J.W. Northrup announced that he would interview with me again– on one condition! I asked what the condition was and he told me that I couldn’t ask him about Mormons as he was sick of being asked about them. “J.W.,” I said, “would I ask you about Mormons?”
“Well….” J.W. started to reply.
“Okay,” I smiled. “So, you live in Utah… Tell me, are Mormons fun to live around?”
“Okay, J.W… Just teasing.”
Q) Yo, J.W.!
Q) So, are you ready for the interview of your life? Although, the one we did a few days ago with the lovely Carol Bond will be a killer!
A) Yes, hope this proves as interesting as that one was. Carol rocks as an interview partner!
Q) She sure does! Let me ask, how are you enjoying the fame The Gold Slaves has brought you so far?
A) Well, it’s just out and it’s my first published work. I’m pretty much in the promotion phase and looking forward to feedback. Thus far it’s been good.
Q) How have you found the road that leads to published authorship? Has it been a good journey for you? Did you have a whirlwind romance where your book came out and became a hit in ten seconds flat?
A) That never happens. You want your book to be published and poof! Everybody wants it! Bestseller! I mean it’s your baby. Everybody’s baby is the most beautiful baby. Then you come down to reality.
Q) Has your publisher helped you with the wonderful world of PR, blogs, tweets and how to avoid beautiful Facebook bans for spamming?
A) There is help with advice. There’s help getting it published and putting it out there. But promotion is pretty much on my own, which can be daunting! So many things out there: Facebook, Blogs, Twitter, etc. It can be a bit overwhelming.
Q) Has the promotional side of the business been tougher than the writing side?
A) I think the writing is in my nature and what I do. I was never much into social media, but that is a necessary component to being successful. You’ve got to promote yourself, which again is not in my nature. But it’s something you just have to learn to do.
Q) It is said that the more you write, the easier it is to sell. Any chance of a new book in the future?
A) Well, I actually I have a second novel completed.
Q) A sequel to The Gold Slaves?
A) No, but it is a similar genre and story. I’m actually working on a sequel to The Gold Slaves now.
Q) You have written two books, several short stories, blog, run marathons, sign autographs AND you have a time-consuming day job. How does your day go?
A) (laughs) Go to work, get off, go home and write, and then on the weekends I write. Of course you try to have some kind of a life in there. But it takes dedication if you want to quit your day job.
Q) Is writing your life blood as it is for so many writers? Are you just an all-around artist? What is the creative creed of J.W. Northrup?
A) Interesting, I never really thought about that. I’ve always been an artist, but I suppose writing began in my thirties, when I made an interesting transition from being a calligrapher to a writer. It is actually an interesting progression. With calligraphy you write beautifully and people love the “art” in the writing. It adds to the message. Then you begin to write and it’s the actual message–not the text itself– which is beautiful. I began writing about my life and people seemed to like it because my life was very interesting at the time.
Q) You have written some short stories for your readers that will be released soon. Are these short stories the ones that will tell us about the mysterious writer we all know as J.W.?
A) I had some pretty interesting experiences working in France. Most notably, being all alone and taking the wrong train late at night ending up in the middle of a foreign land. I can’t wait to get these stories out there– wild is the word!
Q) Tell me, how long did it take you to write The Gold Slaves?
A) Well, that began as my first novel twenty years ago! The first draft was repulsive and bore little resemblance to the final product today. But I kept working on it, got some critiques. It was like training. You really learn to write by writing. So all in all, twenty years. But only recently have I really devoted full-time to writing, which is what it takes to get published.
Q) You have been quoted as saying you write to entertain and to help your readers escape the daily drudge of life. Do you still feel that way?
A) That’s what it’s all about! That is why I write. I don’t do it for myself; I do it to create a good effect on others. A little acknowledgement makes it all worth it!
Q) What would your advice be to a young writer or soon-to-be published writer still unsure about the business?
A) Follow your true dreams and don’t let the naysayers convince you to “face reality.” Don’t ever let someone tell you that you can’t do what you truly want. BUT, at the same time, realize it will take hard work and if you’re not willing to do that, you’re probably not following the right purpose.
Q) How do you start to write? How are the ideas conceived?
A) I usually start with a general simple concept. With The Gold Slaves, it was very simple. It was just the idea of someone not knowing there was an “out” (the Gold Slaves are confined to underground mines and don’t even know they are “in” something). From there it became “how do I make a story out of it” and it kinda evolves from there.
Q) Do you write daily?
A) Pretty much. Promotion has become somewhat distracting of late. Some days I spend my time just writing promotional stuff (Facebook, blogs, Twitter), which isn’t really “writing,” it’s just being cute for PR purposes but not writing a novel for publishing. I need to streamline things so I can get back to what I did before my novel was published – which is simply writing!
Q) Tell me what you actually love about the writing profession? What really drives you to become a full-time writer?
A) 1. I’m creating my own profession – not working on someone else’s purpose; 2. I honestly enjoy sitting down and creating a story; 3. I want to create a good effect on others, maybe provoke some new thinking, and maybe just make them chuckle or laugh, or even cry; 4. When someone buys your book, they actually want to “listen” to you and you have the opportunity to communicate with them. I like that idea.
Q) Thank you for your time, J.W.!
A) Thanks, Nicholas!
Well, I managed to do a whole interview without mentioning the word Mormon… Maybe J.W. will come back again? We hope…. WE HOPE!