Dear Readers, Writers, and Precious Patrons,
Today on All Authors Blog, we’re pleased to bring you an interview with In Passing author, JR Wirth.
JR, thanks for joining us today. To start off, please introduce yourself.
A little about myself, I was born and raised in Southern California about thirty miles outside Los Angeles. Growing up me and my three brothers spent a lot of time playing sports of most any kind. My older brother even created indoor games, like baseball with cards and dice, to play when it was raining.
I now have four children and live in San Bernardino, where the terror attacks happened. I was blocks away from the terrorists’ home, writing, when the blast of sirens surged toward the couple. My son-in-law works at the building that was attacked, and another family member was working on the route they took before the hail of gunshots. Luckily no one was hurt. There’s more, but that’s enough for now.
I love music particularly alternative rock of all ages, and Motown. Lately, however, I’ve been listening to a lot of “Americana” on Pandora, and have taking a keen liking to the Crooked Stills (a very smart bunch of musicians), Sarah Jarosz, and others like them.
I am a practicing psychotherapist, which helps give me insight into the human mind and condition. I like to think that I have a strong understanding of the emotions of a moment in time, as well as the inner workings of my characters, which combine ordinary people with extraordinary circumstances to create characters will jump off the page and straight into the readers’ hearts and minds.
Congratulations on your new release In Passing. Tell us, what was the inspiration behind the book?
The idea for In Passing originally came to me during the “Twilight” frenzy. I wanted to do a paranormal story, but not a werewolf or vampire story that were dominating the written and visual medias. The afterlife was the way I wanted to go, and did.
I’ve worked with a lot of victims of child abuse who were not equipped to deal with their situations. So I decided to not only give them a voice, but also a life and a story. Our heroine, Lizzy, accidently commits suicide in an attempt to deal with an assault by her mother’s boyfriend. She is then taken on an afterlife adventure, by Bart and unexpected visitor. The story moves from first person (Lizzy narrating her adventure) and third person, nine years after the adventure, where the story begins. The story moves back and forth, with parallel adventure, drama, and suspense.
How is In Passing similar/different to your other books?
It’s similar to the other books in a couple of ways. 1) the protagonists are young people fighting difficult situations and/or circumstances; and 2) there is seemingly strong female leads in most of my works, which are very identifiable.
I think it’s different in the sense that it has so many storylines that are unseen. For instance, with few exceptions, the characters within In Passing all have issues with belonging, and relationships with important people in their lives, particularly their families.
You’ve written in multiple genres, is there a certain one you prefer over the others?
I would have to say that I don’t think I have a preference, but I do see tendencies in my writing. As mentioned, there is a lot of incredible young people in my stories, role models one might insist, with a moral compass. And there always seems to be a paranormal element, or a not of this world connection, like in the reason for Lizzy’s adventure in the first place.
Out of all your books, do you have a favorite? If so, why?
This may sound cliché, but I love them all and they all have a special place in my heart and I can’t pick one over the others. Given that I might say that the “The Town Beneath the Christmas Tree,” and “The Town Around the Christmas Tree” might be my favorites, along with “Destiny’s Lot: A Halloween Love Story,” just because the star real, special people in my life.
In your opinion, what are the important elements of a great story?
Obviously the story has to be worth telling as well as intriguing. It needs to have a reason to exist, not just be written. A truly great story needs to touch the soul, and at times, as I believe Kierkegaard stated, “…leaves you there to swim your way out.” Having been published in the independent press sector and surrounded by many self-published books, I believe that the way the story is told is as important as the story itself. For me I must want to go past the first few pages, or I won’t.
Can you share with us your upcoming works?
I have a manuscript waiting for the right moment. I’ll just say that it involves social workers and the foster care system. I also recently released Saving Michael, but it was removed when the publisher ran into some legal issues—I’m looking for representation at this time.
In one sentence, how would you describe your writing?
I would describe my writing as a disturbingly thought provoking adventures with twists of fun, romance, and horror.
JR Wirth was born and raised in Southern California. Now hailing from San Bernardino, he was intimately affected by the recent terror attacks, but luckily his family escaped physical harm.
With several pieces published--including a poem and the bestselling series: "Twisted Family Holidays," J R. Wirth is an emerging author. The Twisted Family Holidays anthology is a series of short stories that features a combination of real life situations and family, with a great imagination. It has been compared to the "Twilight Zone," series and Charles Dickens. "In Passing" is his first full-length book release. The epic paranormal tale promises to be the best story yet. In all of his works, J.R. combines ordinary people with extraordinary circumstances, to create characters that will jump off the page and straight into the readers' hearts and minds.
He remains dedicated to the craft of writing, highlighting the conflict, frailty and hero in all of us. In his spare time, JR is a licensed psychotherapist with a long list of accomplishments, including a stint as a university professor. He currently supervises at a forensic unit in Southern California, and works with "at risk" youth. Above all JR is a spiritual man who is dedicated to his children. Look for J.R. in Goodreads, Barns and Noble, and Amazon.