J.M.'s books are also available at Amazon and Barnesandnoble.com.
You can find his Amazon page here.
And now, let's get on with the interview!
1. What novels have you written?
I have written Failing Test (Shadow Series #1), Duality, and A Shadow's Light (Shadow Series #2)
2. Which one is your favorite and why?
Wow, that's a tough one. It's almost like asking to choose my favorite child. I know that sounds cliche, but it's nearly impossible. For me, each one holds a piece that sings to me. Failing Test (or the Shadow Series in general) is a world that has engulfed a large portion of the last two years of my life, and I'd be lying if I didn't say that I show FT more attention in regards to promotion. I know that's kind of skirting around the question, but that's the best I can do!
3. What inspires you?
Music is a huge source of inspiration for me, but I can't listen to it while I write. Instead, before I sit down for a session, I try to listen to songs that provide the atmosphere of the scene that I'll be working on. My subconscious helps at times as well. I don't dream often, but when I do, they are extremely vivid and lucid.
4. Who are your favorite authors and books?
If it weren’t for John Steinbeck, I don’t think I’d be the reader or writer that I am today. I read Of Mice and Men my sophomore year of high school and was instantly hooked. I devoured everything that I could find of Steinbeck’s. His work is amazing.
I was on a giant Michael Crichton kick for several years. I love the science that he puts into his work. His stories always seem like a current event or something that is just on the horizon. Love it.
I would be a liar if I said I didn’t count Stephenie Meyer as a favorite. I know this is going against the grain as it seems to be taboo to say that you liked Twilight now-a-days, but I really loved the Twilight series. The universe that Stephenie created was vivid and I really enjoyed the background stories of each character. I’m really hoping that she’ll do a book featuring the lives of each of the Cullen’s in their vampire youth, particularly Carlisle. I think his story would be amazing.
Okay, my favorite books: Fiction = Of Mice and Men, Non-Fiction = The Worst Hard Time
5. How did you realize you were meant to be a writer?
I made my first comic book in grade school. That’s the first that I can remember. I’ve always been a creative person. For nearly fifteen years I played in a band and was the sole song writer. In that time I wrote poetry as well. It wasn’t until a couple of years ago that the urge to write a novel struck. When I’m writing, it’s the most complete and total escape that I’ve ever experienced. I become totally immersed in my mind, losing track of time and reality. Of any creative outlet that I’ve ever experienced, writing is the one that I absolutely need as much as I want.
6. What do you hope to accomplish with your novels?
Above all else I hope to provide readers with an escape. If I can do that, everything else is icing on the cake.
7. Which character is most like you and why?
Test Davis is a lot like me when I was younger, but then again I think that a ton of people can identify with him. I’d like to think that I’m more like Cliff Johnston now; a little more laid back and supportive of those around me.
8. What is your favorite quote and how does it apply to your work?
A great friend sent me this quote by Eleanor Roosevelt. It reads: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” I keep this one close to me. Being an author can be an amazing experience, but there are moments when you can be made to feel like you are the most worthless thing on the planet. This quote helps me to remember why I write and that there is no way possible to please everyone. There are going to be those that don’t like my work, but I will not give them the satisfaction of causing me pain.
9. If any of your characters could come to life, which one would you pick and why?
That’s easy; Cliff Johnston from Failing Test. I can definitely see myself drinking coffee and smoking cigars while listening to him talk about the state of the economy and current world events. I’d love to meet the man in person!
10. Lots of musicians and actors have strange quirks? Any you'd care to mention in reference to your writing?
Hmm, let me see. Before I sit down for a session I have to: turn my ball cap backwards, have a bowl full of green M&M’s next to me, toss some salt over my shoulder, make sure that my black cat isn’t in the room, cross the index and middle finger on my right hand while touching it to my nose and spin in my office chair three times, and lastly I make sure that I’m awake!
Seriously though, the only “quirk” that I’d say I have is that I have to be in the dark. I don’t like overhead lighting much at all, but don’t care to sit in extremely bright rooms regardless of the source.
11. What are you working on now?
I am working on a novel titled “Before & Gone”. This will be my first novel that is SciFi based, but I really think (hope!) that Shadow Series fans will connect with the vibe of the story. I’m having a great time writing it and sincerely hope that people will have a great time reading it! I’m shooting to have it available in August of 2011.
Once B&G is done, I will be starting the third and final book of the Shadow Series which is going to be titled “Sanctify.”