Interview With Science Fiction/Fantasy Novelist J. A. Huss

Author J. A. Huss is here today to tell us about her science fiction/fantasy novel Clutch-I Am Just Junco. This is the first book in the I Am Just Junco series.

"Because the voices in my head only ever tell me to do one thing, and that’s kill people. In very interesting ways."–Junco

Hi, Julie. Thanks for stopping by. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Hey, Rebekkah! Thanks for having me on your blog. I’m a recent fiction author, having only started writing in January on 2012. But I’ve been writing non-fiction for several years now and own a small company that sells science curriculum to home learners.

Can you tell us about your debut novel Clutch and how you came up with the concept for this imaginative book?

Clutch is a character driven novel that revolves around a nineteen year old soldier named Junco. When we first meet her she is in the middle of making a decision that will change the course of her life. It pretty much all falls apart from there and we begin to realize there’s something really wrong with her. I came up with Junco a long time after I built the futuristic world she lives in. In fact, this first book was supposed to be a paranormal romance but Junco was a little too crazy for such a tame plot and Clutch ended up being a science fiction thriller.

Did you do an outline on this story before you wrote it?

I am a fastidious plotter – so yes. I made about twenty plot planners, had a plot consultation with a "guru" and the book was heavily edited twice, for plot alone. While I love to focus my stories on characters, plot drives the car. I’m not a seat of my pants writer at all.

What character do you identify the most with? Who is your favorite character in this book and why?

I identify with Junco the most. It’s hard not to when you’re writing first person present. But my favorite character in the series is not introduced until book three, his name is Gideon. I love Gideon because he’s totally 100% on Junco’s side and he won’t put up with her crap. Most of the others are either afraid of her or love her too much to say anything. But Gideon tells it like it is. He’s Junco’s reality check.

In the next book in this series Fledge, does the relationship between Junco and Tier get more in depth?

Hmmmm…sort of. :) Tier is not in a good place in book two. Neither is Junco. It’s a long hard struggle.

If you could choose between being a human or an avian (a winged creature with human characteristics), which would it be and why?

Human. Definitely. After writing about characters with wings for the past year I’ve come to the conclusion that wings are a major annoyance! And trying to dress yourself with wings is not easy! Even my illustrator started asking me about how they get dressed! No thanks, I’ll stay human.

As an author, whether you traditionally or self-publish, you have to market your book. What tactics have you found so far that work in selling your book?

I am an excellent marketer and I’ve been hawking my non-fiction books for several years now so I’ve gotten to know the tricks to getting attention. I like Twitter right now, but definitely blogging along with other book bloggers is a tactic that helps in many ways. It allows you the room to develop relationships with bloggers that have nothing to do with our book and it gives you insight into how book bloggers and readers think about certain plot devices and what really turns them off in a story.

Do you have any plans for another book after this series?

Yes, I have the first book in my next series plotted out already. I can’t say much about it but it will definitely be more speculative in nature – set in the near future, and will feature another female protagonist. It will be a true paranormal romance.

What is your writing schedule like?

I have to juggle marketing and writing my non-fiction products with my fiction so it’s quite difficult to find time to write fiction at times. Since it’s NaNoWriMo right now I’ve devoted November to finishing up book four in the Junco series.

If you found a time machine, which year would you go to and why?

I’d go forward about a thousand years so I could see how far humans have advanced. Or maybe we’d be gone, who knows. Well, I’d know! I guess that’s the point. I want to know.

If you were driving down a deserted road one night and saw an alien craft crash in a woods nearby, what would you do?

Drive the other way. I’m with Stephen Hawking on this one – if aliens show up we’re probably screwed.

If you can give any advice to an aspiring writer, what would it be?

Learn to plot your stories correctly using the standard story structure. It helps bring it all together.

Is there anything you’d like to tell your readers?

Thank you for believing in Junco. She’s got a foul mouth, she could use some lessons in the relationship department, and she’s terrible at following directions. And yet, they like her. So, thanks for that.


  1. Thanks for having me for an interview Becki! :)