A warm welcome to J.Z. Foster for today’s interview. J.Z. is a writer and world traveler and shares how he found his own success in life.
J.Z. Foster: Author, Demon Slayer, and Magician
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My questions and responses are in bold, J.Z.’s answers follow in plain text.
Please tell us about yourself.
I’m J.Z. Foster, writer, demon slayer, and magician. Most of those are fake.
A Modern Dark on Ancient Folklore.
Things come at night to steal children—dark horrible things.
After Daniel Tanner’s son dies from a mysterious disease, he’s pulled into a world of monsters, hunters and living nightmares.
His very sanity is threatened as he’s pushed to the limits facing off against the changelings.
There are beings that walk like gods among us.
They can bend and break others with their minds. Some live knowing what the future brings, and others can kill with a thought.
They’ve had the Mind Wreck.
Matthew Reed is dragged into their world as forced to pit himself against these beings. Will he survive or wind up like so many others, broken and beaten in the Shadow Games?
I’m also a world traveler, having lived in South Korea for 8 years as an English teacher before becoming a writer. I met my wife there (she’s Korean) and we now have a beautiful daughter. Life is great!
How did you get started in your career?
By writing 2,000 words a day, every day, while teaching in South Korea.
I wrote my first three books this way and it made me want to pull my hair out sometimes. It’s probably why I’m bald now. I’m just glad my hair fell out after I was married.
What does a typical day look like?
Wake up in the morning, fuel my brain with hot coffee, say hello to the wife and baby, then hit the computer!
I mix some social media in there, churn that with making food and helping my wife out with the baby (my wife is Korean and takes that baby education to the next level) then head back downstairs to the dungeon (my office) to keep writing. Rinse and repeat!
What is one thing you have learned from being successful?
Writing is fun, but it’s not fun all the time. NOTHING IS! It’s a marathon, not a sprint. I hear too many people give up because they’ve hit a rough patch. You have to push through the bloody parts to win the race!
Is there a mistake you have made starting out that you wish you could change?
Dude, do you want a list? I could give you a list. We’d be here all day. I guess the biggest thing would be that I wish I had just started my career a few years earlier. It’d sure be nice to have written 10 books now instead of just 3, right?
In that case, what advice would you give someone starting out?
Don’t take criticism from others too harshly. Some people read reviews and take them like a dagger to the heart. Honestly, sometimes readers don’t know what they want. Sorry readers, but it’s true! Do you think people liked reading George R.R. Martin’s The Red Wedding in A Song of Ice and Fire (That’s Game of Thrones for you TV watchers)? Maybe they didn’t think they did, but it was absolutely compelling.
Sometimes the readers like having their hearts ripped out—they just don’t realize it.
Also, some people might hate what other people loved about your book, don’t read too much into it.
If you’re going to take advice from anyone, take expert advice rather than group advice. If you have an editor, get their advice. Don’t listen to the waves of readers’ advice.
Professionally speaking, what are you most proud of?
I’m just always happy to hear when people enjoyed reading my book or that they got what I was going for. What I mean by that is that they understood the theme I wove into it. Not everyone does, and that’s fine. The book means whatever it means to you when you read it. But I certainly like it when people understand what I was trying to put into it.
Do you have any tips for people trying to make it in your field?
People should start as indie authors under only two instances, either as a hobby with no real desire or expectations to grow, or fully invested with planning and hard work. If you try to half-ass your way in this, you’re just going to be loaded with disappointment.
If you try to half-ass your way in writing, you’re just going to be loaded with disappointment. - J.Z. Foster on his success Click To Tweet
Any upcoming projects you are working on?
I have Witch Hunter 2 coming out soon and Witch Hunter 3 in development! After that, I have planned sequels for The Wicked Ones and Mind Wreck on their way! Stay tuned!
What does your social media strategy look like, any tips?
Stay engaged with your audience. Be personable to them, and fun to be around. Be goofy and try to build an enjoyable atmosphere!
Any mistakes you see people routinely make with social media?
Definitely, I see people making the mistake of not engaging their audience enough. I see a lot of people just let their audience flat line on their social media pages and I can’t really understand why. Post some funny pictures or interesting topics. It’s not that hard!
Where can people connect with you online?
How do you manage time?
In the writer’s world, people go through ‘sprints’ where they tune everything out and only write for a certain period of time. I don’t quite do that, but I do limit my distractions and set a word count that I want to achieve, which is usually 2-3,000 words a day. Turn off all the other crap and focus!
Do you have any advice for people that may feel discouraged about reaching their goals?
Stop judging yourself and do it! You can’t finish until you start.
Picture where you want to be and what you want to accomplish and stick to that. Is it finishing this book? Is it making a career? Then educate yourself, see what other people are doing. If you feel like what you’re doing isn’t working, then stop beating your head against the wall by doing the same thing.
Go see what others are doing and try to emulate them! Steal from the best!
Do you have anything you would like to promote or tell us about?
My second book Witch Hunter 2: Gods and Monsters will be set to release in the near future. I hope to have a cover reveal shortly and I’m excited with the progress! Stay tuned to my page for more information!
Thanks for the chance, take care!
Thanks to J.Z. Foster for the glimpse into his success!
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