To start things off, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background as an author?
I’ll be twenty-seven on June 15th, and I’m married with two boys (ages seven and four). I’ve always loved reading and always wanted to write my own stories. I started writing short stories when I was thirteen; they were mostly about best friends and horses. I used to draw up little “title pages” too.
When I was sixteen, I started writing a novel about a teenage girl who lived with the same chronic pain bone disorder I have (Multiple Hereditary Exostoses). I wrote about her struggles with her body image and fitting in with her peers, and my dad read it. He told me that I could be a writer, and that he wanted me to finish it.
I never did finish that particular book (although I might one day), but the ideas for stories kept coming. My friend, Elizabeth Barone, knew that I wanted to be an author and she kept pressuring me to participate in NaNoWriMo, so I did. I penned COLLIDE during NaNoWriMo in 2013. I later published it independently in July of 2014. I wrote the second book, CONSUMED, and published it in December of 2014, then I actually got signed with Booktrope Publishing. I wrote DAMAGED GOODS and RECKLESS ABANDON and released them both through Booktrope. Now that Booktrope has closed its doors, I’m re-releasing all of my books independently again on June 1st and I couldn’t be more excited!
You now have six books listed on Amazon. Congratulations! As your list of publications has increased, how do you push yourself to stay motivated to write?
I’m still trying to find the balance, to be honest! It’s easy to write when you don’t have looming release dates pressing down on your shoulders. I’ve been promoting REBEL SOUL and getting ready to re-publish all of my books independently again, so I haven’t accomplished a whole lot in the writing department but once June 1st passes, I’ll be hitting my current work in progress hard.
Has any aspect of writing gotten easier over time? Has any part become more challenging?
Fantastic question! And the answer is a bit complicated. Writing has both gotten easier and become more challenging over time. It really depends on the story I’m writing. Writer’s block is still vicious and can strike at almost any time – but the flow of words seems to come out easier now that I’m no longer terrified of writing sexy scenes. Plus you learn what editors and proofreaders look for and avoid making those mistakes in the first place, so I think I annoy them a little less now. 😉
I have two more Rebel Series books outlined. I’m working on the second one right now – Rebel Heart. Rebel Heart is Braden and Elle’s story – you’ll meet them in Rebel Soul. Braden is Brock’s younger brother and Elle is Tessa’s best friend. Technically, Brock and Tessa hook up because of them.
Rebel Song will feature Becky Miller – Brock and Braden’s sister – and another fella from the Rebel Series. You won’t particularly have to read them in order, as everything is mostly explained. You may encounter certain spoilers but I don’t think it would take away from reading the other books.
What is different about your writing style from that of other authors? What makes it stand out?
I let the characters drive me. I am an empath and therefore find it easy to fall into the emotions my characters are experiencing, and I feel that it really comes across on the page.
You mention in your bio that your work brings to light awareness of mental health and social challenges. What inspired you to take this on?
I’ve always struggled with depression and anxiety, and a lot of people I love deal with mental health struggles every day. It’s commonplace, and yet it’s not really predominate in works of literature. I think that if we’re going to one day break the stigma, we need to talk about it in all forms.
What have you read lately that really knocked your socks off? What’s coming up next on your TBR list?
Where can readers find out more about you or your work? On which sites are you most active?
Readers can find out more about my work by going to my author website; http://jchannigan.com
Is there anything I haven’t asked you yet that you would like to share with the Book Buddy readers?
Well, I wanted to extend an open invitation for those interested in joining my reader group – FANnigans! Fun things happen there, like giveaways and first glances at new teasers, covers, and other book goodies:
Thank you so much for joining in on the Author Interview Series!!
Thank you for having me!