So I have had the immense pleasure of interviewing author J.L.M. Visada. I knew going in I was going to have fun doing this. I've followed him pretty closely since I stumbled across his book Midnight Squad: The Grim when it was on special on Amazon. I couldn't have been happier to take that misstep.
There is no safe way to explain this book. To me it felt like a little bit of everything tossed together to make something truly entertaining. I laughed, bit my nails in suspense (I know terrible habit), swooned, and just had an all around great time reading this book.
I think some people would like to say this book is erotica. It definitely has some steamy sex scenes, but to me that was more of an added bonus to everything else. I laughed more then anything reading this book.
I feel a special sort of bond for J.L.M. Visada, I had the pleasure of being one of the first people to review his book for him. As well has having the same kind of crazy, amazing, off the wall, loving relationship with my husband that he has with his wife. This man truly loves his wife, which I'm sure all of you will be able to figure out for yourself after the interview. Also anyone that makes me laugh is right away someone I want to be around and know better. To steal a line from the movie Zombieland "This guy has a direct line to my funny bone."
I was inspired to ask J.L.M. Visade for this interview because he has just finished the writing part of the second book in the Midnight Squad series called Midnight Squad: The Ties That Bind and I really wanted to help promote his current book as well as the new one as well.
-What made you decide to start writing?
"Honestly I was trying to get into my wife's pants. She loves Urban Fantasy, and Paranormal Romances. So I started reading them so I'd have more stuff to chat with her about. Then I thought I'd try writing her something, and fell in love with the whole thing. It's pretty addictive once you get started, and I really recommend trying it for anybody. After I finished, my wife loved it. So I ended up putting it on kindle. I thought, "Hey maybe someone else might like it. I might actually sell a book or two." I would have been writing for free anyway, but getting paid is a great added bonus. So that's how the first Midnight Squad was written. It was a horny guys attempt to get into his wife's pants."
-Do you have a writing process, or something that helps you to write everything out?
"My process is that I have a general idea of where I want the story to go, and I do my best to visualize the scenes I'm writing in my head. If I can't visualize it then it doesn't go in. I don't plan it out any farther than that. I've been really fortunate that people have enjoyed my writing, and I really appreciate it. That being said I make it a point to have fun with what I'm doing. If I'm not having fun writing it then it shouldn't be in there. I figure that there are going to be people that love it, and there will be people that hate it. So if I'm going to have people that hate what I do then I should at least have had fun doing it. I mean at least one of us should have enjoyed it, and since I have the pen (well typewriter...er computer) I'd feel pretty stupid if I wrote something I didn't like and still had to deal with an unhappy reader. Although most of the people that talk to me about this are very positive which was really a wonderful surprise."
-Can you tell me what the hardest part of writing is for you?
"Probably the editing. The first book I edited the thing many times over, but anyone reading it could tell you that I certainly have no future in editing. Thank God for my wife, and some of my friends that have taken over the editing for this second book. They're taking the burden off me, and so now all I have to do is write it, edit it once before I turn it over to those wonderful people, and then when they are done make the corrections, and of course clean up some parts as necessary. So now that they've all made my life easier, the new hardest thing is probably trying to remember to take some downtime away from the writing. I love it, but I can turn anything into a job if given half a chance. So I have to be reminded to take some breaks. Go play xbox, read my kindle, or watch cartoons."
-From what I understand you work full time, how do you manage to find the time to write?
"I write when I get off work. Sometimes I'm typing away 0430. Thank God I usually go in to work at 1430 hours. So I still get plenty of sleep. I write when I get home, and I write after I wake up, and I also spend a lot of time writing on my weekends. I just have to remind myself to take breaks, and make sure I have down time. My wife really keeps tabs on that for me, and I'm thankful for that. She keeps me from burning myself out."
-How did you come up with the idea for Midnight Squad: The Grim?
"Well it was my sneaky attempt to get into my wife's pants. Now as to the specifics. I am a huge Scooby Doo fan, and I would be a happy man if my television was permanently affixed to Cartoon Network. I love how they tell stories, and get their points across, but they never take themselves too seriously. So I wanted to do the same thing with Midnight Squad. I want you to have as much fun reading it as I had writing it, and if I sneak up and drop a little food for thought along the way that's just icing on the cake. I wanted something that will make you laugh, maybe make you angry, sometimes get you horny, and the whole time you know that I was writing it laughing, grumbling, and suddenly feeling really awkward right along with you. I like to think of the people reading as potential friends. I'm just trying to tell you a funny little dirty story, and hopefully we all walk away happy and a little closer to one another."
-When you first came up with the idea for Midnight Squad: The Grim did you imagine it would all play out the way it did?
"I knew the good guys would win, but I wasn't completely sure who'd be left over at the end of the book. Originally I thought Grim's stepfather and family would die, and Alhambra would turn out to be a good guy in the end, but none of that happened. They staged a coup and overthrew me. Sometimes you just can't make imaginary characters do what you want. I didn't really expect the situation with Danika and Grim to end up like it did in the first book. It just sort of grew on its own. No as for the business part of it. I really didn't expect that. I thought if I was lucky I might sell four or five books, and one of those would be a copy I bought. I kept telling hoping and praying that if I was really lucky after saving up a few months of royalties I might be able to buy a pizza or maybe raid Taco Bell once. So you can imagine my surprise when I found myself on the top 100 a couple times in two categories. A happy dance was had, and yes I did drop it like it was hot. Even right now as the book has finally slowed down a little in sales after almost four months I have to say that I'm still selling more in a day than I expected to sell in a month. I still keep thinking that Amazon must have made a terrible mistake and somehow people are buying my book accidently. Don't even get me started on how I act when I see someone asks to be my friend on facebook because of the book. I've met some really awesome people on facebook because of this. I have friends now, which is weird for me because before this book the only people I was friends with were my wife (who is contractually obligated to like me...we signed a contract), and our pets. My wife is still my best friend, and I couldn't (and wouldn't) have done any of this without her. In a roundabout way my book is a goofy I love you to my wife. Even the pen name. J.L.M. Visada. (J)ohn (L)oves (M)elissa and Visada is Lithuanian for Always. I owe Google translate thanks for helping me find a last name that actually sounds halfway decent."
-You have so many characters in your book, ranging from a vampire to a ghost. Was it hard for you to come up with each distinct personality and back story?
"It wasn't hard to think them up, but it was hard to try and keep them distinct. Thank God for the internet, and for people willing to answer my sometimes bizarre questions. I'm a 35 year old white dude that's been happily married for over ten years now. So I have no clue what it's like to be a young single African American lesbian, but if I ask around on the internet then someone will tell me. So I end up having some strange conversations in order to better flesh out characters. The first book is written from a horny occasionally immature guy's perspective, and as a horny often immature guy I have very few questions about what that is like, but this second book is from DD's perspective, and so I'm really having to do a lot of homework to try and understand the perspective of a young woman in her twenties. Luckily I've found a lot of people willing to explain things to me, and not run away screaming."
-Because I follow your process pretty closely I know you just finished the second book. Is there a reason why you decided to do it from a different point of view this time instead of Grim’s?
"I thought the idea would be a real challenge. Grim is so proactive that he really drives the first story, but I knew writing DD would require a much more passive and reactionary tone. I love a challenge, and that's just one of the many reasons I married my wife. Also I really liked the idea that with it being a different character I could really flesh characters out more. If you read the first book then you know how Grim thinks about everyone else. Now with the new book you get to see how someone sees Grim, and how they view the others. I like how even though they are the same characters that you met in the first book, now they are seen in a new light. So they get to be familiar without being stale."
-Can we hope to expect the same off the wall fun this time around?
"Oh yeah, definitely. With DD being the main character this time around I was able to play with the story a lot more. There is so much going on in this book. I think that if you loved the goofiness and irreverence of the first then you'll get plenty of that, but at the same time you'll get so much more. It's hard to answer this without dumping a bunch of spoilers on you. So I'll just say this. As long as Grim is in this book there will be some definite off the wall stuff, but now there is so much more happening, and as I'm writing this my wife is editing it beside me. She had to put the book down a few times because she was laughing so hard that she was crying. So hopefully that is a good sign. Although she is editing it so it could just be that my grammar and spelling is just that bad."
-When can we expect to see the new book on the market?
"I'm trying to get it out as soon as possible, but I'm at the mercy of the three wonderful women that are editing my book, and one of those women is my beautiful wife. So my efforts to seduce her might slow her editing down some (I hope). Once they all finish editing my book, then I have to go back and make all the magical mystical corrections. Then go back over it one last time to see if there is anywhere that needs spit and polish. Then it I need to go by a photo to use for the cover. Once that's done then I'll send it out. I'm hoping to have it all done and out sometimes in April, but it all depends on the editors right now. If they finish early then I can get it out earlier, but they do have a daunting task of cleaning up my mess. So it might take them a little longer to get all the editing done. Basically count on it being about two to three weeks after I get all the edits back form the three amazing women that handling this. I can't thank them enough."
So now you can see for yourself just how amusing J.L.M. Visada can be, and that I wasn't lying about his love for his wife, all it really takes to see this is the meaning of his pen name.
I'll be keeping tabs of when exactly his new book Midnight Squad: The Ties That Bind will be released and I'll fill all of you wonderful people in just as soon as I know. If you are interested in checking out Midnight Squad: The Grim just follow this handy little link I'm about to post:
Midnight Squad: The Grim
If your interested in wanting to get to know the author behind the book you can find him at his facebook page (yes another handy little link coming up for ya'll, geez I still make myself laugh when I southern it up. . .being as I was born and raised in Jersey.)
J.L.M. Visada Facebook
This will not be the last you will hear me talking about J.L.M. Visada so perk up. I'll be posting my review here for Midnight Squad: The Grim as well as fan girling it out when the new book is released. I also hope to be able to have a cover release for it on here (crosses fingers).
Hopefully ya'll love Midnight Squad: The Grim as much as I did. I went a little southern there again, but anyway hurry up and read this amazing book.