Interview with JP Roth
What books/authors have influenced you and why?
I read anything I can get my hands on. I love the good and soldier through the bad. Jane Austen was my first love, and I have a good chunk of her works committed to memory. Her characters came alive and spoke to me. I also loved Charlotte Bronte. On the day I finished my last chapter of Jane Eyre, I knew what I wanted to do. I wanted to write, to tell stories that one day might change lives. I deeply love King’s descriptions and Anne Rice’s grandeur. I get lost in the worlds created by Robert Jordan and Jacqueline Carey, but in my opinion, nearly every author has something special, and I try to read them all in hopes that I find it.
How do you develop your plot and characters?
For me (I believe the method varies on the artist.) the plot starts slowly at first and more often than not, I am surprised by the path it takes. Occasionally I will see a captivating image that sparks an idea, or a dream will lock my mind to a scene or a picture, and the story will build from there. I am surrounded by many amazing people: my son, my wonderful man, my artists, designers, and large vocal family. I know many of my characters have elements of these people who influence my life. Each word I write gives greater life to my characters until they are the ones making the decisions and telling the stories. My best writing day is when the voices in my head refuse to quiet.
Tell me about your protagonist. What's your favorite trait and/or weakness?
In the beginning, Cara Wynter is scared, lost in her life and the strange powers she sees as flaws. She is entirely dependent on her sister and lives with little hope for a way out of her reality. Over the course of the next three novels, her dreams, visions and a reconnection with her past life lead her down a path of self discovery and power -- morphing Cara Wynter from scared child to supreme goddess. My favorite trait is Cara’s sense of humor, her ability to say something random that usually deescalates the situation. While writing Ancient Dreams, I often heard her voice in my head and found myself laughing out loud.
Same with your antagonist.
Ancient Dreams is a Greek Tragedy that interlinks with events in the modern world, so in a way my antagonist or antagonists are the gods of Greek Mythology. Many of them, Aphrodite, Ares, Hades, Persephone and others play major roles in the progression of events. For the most part, I try to honor the known lore of these characters, yet at the same time make them my own in a way that fits with my Tale of Terror.
What are your current/future projects?
I have five different series published through diamond comics that keep me crazy busy:
Celtic Mythology series: Southern Nightgown.
Greek Mythology series: Ancient Dreams
Asian mythology series: REM 8
A fairy series: Theory of Magic
Goddess Lore: Divinica
I am currently working on the sequel to Ancient Dreams and completing the first novel for Southern Nightgown.
What has been a fascinating writing research experience for you? Does a memory stick with you?
Mythology of all kinds. I love writing, and the more ancient the better. I will never forget the first time I opened Homer’s Iliad. It stole my soul with the first paragraph. The Iliad & The Odyssey were like gateway drugs for me, after I finished those books I spent the next ten years reading every myth I could find. My research led me to many stories from a plethora of cultures. I was fascinated with the connections I found in these ancient tales, so many links across so many miles and centuries.
Do you have a routine you follow when writing?
Ever since I was a young teenager, my ritual has been to write down my words by hand, whether on a napkin or a wandering piece of burnt paper. That sentiment is still true to this day. I grab my handmade, leather-bound, parchment tome and my feather-quill pen, and begin writing down the first draft of whatever story has filled my mind. Then, with lakes of coffee at my disposal, I transcribe my thoughts in hopes that somewhere in the madness, I will find a tale worth telling.
What is your preferred method for readers to get in touch with you?
If you could go back in time to give yourself advice, what would it be?
Have patience. Writing of any kind should be viewed as a marathon not a sprint. Believe and always dream.
What does literary success look like to you?
I just want to tell my stories, so I suppose success in my mind is having a platform from which to do so.