Friday, June 06, 2008

Author Interview: J. Adams

My Author Interview today is with lovely and talented J. (Jewel) Adams. She was born and raised in Asheville, North Carolina. Her hard childhood spurred her imagination and later on those imaginings fueled her love for writing. Jewel is a wife, and the mother of eight children. When she is not home schooling her children or writing, she loves to curl up with a box of chocolates and read, her favorite books being romance and fantasy novels.

Jewel frequently speaks to youth and adult audiences. She has a great love for the youth and because of her own painful childhood, she is always anxiously engaged in helping them to understand how marvelous and special they are. She also loves doing signings and meeting new people. Jewel and her family live in Utah.

Jewel is sending me a copy of her newly published YA Fantasy novel, The Journey. I'll hold a drawing for that book from among the commentors, and pick the winner out of a hat on Monday, June 16 (I'll be out of town between now and then). The winner shall provide me with their mailing address by Friday, June 20, or I'll pick another winner.

Welcome, Jewel. It's lovely to talk to you again. How long have you been writing? What made you start?
I started writing in 1989 right after I moved to Utah. I've always loved to read and I wrote a lot of poetry in high school. I met an author when I first moved here and she kind of inspired me to give writing a shot. After the first book I was hooked.

You have chosen self-publishing for many of your books. Can you tell us why you've made that choice?
Well, at first it was because I felt strongly about certain books that I had written and really felt the need to share the messages in them. I couldn't get them accepted by a mainstream publisher after tons of rewrites, so I decided to do them myself. Now I choose self-publishing because I love it. I have more control over the whole process. It's a little more work, but to me, it's worth it.

You've been published before as Jewel Adams. Why is your pen name now J. Adams?
Since I am now writing for a national audience, I thought it best to use a different name for my non-LDS works.

What type of writer are you? Do you plan ahead/plot or do you simply fly by the seat of your pants?
You know, sometimes an idea for a story will just jump out at me. The ones that stick with me and won't let me forget them are the ones I usually write. There have been a couple of times that I have gone on vacation and while I'm sightseeing a story will come to me, so now I always carry a notebook in my purse. I write down my thoughts, which tend to be many at times, and then I begin. Sometimes it drives me crazy when I *can't* shut my mind off (like when my husband and I are on a date). :o)

How do you choose your characters' names?
Actually, my oldest daughter comes up with a lot of them. I usually do okay with choosing original ones, but when I hit a blank, she comes to my rescue.

What is your daily schedule like?
I home school, so writing time is usually after I clean the house (which is an all day job), school the kids, run the errands, take the kids to activities, and did I mention clean the house? Writing time is usually at night when the house is quiet. In the summer time, I get a lot more of it done.

How do you handle life interruptions?
I've learned to just go with the flow. If one of the kids has an appointment or need me to take them somewhere, I usually take my laptop with me, or a notebook. There is always a lot going on and my schedule is never set. My writing is important to me, but I also love to live life and not miss out on things. There's a time for everything.

Do you write music? If so, with lyrics or only melodies?
I've written a lyric or two, but nothing major, and the tune is only in my mind. And no, I won't sing it :o)

What food or snack keeps the words flowing?
Sugar-free Reese's, butter-pecan ice-cream, and orange tic-tacs.

What one thing do you like most about writing? Least?
I love escaping my world for a little while and getting into the world of my character, but I hate not being able to shut my mind off when I need to.

Tell us about your new YA fantasy novel, The Journey.
This book was definitely a labor of love for me, as I'm sure the whole series will be. It talks about the importance of choice and how every choice we make affects something or someone, and there is always a consequence. It teaches that agency is a gift that we need to use wisely.

The story takes place in another world, and Ciran, the main character, must leave her home in the kingdom of Krisandor and go on a journey. She doesn't truly understand the importance of choice until she enters a kingdom that many have traveled to, but from which only a few have returned. She faces evil forces at every turn and encounters a darkness that makes her wonder if she will ever find her way back.

That sounds so exciting. What is your next project?
Right now I'm working on the sequel entitled Place in This World.

What is your advice for other writers?
Don't let anything stop you from reaching for your dreams. If you're not published, don't stop until you are. Einstein said, "Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life's coming attractions." I firmly believe that. So, I'm imagining "Best Seller in the future". :o)

What other work of yours has been published?

Elise's Heart/YA Romance - 1996 : Granite
A Heart That Endures/YA Romance - 1998 : Self-published
Dreams of Venice/Romance - 2003 : Self-published
Dreams and Blessings/Romance - 2004 : Self-published
Mercedes' Mountain/Romance - 2005 : Cedar Fort
Against the Odds/Romance - 2007 : Self-published
The Journey/YA Fantasy - 2008 : Self-published/Jewel of the West Publishing

Thanks for the Interview, Jewel.
Thank you, Marsha. It's been fun.

Be sure to read Jewel’s blog at and visit her website at She loves hearing from her fans. You can write to her at:


  1. Thanks for posting the interview. It was interesting to read. I added Jewel's book to my list of books eligible for the 2008 Whitney Awards that I keep on my blog. I can't wait to read it.

  2. Thanks for the interview Marsha. I like reading about what keeps them going and focused on the task at hand. Working in a normal job, whether it be the 40 hour a week kind, or being a stay at home mother, the 100 hour a week kind...makes finding time to write a struggle. Reading how others do it, keeps me encouraged to keep going.

  3. I was able to read some of this book and can't wait to read the rest--Jewel is so talented and the message of this book is so desperately needed.

  4. Great interview. Jewel is a very inspiring woman.

  5. Jewel sounds very interesting and so does her new book. I'll have to add it to the list of books I want to read after I clean my house this summer.

  6. Hi Marsha and Jewel!

    That was a very interesting interview, I enjoyed it a lot. It made me want to know more about Jewel, so I appreciated the links to her sites and blog. I've seen her at conferences and such, but admit I have not read her works or know anything about her. Now I want to remedy both of those!

    I'm very interested in The Journey - sounds like my kind of read.

    Thanks again!

  7. Wow! And I thought I knew Jewel! I have to wonder, though, Marsha, when I read your interview question about music, I thought you asked "Do you write TO music?" In Jewel's it says, "Do you write music?" So I hope that when you post my interview, you will re-word the question accordingly!

  8. Fun interview. I am on LDS Forever Friends as are several LDS authors and a bunch of fans and I get to read Jewel's wisdom regularly and I always enjoy (and so far, agree) with her point of view. As a mom who homeschooled her children for many years, I marvel that Jewel already has accomplished so much!!! Keep up the great work, Jewel. Thanks, Marsha.


  9. Marsha,
    Jewel is a wonderful person. Thanks so much for doing an interview with her. Never knew she liked sugar-free Reese's.

    I'm hoping for the best in your contest! :)

  10. Valerie Ipson4:28 PM

    Is there really such a thing as sugar-free Reeses? I love all your author interviews, Marsha. Thanks for sharing them with us.


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