This week, we get to see the inner workings of paranormal romance writer and poet J.D. Bretton. You can see why I find her so fascinating if you check out her website at http://jdbrettonwriter.weebly.com/
Question–I see that your current book, Three of Swords, (in fact the whole trilogy) is based on the tarot. Which came first, your desire to write or your attraction to the tarot? Tell me how you came to both of them and how you decided to combine them?
J.D.– For as long as I can remember I have always loved reading, words, and writing, so that definitely came first. Poetry is actually my first love when it comes to writing. Three of Swords is my first book in the paranormal romance genre.
Along with Book 2 of The Tarot Trilogy, I’m also currently working on a collection of love poems called The Drunken Bell. Here’s a link: https://tablo.io/jd-bretton/the-drunken-bell-love-poems
I also recently tried my hand at flash fiction and have a piece (a twelve word story) coming out at Haunted Waters Press in the fall.
When I completed the very first draft of Three of Swords, tarot was not even a part of it! The book had an entirely different name-Flutter. When I started researching the name, I saw that a whole slew of books already had that name, so I knew I needed to come up with something different. I also felt that there was something missing from the story. One day while struggling with revising, I picked up my tarot cards, shuffled my deck, pulled out a card, and it was the Three of Swords. I immediately felt the connection to the main character and knew it was the perfect title. I was able to weave the elements of tarot seamlessly into the story, and had the next two book titles right away. It was meant to be! For me, tarot is a tool to help you tune in and listen to your own intuition which I think we all possess, but often ignore when our minds are cluttered with the noise of everyday life.
Question– I also found that tarot is an excellent tool for meditation and finding mental focus. I can see how it was used for inspiration for your Tarot Trilogy but have you used it for your other writing? Do you find other inspiration for your poetry? Does your writing come to you as images, sounds or words?
J.D.– The Tarot Trilogy is the only piece of work so far that has been directly influenced by the tarot. I am most inspired by words, followed closely by images. I am completely addicted to writing prompts on Twitter because of my fascination with language. I love to see how everyone can use the same words and interpret them in a completely different way. Inspiration can strike at any time triggered by something I see, overhear, or read. To be a writer, I think you have to be a keen observer, and a professional eavesdropper! Sound impacts my writing in another way as I almost always write with my headphones on and music playing. Listening to music helps set the tone for my writing, and tunes out other distractions. I usually listen to the same music if I’m working on something in particular; it’s like a soundtrack to my writing. For example, for Three of Swords I had Mumford and Sons, Ryan Adams and Halsey on shuffle with a little Miguel thrown in for the steamy scenes.
Question– I’ve also made “soundtracks” to listen to when I write. Does the music differ much between writing projects or can you only use those sounds for that one project? As far as writing prompts go, how often do you use them? Do you share what you write from a writing prompt and is it from your current WIP or something new just for the prompt?
- D.– I find that each writing project needs a different “soundtrack” because each project will have a different feeling and tone. The music I choose reflects the mood of the story.
Depending on how much time I have, I probably write new poems as a result of a poetry prompts once a week and share those on Twitter, my website, and Tablo. I must give a shout out to @MadQueenStorm, @WrittenRiver, and @fieryverse for posting some fabulous prompts!
I also periodically share from my current WIP on Twitter with #1linewed, #musmon, and #2bitTues.
Question– Besides the tarot influence, is there anything that makes your Tarot Trilogy unique, something to set it apart from other books of its type and make readers flock to it?
J.D.– I think that my book has a unique storyline that develops over the course of the three books. It has been called a true twist on the paranormal which I think is an apt description. It crosses several genres with elements of erotica and paranormal; but above all, at its core, it is really a classic love story which I think everyone can identify with. I also think being a poet, my writing style is a bit different as I am used to distilling ideas down to their essence. My preference to write with an economy of words probably contributed to it being novelette length.
Be sure to check out J.D.’s novel Three of Swords. It’s only 99 cents on amazpn.com until November 1st.