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The Infinitely Awesome J.K. Raymond

Today we have the chance to hear from our very own J.K. Raymond… the author of Infinite Mass, Wild Ink Publishing’s most recent YA/NA title (available wherever books are sold). J.K. was kind enough to sit down with S.E. Reed to share her thoughts, dreams, and journey to becoming one of our rising stars!

Make sure you check out all the fun she has on TikTok and hang out with her and the other WIP authors on the #writingcommunity on X.

J.K., thanks so much for taking the time to be interviewed today! Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Thank you so much for having me! Well, I’m a midwestern girl from a small town and I never moved too far away, as a matter of fact I can get to my old high school in about 15 minutes. I’m a momma’s girl and never could stray too far from her. But I did move to the big city of St. Louis for college and my eyes, ears and senses were overwhelmed and I fell in love with everything about it.

I graduated college but never taught the art I went there to learn to teach and for lack of a job I started bartending in a pub district famous for its blues music and home to the second biggest Mardi Gras celebration in the country. That moment in time is the place of fondness that settled so deep in my heart that it created a sort of magic that I stirred into my book Infinite Mass.

Infinite mass by JK Raymond

My bartending days long behind me, I’ve been happily married for twenty years to an amazing husband with two amazing sons who all keep me laughing every single day! And I would be shunned by my fur babies if I didn’t name drop Lollie, TukTuk, and RueRue, our own personal grumble of pugs.

Thanks so much for sharing about yourself and your life! So, what type of material do you usually write?

Before I ever dreamed of being a writer it started simple. With a black journal that had my zodiac sign on the cover (Sagittarius, btw). I saw it in a little bookstore and my mom bought it for me. We didn’t have a lot of money, but she must have seen something in my eyes because without asking for it, she bought it for me! I was so grateful. It was that journal that started me on a path of venting my emotions, raw and without any other purpose than to write it all out. My father had died the year before and without even knowing something called therapy existed, my mother was the next best thing, a place to put all the rage and heartache my new world held.

At some point, it started becoming more of an art, with poems and flash fiction images of my life. I always thought I might have a book in me somewhere, but it didn’t manifest until my early forties. From there, a few hours at a time, my first book was born and here we are.

We are dying to know, what does your writing and revision process look like?

Without any advanced writing courses, I wrote what I knew, which was creating a picture from nothing, pulling from my unused art degree. I tackled each paragraph individually until I bent it to my will, doing my best to make sure each reader could see it in their mind easily without having to try. The process was arduous, but it was all I knew and after a while I got better and it took less and less time for me to trust my words. But I’m definitely a pantser! Beside a few weeks of research into the world I want to create, the rest is written by the characters themselves, I just follow where they want to go. They make questionable choices and often don’t show up for work, muses, what are ya gonna do right?

So, what is your favorite part about being a writer?

When my writing becomes so clear it can paint images in the minds of others. And the only real way to know that is reading reviews and talking to people who’ve read the book. Then there’s this moment when you know undoubtedly that the reader picked up what you laid down. But better still they enjoyed it.

What advice do you have for debut authors?

Stay the course and keep your butt in the chair. Pick a time that is writing time and don’t skip it unless the house is on fire. If the muses don’t come then blog, journal, research, but write for the allotted period of time you’ve set. If you do that eventually you will have a book in your hands. And to debut authors, learn everything you can about marketing your book, but also chill out, it takes time for the word to spread about your book. A very smart person recently told me it’s like a snowball effect. Do the marketing but don’t sweat that the results aren’t instantaneous.

If you loved getting to know J.K. as much as we did, make sure to follow her in all the places! She’s bound to be up to something fabulous.

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