Today I’m speaking with Jax Hunter. Hi Jax, what made you decide to become a writer?
I carried stories around in my head from childhood but never wrote fiction. About ten years ago, I decided to get that particular story out of my head and into a book. That book and its sequel were hockey romances and sold to a small press. The rights have since reverted to me. When I can fit them in, I’d love to rewrite them.
So how long did it take to get published the first time and how did it happen?
I was in a small local group of writers and our goal was to collect 50 rejection letters. I got to about 20. I was also in a Yahoo group called CATAWriters – I think it’s still around in some form. I learned so much from these category romance writers. At one point, someone posted their success selling to a small press. I took a chance and sent in that first hockey romance. When I heard back from the editor with a contract that same day, I thought it was a scam. It wasn’t. I was thrilled and sold the sequel to them as well.
What would you do differently the next time?
I had a request from a NY publisher for the full book in the military romance series. Ultimately, they rejected it. At the time I was sorry. But I’m firmly committed to Indie publishing now. At the time, that wasn’t really an option. So I don’t think I’d do anything differently. Just had to wait for the industry to catch up to my rebellious ways.
What advice would you give an aspiring author?
Just write. Don’t wait until you learn how. When you’re new, writing conferences are very valuable. Writing groups are great as well. My best advice, though, is to read and study good writing. Write in your novels, analyze them. No you won’t be able to sell them to the used book store, but they are your textbooks. I also HIGHLY recommend any classes given by Margie Lawson (I was not paid for this endorsement.) If you can’t get in a class, then buy and study her lecture packets. MargieLawson.com
What (or who) inspires or influences your writing?
I am so very inspired by our military heroes. I will soon be joining forces with a small charity that is dedicated to helping our Air Force pararescue heroes. http://BuyABookHelpAHero.com I will be donating a percentage of the sales from the True Heroes military romance series to this charity.
That sounds awesome! What a wonderful idea. Do you have any works in progress?
I am working on a historical fiction love story (not precisely a romance novel.) There’s another PJ book waiting in line as well. I am also working on a series of books – some novel length, some shorter – of heartwarming small town (cowboy) stories.
What are your latest releases and when/where can we find them?
Since January 2016, I have released four of the five books in the True Heroes military romance series. Book five will be out in May. They are all available on Amazon. My Amazon author page is http://www.Amazon.ByJax.com
After you got your first contract, were you asked to do revisions? How did that go?
I was. But the editing process for that small press was not nearly as thorough as my editing process now. Since I am now self-published, I have two editors. They have really made the books better in the end. I also have a small group of beta readers that have done a great job.
That’s great. I’ve heard beta readers are such an asset. How long have you been writing, Jax?
I have been writing for about ten years. But it was only with the True Heroes series that the money was significant enough to really feel professional.
What do you do in your spare time for fun when you aren’t writing?
I live in the high mountains of Colorado, in a tiny mountain town in ranching country. I see cowboys all the time and I’m learning how to take good photos. Love to get outside and hike. I’m still a reader. Love doing historical research. I have a small embroidery business, specializing in Scottish designs. And, don’t tell anyone, but I play the accordion.
Wow! You must stay busy all the time. And the accordion seems to take a lot of skill. So do you write full-time or part-time?
I see this writing stuff as a business. So within the umbrella of writing, there’s the actual putting words on PAPER, there’s the editing, there’s marketing. I also continue to study the craft. So, with all those things included, pretty much full time.
You are so right! And your advice about writing is to just write. I’ve learned so much about writing and actually put my books on hold while learning. I started over 30 years ago and just now launched my first book. Then there is a lot to learn about marketing. If I had waited until I learned all that, I’d never have gotten my book out. I feel that since the publishing industry is constantly changing, I can “learn on the job.”
So tell me about your latest release/releases.
Book 4 – TRUE VIRTUE
Don’t bother running. You’ll only die tired…
A former Navy SEAL who’s afraid of sleeping in his own bed. How the mighty have fallen. When Daniel Fraser lost his wife to leukemia, he pretty much stopped living. He crawled into his cave and didn’t come out. Now, his work, as Captain of the Yosemite Search and Rescue, is his sole raison d’être. Even sleep is something he rarely does, and when he does, it’s on the couch.
Sophie Riene grew up pampered, to say the least, the daughter of a French CEO and a champion figure skater. Because she’s an only child, her younger cousin Henri is more like a brother to her. They do everything together, including becoming top rated rock climbers. Together, they dream of the ultimate climb, El Capitan in Yosemite. But then Henri loses his sight. So Sophie comes to Yosemite alone, determined to make her trip count for something. For Henri.
When Daniel is called in to rescue an injured climber, he smacks right into life again. In the person of a very adventurous Sophie Riene. Can Sophie get him to come out of his cave and live again? Even if she can, will he be able to save her when her life crumbles around her.
True Virtue is the fourth installment in the five-book True Heroes military romance series. If you love stories of finding love again, only to have darkness try to snatch it away, you’ll find this book irresistible.
Book 5 (May, 2016)
True love often hides in plain sight. Sometimes it takes catastrophe to make your ready…
When PJ Eric Cruz and pilot Kit Sheridan met, it was spontaneous combustion. But the burning flame turned to rejection left behind only ruin: two people scorched and scarred. Now, one disaster after another forces them together, deadlocked in fear and calamity.
Are they too wounded to realize that the same fire that lays you waste can light your way through the darkness? Maybe their story isn’t over. Sometimes love is hiding in plain sight. Sometimes you find it in the last place you look.
True Gallantry is the final installment in the True Heroes military romance series. If you love instant chemistry, suspense that keeps you turning pages, and you love stories for the ages, then you’ll love this series finale.
Thanks Jax. Do you have any appearances or book signings scheduled this year? And if so, where and when are they?
Not at this point. But I have been invited to the annual pararescue reunion – I said yes before it was out of his mouth.
That is awesome!
You can find Jax at:
Facebook Author page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorJaxHunter/
History blog: http://www.Revivel1775.com
Join her mailing list at: http://books.byjax.com