Monday, June 17, 2013

Interview with J.H. Walker, Author of Rewrite Redemption!!!

Book Title: Rewrite Redemption
Author: J.H. Walker
Release Date: January  25, 2013
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal

Rewrite Redemption is a YA romance with paranormal/sci-fi elements.
She’s sixteen. He’s seventeen. They don’t know each other…at least not yet.
She has a secret and her whole life revolves around keeping it. Every few months and with little warning, she simply disappears, pulled into the past for hours or even days. She’s terrified it will happen in front of someone, changing her life forever. So far, the only witnesses have been her parents, and that didn’t end well. She has no control over it and no idea why it happens to her.
She wants answers.

He has answers—at least he understands what’s going on. He has a secret, too. He’s part of an organization that goes back in time to rewrite reality. But he also has a problem. He broke the organization’s number-one rule by altering his own timeline. As punishment, he’s been blocked from time travel, which is most unfortunate. Because the changes he made to his timeline, accidentally resulted in disaster for his family. A disaster he’s now prevented from repairing. No one can travel beneath the organization’s radar except a Shadow. But they’re rare, so rare he’s never even met one.
Then he moves to her town.



1. Who are the main characters in the book?
The story is told in the alternating, first-person POV’s of sixteen-year-old A. J. Jones and Constantine DeMille who is about a month from his eighteenth birthday. They’re each dealing with tragedies in their respective lives, tragedies that have otherworldly causes. And they’re both hiding secrets.  

2. Who or what were the inspiration for the characters?
I have a strong background in understanding the formation of personality. That really helps when it comes to making characters three-dimensional. These characters are the ones who talked to me in my head when the book started taking form. The came alive. I saw them vividly. I do know that I laughed when I first saw Damon in Vampire Diaries. I told my husband, “Wow, that guy looks just like Constantine. He has those same arched eyebrows and that devious smile.”
I’m sure, that in a way, my characters are compilations of people I’ve known in my life. Subconsciously, you remember behavior patterns and mannerisms from people who had impact on you…the way an old boyfriend ran his hand through his hair. The way a friend was there for you whenever you needed her. But for the most part, the characters in Rewrite Redemption are their own people. I spent much of my childhood in a fantasy world of pretending. This is just bringing that skill into an adult activity.

3. What is the book about?
There’s a girl with a screwed-up life and a secret she doesn’t understand. At any moment, she could disappear into the past for hours or even days. She’s terrified someone will see her disappear, and she’ll spend the rest of her life in a glass cage in a government facility. So she tries to be invisible. The last thing she thinks will happen in her messed-up life is that she’ll meet a guy. She considers that a luxury that’s not in the cards for her.
There’s a guy who has a secret, too, but he knows about going to the past to rewrite reality. He’s tormented by a mistake he made that resulted in disaster for his family and a sanction on his ability to travel through time. He desperately wants to repair that mistake and find redemption. He doesn’t expect to meet a girl who could maybe help him. And he doesn’t expect that that girl will ignite a passion in him that consumes his every thought.
But when he moves to her town…

4. What or who was the inspiration for the book?
I grew up in a very strict environment. Self-expression was not something encouraged in my house. Conformity and absolute adherence to a rigid ideology was the rule of the day. (The main reason why I never wrote early in life.) Since I lived in Central America, I wasn’t part of the mainstream American culture. I knew nothing about the real world and was totally unprepared to deal with it when I left home at eighteen. I’ve always wished I could go back in time and talk to my younger self, give her the benefit of the wisdom that begins to come with age. That desire led me to imagine a story about time travel.

5. When did you start writing the book?
I actually wrote the first draft in 2008. It was at a very busy time in my life and I set it aside. Then in 2010, I picked it back up again. I sent out a few query letters. I even had a couple people who read it and said they’d look at it again if I did this and that. (I didn’t realize at the time how rare that was.) So I played with it for a while, but was still really engaged in other things. I never sent it back to the editors who had shown interest. Then things began to change in the publishing world and suddenly, you could self-publish. I liked the sound of that. So last year, I polished and polished. I hired an editor as a second set of eyes. And in January of this year, I published it on Amazon.

6. How long have you been writing?
I’ve always loved books and been a voracious reader. But I’m an artist and for many years, I’ve found incredible creative fulfillment in my art studio. I’ve only been writing for a few years. I think that the emergence of such a rich and wonderful YA market nudged me towards writing my first book. I love paranormal and fantasy and YA literature is very accepting of the unusual. There’s just something about the whole YA experience—the euphoria of a first love, the sorrow of a first heartbreak—things are just so much more intense when you’re young. I understand that intensity. The YA market opened up a genre that was a match for me.

7. What or who inspires you to write in general?
I’ve never had to look outward for inspiration. Time has always been my problem—probably another reason I was drawn to time travel—lack of time to just wander. I’m the kind of person to whom creativity is as necessary as breathing. I’ve engaged in all kinds of creative endeavors and have found immense satisfaction from all of them. There’s just something about that act of creation in itself that brings joy like nothing else. Over the years, I’ve had ideas for books and characters that danced in my head, and I figured that someday I’d write books. I’m finally finding the time and space to bring that desire to fruition.

8. Who is your favorite author?
I’ll read anything by Sharon Shinn and Juliet Marillier. They write wonderful, heartfelt fantasy with plenty of paranormal activity. There is a whole new crop of incredibly talented new authors writing young adult fiction. I’m really enjoying the ones that have science fiction elements. I’m working on getting a feel for them and their work.

9. What do you like to do while writing?  Ex. Listen to music, watch TV
For the most part, I like things really quiet so I can wander in my head. But sometimes, I put on a piece of music in the background that has the “flavor” of what I’m doing at the moment. That doesn’t last long though. I have to say, I like it quiet. Sometimes, I walk around, “feeling” the parts of the characters. I guess I do that a lot, ha.

10. What is your favorite genre to read?
I don’t like horror or excessive graphic violence. I’m not a big zombie fan—I suppose the ick factor gets to me. But I really love an otherworldly aspect to what I read. So for most of my life, that meant reading adult sci-fi /fantasy. I think that a lot of people have the conception that sci-fi is dry and technical and full of nothing but intergalactic war. And some of it is that. But I love a different sci-fi. That’s where someone introduces an idea and plays with it.
What if love is seen as a disease? Matched by Ally Condie. What if society is divided up into factions? Divergent by Veronica Roth. What if you could rent out your body? Starters by Lissa Price. I love books that deal with the “what if” factor. Rewrite Redemption looks at what if you could edit time. These things are my kind of sci-fi, and I’m finding great stories in the YA genre. I love it.



My life has been rather unconventional. Born insanely curious into an authoritarian, religious family, I know what it’s like to not fit in. My teen years were a struggle, and I remember them in all their intensity. That’s why I like writing for young adults.
I grew up in Central America, surrounded by jungle, and was never too far from the ocean. I observed other cultures, including an indigenous tribe that, at the time, had seen little of the modern world. While there, I slept in a hammock in a bamboo hut, dressed in tribal clothing, and helped bring three babies into the world in at the tender age of fourteen. I survived a hurricane aboard an ocean liner, canoeing through alligator infested waters, P.E., my brother’s pet tarantulas, sky diving, parasailing over the Pacific shoreline, rock climbing, a ropes course blindfolded, and walking barefoot across hot coals. I’m not done having experiences.
I attended the University of Colorado, Boulder, but was so obsessed in my quest to understand human behavior; I left midstream to travel the country and study with people doing groundbreaking work in the field. I’m certified in Ericksonian Hypnosis, am a Master of Neuro-linguistic Programming and have worked with world-class athletes, including members of the U.S. Ski Team. I’ve completed advanced studies with some of the most brilliant minds of my time in the field of NLP and am a perpetual student of sociology and human behavior.
I live with my photographer husband in the foothills of the Colorado Rockies. I’m surrounded by trees. And I will always remain insanely curious.


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Anonymous said...

Hi Jess. Thanks for hosting me on your site. It was a pleasure.

Jess's Journal said...

It was no problem!!! I loved being part of the tour!!

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