Q: Why did you create this blog?

A: I have been blogging since 2005, actually, and had a pretty huge following. It was a great run, but I wanted to get back to writing novels...give professional writing a real try this time. This blog will chronicle my journey. It also serves as a way for me to be accountable - to put my writing out there and make sure I make the time to write everyday. Hopefully I can exchange ideas with my fellow writers, and have some fun along the way too.

Q: What made you decide to blog/write again?

A: I never really stopped. Just slowed down. I love reading all kinds of books, mostly thrillers, action/spy, science fiction, and fantasy. Stories would pop out of my head. Despite my best attempts to ignore them, the stories kept coming. So I decided to get it all down on paper. I wanted to blog again to be around my fellow writers and hopefully catch a whiff of inspiration.

Q: Is Jay Noel your real name?

A: Sort of. It's an anagram of my real name

Q: Why a pen name? What are you ashamed of?

A: I'm not ashamed of anything. I work in the business world, with lots of corporate contacts. I'd like to keep that side of my life separate from my creative writing world. 

Q: Who are your biggest influences?

A: Wow. That's tough. I would say that in the YA world, I grew up reading S.E. Hinton, J.D. Salinger, C.S. Lewis, Gary Paulsen, and Richard Peck. I love the classics like Shakespeare and Mark Twain. But my favorite author of all time is Robert Cormier, author of  The Chocolate War, I Am the Cheese, After the First Death, and others.

I actually got to speak with Cormier on the phone just seven months before his death, as he put his home phone number in I Am the Cheese. He told me to keep writing. So Mr. Cormier, I am heeding your advice!

I also love science fiction and fantasy. I grew up on H.G. Wells, Jules Verne, and all kinds of mythology - Greek, Asian, European, African, Roman. My roots are in the classics (like Shakespeare), and I see all of that in my writing.