Thursday, September 2, 2010

Rock This! Thursday: Author Interview with JJ Hebert

You're walking down the street - what song is following you?
I’m a huge fan of soundtracks at the moment, particularly the soundtrack for The Book of Eli, one of my favorite movies on the face of the planet. I would definitely be listening to track 17, The Purpose, while walking down the street.

How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing seriously since around 2003, when I wrote my first novel, Defiance Rising. The story didn’t end up being publishable. I went through seven drafts and received tons of rejection letters. It currently sits in a drawer somewhere in my house. Maybe I’ll revisit it at some point?

I'm always interested in the first idea that sparks an author's story. What was yours?
The first idea, for me, is always a character. In Defiance Rising, it was Daniel. In Unconventional (my second novel, but first published), it was James Frost. Surprisingly, I get some of my best ideas while showering. Weird, I know, but true.

Did you make a playlist while writing Unconventional? If so, can you share a few songs with us?
I’m pretty sure I was listening to The Shawshank Redemption soundtrack while writing some of the more poignant scenes. Can you tell I love soundtracks?

Are you and your character James anything alike?
James and I are alike. I did some mopping back in the day. I obviously also dreamed of seeing my name in print. I’d say that he and are also very similar emotionally.

You're given two golden concert tickets that will take you to any show in any era. The only catch is that you have to take one of your characters with you. Who are you taking and who are you two going to go see?
I would love to spend time with Meranda Erickson. We’d go see a Beatles tribute band. On the ride to the venue, we’d discuss writing.

Name a song you think would make a great novel.
Cat’s in the Cradle by Cat Stevens

What was your publishing process like?
My publishing process was kind of unconventional. As I said earlier, my first book received many rejections and went nowhere. Unconventional landed me an agent, though. Ted Dekker’s former agent. Unfortunately, that business relationship dissolved about six months later. At that point, I decided to self-publish. I knew if I worked hard enough, I could self-publish successfully and hopefully inspire a few readers along the way. I’m pleased to say that Unconventional has been a huge hit, far beyond what I could’ve imagined.

We're always up for new music. Tell us five songs we should definitely be listening to.
Half of my Heart by John Mayer
Panoramic from The Book of Eli soundtrack
Fields of Gold by Sting
Dust in the Wind by Kansas
Oh My Sweet Carolina by Ryan Adams

What's one thing you want people to take from your novel?
I want readers to understand that no dream is unattainable.

If you could meet any musician - dead or alive - who would it be and why?
Sarah McLachlan. Her music is beautiful.

Have you experienced any 'rock star' writing moments?

Rockstar writing moments. Well...I definitely feel like a rockstar whenever I watch Unconventional climb the charts at Amazon, receive a glowing review, or hear from fans that my book inspired them.

Can you tell us what you're working on next?
I’m working on Saving Dad. It’s about Jet Brine, a college baseball star. He discovers that his dad is dying of a terminal illness, so he leaves college to be with his dad before he passes. It’s kind of like a Christian version of Tuesdays with Morrie...with some paranormal elements as well.

If you would like to buy a copy of Unconventional, the best deal can currently be found exclusively at JJ's website.


Katie said...

I saw your review the other day but I like your interview. I will have to check out a copy of the book. =]

prophecygirl said...

Ooh, a Sarah McLachlan fan. I thank Buffy for introducing me to her <3

Kari Olson said...

I admit it... I <3 Cats in the Cradle. There is just something about that song! Sarah McLachlan is amazing, too. Very great pick and awesome interview!

Kristen said...

Sounds like an author I need to read! Fantastic interview. :)

Anonymous said...

Great interview. I have never heard of JJ before.. I will have to check his work out. =)

Unknown said...

Wow. I love the interview! Such great questions!

Ashley's Bookshelf

Arjun said...

his books sound good - ill be buying me some very soon!!!

ally said...

I'm a soundtrack chick too :P! *You might've noticed from the Kick Ass songs in the comment from the driving music*. I'll have to check out "The book of Eli"s soundtrack :)