Friday, 23 November 2018

Interview With Author JD Estrada

Today I have an extra special treat for you with the ever delightful and multi-talented author JD Estrada. He chats about, books, writing, and inspirations, plus his upcoming release, the middle-grade fantasy novel, Given to Fly. Enjoy!

Interview With JD Estrada

Why don’t you begin by sharing a little about yourself.

Hi there, lovely readers of our dear Madam Stewart. My name is JD Estrada and I’m an indie author from Puerto Rico although I currently reside in Atlanta, Georgia. I say reside because home shall always be in the Caribbean and with how fun it’s been to enjoy 30-degree weather, TRUST me I’m reminded how much of an Island boy I am.
Apart from that, I’m a multi-genre author who enjoys a good challenge in life and in writing. For me, writing is liberating for several reasons, but to be able to get to know myself better by tapping into different creative wells is something I recommend to everyone. Besides, if you see my music collection and you see my music history on Pandora, Spotify, and YouTube, it’s clear to see that I’m a fan of variety. But more than that, I’m also a fan of creativity and would like to consider myself on the way to being a type of ambassador to that because I certainly think being creative is immensely healthy since it lets you use the good and bad from life to perform emotional alchemy and create something new.
As for writing, I go from Gaiman style urban fantasies to Bukowski poetry and also Alice in Wonderland like short stories, which is part of the reason why I was invited here.

Could you tell us a bit about your latest book?

Given to Fly is my first full-length middle-grade fantasy and a book where I worked tirelessly to bring forth a world of wonder and adventure without the use of violence. We follow the adventures of John Rivers, a kind 11-year-old boy who finds himself now living in the Pacific Northwest. A curious kid, he looks all around his house in search of something adventurous and comes up empty… but after playing on a hill next to his house, he discovers a cove below with a huge tree and on that tree, nestled gingerly on its side sits a magical house called Od Manor. John sees a shadow and thinks someone in trouble so he climbs down the cliff face and into the house only to realize that things are not as they seem, especially when he bumps into talking furniture in the living room and the owner of Od Manor, Fäet Odstein, a wonka-esque character with a flair for the random and the commitment to help John with his dream of flying. Room after room, John and Fäet touch base with all his house guests to see if anyone can help John to fly, which is half the fun. As per usual, JD Estrada includes a chock-full of Easter eggs along with wordplay, dust bunnies, Library pillaging bookworms, and even an angel, because why not?

How long have you been writing, and how many books have you published to date?

I’ve been writing for well over 20 years but began my author career 5 years ago when I published my first novel Only Human (Book 1 of the Human Cycle). It’s been a wild ride and all in all, I’ve published 12 books…. And now it’ll be a lovely baker’s dozen thanks to Given to Fly.

Do you have a favourite character? If so, why?

From all of my books, there are too many to choose from but I think it’s close between Mrs. Fawn, Captain Jane, Bill, and Daniel from the Human Cycle. After I officially publish Given to Fly (December 1st), it’s VERY likely I’ll add some names to this list. It’s been a joy to write.

You write in several genres. Do you have a favourite? And if so, why?

I think the variety of genres responds to my personality and I get a LOT of satisfaction from that freedom and that variety. I love the immediacy of poetry but love weaving a long tale that leaves people wanting more.

Why did you write this book? What was your inspiration?

I got an amazing gift inspired by my favorite song by my favorite band and I needed to write something without violence. In short, this is a love letter to Hayao Miyazaki, to Pearl Jam, to Tori Amos, to my wife, my mom, my friends, to the band Elbow, to my favorite restaurants from back in Puerto Rico, and so many other things. I wanted to write something that would break someone’s writing slump, that would cheer them up when they’re blue, that would have a chance at being the first book someone loves and countless other things.

What did you enjoy most about writing your book?

It was immensely liberating to write without violence to the point that I’ll be doing a series of books and labeling them as Odventure Novels. I think we’re at a point in time where we could use some kindness and smiles and I want to do my best to invest in that.

Can you tell us about your writing process? Where do your ideas originate? Do you have a certain writing routine?

Each and every writing project is its own beast. Ideas come from everywhere and I have a wide variety of capture tools. From idea dump documents and notebooks to loose napkins with notes. My writing routine is to find the time when I can and make it count. Sometimes you have hours, other times you have minutes. Don’t complain is my mantra, just get the story on the paper. Writing by longhand definitely helps me in this because all I need is some paper and ink (Note to up and coming writers who want to try this, ALWAYS carry at least 3 pens :D).

What is your greatest challenge as a writer?

Time and energy are my biggest challenges. Working in advertising, I have to find motivation even when there isn’t any, energy even when I’m exhausted, and time even if I have to take a notebook to a bathroom and lock the door. I don’t lack determination and the hoops are testing me to see how much I want to pursue that dream and this time around it’s 13 times I’ve beat the odds and challenges and offered a slice of my soul for others to hopefully read and review.

What’s your next project? Any upcoming book secrets you care to reveal?

There’s ALWAYS something in the pipeline where I’m concerned and next up for me is the conclusion to the Human Cycle and am also working on a collaboration with Cate Evans, a fellow author from the UK and a wonderful friend I’ve received on my writer journey.

You can find JD Estrada and his wonderful books at these sites:

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