Author Interview: Jean Nicole Rivers

THE WRITING PART

Jean Nicole Rivers

Q. Thank you for agreeing to this interview. Briefly, about yourself?

I have always loved to write, even as a child and I always aspired to become a novelist. The Unwanted is the second book in a series called, Black Water Tales.

Q. What genre are is/your book(s)?

New adult, psychological horror.

Q. What draws you to this genre?

To me, horror feels more real than any other genre. I have always preferred real and true, no matter how dirty or uncomfortable. The situations in horror, life or death, kill or die, save them or save myself are the closest we come to seeing who we truly are in the deepest places of our psychic and physical being and this is what produces that oh so well-known adrenaline pump that hooks people to the horror book or screen, not allowing them to look away. Living those moments over and over has the power to give us a true glimpse into the mirror and sometimes, ironically enough, that is the most frightening thing of all.

Q. Briefly, what led up to the last book? Also, please describe the book in one sentence.

When Blaire goes to help the children of St. Sebastian orphanage, it will be her that soon needs the help.

Soon after completing my first book, The Secret Keepers. I found myself watching an inordinate amount of documentaries and I came across one on orphanages in other countries and what I learned was frightening. I don’t much care for jump scare horror, I prefer horror that chills one to the core that makes you question, not what’s in the closet but what’s in the mirror. This documentary on the deplorable conditions of the facilities and the failing health of the children haunted me, how could things like this still be happening all around us? And while I was intrigued, I was not yet fully inspired to write the book, writing the book still hadn’t occurred to me. It wasn’t until one evening after watching this documentary when I woke in the middle of the night and there they were, those children who were severely malnourished and abused among other things, all standing by my bedside looking down on me. When I woke the next morning, I knew that I had to tell their story.

Q. What was the time frame for writing your last book?

There were four years between my last book, The Secret Keepers and my new book, The Unwanted. Writing my outline takes approx. two weeks, then another six weeks to write my rough draft, a couple of months for my first edit and a couple more months for further edits and that is if I am working on my book full time but once you add “life” in, the timeframe can get lengthy.

Q. How much research do you do?

It depends on what I am writing. Many things I write from personal experience. My new book that I am currently working on, The Sandman (working title), is requiring me to do a bit more research than usual and I have purchased several books on the underlying subjects and plan on talking to a couple of health professionals in order to make sure that my characters are authentic.

Q. Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?

I measure more in hours per day than word count. I try to write for at least two hours a day, but I always wish that I could write more.

Q. What is the easiest thing about writing?

The easiest thing about writing a book is coming up with the idea. We all have tons of great ideas for books, right? The issues come AFTER we have the great idea.

Q. What motivates you to write?

I don’t know that it’s a motivation so much as a compulsion. Naturally, I am always composing stories and filling my head with little facts and characters and I have to get them out. I have to tell their stories or they will drive me nuts. I am a writer because it is an inevitable extension of my being. Some people decide to be writers because they want to write; I was never given the option.

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