Topic: Author Interview
J. M. Snyder the person:
1. What three words do you think describe you as a human being?
Quixotic, nonconformist, and creative J
2. How do you think others would describe you?
I'm a private person who tends to keep most others at a distance. I'm slow to trust but once someone earns that trust, I'm loyal to a fault. I'm the person you can call at four in the morning because you're locked out of your car, the friend who will take you in when you have no place else to go, the one who always listens to your problems J
But because it takes me so long to let others "in," I tend to take any sort of back-stabbing or perceived betrayal very personally, so much so that I find it hard to forgive someone I think has done me wrong.
3. Please tell us what you are most passionate about outside of writing.
Wait, you mean there's more to life than writing? J I love reading, music (especially pop and hard rock), movies, video games ... I'm a big Legend of Zelda fanatic. But writing is my first passion.
4. Do you have any pets? If so, introduce us to them.
I have two cats that mean the world to me. I've had them since they were 3 months old; they're from the same litter and grew up together, but they're different as night and day. This year they turn 12. Jelly is a black & white "tuxedo" cat with long hair who loves people and so personable - he's like a dog in cat's clothes. Jono is a gray short hair who hides from everyone but me and loves to sleep on my bed, right beside my pillow, every night. They're spoiled rotten J but I wouldn't have it any other way!
5. What is your most precious memory?
To be completely honest, I don't know. I'm not given to much introspection, I guess - that comes out in my writing, and my stories contain scenes from my own life from time to time. Nothing really stands out; I try to savor each moment as it happens, and cherish the time I have with those near me. J
6. What is your most embarrassing memory?
I don't really get embarrassed. I haven't decided if it's because I'm confident enough in myself to laugh at the stupid things I sometimes do, or if it's because I'm just too spaced out to realize when I've made a faux pas.
7. If you weren't a writer, what would you be doing with your life?
I've always wanted to write - it defines who I am, and is cheaper than therapy J I could never imagine a life without writing. Even when I thought I wanted to go into a medical field, I still planned to write in my free time. I never thought of writing as "work." It's my downtime, a way to dream out loud, a way to keep my sanity in a crazy, stressful world!
8. In two paragraphs or less write your obituary.
Well, hmm ... this is a difficult task. I'd like to think I die in some spectacular way that adds an interesting footnote to the story of my life, but I have a feeling that won't be the case. Still, I would hope that my obit would at least link to my website (how vain of me!), and I'll have provisions in my will to ensure the continuation of that site for quite some time to come. Nothing like a little post-death promotion, eh? Though the 100 books is stretching it ... or rather, I'm just being optimistic J
The obit should probably read something along these lines: "J.M. Snyder passed away today. An author of gay erotic/romantic fiction whose career began in self-publishing in 2002, Snyder was known for writing realistic characters who were unashamed of their sexuality. Snyder left over 100 books in print and provided for the continued maintenance of jmsnyder.net for years to come."
J. M. Snyder the writer:
9. Can you describe the time you realized you were indeed a "real" writer?
The first time I held my self-published novel, Operation Starseed, in my hands, I felt like a "real" author. I had tangible proof of my ability to write.
10. What is going on with your writing these days?
I'm busy, as usual J Currently I'm working on an untitled novella about a police detective who falls for a street hustler, which is something a little different for me. I have deadlines clear through August, a novella (or two) due each month for the first half of this year, and after that, I don't know yet what I'll be working on. I have two e-book short story series that are published monthly and anticipate those running through the end of the year. After that, the sky's the limit.
11. What are your future goals for your writing?
My short term goals are to meet the deadlines I set for myself (a novella a month until August 2008). I would also like to self-publish again; I have three poetry books and a short story collection in mind. And I would like to begin a second series featuring my "superhero" characters, Vic Braunson and Matt diLorenzo (who currently star in my series, The Powers of Love and The Positions of Love).
My long term goal is to write full-time. Ditch the day job and just spend my days working on my stories. As I live alone, this will be harder to realize, but I'm aiming for it. I hope to be moving toward that goal in the next five years or so.
12. Can you describe a typical writing day for you?
As I work full-time, I have to write whenever I get a chance. On weekdays, I wake up at 6 AM every morning to write for two hours before I have to go to work, and I try to get at least another hour or so in after I get home in the evenings. On weekends, I tend to write in the afternoon and go into the night if I can.
13. Why do you write?
I write because if I didn't, I would die. It's therapeutic for me; it keeps me sane, and empties my overcrowded mind of the stories and dreams inside me. I live to write. It's like breathing, to me - that essential, that necessary.
14. What writer most inspires you? Why?
Though we write completely different genres, I'd have to say that Stephen King inspires me the most. He was the first author I could remember falling in love with, and I devoured everything I could find of his. The way he crafts a story, the slow build-up of scene and tension, his descriptions, his characterizations ... I find myself enjoying that same stylistic approach to storytelling in my own writing. I love well-defined characters, rich inner dialog, vivid descriptions, all of which I see in his stories. I hope readers think of my stories in a similar light.
15. How do you define your writing?
My writing is gay fiction, first and foremost. The stories are about gay men and the ways their lives intersect with others. Yes, the stories revolve around relationships, and yes, there is sex involved, but those are secondary to the plot and characterization. It took quite a while before I called it "romance," and my longer stories, though graphic in language and sex, don't quite fall into what most e-publishers consider "erotica." I like to be true to the characters and let them tell their stories, and try not to force them into a categorical genre beyond that.
16. In one sentence-what do you want people to say about your writing in fifty years?
If people are even talking about my writing in fifty years, I'll be happy! Seriously though, I'd like them to say that my stories rang true, not just the semantics (such as dialog and characterization) but the snapshot of human experience and emotions captured in my words.
J. M. Snyder the details:
17. Can you tell us where to find more information on you? Website? Blog?
My website is at http://jmsnyder.net/. I have a blog online at http://jmsnyder.com/. And my superhero characters have a site of their own at http://www.vic-and-matt.com/.
18. Is there a place where readers can reach you?
I have a Yahoo! Group at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jmsnyder/, and can always be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
19. Can you list all your book titles so people can look for them?
Wow, that's quite a request. I've been publishing since 2002, and began writing e-books in 2006. My most current list of titles includes:
Scarred: Four Novellas (the novellas are sold as separate e-books: Scarred, His Song, Windows, and VR Palace)
Bones of the Sea (short story collection, not gay fiction)
It's All Relative
Shorts (short story collection, gay fiction)
Creatures of the Night, Creatures of Delight (anthology)
Just What the Doctor Ordered
"Henry and Jim"
Stepping Up to the Plate
Babes in Toyland (anthology)
Cupid's Arrow (anthology)
"Caught Off Base"
Country Boys (anthology)
Persistence of Memory
"On the Down Low"
The Powers of Love
Under a Confederate Moon
Working Man Book 1: Opening Day at the County Fair
"World Enough and Time"
My First Time, Volume 5 (anthology)
Best Gay Love Stories: Summer Flings (anthology)
Beneath a Yankee Sky
Working Man Book 2: Summer Kisses and Ice Cream Dreams
Best Gay Romance 2008 (anthology)
Working Man Book 3: Easily Addicted
Working Man Book 4: Makin' Copies
The Positions of Love Book 1: The Positions of Love
Working Man Book 5: Pleasure Cruise
The Positions of Love Book 2: Two Pillars Position
The Bonds of Love
Coming soon (contracted e-books):
Working Man Book 6: On the Job (March 2008)
The Positions of Love Book 3: Clasping Position (March 2008)
The Regent's Knight (March 2008)
Working Man Books 7 through 16 (monthly series)
The Positions of Love Books 4 through 12 (monthly series)
Conflict of Interest (April 2008)
With This Ring (May 2008)
"Hooking Up" in Boys in Heat (anthology; June 2008)
"Shut Up and Drive" in The Queer Collection (anthology; June 2008)
Wanted (September 2008)
20. For new readers-what can they expect when they read your book(s)?
I write gay fiction. I don't consider it M/M, which in my opinion is much more erotic or romantic than my fiction, and written specifically for women readers. Though 90% of e-book readers are female, I like to think my stories appeal to gay men just as much as they appeal to straight women.
I write fiction about men who fall in love with each other, yes, but if you're just looking for smut, you'll probably be a little disappointed because I don't overdo the sex. Some say I don't write enough, but the relationship isn't the main impetus in the story for me. The characters and plot come first; the sex and love follow logically from the interactions and the storyline.
My stories aren't "stroke books" or highly explicit, which disappoints more than a few people, I'm sure. Still, I like to think I can tell a good story J with or without the sex.
21. Take as much space as necessary to speak to our readers-what would you like them to know about you and your writing?
I know that M/M fiction is all the rage at the moment, but I've been writing homoerotic fiction for over 10 years now. My stories embrace a love that transcends gender, and my characters have a sincerity and unabashedly positive view of their own sexuality. My writing celebrates gay romance - I don't write "just sex;" I never have, and never will. Each story I write has within it the potential for a happy ending in which the characters find the one true love I believe is out there for each of them.