This week, the spotlight is on Indie Author Joel Crofoot. Crofoot has an impressive background. He began his career as a radio operator with the U.S. Marine Corp, and later joined the bomb disposal squad. He is also a qualified psychologist. Crofoot hopes to delight his fans with an eclectic mix of romance novels (See links below) . Here are a few wisdoms from this author, in his own words –
INDIE AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT
Q1. What inspired you to become a writer?
A1. I think I just had messages that I wanted to share with the world so I put them in sexy stories to get people to read them. All of my books have a good message or life lesson in them so I consider them erotic parables.
Q2. Who are your favorite authors? Why?
A2. I like J.R. Ward because her writing style sounds very honest, and S.M. Boyce because her world building helps me check out of reality. It was Boyce’s clean fantasy books that actually got me into reading romance.
I think what I like about their books is that I can see personal growth in the characters. I love it when I can read a book and see how an author is projecting issues from their lives or lives affecting them, then using fantasy to overcome and resolve those issues.
Q3. Do you think that right now, you are writing the kind of books you always wanted to write? If not, have you analyzed the gap? Do you have any plans for how to get there?
A3. I think right now I am writing about the messages I want to put into the world, but I would really like to write an epic fantasy. I’ve already started and I’m about 200 pages into what will be a trilogy, but a mentor suggested I write the romance stories while they were active in my mind.
Q4. What is your favorite genre to read? Why? Do you think there are enough genres out there? Name one genre you’d like to add to the list, for fiction.
A4. My favorite genre to read would be fiction because I read to check out of reality. I want an escape.
Q5. Outside of the arena of fiction and fiction writing, is there anyone else that inspires you? Why?
A5. I think my life and work inspire me the most. I’m a therapist so people share their stories with me all the time and it’s hard not to be inspired by some of them. For example, my first book is about a demonic prostitute and the inspiration for her came when I was working in a women’s correctional facility. Most of the women I worked with there were prostitutes but they were also wonderful people that inspired me to want to portray the human side of what society labels as deviant behavior.
Q6. Who is a favorite character from one of your own books that you’ve already published? The character that is stuck in your head? Give the readers a background with a little bit about the book detailing why you are so drawn into this character’s life.
A6. Jahi, the demonic prostitute will always be my favorite character. She chose prostitution as a lesser of several evils in her life, and even chose sexual abuse over physical abuse as a child as a means of controlling the extent of damage she sustained, which isn’t uncommon in victims of abuse. However, although she has been through a lot, she doesn’t let it weaken her. Change her and affect her, yes, but not diminish her. Throughout the first book she even finds a way to turn it into a strength that allows her to save the love of her life.
Q7. If you could, please provide a link to one or more YouTube videos that you think provide valuable information for authors. If you are not into YouTube, you could provide a link to an article/self-help book that you think is a must read for authors.
Q8. What according to you is the one major roadblock to your creativity?
A8. One major roadblock for me is that I have to write reports for my job where I have to be very technical about a person’s psychological issues. It’s hard to be factual one moment and creative the next.
Q9. Are you writing full-time or do you still have your day job? Is this a hobby for you? What are your other extracurricular activities? Do your other hobbies help you write better?
A9. I still have a day job as a therapist in a community clinic, and writing is a hobby for me. I also enjoy running and playing with my dog. I think running really helps with the writing process because it gives me time to think and drift off into my imaginary world.
Q10. If you had to pick, what other passion could you have adopted to spend all your time on if it hadn’t been writing fiction?
A10. I’m pretty decent at sketching and painting, but sculpting is something I’ve always had a passion for. I’d like to be able to get more into that.
Q11. What advice would you like to give other aspiring writers? How did you yourself come upon this piece of wisdom?
A11. The best advice I have for other aspiring authors would be not to compare yourselves to people who have been doing this for decades. It isn’t a fair comparison because we don’t get to see what their first works looked like, their un-edited works, their unpublished works, their typos, and random babbling. What we see are decades of experience and polishing. You will get there too in the same way they did. It’s ok to make mistakes, just learn from them and move on.
I came to this piece of wisdom by listening to some other authors and their perfectionistic tendencies which were holding them back.
Q12. If you end up writing that bestseller, what do you plan to do with the earnings? If you believe you are working on it right now, to tell the readers all about it.
A12. I suspect my earning would go toward retirement saving, but I also love to travel. If, by some act of God, I were to really become very wealthy I would probably find some way to offer free or low cost mental health to those in need.
Joel Crofoot was raised in northern New York state on a large family sheep farm, then left home to join the United States Marine Corps at 18 years-old. After spending four years in Japan as a radio operator, Joel re-enlisted into the bomb squad (explosive ordnance disposal) and was stationed out of California. Two tours to Iraq later, Joel decided to leave the Marine Corps to pursue higher education and recently graduated with a doctorate in psychology in the summer of 2017.
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