Hello my Lovelies! This week is another interview post. The person I interviewed for this week is J.R. Mueller the author of The Fairytale Series and Shaudrey Universe Series. Let’s find out a bit more about her!
Just a bit about her: J.R. Mueller is a midwesterner who was born and raised in IL where she currently resides. Mueller has been described as two penguins in a trenchcoat with a herd of cats ready to help her type like the wind, but in reality she is actually two author penguins in a trench coat who is herded by a clowder of cats. Currently, Mueller is focused on writing all things magical and adores having characters battle curses, tangle with spirits, and face off against wicked family members for a chance at a better ending.
Tell us a bit about why you became a writer
I’ve always been writing. I’m not really sure what started the storyteller process. Coming up with fun tales woven in new ways was and still is something I greatly enjoy. I finally got the guts to publish when I wanted to come up with the world’s most original wedding present for my best friend (who I met in kindergarten). Fire’s Song is dedicated to her.
Can you tell us about your current work in progress?
I am playing around with portals. The main character, Marina, tosses in a bath bomb that accidentally turns into a portal to another realm. After being ‘infected’ with magic she finds out returning home may not be possible. It’s a rather ridiculous adventure with realm traveling, an antagonist who is too clever for her own good, and some fun magical creatures. Maybe a dashing prince or two.
Are there going to be any more books in either of your series?
My two currently published series are complete. The universe is still wide open and more can for sure happen within them, but overall I have no plans on returning to those characters. At least not as main characters.
What makes your Fairytale series different from the original stories?
I made them modern. That is the biggest difference. They still follow the formula you know, but in their own unique way. Why not have ‘Cinderella’ do something other than work at doing laundry and housekeeping? Now she’s stuck helping at the family coffee shop. They are light hearted and fun that way. A world the reader can relate to, but with a magical twist. Sometimes knowing a ‘happily ever after’ is coming is even more satisfying when you see their struggles.
Which book was your favorite to write? Why?
Oh geez. I don’t even know. My favorite tends to be whatever I’ve worked on most recently. I love getting caught up in new plotlines and getting into different characters’ heads. The hardest to write was probably Once Upon An Adventure, so that one wasn’t my favorite for long. Including all the important characters from three different books was tough!
Do you have a character that you identify with? If so which one and why?
Most of them I identify with in some way. I write a lot of characters that are demi romantic since that is what I am. I don’t fully understand ‘love at first sight’ and low building up relationships and friendships. Strong bonds are what make me happy, and I’m glad to give my characters that. The one that I gave the most of my traits was probably Tella from Spirit’s Lullaby. The second closest is Rey from For The Guild.
Going back to when you first started, how has your writing improved?
I take notes now. I didn’t do a great job of that when I started and since I have been taking notes I’ve noticed there are less holes to fill in and far less things to try and fix in revisions and editing. I’ve also started showing more action instead of using an abundance of dialogue tags. There’s nothing wrong with tags. It’s just nice using motion to show more of the setting and how the characters are reacting.
Of all the genre you could choose from you chose fantasy, why?
Because it’s huge! Annnnd magic! That’s seriously it. There are so many sub genres to play with and adding some magical spice and flare really amps up the stories for me. I love creating magic systems and limiting my characters in them. While I love having some things mirror real life, I really enjoy being able to break things up with a fireball or two. Maybe a restless spirit. Or an oversized otter.
Do you have any writing quirks?
Not sure if I have anything too quirky. I do put on music or a show I’ve seen a million times over when I write. The weirdest thing that frequently comes up is I like to snack on popcorn. That’s not too weird, right? Well I don’t like the texture on my fingers when I’m going to be at my keyboard and since I have kettle corn it tends to be a little oily (I’m allergic to dairy so no butter). To make up for this and get my writing in, I eat it like a lizard. My husband has walked by a couple of times while I’m doing this and gives me the most hilarious confused look. Words are getting down, my hands aren’t dirty, and hey, popcorn!
What advice can you give us aspiring fantasy writers?
Write now, worry about the rest later. The first draft isn’t perfect for anyone, and better yet, no one needs to see it until you’ve cleaned it up. So write. The more you do, the easier it gets. There’s no use waiting for inspiration. The water won’t run unless the faucet is on (which is just an annoying way of saying sit down and get to it).
Is there anything else you would like us to know?
It has not been confirmed, but I may or may not actually be two penguins in a trenchcoat, typing away as fast as my flippers will allow me.
Also, I love reading fantasy and devour mostly light hearted and whimsical books. Mostly. Every so often I’ll pick up a grim dark fantasy and be consumed in the terror. Thankfully, most of my characters don’t have to put up with *that* level of nonsense.
If your interested in checking her out here is her social media links!