Today My Seryniti has J.L. Hickey, author of Secret Seekers Society and the Beast of Bladenboro!
I just love this title!! My review is sadly not scheduled until March 19th so I thought I’d give you a little teaser about J.L. Hickey until then!
Author Interview with J.L. Hickey:
Thank you so much for doing this interview for My Seryniti.
Nova – How did this start for you? Image, Idea, Dream?
Joe- If we are asking about the book itself, it started from a promise. My family has always been very supportive of me in the dream of becoming an artist. I come from a long line of ancestry that has dabbled in different aspects art, my father was brilliant with a sketch pad or canvas, my great grandfather was glorious on a piano. I have had a passion for writing since I can remember. This promise was to my sister, who after reading my first book, made me swear to one day incorporates her children into a story. Started out as a silly little experiment, but once I realized I wanted to mix my love for them with my passion for the paranormal, I knew I was onto something.
Nova – Did you have any growing pains with this novel?
Joe- None. This book was executed flawlessly. My first book took me 6 plus years to finalize. This book took a span of one year, with actual writing of it only taking place for roughly three or four months. I had been toying with certain aspects of this book for years though, never finding the right medium to develop it. Once I started, it all just came pouring out of me. It was an amazing experience.
Nova – Do you have a message you try to convey when writing a story?
Joe- Of course, every great novel should, right? A surface read usually is summed up with two kids who lost their parents, move to a scary and mysterious mansion filled with all sorts of secrets and monsters. I personally think the surface read is an extremely fun read that for those who don’t look for the deeper meanings of things will get a fantastic ride out of. I am an artist though, there is definitely a bigger experience going on once you begin to peel back the layers, and learn of the artist who created it. There will always be multiple lens people read with, it all has to do with a combination of the reader and where they stand in their life, and how they interpret the artist’s creation. The message was simply, that within the confines of dealing with death (the mansion represents this), there is beauty. Sure the mansion looks scary as hell from the outside looking in, but once you come to terms with it, there is beauty hidden inside.
Nova – What are you reading right now?
Joe- In-between books at the moment. I am focusing 100% of my time outside of my 50+ hour work week, self-promoting. I was trying to finish American God’s, but started losing interest about half way through. I am probably the “pickiest” reader in the world.
Nova – Are there any authors (living or dead) that you would name as influences?
Joe- Alan Moore, with his master piece The Watchmen. There is a part where Mr. Manhattan explains thermodynamic miracles. It’s brilliant. If you wrote this graphic novel off as just a comic book, you are missing one of the most influential pieces of art in a long time.
Nova – What do you do when you’re not writing?
Joe- I am the founder of a Michigan Paranormal Research team, called MIParanormal. We do a hand full of cases a year. Other than that, I am your typical nerd who grew up in the 90’s. I do spend a bit of time being a gamer, recently falling in love with table top games.
Nova – Have you always wanted to be an author?
Yes, since the first grade.
Nova – How did you break into the industry?
Joe- Still trying to break my way in. I could use as much help as possible, though.
Nova – What is your writing style? Do you create outlines for your writing or do you just sit and type away?
Joe- It’s a combination of both. I write, and let the creative juice control my hand. Once the narrative begins to grow, I start mentally mapping out certain key elements. When you write a book like Secret Seekers Society, it is impossible to rely mainly on my mental ability to remember every little detail. I am a sucker for a narrative that sets you up with foreshadowing of an event books in advance. So in order keep all my ideas fresh and not forgotten about, I create a list of “objects” so to speak. For instance, there is a scene in the book where the children find a phone out in the woods that’s ringing. A name pops up on that phone, it seems meaningless then, however it plays a huge part in the second book. Everything laid out in the book, has a circular connection to the narrative. I also, make sure I do not “over” outline my ideas, as I find it too cumbersome, and I feel like I lack proper creative flow.
Nova – What is your next project? What have you been working on recently?
Joe- Secret Seekers Society and Solomon’s Seal. It already has its loose outline ready, and work on the actual manuscript will begin very soon.
Now for the silly questions! Hang on to your hat! 🙂
Nova – Do you listen to music while writing? If so, what’s on your playlist!?
Joe- Currently Mackelmore, I love his song “Same Love”. Also, Kid Cudi, and Kendrick Lamar.
Nova – Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Joe- I drink way too much Pepsi, does that count.
Nova – What is your favorite word?
Nova – What is your least favorite word?
Nova – Do you talk to your characters?
Joe- No. I do talk to and for my three dogs all the time. Each has their own distinct voices. People think I am weird because I do this when I have guests over.
Nova – What sound do you love?
Joe- Rain, so peaceful.
Nova – What sound do you hate?
Joe- Squealing tires.
Nova – What’s your favorite time of year?
Thank you so much for taking the time to indulge my curiosity!
Want to know more about J.L. Hickey!?
Joe lives in Saginaw, Michigan where he has a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing through Saginaw Valley State University. Joe has written and is currently self publishing his first novel entitled The Deity Chronicles: Origins.
His recent release, The Secret Seekers Society and the Beast of Bladenboro was released 12/31/12 and had already been a huge success (at least in his eyes lol).
He also dabbles in literary short fiction, and poetry.