Romelia: WHICH OF YOUR CHARACTERS ARE MOST LIKELY TO BE AN ACTIVIST, AND WHAT KIND?
Jovan Jones: Maurice Jennings, my antagonist in “On the Take” a story I wrote for the 9crimes anthology with bride of chaos publishing would most likely become a union rep because his main objective is getting money and he’s still got skin in the game when it comes to the street life and political realm.
Romelia: DO YOU PLAY MUSIC WHILE YOU WRITE – AND, IF SO, WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE?
Jovan Jones: No. I prefer quiet. My concentration is easily thrown off.
Romelia: HAVE PETS EVER GOTTEN IN THE WAY OF YOUR WRITING?
Jovan Jones: No.
Romelia: IF YOUR BOOK WERE MADE INTO A MOVIE, WHICH ACTORS WOULD PLAY YOUR CHARACTERS?
Jovan Jones: Michael Ealy and Samantha Esteban for When Cranes Feast.
Romelia: HAVE YOU EVER KILLED OFF A CHARACTER YOUR READERS LOVED?
Jovan Jones: Yes. I murdered C.J. in my book Tears of a Rose. He was the main character’s first love and one of the few characters with a heart. I offed him when he tried to cross a couple of gangsters toward the end.
Romelia: WHAT IS THE MOST VALUABLE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU’VE BEEN GIVEN ABOUT WRITING?
Jovan Jones: Write every day.
Romelia: WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE BEST WAY TO IMPROVE WRITING SKILLS?
Jovan Jones: Write every day. In everyday life begin to focus on your senses and jot them down. What did your wife smell like that day? What tool did the construction worker have in his hand? How did it sound in the line at the grocery store? With small details a larger picture is formed. In time one will know what to include in their writing and what to exclude. It comes with time.
Romelia: WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO HELP OTHERS CREATE PLOTLINES?
Jovan Jones: Start with an arche. For example: Elmore Leonard the great crime writer and screenwriter said he often would start with a bag of money and surround that bag with an abundance of criminals trying to get that bag. What is the prize or the Motive? Money, revenge, love. Discover what the character is after and then have fun with the way they get it.
Romelia: WHAT HAS HELPED OR HINDERED YOU MOST WHEN WRITING A BOOK?
Jovan Jones: The biggest hindrance for me is time. I get up early in the morning before I go to my job that pays the bills, but it isn’t enough time, still I write with the little time I have. The biggest help is the simple fact that I am blessed to have a roof over my head with electricity to use for my computer, and lights to see to write in my notebook.
Romelia: DOES WRITING ENERGIZE OR EXHAUST YOU? OR BOTH?
Jovan Jones: It never exhausts me. I may feel tired from thinking but exhaust; no. If I become weary from writing I step away for a few minutes just like any other job and come back to it. Does it energize me? Absolutely. It is a main reason I can get up early with a good attitude.
Romelia: WHAT IS THE BEST MONEY YOU’VE EVER SPENT WITH REGARD TO YOUR WRITING?
Jovan Jones: Buying my laptop. It’s where I produce my work.
Romelia: WHAT ARE COMMON TRAPS FOR NEW AUTHORS?
Jovan Jones: Self-publishing their work. With all it takes to sell successfully in self-publishing you might as well wait for an agent, or at least a traditional publisher. New authors sell themselves short by allowing their work to be taken over by small presses and sometimes large ones with no real compensation other than getting their name in print. If a person creates a work and someone else wants to use it they should be paid for it.
Romelia: HOW MANY HOURS A DAY DO YOU WRITE?
Jovan Jones: At least 2, but the goal is three. Unfortunately, I have to sleep sometime.
Romelia: WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE BLOGS OR WEBSITES FOR WRITERS?
Jovan Jones: I don’t have any. I need to improve on my internet knowledge.
Romelia: AT WHAT TIME OF THE DAY DO YOU DO MOST OF YOUR WRITING?
Jovan Jones: Morning. Before dawn morning.
Romelia: HOW DO YOU COME UP WITH CHARACTER NAMES FOR YOUR STORIES?
Jovan Jones: Many times, I’ll give them names that match their character. An example would be, Hermes, a character who is a business man named after the Greek god of commerce. Other times the name simply fits the face I’ve conjured in my head.
Romelia: DO YOU PARTICIPATE IN WRITING CHALLENGES ON SOCIAL MEDIA? DO YOU RECOMMEND ANY?
Jovan Jones: No. I have my own goals to tend to.
Romelia: IF YOU HAD THE POWER TO CURE A DISEASE OF YOUR CHOOSING, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Jovan Jones: Focal Segmental glomerulosclerosis FSGS. It plagues my daughter.
Romelia: WHEN YOU’RE WRITING AN EMOTIONAL OR DIFFICULT SCENE, HOW DO YOU SET THE MOOD?
Jovan Jones: I don’t do anything different. My mind falls or rises, darkens or brightens according to the narrative.
Romelia: WHOM DO YOU TRUST FOR OBJECTIVE AND CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM OF YOUR WORK?
Jovan Jones: No one in particular. I listen to all. In the end I decide if it is relevant or not.
Romelia: WHAT BOOKS DO YOU ENJOY READING?
Jovan Jones: Crime mysteries mostly. Anything with a great plot.
Romelia: ARE THERE ANY BOOKS OR AUTHORS THAT INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME A WRITER?
Jovan Jones: Iceberg slim. The great random house author of the 70’s.
Romelia: NAME AN UNDERAPPRECIATED NOVEL THAT YOU LOVE.
Jovan Jones: RL’s Dream by Walter Mosley.
Romelia: TELL US SOMETHING FUNNY FROM YOUR ADULT LIFE.
Jovan Jones: My wife and I were on a cruise ship when we went to a fun little trivia event. We put our names on a piece of paper along with the rest of the audience to get picked for the contest. Well, I got picked. The question came up: “Name a famed play that shares the same name of a popular lubricant.” I had to answer. I said, “Ky-Jelly?” the audience erupted in laughter. I was embarrassed. The emcee said, “okay kids go up to your cabin. Sir, this is a family program.” when another contestant said the obvious, “grease” with john Travolta I fell out laughing.
Romelia: describe yourself in a few sentences. Tell us something we do not know about you and something you hate about the world.
Jovan Jones: I’ve been married almost twenty years with three grown children two still in the house. I am a family man with simple pleasures; although am not averse to some action in my life. My interest are wide, from the genius of gambling book houses to organ transplant procedures there is an infinite pot of knowledge to gain and most of it interest me. I hate racism.