I was a teenager, but like Shannon in the 18 book, I didn’t know how to do that. I went back to college very late (I think I was 28 or 29) and wanted to be an equine vet. I changed my mind about that (long work hours, little pay) and tried (and failed) to get my PhD in biomedical science. So I ended my graduate career with a master’s degree in forensic toxicology and started writing non-fiction science books for kids to put all that wasted education to use. Fiction came along shortly after when I ran out of non-fiction topics to write about.
– What are your writing habits?
– I like to write in the morning. If I can get half of my word count done by noon or earlier I feel better about doing all the administrative stuff that comes alone with running your own business. Right now I write 5000 words a day, but that goes up or down by 2000 words all the time.
– Are you satisfied by the sales of your book?
– Very satisfied. My wildest dreams never included the kind of success I’ve found.
– What are you doing to promote your book by the best possible way?
– I do about a hundred things for each book. Book blitzes, Facebook page takeovers, giveaways, blogging…I do it all each and every time.
– When we will see your next novel and would you unveil something more about it?
– The book I’m working on now is a science fiction spin-off called Sync. It’s a post-apocalyptic book based about 450 years in the future after artificial intelligence has taken over the world. This book is based on a series I wrote (I Am Just Junco) at the beginning of my career but I switched to romance shortly after releasing book five because the sales just weren’t there. Sync is not done yet and the release date is up in the air until I decide how I want to market it. I don’t have a lot of SF fans so I’m giving this release a little extra thought.
– You are very productive author. How you are able to keep the quality of your works in such a high writing pace?
– I keep the stories in my head until the plot is fleshed out. I almost never write a new idea. I sit on them for years most of the time. Eighteen is the exception, but that was based on my life so it didn’t need any thought. It just came out and only took me eighteen days to write it. Sync has been on my mind for almost three years and the book after that (about a rock star) has been on my mind for over two years. So I plan them all very carefully before I start writing and I know all my characters and the setting in detail. Once I sit down I pound out the words in four to five weeks, send it to the editor, and then usually publish within two weeks of it coming back. I always get a developmental edit from my editor, so she helps me focus on quality.
– If you may ask yourself one question in the interview what it will be?
– Hmmm, I guess I always question if this is my final career path. So I’d ask if this author gig was it for me. Will they call me an author after I die? Or will I be someone else by then? I can’t answer it, obviously, but I’m a risk taker and I’m not one to turn down new opportunities that come my way.
Take a look at her books:
Three, Two, One (321)
TRAGIC: Rook and Ronin, #1
Meet Me In The Dark: (A Dark Suspense)
TAUT: The Ford Book: (Rook and Ronin Spinoff)
Follow: (Social Media #1) (Volume 1)
CLUTCH (I Am Just Junco Book 1)