I’m really excited to interview my writing friend J.C. Nelson today! His new book, Wish Bound, the third in his Grimm Agency series was released last week. So I bribed him with cookies and he answered some questions for me!
Tell us about the Grimm Agency series! What was the inspiration that led to this series?
In the Grimm Agency series, Grimm, the Fairy Godfather, runs an agency where he trades money and magic for solutions to problems of all kinds. But being trapped in a mirror, Grimm canâ€™t actually touch thingsâ€¦and so, he employs agents. Agents such as Marissa Locks, who in one way or another are indebted to him.
My inspiration came about when I was heading to the mall on Christmas eve (horrible idea!), waiting to go in, and watching the crowds. I saw a young woman in a trench coat pushing her way through the crowd, and I began to wonderâ€”what could she possibly be looking for.
Later, I opened up a document and wrote two lines of dialogue. One was this young agent of the Fairy Godfather, and the other was hers:
â€œIâ€™ve got it, Grimm.â€
â€œIâ€™ll believe that when you actually do.â€
Oh, I love this premise, sounds right up my alley. Was Free Agent your first novel? What number would that make Wish Bound?
Oh, how I wish it was. Letâ€™s start with three high fantasy novels I wrote in High School. You would need to be high on something to enjoy them, and I am not. I found a copy on disk not too long agoâ€¦and destroyed it. They are lost forever, and the world is a better place.
My next novel was a NaNo novel whose storyline I still love. One day I may throw everything away and rewrite it from scratch. After that, I wrote a MG book that featured talking chickens (yes, really), and after that, a YA novel that sits on my hard drive, luring me back to look and shake my head with â€œI canâ€™t fix thisâ€ every time. So, Free Agent was my seventh novel, and Wish Bound was my tenth.
Well, they say writing takes time…like a fine wine.Â Does this trilogy wrap up the story line, or do you have more in store for Marissa?
This trilogy wraps up the Black Queen arc, and leaves the characters in a place where I believe readers wonâ€™t feel cheated. If there are never any sequels, Wish Bound ends in such a way that you can imagine the type of life the survivors have, and hopefully it delivers.
If there ever were a sequel, it would be build from a file on my computer called â€œThe Princess Paradoxâ€¦â€
So… what would one have to do to get that file…? I digress! What is one thing you wish people knew about the Grimm Agency series?
Grimm never lies to Marissa. Ever. As a matter of fact, if you reconcile Wish Bound with Free Agent, many conversations that people say â€œThat didnâ€™t make sense,â€ do, in fact make sense. They read different ways before and after Wish Bound.
I love this idea! So – was there any point in your writing journey where things just clicked into place?
What made the difference for me was writing magazine articles about beekeeping. Those allowed me to find my voice and develop it. So writing Free Agent wasnâ€™t straining to affect some tone, but speaking naturally.
Were there points you really struggled to keep going? How did you persevere?
I only write the books that keep me up at night or wake me up in the morning, but that doesnâ€™t mean they arenâ€™t hard. I have a saying: Inspiration is another way to spell â€œHard Work.â€ So when I canâ€™t find my muse, I simply sit and write. I will be there. I will write. I may hate it, but it gets done by doing.
Great philosophy! Do you write in other genres or age groups too?
I have one rom-com that Iâ€™ll self pub under a pen name, but for the most part, Iâ€™ve settled in comfortably to writing for adults, and because I love fantasy, it doesnâ€™t feel like Iâ€™m caging myself.
Are you obsessive about backing your work up? Any horror stories to share with us?
I use three cloud providers, local computer backups, and sometimes mail myself copies. The result is that Iâ€™ve rarely, if ever, lost more than a day of work. Save, people. Jesus Saves, and you should too.
Those are words to live by. Which writers inspire you?
Jim Butcher, for the skill with which his current stories are written. Ray Bradbury, for showing me sci-fi that had heart to go with the wonder, and Terry Pratchett, for showing me that one could be both funny and fantastic.
How old were you when you first started writing stories?
Seven, according to my parents. Nine is the first one I remember.
Caffeine orâ€¦ thatâ€™s stupid, obviously itâ€™s caffeine!
Coffee is a religion for me. Give me coffee and fewer people get hurt.
Red wine or white wine?
Depends on what Iâ€™m cooking. Tequila if Iâ€™m drinking, white wine for seafood, red for beef.
Summer or Winter?
Winter. I love gray fall days with hazy drizzle and damp winds.
Latin or Greek? (Languages)
Latin. Took three years in High School and two in junior high. Latin all the way.
Day or night?
Day. As Iâ€™ve grown older, Iâ€™ve become more of a rise early and work hard type.
Cats or Dogs?
DOGS. DOGS. DOGS FOREVER. This interview was interrupted three times by my wifeâ€™s cat, proof that cats hate us forever.
Thanks for having me here, K.T.
Thanks for popping over J.C.
J.C. Nelson â€“ Wish Bound is NOW AVAILABLE
As a partner at Grimmâ€™s magical Agency, Marissa Locks is usedÂ to working odd jobs. But when an evil queen reappears inÂ Kingdom, life becomes too strange to handleâ€¦
Even when sheâ€™s not starting it, trouble follows Marissa everywhere. FirstÂ there was the incident with the homicidal Fairy Godmother. Then there wasÂ the time she accidentally started Armageddon. But the problems thatÂ always seem to arise on Marissaâ€™s birthday take the cake.
This year, her annual bad-luck presents include an army of invadingÂ goblins, the resurrection of two vengeful enemies from hell, and the returnÂ of the Black Queen, the evil sorceress whose reign of terror still hauntsÂ Kingdom and who happens to have claimed Marissa as her servant.
As Marissaâ€™s friends try to save her from the Black Queenâ€™s clutches,Â Marissa fights to end a bitter war that started before her birth. But herÂ quest for peace is about to bring up some inconvenient truths about herÂ own pastâ€”ones that might cost her the happily ever after sheâ€™s alwaysÂ dreamed ofâ€¦
A Texas transplant to the Pacific Northwest, JC Nelson lives with a family and a flock ofÂ chickens near rainy Seattle.
Buy Wish Bound Now: