If you are really lucky, once in lifetime, you may get within a thousand miles of the next big thing. But, I feel honoured to say, that I believe I have found that in Jay (James) Cudney!
As soon as we started chatting earlier this year, I knew that he had something special to share with us.
He has already achieved so much, but has been working towards his dream goal of being a writer too. As soon as I read his new novel Watching Glass Shatter, I knew that it was something special.
So, I couldn’t wait to be able to share my interview with Jay below, and to be part of his amazing blog tour!
Hello Jay, and thank you for agreeing to visit my blog on your tour.
Thank YOU! I have so much to be grateful to you for, starting with leading me to the publisher.
It is great to have you here, and for us to be able to get to know more about you.
I appreciate you taking the time out of your busy schedule to talk to us. So, let’s get started!
Have you always wanted to be a writer Jay?
Yes, I have. Words are so important to me. I took a rather different path to get where I am today, but now that I’m fully in the thick of it, this will be my career. I love connecting with people and sharing my thoughts on life with others. Through my books and characters, I feel like I’ve found the best of both worlds: creativity and inspiration.
You seem to have an amazing ability to keep to a schedule. How do you think that this affects your writing?
I appreciate that compliment; I am a total Type-A personality. I find it a bit amusing that I can be both creative and so intensely project management-oriented. I used to be concerned that my approach to writing was too formal, but now it’s a natural feeling. Once I have the outline written, and I map out the schedule in which I want to accomplish the entire story, creativity takes over. It’s a bit like I am two different people inside one body, which is how I always explain myself in everything I do. When I’m editing, I usually catch a few instances of ‘this doesn’t belong here even though I planned it that way.’ Knowing when and how to make changes is an art I will master someday… but ultimately, I’m a man of my word. If I put a schedule together, I stick to it unless something completely necessary changes it.
Do you have a plan in relation to your writing?
If you mean when I start each book, yes. I have detailed outlines by chapter and character. All the main components are flushed out about 90% so that I can begin writing. Chapters are assigned to weeks so that I can finish a first draft on schedule. For me, I need to get the initial story on paper, then I can go back to edit or re-architect the parts that need attention. I’m a firm believer in finding the balance between planning and doing. It’s not one step at a time; it’s more iterative so that you constantly see everything coming together; it is in those moments you find the energy to reach your goals. In Watching Glass Shatter, I had no idea who Teddy’s wife would be; I wrote the first draft with no personality for her. It evolved over time and I went back to layer in the concept of a bird-like woman from the south who knew how to control her husband.
If you mean with my writing in general, I do but it’s a work-in-progress. Finding my voice has been the most intense part of this journey. When I began my blog, ‘ThisIsMyTruthNow,’ I found my voice. It’s a bit of humor, inspiration, advice and creativity shared with a tone that truly shows who I am. I want my books and my voice to help people realize who they are and how to live the best life possible. It’s a bit like your book, Simply Does It; instead of saying ‘use simplicity,’ I’m pushing self-discovery and open-mindedness. Maybe between the two of us, we can change the world!
If you were a book, which one would you be, and why?
That’s a tough one. I’ve probably read close to 1000 books but only had a chance to write reviews for about 50% of them thus far. There’s a lengthy novel I read called ‘The Philosopher’s Apprentice’ by James Morrow. Parts 1 and 3 of the book are brilliant. Part 2 is a little peculiar and inconsistent. To me, it shows how life is a series of journeys that ultimately create who you are. I feel a bit like that book. I have moments where I think I’ve finally achieved becoming who I want to be, but then there are times when I realize I’m still a bit all over the place. But we all are… and that’s what makes us so relatable to one another. I’ll go with that book, but as a warning, it’s extremely intense and often confusing. Definitely worth a read as you’ll learn a lot about the way people think and feel.
Do you have a long-time writing mentor?
No, and it’s sad. But not because there aren’t any out there. I tend to be fairly quiet about my writing; I share it with beta readers, but I learn more by experience rather than someone telling me how/what to do. I admire many great writers and authors, but I wouldn’t say I have a specific writing mentor.
Are you confident in relation to your writing, or do you, like most writers, have times when you wonder if it is good enough? If yes, how do you get over this?
I am not always confident, but that’s a good thing. When you have too much confidence, you forget what made you special to begin with. There are areas I am quite good at, but there are also those I need to work on. I wouldn’t recommend getting over lack of confidence. I think it’s important to know that you should evolve each day as a writer and as a person. Styles change. I’ve always believed once you learned the rules, you subsequently know how and where to properly break them; and that applies across every area of life not just writing. I never thought my writing would make people cry, but everyone who reads Watching Glass Shatter tells me I made them cry big ugly tears. I admit, I cried while writing some of it, which helped me realize readers absolutely understood my voice and style. On the flip side, just like in real life, I use weird expressions and speak with a bit of odd punctuation. It’s shown up in my writing, called out by several beta readers. And then I say… “Oh, Jay… see, you need to practice more in this area. Listen to this advice.” BTW, I talk to myself a lot.
I really like your new book. I rated it a 5 star read, which was well deserved. Can you please tell us about it?
Thank you, I appreciate it. I love this question, as it’s an opportunity for me to share the truth about the book, which you can’t really put in a book summary. I’m an only child so everything about the relationships in the book comes from observation and conversations with others. If I were to choose the single most quoted descriptions any friend or family member would say about me, it would be “He’s so quiet and hardly ever speaks.” And I can’t disagree with it. I definitely engage in conversation one-on-one, but if I’m in a group setting, I just observe. I answer questions only if directly asked. It’s given me a knack for reading people and finding all the nuances in how people react, speak or think. That’s what Watching Glass Shatter is all about. You’ve got 5 brothers who are all very different, but ultimately, all the exact same at their core. The dynamics between family members and people as individuals are fascinating. My book was written in my head as if it were a play full of scenes. Just like the opening pages of the first chapter when Ben dies, moments appear before readers as if an old-time camera shutter is flashing. Readers get to know members of this family by seeing different scenes playing out between all the relationships. And within those moments are the secrets, emotions and connections. I wanted it to be as if you were watching a family through a window, wishing you could reach through, grab someone and say “No, stop. That’s not what she meant. Do this, don’t do that.”
What do you hope to get from your blog tour?
Since I preach honesty on my blog, I shall be blunt. There are two reasons I am doing this blog tour: (1) To get more eyes and interest on my book and (2) To connect with more people around the world. I of course want to share a great story with as many people as possible, but ultimately, I want to get my name out there and build a brand showing who I am and what my world is all about.
Where do you get your new ideas from?
I’m not sure. Do you know? For the most part, it’s due to lack of sleep. I often read before I go to bed, but once I put the book down, my mind still wanders. When I can’t fall asleep, I start thinking about characters. Suddenly they take on a struggle or a path and it builds overnight. I toss and turn, workout a high-level plot, and then rush to the laptop to outline the basics. I’d love to say it’s because I met someone or saw something happen, but that’s not usually the case. It’s often just a picture of a person I don’t know appearing in my mind, telling me his or her story needs to be shared. I should probably talk to someone about this, as it feels problematic for my future. Too many people in my head!!!
What is next for your writing Jay?
Ah, what a leading question. I love it. I am in the editing stages of a second novel, ‘Father Figure,’ which I plan to release in early 2018. It is the story of two women struggling to find their place in the world and discover who they are. It takes place over two different time periods, about 20 years apart, where each woman tries to overcome hardship and pain. Similar to Watching Glass Shatter, I’ve tortured a few more characters and explored the truly intense depths of human emotions. Throw in some romance, mystery, suspense and humorous comments on life, and you’ve got another exploration of family drama that will share a slice of life many people don’t ever see.
I’m also working on something connected to Watching Glass Shatter, which I hope to reveal in early January. For now… just know, the relationship with the Glass family is far from over!
I’m so happy to hear that Jay!
I have some more fantastic news to share with you all too. Jay will be appearing on an hour long show on ArtistFirst Radio!
Launching a successful debut novel is a difficult task, but when you have the opportunity to influence 90K listeners via a radio broadcast, it probably gets just a little bit easier, right? It’s not often an author can find such an amazing opportunity to reach new readers and fans, but jay has secured a 1-hour guest spot on the Artist First Radio Network on Tuesday, November 14th, 2017 at 6:00 PM EST. If you’re interested in hearing Jay talk about his novel, Watching Glass Shatter, and sharing current plans for The Glass Family and other future books, you must listen in via this internet broadcast at http://www.artistfirst.com/.
If you can’t make this day and time, don’t sweat it. Once the live broadcast is over, a recording will be saved on the Artist First website for all future followers to tune in and hear what Jay had to say. Jay will be promoting this fantastic live radio spot in the coming days, but when h and I talked about how successful my radio spot was, w knew it would be great to kick start his Blog tour by announcing this new in my post.
I recently joined the host of this great radio show to promote my new book, Simply Does It, and you can listen in to hear all about it as well as see what Jay’s event might sound like. To access my show, go to http://www.artistfirst2.com/Authors-First_2017-10-03_Melanie_Mole.mp3
If you want to know more about Jay you can connect with him here:
Website – https://jamesjcudney.com
Twitter – https://twitter.com/jamescudney4
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ThisIsMyTruthNow/
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/jamescudney4/
Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.co.uk/jamescudney4
Linkedin – https://www.linkedin.com/in/jamescudney4
tumblr – https://jamesjohncudney4.tumblr.com