JUNE 2022 FEATURED AUTHOR
J.D. Russell is a freelance writer and cofounder of Starry Eyed Press.
Specializing in science-fiction, Russell has written numerous magazine articles and short stories that explore the outer limits of the imagination.
Get to know J.D. Russell and his work more below in our Exclusive Interview.
When did you first begin writing?
I’ve literally been writing from the time I learned the alphabet. In third grade I had a detective story win a contest in school and get bound into a small book. Ironically, I told people at the time my goal was to become an artist. It would turn out I could paint with words a lot better than I could with pigment!
How many stories and books have you published? Which is your favorite?
I have had nine novels, a few dozen shorts and more magazine articles published than I can recall. Hmm a favorite – that’s tough. I always feel like there are favorite moments in each project. I enjoy reading my own material about a decade later, when all of it’s nearly forgotten, and wondering how I came up with a particular plot thread or resolution. It’s about as close to viewing your own material from someone else’s perspective as I’ve discovered.
I suppose if forced to pick, though, there was this sci-fi short I wrote a while ago called Generation 19 about the life of a clone born aboard a self sustaining space colony that had neither a destination nor an origin that anyone on board had been around to witness. It was told from a teen’s point of view, which is to say it stressed all the small things while somehow managing to overlook the depressing reality that the confines of the craft is all anyone on board would ever know.
Do you have an all-time favorite character you’ve written?
They’re all pretty close but I’ve got this intergalactic bounty hunter in an ongoing series named Zan Dane. He’s up there.
Which comes first, the plot or the characters?
For me plot. I find the situation usually precedes the poor individual(s) who must endure it.
How would you describe your book’s ideal reader?
I like to think they’d be open to new interpretations of things generally perceived as fact. Once you realize that all of reality as we know it comes down to simple chemical signatures within the old meat computer, it starts to become clear that there’s likely a lot going on around us that we simply cannot comprehend.
What is your writing process like? Are you more of a plotter or a pantser?
I think ideally I’m a plotter but let’s be honest – deadlines and crunches turn the best of us into pantsers too.
I do have a lane spiral notebook full of handwritten plot points and resolve science (how again does the time travel twist work here so that the physics wouldn’t collapse all of space and time as we know it?).
It works out well because my handwriting is so sketchy, it’s like having automatic encryption as a bonus.
Describe your writing space. What do you need in your writing space to stay focused?
I’m not proud but I find I usually write right at my kitchen table on a laptop surrounded by coffee and soda.
I am a vamp – er I mean overnighter by nature, so the lack of distractions (and noise) is very conducive.
What is the best money you’ve ever spent in regards to your writing?
A fast computer. Most of the big things that have proven invaluable didn’t really cost much if anything (cloud account, OpenOffice).
If money were no object, however, I would have one of those little garden writing nooks constructed stat. I have a fantasy that things can really get accomplished in such an environment.
What’s the most valuable piece of advice you’ve been given about writing?
Don’t reject good editing. You only think your version is the best it can be because you’re reading it as only you can understand it.
How can readers follow you for updates on your upcoming releases?
Or even better, just check out my press itself ( or in particular, the blog; this will give you a better grasp of what’s depriving me of rest at any given moment). Follow Starry Eyed Press to get updates on new releases and blog entries!