Writing Superheroes: J.Dawn. King

What do pink fuzzy slippers, old black and white movies and school libraries have in common? This superhero! Read on and find out more…

superhero copy

If you were to write the  
‘origin’s episode’ of your writing what would be the most important scenes? What did your early efforts look like? Are they still around to be used as bribes and blackmail material?

 While in elementary school, I developed a love of biographies, history, and adventure stories. It was my goal to read every book in the biography section of our school library. I accomplished my goal by 6th grade. By the time I hit the ripe old age of 12, I wanted to write my own biography. The problem with that was I hadn’t lived a very exciting life to that point. I did start journaling in a notebook which was a 3-ring binder with lined paper we used in school. All my early efforts found their way to a garbage dump decades ago.

 

All superheroes have their mild-mannered secret identity. What is yours? (I promise we won’t tell!)Joy Dawn King 2

To be honest, it never occurred to me to be anything but me. I don’t use a pen name, because it didn’t cross my mind to try to think one up. So, I’m very much “Joy” by day and night. I’m a bit of a Pollyanna-type person in real life and, as several reviewers have commented about my stories, I’m a Pollyanna-type writer as well.

 

Who are your partners in crime? What are their superpowers?

 John-Joy

My husband, John, is the head of my crime-fighting organization. He has long, strong arms (David Gandy arms) that I can nestle under when I get a negative review, that provide a gentle push when I need prodded along to be more productive, and that help carry my loads of responsibility.

Jennifer Joy, my daughter, is a cohort. She is a gentle soul that can corral my imagination so that it moves forward. She is also a punctuation and grammar queen. It has become a challenge to me to keep the red marks on my manuscripts to a minimum. She’s brutal.

I’ve seen the need to surround myself with others who have skills that I do not possess. Copy editors, story editors, cover designers, narrators, translators, media developers, and marketing coaches. It has been worth it financially for the peace of mind they give me.

 

Where do you get your superpowers from?

Besides my family, I think it is from old movies. I know, that sounds corny, but it’s true. I grew up watching the good guys prevail time after time after time. I learned from a very young age, back when TV’s were only in black and white, that every story can be written in such a way that there’s a happily ever after. Even my reading of school library biographies was that way. No matter who the man or woman was, they always came out a hero. So, I became invincible (in my own mind).

 

Where is your secret lair and what does it look like?

My desk is a wooden platform built right into the space between the dining room and the kitchen. It’s right out in the open in a high traffic area where I am easily distracted. I’m not going to provide a picture because it’s cluttered. I will share some pictures that are on my wall next to my computer. They are inspirational.

 

What kind of training do you do to keep your superpowers in world saving form? How do you insure they are used only for good?

I am in constant contact with several other Jane Austen fan fiction writers that have sharpened and honed my skills and continue to do so. This is a wonderful community that, although not without imperfections, is capable of banding together to cross-promote to where other romance genre readers and writers are sitting up and taking notice. It is critically important for me to be supportive of new and existing authors, since I’ve personally benefited so much from them.

Being named “Joy” is hard at times. One of my all-time favorite scriptures in the Bible is the Golden Rule at Matthew 7:12. I try to treat others like I would like to be treated. Is it challenging at times? You betcha!

 

Granted, you probably don’t get to wear your superhero costume a lot, but if you did, what would it look like?

Oh, you mean the black leather one that makes me look like the original Cat Woman on the old Batman series? Sure! I wear that every day. NOT!!! I start my day in baggy cotton night gowns (365 days a year) with pink fuzzy slippers with white hearts on them. Please don’t tell anyone, Maria Grace, but oftentimes I don’t match. Shhhhhh!

 

What is your kryptonite? What are the biggest challenges you face in your writing?

This is the easiest question to for me to answer. My kryptonite is other JAFF books. I’m a fast reader that gets 100% involved. Once I start a good book, everything else stops around me. It’s highly unproductive for my own writing.

 

What was the supervillain that threatened to stop your latest project and how did you vanquish it?

Sigh! It’s Bingley. Yes, poor, immature, vacillating Charles Bingley. I’m on the 3rd or 4th draft and I still have a love/hate relationship with the young man. I’m not fairing much better with Jane Bennet either. My supervillain was other stories that have been screaming to be written. There are a total of five such stories that will not leave me alone. I’ve completed three of them, have a good start on the fourth one, and collected the research information I need for the fifth. In between, I work on Bingley/Jane.

 

What important lessons have you learned along the way?

It has been said that it takes a village to raise a child. I’ve learned that it takes a village to produce a good finished book.

 

What have been the best/most memorable experiences along the way?

It has to be when I get letters and messages from readers who tell me they were moved to tears, or they wanted to throw my book against a wall, but couldn’t put it down long enough to do so.

Sharing in this new career with my only child. I am so proud of Jennifer. She has always been very creative and is encouraging that in her six-year-old twins. My granddaughter loves to color, draw, and paint, which she calls “arting”. My grandson is a story-teller. Jennifer has said that she wouldn’t have written Darcy’s Ultimatum had I not pioneered the way in this indie-publishing world. How can that not be memorable for me?

Getting my #1 banner for One Love – Two Hearts – Three Stories in German. Why that thrilled me so much confounds me, but it does

 

If you did this again, what would you do differently and what would you not change?

I would have hired a cover designer and formatter from the start. When I look back at what John and I put together for A Father’s Sins – it’s just SO EMBARRASSING!!! I would not change that I write my stories for me. I write what I want to read. I’m satisfied with that.

 

What is the best writing advice you have ever gotten and why?

Do you remember the movie “Field of Dreams” with Kevin Costner? In it, he was told to build a baseball diamond in the middle of a corn field. It seemed so unreasonable and unrealistic to do so. “Build it and they will come.” With my new writing career, I was told to write it, perfect it as good as you can, and publish it. Then, the readers will come. And, it happened just like that.

 

Tell us about your new book and why we need to drop everything and get it now.Pride and Prejudice Anthology Cover LARGE EBOOK

One Love – Two Hearts – Three Stories is a combination of three “feel good” stories about Darcy and Elizabeth. Personally, I wouldn’t drop everything to get it, especially if you have a hot dish straight out of the oven, folded laundry, or a piece of chocolate. Wait until you want to escape into the world of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, relax your mind and heart, and have your soul soothed. That’s when you want One Love – Two Hearts – Three Stories.

 

What’s in store for you in the future? Do you have any other big projects on the horizon?

Besides the Bingley/Jane fiasco, I have a work-in-progress called Compromise! Elizabeth inadvertently puts Darcy in a bad position and they are forced to wed before they really have a chance to get to know each other. Some parts I’ve written so far have made me laugh out loud. Other parts make me sigh. I’m loving this story and my Mom says it’s my best. But, she’s my Mom. She’s supposed to say that, isn’t she?

 

Maria Grace, my sincerest thanks for inviting me to stop by. Or, did I invite myself? Faulty memory!!!

  

 

 You can find J. Dawn King at:

Website~Facebook~Twitter @jdawnking  

17 comments

1 ping

Skip to comment form

  1. Thank you so much for hosting me, Maria Grace. To be honest, which I always try to be, these questions were HARD!!! I had to ponder long and hard before I answered. It felt a bit like I remember my high school final examinations to be. With that said, I believe it helped me to get a more balanced view of myself and my writing. So, I thank you from the bottom to the top of my heart for having me here.

    • Jennifer Redlarczyk on July 5, 2015 at 10:38 am
    • Reply

    Hey Joy! I loved reading all you have to say here and have enjoyed all of your stories. Thanks Maria and Joy for sharing. Jen Red

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Jennifer. And thank you for your help with formatting. I’m clueless!!!

    • Vesper Meikle on July 5, 2015 at 10:48 am
    • Reply

    loved all your stories – keep on writing

    1. That’s sweet of you to say so, Vesper. I just posted another chapter of Compromised! I hope you enjoy it as well. Thanks for stopping by.

    • Paige B. on July 5, 2015 at 11:59 am
    • Reply

    This was so enjoyable! Hooray for happy endings! And fuzzy slippers!

    1. Thank you, Paige. I believe the pink fuzzy slippers are to me what chocolate is to others – my comfort place. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Joy, what a wonderful glimpse into your world!! I adore your stories…and I eagerly snap them up (to the detriment of my own writing–I guess we do this to each other on purpose? LOL) Thank you so much for taking the big step and publishing. By the way….I really liked the first cover you had for A Father’s Sins. 🙂

    Thanks for the support you have given me personally, as well as to other writers! You rock!!

    ~Zoe

    1. Sometimes my world is crazy, Zoe, but whose isn’t? We are definitely mutual fans of more than Jane Austen’s writings (and each other’s writings). I’ll be sure and tell John what you said about the first cover. The picture was awesome. The formatting? NOT!!!

  3. Thanks for sharing, Joy! I love getting a peek at what helps and hinders a writer in her (or his) process. You know…it warmed my heart to hear that “you betcha” in there…memories of my childhood 🙂 And in my opinion, you are a “joy” to interact with in the virtual world…very fitting name, I think. 😉

    1. Thank you so much for your support and encouragement, Eileen. It means the world to me. The truth is that it’s not always easy to be joyful. Sometimes there are harsh words from reviewers or other authors in this genre. But, for the most part it’s a piece of gooey chocolate layer cake.

    • Sheila L. M. on July 6, 2015 at 9:41 am
    • Reply

    OH, JOY, I am one of those privileged to know you outside of just reading your books and the back cover biography. And I love how so much of what you said here is true in my world. Having met various people and/or authors through reviews and blogs and then having them keep in touch and reading what their reviews or comment say, makes me feel so connected to this Wonderful JAFF community. I so look forward to more of your writing and love when another chapter shows up of “Compromised” or when I hear of releases. Keep up the good work.

    Noticed your long lovely fingers in that photo. (I am not blessed with such.) And you do make a very handsome couple. Does he still have a beard?

    1. I am tickled you stopped by, Sheila. It has been an unexpected blessing to have my circle of friends grow to include fellow Jane Austen fan fiction devotees. It’s surprising just how much we do have in common. I’m 5’9″ tall so have long everything. John shaved off his beard over 20 years ago. I miss its softness. But, it was hiding his handsome face. The mustache has stayed.

      Your reviews and comments are highly anticipated by me, Sheila. They are a gift to every author you interact with. Thank you so much.

    • Sarah Patania on July 8, 2015 at 12:12 am
    • Reply

    So wonderful! Love the interview.

    1. Thank you so much, Sarah. I hope to read a story from you in the future and an interview as well. Thanks so much for the personal encouragement.

    • Robin Helm on July 14, 2015 at 2:38 pm
    • Reply

    It has been a true “JOY” to get to know you. You are such an encouragement to everyone around you. I look forward to seeing much more of your work in the future.

    1. I appreciate that so much, Robin. I look forward to seeing more of your work in the future as well. You are AWESOME!!!

  1. […] Rounding out my blog tour is an interview with Maria Grace at “Random Bits of Fascination”. Boy were these questions a challenge. I had to put my thinking cap on. What a terrific experience. Please follow the link to: http://randombitsoffascination.com/2015/07/05/writing-superheroes-j-dawn-king/ […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

%d bloggers like this: