Monday, 19 December 2016

Meet the #Author: JP Cawood #scifi #romance #interview

Please tell us a bit about yourself:
I’m originally from Milwaukee, WI and came out to Los Angeles to go to USC film school. I’ve worked in film and TV development for the last ten years and have sold series & pilots to Syfy Network, Lifetime Movie Network, Investigation Discovery, History Channel, and Destination America. Most recently, I created TLC’s hit show My Giant Life, which recently aired its second season. I’ve written and story consulted on screenplays in the past, but only recently decided to focus on writing books.

Tell us about Love from Mars:
Six people have been chosen to colonize Mars, including the charismatic and noble Ryan Clarke. Emma, a headstrong reporter, meets Ryan at the Martian Six press conference. Despite the fact that he has a one-way ticket to another planet, they can’t resist their undeniable connection. Their whirlwind romance is rocked by one shocking revelation after another as the mission prepares to launch. Can their love transcend space and time? Let the countdown begin… 

What inspired you to write this particular story?: 
The idea for Love from Mars came to me in a dream. It played out like an entire movie as I slept. When I woke up the next morning, I raced to write it down. As I sat down to write the book, I took my initial dream notes and fleshed them out into an outline. The story has definitely evolved and fleshed out from the initial dream, but the major elements were all there from the start. Working with beta readers has been helpful to further flesh out story beats that were weak or needed more development.

Please share a favourite snippet from your book: 
My favourite part gives too many spoilers, so I’ve attached my second favorite excerpt J

“You’re witnessing history in the making, folks. In just a few minutes, the Martian Six will be revealed for all the world to see.” A well-dressed reporter spoke into the lens of a large news camera. Journalists from every outlet swarmed onto the lawn of the Man on Mars headquarters. Security guards lined the perimeter of the impressive industrial building, checking credentials as only the elite filed inside.
Emma raced her run-down sedan into the jammed parking lot, passed a “Lot Full” sign.
“Come on,” she mumbled as she scoured the area for a space to leave her car. Emma checked the clock for the millionth time, praying the numbers would somehow stop ticking away. She sped past a fire hydrant red zone and slammed on the brakes, causing her worn-out workbag to fall off the front seat. A blue credential badge flew out and onto the floor. She cranked the car in reverse and dipped into the illegal space. Emma grabbed her bag from the floor and booked it toward the front door. She pretended not to hear the meter maid calling after her. “Excuse me, you can’t park there.”
Emma’s petite heels pounded the pavement as she weaved past clusters of people loitering around the media event. She pushed her way to the front.
“Badge?” a security guard asked. She reached into her bag. The knot in her stomach rose to her throat as she searched for the blue lanyard she received only a half-hour before.
“No badge, no entry.”
“I have one, I swear,” she promised without taking her eyes from the contents of her tired workbag.
“Step aside, ma’am.”
“Please, I…”
The security guard waved on the next person in line. Accredited journalists pushed past, forcing Emma toward the fray.
Emma ran past the throngs of people, out onto the sidewalk, and toward the rear of the steel building. In the very back, a tall metal fence blocked an unguarded entrance. She took a deep breath and scaled the fence with her heeled feet. Emma struggled to pull herself up and over, but with true grit, she swung over the fence and climbed down the other side. She skipped over to the large steel door that stood between her and the story. It was locked.
“Damn it!” Frustration choked Emma from the inside as she paced in front of the barrier to entry.
“Can I help you?”
Emma looked up, startled. A man in his mid-twenties peered out from around a dumpster.
“Can you let me in?” she asked.
“What’s the magic password?” he asked with a smile.
“Look, I don’t have time for this. I’m from the Sentinel. I have a badge, but it’s gone. I’m usually super organized, but my boss gave me this assignment at the last minute because the senior reporter called in sick. Will you please just let me in?”
“Sure. Anyone willing to scale a fence in those shoes deserves to be let inside.”
Which comes first for you – a character's looks, personality or name?: 
Usually their personality comes to mind first. I think about their wants, needs and desires. Names are the hardest, that typically comes last and changes often.

Any tips for aspiring authors?: 
Think about the stories you want to tell. Once you feel compelled to focus on one story, an outline is a great way to get your ideas on paper. I sometimes use notecards before a paper outline because I can move concepts and beats around. For the first draft, just get something down. Don’t worry about it being perfect the first time around. That’s what rewrites are for!

Questions for fun:
If you had the power of time travel, is there anything you would go back and change? Why/why not?: 
If I had the power to actually make big changes, I would try to take away all major historic suffering and hate, but unfortunately there are too many instances in history of such to just choose one.

What super-power would you choose?: 
I’d love to read people’s minds. That’s the most powerful tool of all.

If you could have three wishes, what would they be?: 
I’d wish for the ability to manifest anything I wanted with a snap of my fingers. With that, I wouldn’t need three! My biggest wish would be to experience samadhi bliss and self-realize.

Coffee, tea or wine?: Tea! I call it my life juice.

What is your favourite book? (aside from one of your own!): 
A Stranger in a Strange Land or The Alchemist. I also love reading non-fiction self help style books!

Favourite genre and why?: 
I love science fiction because of the imagination that goes into it. It’s a great genre to explore themes that we deal with everyday in a new environment

Favourite colour?: Red

Upcoming news and plans for the future?: I’m getting married next year so that’s exciting! I also plan to release my second book soon and am outlining several others.

Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us!

Six people have been chosen to colonize Mars, including the charismatic and noble Ryan Clarke. Emma, a headstrong reporter, meets Ryan at the Martian Six press conference. Despite the fact that he has a one-way ticket to another planet, they can't resist their undeniable connection. When their secret affair is uncovered, they must suffer the consequences of the scandal they've unknowingly created. The day of the mission launch, their whirlwind romance is rocked by another shocking revelation. Can their love transcend all space and time? Let the countdown begin...

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