This week I’m welcoming Jas Ward for the interview. I met Jas at a book signing and she’s one of the nicest writers and she’s been an inspiration ever since. I’m super excited to learn more about the Ward Way.
“Why the Ward Way? Because I believe in writing books that take a reader on a thrill-ride. Action, danger, drama, sure. But also, laughter, tears of joy and moments that make you want to stop just to scream. My books are twisted, complex and full of heroes and heroines full of flaws and heart, but a reader cannot deny–total badasses.
Welcome to my worlds, take a seat, get to know me and the characters and I assure you… You’ll be glad you did.” ~Jas T Ward
Born and raised in Texas, Ward is a mixed bag of creativity spinning tales of paranormal, urban fantasy and even dark romance and horror; wrapped within a love story. She’s been dared to write a few contemporary romances but even those reads have characters that are real and twisted by their creator.
Mother of three diverse and independent bold children, Ward prides herself for being the “Queen Niche’ Bitch” which is a handy way of saying she sucks writing to market.
But her readers don’t seem to mind.
- What are common traps for aspiring writers?
Jas: I believe the most common trap is not knowing the business before hitting release. Not doing research to learn the hardships, the work, and the reality of being an author. Whether it be traditional or indie, you need to know that there is rarely overnight success. Getting 100 or 1000s of likes is not going to happen just because you have a kickass cover and eye-catching teasers. Both are crucial of course, but so is working to get your book out there and seen. Even then, there is no guarantees. Remember, you will often feel like no one sees you. That you’re “too new” to be important. Wrong. If you took the effort to write your story you ARE important. But make sure you keep it real. It’s going to take time.
Elizabeth: Yes, I agree you have to have a detailed plan long before you hit the publish button.
- What is your writing Kryptonite?
Jas: Social media! Facebook especially. I’ve been trying to minimize my time on social media. If I had my way, I’d never go there. It sucks you into a black hole of time. When you come out, guess what, the day is gone. But as an author in a business, I need to be there. But I am very grateful that I have a team that maintains it for me. Or I’d get zero writing done.
Elizabeth: Social media is real distraction, I try to plan my posts ahead of time and then just check in hoping to not to get sucked into something time consuming. But you know what they say about best laid plans.
- Have you ever gotten reader’s block?
Jas: I’m in one now! I have downloaded so many different types of books from various authors. Both trad & indie. Nothing is catching my attention. I’m not sure if it’s a slump or a block. But whichever it is, it’s frustrating.
Elizabeth: I go through this from time too, it’s like searching for the illusive needle in a haystack sometimes.
- Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
Jas: Funny you should ask! I already use a pen name for my PNR and contemporary romances. I’m considering branching out into women’s fiction/mystery and most likely will use a second pen name. But both are versions of my actual name, so not too hard to manage.
Elizabeth: I share my pseudonym with a porn star, so the fake name joke is on me! At least she has very nice tatas.
- What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?
Jas: I had a moderate speech impediment as a kid. I’d stutter (there are still a handful of words I am unable to say) and that would get me picked on in school. But when I write the stutter is a non-issue. My words flow and then so do my thoughts. There’s a lot of stress going on in your head when you have a speech impediment. Even during a casual conversation, you’re straining mentally not to screw up a word. I’m more than happy for people to read a story I present, rather than speak it.
- What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?
Jas: Fractured Palace by R.J. Loom. It’s New Adult, full of angst and the character development makes me envious of Loom. Just don’t tell her that! 🙂
Elizabeth: Adding to my reading list and going to have to ask her for an interview now, too!
- What does literary success look like to you?
Jas: I used to naively think it was having one person buy my book. That has changed. I’d like to get to the point where I can write and only write. Currently I have a “day job” that is my primary income. I have a plan for that to change in a year or two.
Elizabeth: In addition to having readers who really like my books, I’d like to get to the point where I make at least a part time income.
- Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
Jas: I do! I’ve read every single review I’ve received. I believe if an author is one that wishes to grow as a literary artist, they should read all their reviews. Sure, some are just word vomit to tear down, but others may have constructive criticism. Ways the books and my writing can be improved. However,… I finish off reading my reviews by going to my favorite. It makes me feel better once the process is done. A reminder of I’m pretty good at this.
Elizabeth: I also read most of my reviews and if they get me down then I just go read my favorite author and read her/his 1 star reviews and then I feel better, pick myself up and carry on!
- Do you Google yourself?
Jas: Do I have to admit this? Sigh. Yes. I usually do for the first two weeks after any release to catch any reviews that are blog only and I didn’t know existed. After that, It’s usually once a month. It’s a needed task with pirates out there spreading books without permission.
Elizabeth: Occasionally, but all I usually find is new photos of said porn star. I bet you’re going to google her, I mean me, you’re going to google me.
- Can you share a snippet that is in your WIP that isn’t the blurb? Of course! It’s from the final release of my dark PNR Grid Series – Sundown:
“Hey, where did you go?”
Fingers snapped in front of my face followed by Cowboy’s coming into view. I blinked and slapped away his hand. “Nowhere. Obviously. Been a real big issue. Ask everyone.”
Jess smirked and moved to stand next to me with arms crossed on his chest. Time hadn’t been kind on most of us. The Cowboy was immortal sure, but that didn’t stop an explosion from taking out one of his eyes. Yet, somehow, the bastard remained handsome. Rocked an eye patch with gnarly scars on that side of his face. Yet, hot as hell if I was into guys. Which I. Am. Not. But the fact Jess remained movie star-ish—unbelievable. Leaning forward, I closed one of my eyes to check out the one he didn’t have. “Is that a flower? Or a butterfly on your patch?”
The kids made him eye patches. Some were as nice as you’d find if Etsy still existed. Others were like the one the man wore today. I would be tasked to figure out the scribbled art. Jess angled his head to look at me and smiled.
“It’s a pony.”
I tilt my head with a snort. “That’s the weirdest pony I’ve ever seen. But sure, a pony.” Sighing, I brought a hand up to rub my forehead. It was mid-day and that’s when it started to pound as a warning that by nighttime, I’d need to be laying horizontal or I’d be falling that way.
“How are they doing?” Jess lifted a finger towards the dozen or so teenagers and young adults doing sparing training. The gym of the Edge Academy now served as a place where fighters learned and practiced. In the thirteen years since Hell’s insurrection into the world of man, The Grid lost much of its fighting force. Even though Bounce triggered early “retirement” for all its human members, and they were now immortal, just like the Cowboy’s eye, some things couldn’t be stopped. Like being beheaded. Bleeding out. Taking a shot to the head—present company excepted. So, the kids as soon as they came to an age trained to become warriors. Fighters. Both human and those with supernatural powers.
“They’re kids. Learning to fight and not die. That’s how they’re doing.”
CHECK OUT HER NEWEST RELEASE!!!
Two twin souls share one dark power. The end of the world is around the corner. And there’s only one heart to love and to save them.
Valya and Vadim have been owned by the Circus of Nightmares since their parents died as twins. They were days from breaking that contract when tragedy struck and both fell to their death. That should have been the end. A freedom they hadn’t counted on.
They were wrong. Chaos needed a new host.
It found two. https://amzn.to/2PIOHzC
- Describe yourself in three words.
Stubborn. Survivor. Creative.
- Name three of your favorite things.
Grandkids. My herd of rescue pets. Finding something great to binge (I’m running out of those).
- Name three of your least favorite things.
Having to pimp my brand (but I do it but will never like it).
These are all the places to connect with Jas.
LIKE her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorJasTWard
Check her out on BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/jas-t-ward
READ her reviews on GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7010248.Jas_T_Ward
Thanks so much for joining me this week Jas and can’t wait till we can get together again in person.
Don’t forget to pick up your FREEBIE from Jas by signing up for her Newsletter!!! http://www.authorjastward.com/