1. Which of your characters are your favorite?
This is a difficult question to answer, but one of my favorites. I've read other authors' answers to this question and many of them relate their characters to close friends and family, but in my case... I view them as a part of me. Each character is developed with a piece of my personality and filled with aspects of my loved ones. At some point during the writing process, I stop looking at them as characters and begin to view them as equals. Each character has aspects I favor in them, but choosing a specific character would be like choosing which of my toes is my favorite. :)
I have written approximately 12 novels, but I have only published the first. So, in the case of Caged in Darkness... Izzy's quirky personality and her ability to liven up any situation has a way of brightening my day. Willow's loyalty and responsibility makes me feel for her because she is always worried about everyone else, but even in her darkness hour... she never takes time for herself. Ash is my ideal male on one end of the spectrum and Liam is my ideal male on the opposite side. Maye is the supporting guardian, who I can't help but love. If I get down to the root of my preference, it would be Savannah. I took such care in my creation of her. She's strong and steadfast. Her worry that she is tainted, but her constant need to be worthy of the amazing people in her life, is inspiring. To take a child raised in evil and place them in a whole new world is baffling, but Savannah embraces the change and recognizes it as a gift. I admire her courage, faith, and morals. Savannah would have to be my favorite. Although, it may surprise everyone to find that I also really like Griffin.
2. Tell me about your travels.
3. Coffee, tea, or milk?
4. What else do you do besides write?
I am a psychology major, which means that classes take up a lot of my time. However, I also own a business called "Dreamscape Covers", which is dedicated to providing affordable book covers to self published authors. I run a graphic donation program that allows artists to give away their graphics for free, if an author is struggling financially or has another reason to qualify. I also do monthly contests for authors to win a free book cover that I have designed. I place pre-mades on my website that are available for purchase and I take on commissions. I recently finished an ad campaign and website creation.
In addition to all of this, I created a group on Goodreads called "Book Haven", which is a haven for authors, readers, publishers, reviewers, etc. I co-moderate another group specifically dedicated to authors. I have taken on a mentor ship for some authors who have reached and asked for my help, which includes advice, editing, formatting, etc. I suppose I look at it as taking them under my wing and trying to help in any way possible.
5. Who are you reading right now?
6. Pop culture or academia?
7. What is the toughest scene you ever wrote?
Every scene is a challenge. However, the most difficult scene I have ever written is in my fantasy series that has yet to be released. Magic comes naturally to me, but describing a battle scene with actual weapons was beyond difficult!
8. Where do you find inspiration?
Everywhere! I have lucid dreams, which often give me ideas for books. Sometimes my inspiration comes from a single word that a person says. It is as though the words trigger a domino effect that leads me to an entire plot. Television, music, dancing, and books are classic ways to pull at my creativity chain when I have writers block. I never know when or where inspiration will strike, but it happens constantly. My senses are aware of everything going on around me and my brain recognizes signs that are processed to create a seed that begins an idea for a whole new book.
9. Food you could eat everyday.
10. Are you into sports or other physical activities?
11. What type of music speaks to you?
My parents raised me around oldies music, so it tends to lighten me up. It makes me feel happy. However, I love any music that starts delicately and builds with passion. I love Evanescence, Sara Bareilles, Annie Lennox, Janet Devlin, Michael Buble, Lonestar, Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson, Keith Urban, and many, many, more.
12. Do you outline your stories or do they just take you along for the ride?
It depends on the book. I have a fantasy series that I literally spent a year researching before I began the outline. Otherwise, I do a vague outline. If my outline is too detailed I lose my creativity and sound like a robot, but no outline makes it difficult to direct the plot. I look at the plot as my reminder that I have a new scene to reach, but it is merely a hand to hold through the writing process and it often changes as I write.
13. Celebrity crush.
14. Who are the biggest influences on your work?
15. Do you still watch cartoons?
J.D. Stroube is a debut author, who is coming out with her first novel on August 1st. Caged will be her first series. J.D. will be coming out with three more series and a stand alone novel within the next year and a half.
She is a psychology major, who attends Roosevelt University and intends to open her own practice in the future. She lives in Naperville with her husband and is extremely close to her family. She began telling people stories when she was three years old. Although, those stories mostly consisted of scribbles on the back of menus. She began writing short stories at age six and her first novel at 12, which was a horror story that was accidentally tossed with the trash.
Caged in Darkness
A witch raised in a cage of darkness...
Savannah Cross was born into a life of isolation and abuse. As a child, she witnessed her parents perform acts of malevolent evil, and now feels permanently tainted by their dark deeds.
When a coven discovers a tear stricken child, wounded on their elders lawn, they offer her a sanctuary she has never known. Savannah spends the next several years shattered, continuously looking over her shoulder, waiting for the darkness to claim her.
On her 16th birthday, Savannah’s life takes a drastic turn. She is consumed by overwhelming power that forever alters her emotionally and physically.
She must choose between two loves; the one who taught her to smile or the darkly seductive stranger who tempts her towards another path. Savannah must decide between the coven that was her haven and another one vying for her initiation. Just as Savannah begins to grasp what fate has in store for her, an evil looms over her loved ones; coming to claim an unbreakable debt.
How will she choose and survive the greatest evil she has ever witnessed... long enough to have a choice to make?
IDEA BEHIND Caged in Darkness
My whole life I have been a dreamer. I would stay awake at night and daydream about other worlds and what it would be like to live in them. When I am asleep, I tend to have lucid dreams, which are complete plots to a book. I often write these dreams down, as ideas for future book. I have a dream journal designated for this purpose. Sometimes I find my ideas, while watching a show or reading a book. The idea for “Caged in Darkness” came to me, while browsing the Goodreads website for a new book. I had a strong urge to read a book about witches, but most of the books I came across did not satisfy my craving. Instead, I wrote down a plot for the kind of book I wished I could find. I then incorporated some other unique aspects to it and created a recipe for what I believe is an amazing series!
The day I first came to Meadow Falls is little more than a dream, though that little girl plagues me everyday. I still hear her crying out, and my skull fractures as pain is inflicted on her. She remained frozen in an eternal chamber of torture, and I did not know how to help her escape. Though, I would never escape her. She would follow me around for the rest of my life; a ghost waiting in the wings for me to acknowledge her. Her soft trailing fingers would continue to attempt a connection that I refused to allow; that I couldn’t allow if I wanted to survive. That ghostly girl was weak and insecure, while I needed to be strong and confident.
"What you are or where you came from is not important. It is who you are and the choices you make, that determine who you will become. If you can look inward and be satisfied, the opinions of others should melt away."
"All that is left to bring you pain, are the memories. If you face those, you’ll be free. You can’t spend the rest of your life hiding from yourself; always afraid that your memories will incapacitate you, and they will if you continue to bury them."
"No one has freewill until they are an adult, and by then the choices that were made for them, have already set them on a course that gives limited freedom in the choices to be made."
Caged in Darkness is available in paperback through Amazon. It's also available in ebook format through B&N, Amazon, Smashwords, etc.
Find J.D. online at these links: