Interview With Author Joy Jenkins

# Please introduce yourself and your book(s)! 

Hi, my name is Joy Jenkins and I am the author of A Secret Service

# What is/are the real-life story(ies) behind your book(s)?

That is a great question and I wish I had a good answer. Across the board, my stories come from a single idea and grow, very rarely are they connected to real-life stories. 

# What inspires/inspired your creativity?

Strong characters inspire my creativity. Though an interesting plot is important I believe that if you don’t have a strong character then the plot is wasted. A whole book revolves around the main character and for a reader to decide to go on a journey with that character it means they need to be worth it. 

# How do you deal with creative block?

Very rarely do I deal with creative block. Most of the time I write two books at once. This means if I hit a problem with one story I can jump to the second. By the time I’ve finished a chapter in that second story, the problem from the first has resolved itself. 

# What are the biggest mistakes you can make in a book?

Editing while you are trying to write the book. When a writer does this it puts them in the analytical side of their brain and takes them out of the creative side. Most of the time it will kill the creative flow. 

# Do you have tips on choosing titles and covers?

I don’t know how it is for other author’s but I know my titles take time. Most times they don’t come right away. Once I get into the heart of a story though, I find there is a key element or thought or emotion that sticks out and fits the title. 

As for covers, I find I want a human element involved. 

# How do bad reviews and negative feedback affect you and how do you deal with them?

It depends on who has given me a negative review. If it’s from a reader and is along the lines of: ‘this is boring’ I ignore it. That type of review isn’t helpful. If I receive a review that holds an intelligent critique of my work then I take what the reviewer has said and learn from it. 

# How has your creation process improved over time?

Over time I’ve found that I have a better understanding of pacing, of what to show with emotions, and what to convey through thoughts. I understand the balance between dialogue and description. Simply put, with each book I become a better writer. 

# Do you tend towards personal satisfaction or aim to serve your readers? Do you balance the two and how?

I’m always aiming for personal satisfaction. We live in a world filled with millions of books and I know that my work won’t be for everyone. So instead of trying to please millions of people, I please myself. I write books that I would enjoy reading and hope there are readers out there that will enjoy them too. 

# What role do emotions play in creativity?

As a writer emotions should only ever be on the page. Getting too emotional about your character might mean that you’re stealing from a scene. Instead of writing that emotion, you as the writer are only aware of how strong you feel about it. Just because a writer feels strongly about it doesn’t mean they are conveying that intense emotion. 

# Do you have any creativity tricks?

I do! I don’t edit the book while writing. I give myself a rough outline for the story, enough that I know where I’m going, but not enough that I’m trapped. I write two books at once to stave off writer’s block. I write in the morning when my creativity is freshest. 

# What are your plans for future books?

Right now I have a lot of ideas, two books that I’m currently trying to form outlines for, and one I’m in the process of writing. 

# Tell us some quirky facts about yourself

I can’t tell a joke to save my life but I can write one that will have a person in stitches. I’m a sarcastic insomniac. I live in a 200-year-old house with five other artists that also happen to be my family! I’m a SoCal girl who found a home on the East Coast.