Tuesday, December 12, 2017

"Spotlighting Jeff Salter

Author BIO
            Romantic comedy and romantic suspense are among thirteen completed novel manuscripts and four completed novellas. So far, fourteen of these seventeen titles have been released by three royalty publishers… and two more are expected soon.
            I’m co-author of two non-fiction monographs (about librarianship) with a royalty publisher, plus a signed chapter in another book and a signed article in a specialty encyclopedia. I’ve also published articles, book reviews, and over 120 poems; my writing has won nearly 40 awards, including several in national contests. As a newspaper photo-journalist, I published about 150 bylined newspaper articles, and some 100 bylined photos.
            I worked nearly 30 years in the field of librarianship. I’m a decorated veteran of the U.S. Air Force (including a remote tour of duty in the Arctic, at Thule AB in N.W. Greenland).
I’m the married parent of two and grandparent of six.
Twitter:  @AuthorJLSalter

When did I first realize I wanted to be a writer?
            If not before, then certainly by Third Grade. I was composing little rhymes and (short-short) “stories” before I reached Junior High. By my sophomore year in H.S., I had a “real” story published in that school’s creative writing anthology and had begun writing “serious” poems (which my teacher found promising). By my senior year, I had won a regional (university-sponsored) poetry contest and my winning entry was published on the front page of my hometown newspaper.
What part of the writing process do I dread? 
            I love drafting, but really dislike editing, revising, overhauling, re-writing, etc. Oddly, however, I DO enjoy proof-reading.
When and where do I write?
            After I retired from librarianship, we moved (from LA to KY), and later built a house on my wife’s ancestral farm. That new house finally provided me with my own study/office… and that’s where I do most of my writing. Before I got involved with all the necessary networking and promotional efforts – through Facebook and Twitter, for example – I used to “write” in the mornings and late evenings. Now, however, it seems my mornings are sucked dry by networking, so I write mostly after supper.
How long does it take me to write a book?
            That depends a lot, of course, on the external distractions and commitments I have. Assuming my schedule has nothing unusual in it – beyond the several things which I do have to deal with each week – I can typically average between 2k – 3k words per day (on days I can write at all). Other than my first three novels, I believe the other 14 titles have each been drafted within some 6-8 weeks, typically. Of course, that first draft is usually pretty durn rough and needs a lot of work in round two (and beyond).
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
            I’m hard pressed to come up with any particular genre for what I write. And I’m blessed to be affiliated with three small publishers who are less concerned about pigeon-holing their titles than they are about releasing great stories with compelling characters.
            But to attempt an answer: I write comedy, comedic romance, romantic comedy, screwball comedy, suspense, suspenseful romance, romantic suspense, action, contemporary, historical, etc. Heck, I’ve even released a novel which affectionately tweaks a Regency… and another that features a ghost!
            I cannot claim my work differs from other writers with this array of fiction, partly because I don’t think I’ve read any other author whose work reminds me of my stuff. Perhaps one of my readers will be able to suggest another author who writes similarly.
Why do I write what I do?
            This will probably sound corny, but I write what’s inside my head. Where does it come from? Don’t really know. Some scenes and portions come to me as I sleep, some as I’m waking up. Some as I’m driving or exercising. Most just pop into my head while I’m writing.
            I have often said that my characters tend to take over my stories and I just hustle to keep up with them. That’s not much of an exaggeration. Of course, that’s a rather undisciplined process and often I have to go back and “fix” continuity (among other things) because of what those characters have gotten me into.
            I have created several minor characters – whom I initially only needed basically to ‘walk on stage’ and deliver one bit of info or perspective – who have subsequently pestered me for more ‘lines’. And when I have complied with their urging, I have usually been very pleased with the results. One example was Jason Stewart’s mother (Margaret) in “Curing the Uncommon Man-Cold”. Another example was Kristen Prima’s brother (Eric) in “Rescued By That New Guy In Town.” Each received additional scenes which really juiced up those respective stories. But Eric Prima pestered me so much, that I later featured him prominently in a completely different novella, “One Simple Favor.”
How does my writing process work?
            Besides the 13 full-length novels – ten published and two more under contract – and four complete novellas (both published) that I’ve already written, let’s say I have “starts” on about 99 other stories (no exaggeration, though I’ve lost track of the exact number). Most of those have just ‘come to me’ and I’ve developed the ones I’ve had time and concentration to focus on.
            What often happens, especially when I’m heavily involved in Manuscript AAA, is that I’ll suddenly get on fire with new ideas for Manuscripts BBB, CCC, and DDD. In those cases, I often stop my work on AAA only long enough to write down the basics of those others, and then hurry back to AAA. But sometimes CCC won’t let me alone and I sort of develop its early stages along with my more advanced work on AAA. It can get very confusing! But I learned long ago if I just stiff-arm those new concepts, saying, “Sorry, guys, no time for you right now,” that they’ll vanish and I’ll never see them again. So I HAVE to stop and at least record the basics, even if I won’t have time, possibly for years, to return to them for further development.
            As far as process itself, I guess my Writing Plan is to take whichever manuscript is the hottest – meaning which one is generating the most energy in my brain – and work like a fiend to finish its first draft. If things go as they have (so far) I can figure on completing a new novel in some six to eight weeks (depending on its length)… assuming I don’t have other deadlines or heavy personal obligations during that period. There have been stories for which I’ve immediately gone on to the revisions… but other cases in which I’ve had to drop that first complete draft and move on to other projects (usually those with external deadlines).
Spotlighted Novel
Size Matters
By J. L. Salter
About 44,300 words
Size does matter, when you’re only a foot tall.
            Accidentally swallowing a mysterious pill from her eccentric scientist cousin causes Emma Hobby to shrink to under a foot tall. When she resumes normal size, she must track down her cousin, who’s obviously in trouble (based on those crazy messages he sent). Can those sci-fi miniaturization pills help find him? How about Logan Stride, the attorney who wants to handle more of Emma than just her case?
What was the inspiration for Size Matters
            In my head as I awakened on Sept. 16, 2015, was the rough concept of a woman who discovers she can transform herself to the size of a fashion doll. The first time was accidental but she later realizes it could be useful to become “Barbi” sized --- even though it could also be quite dangerous. The working title was “Being Tiny.”
Some back-story on Size Matters
            As a kid, I saw the feature film Tom Thumb and I was transfixed. “How cool it would be,” I thought, “if you could REALLY become tiny and slip into places where nobody else can go… and nobody even knows you’re there.” Later on, I would see several of the popular sci-fi movies – starting with the Incredible Shrinking Man (from 1957, though I saw it later on TV) – which featured people (or creatures) becoming either tiny or gigantic. One movie, about Gulliver’s travels, had both --- he was gigantic in one segment and doll-sized in another. One thing clear from all those films was: when you’re pint-sized, life is not a bowl of cherries.
            So in my story, I wanted to show the fun parts of being tiny… along with the difficulties and scariness. I also wanted to focus on the emotional aspects, including the oppressive fear that you might not be able to return to normal size. To keep everything moving along, I needed a bit of comedy (mostly from her neighbor and the neighbor’s boyfriend) and a nice portion of romance (from her hunky lawyer, Logan Stride).
            I also wanted to focus (just a bit) on the prevalent notion that so many people seem so dissatisfied with the way they look --- and want to look better, be taller (or shorter), lose weight, develop six-pack abs, have more dramatic cleavage, etc.
            Furthermore, I wanted to say something about the dependence so many Americans have on daily maintenance medicines. [It’s a miracle of modern medicine and visionary science that people have developed drugs which allow folks with horrible diseases to cope with their symptoms --- and I certainly do not cast any aspersions on any of that life-saving, cutting edge treatment protocol.] But I do read a lot about people getting hooked on daily maintenance doses of drugs which have stupefying side effects and may even make them sicker than the original condition for which they were seeking relief. And that’s what I touch on in part of my story.
            But, my soap-boxing about Big Pharma aside, this story is entertainment. Fun to imagine what it would like to be tiny. And if you played with Barbie dolls as a child, I think you’ll especially enjoy how my heroine Emma Hobby interacts with the Cyndi dolls in her collection. And their clothes!
Size Matters. Novel, $1.99. http://tinyurl.com/SalSizeMat

              J.L. Salter --- 
With TouchPoint Press & TouchPoint Romance
     "Size Matters"-- (novel) -- Oct. 2016
     "Stuck On Cloud Eight"
 -- (novel) -- Nov. 2015
With Dingbat Publishing
     "One Simple Favor" -- (novella) -- May 2015
     "Scratching the Seven-Month Itch" (screwball comedy) -- Sept. 2014
     "Curing the Uncommon Man-Cold"  (screwball comedy) -- Dec. 2013
Published by Clean Reads [formerly Astraea Press]
     "The Duchess of Earl" -- Jul. 2016    
     "Pleased to Meet Me"-- (novella) -- Oct. 2015
     "The Ghostess and MISTER Muir" -- Oct. 2014
     "Hid Wounded Reb" -- Aug. 2014
     "Don't Bet On It" ( a short novella) --  April 2014
     "Echo Taps" (a short novella) -- June 2013
     "Called To Arms Again"  (a tribute to the Greatest Generation) -- May 2013
     "Rescued By That New Guy in Town" (comedic romance) -- Oct. 2012
     "The Overnighter's Secrets" (romantic suspense) -- May 2012

1 comment:

Jeff Salter said...

thank you for allowing me to visit. I love a chance to be in your spotlight !!