J.S. Wayne is no stranger to publishing. He brings a lifelong love of reading, nearly 30 years of studying the publishing industry, 20 years of more or less active writing, 5 years of publication history and 3 years as an English major specializing in creative writing to his position as Semper Press’s Chief Executive Grand High Cat Herder. J.S. recently acquired Pinewood Press, and immediately set about to transform the infrastructure of this company into the skeleton on which Semper Press is built.
When he’s not directing operations for his other company, Concierge Content Creation, J.S. spends most of his time reading, editing and scoring manuscripts, promoting Semper Press’s Indiegogo campaign and, in his laughably sparse spare time, reading and watching movies like Not Another Happy Ending, Dead Poets’ Society and Finding Forrester. He hopes to be able to return to his first love and passion, writing, very soon.
What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?
Do not describe yourself as an “aspiring” author. EVER. In fact, take that word right out of your vocabulary. If you’re putting your ass in the chair and doing the work, you’re an author, period. Don’t ever put yourself at a psychological or social disadvantage by describing yourself as a wannabe.
If you didn’t like writing books, what would you do for a living?
Can I take the Fifth on this one, Your Honor?No? Okay, then…I’d probably be this guy:
Honestly, I’ve worked in a lot of different professions, and most of them had their good and bad points. To be completely truthful, though, if I wasn’t a writer, I can’t imagine myself being truly happy doing anything that didn’t involve gratuitous nudity, copious amounts of high explosive or doling out cases of high-speed lead poisoning. The world’s a much safer place with me behind a keyboard!
If you were an animal in a zoo, what would you be?
I’d be that wolf who’s always pacing around the cage, looking for a way out. You know the one: he’s just a little too lean, with a bright, hungry gleam in his eye.
What literary character is most like you?
I’ve always felt a pretty powerful affinity for Harry Dresden. He’s usually the underdog, keeps getting his ass kicked thoroughly and still manages to come back from the depths of whatever Godforsaken situation he’s gotten himself into with a dose of lip and balls of face-melty sunshine. Plus he’s a wizard AND a noir-style gumshoe, which puts him in a class of badass all his own!
If you could have any accents from anywhere in the world, what would you choose?
If I’m going interesting, it’s hard to beat Christopher Lambert’s Belgian-by-way-of-where-the-hell-is-that-place? accent. He’s one of those guys who can make reading the phone book sound sarcastic (says I) and yet sexy (thus saith the women in my life). But if I’m going for pure vocal seduction, Sean Connery’s Edinburgh brogue would do just fine! “Why yesh, Mish Moneypenny. Your pantiesh would look amazing draped over the sheiling fan!”
When did you decide to become a writer?
I think I was always programmed that way by nature and inclination, but I consciously decided that would be the dream I’d spend my life working toward the summer I was 11. That was when I read Dean Koontz’s Lightning and Sidney Sheldon’s A Stranger In The Mirror. (Why no, my reading habits weren’t closely monitored, a fact for which I’m grateful to this day. If they had been, I might have convinced myself I really wanted a career as an attorney! On the shady side of 30, the joke’s on me…I spend about 1/3 of my waking hours having to think like one.) I really liked the former (author makes gazillions of dollars, outwits time-traveling Nazis) and didn’t care at all for the latter (spoiled, self-indulgent actors make spoiled, self-indulgent wrecks of their lives). Dean Koontz inspired me to go for it, and Sidney Sheldon gave me an example of how I didn’t want to write.
Where do you see publishing going in the future?
I’ve been viewing publishing with more than a little bit of alarm since I first got into it. After self-publishing two novels and placing another 18 works with a total of 5 different publishers, I found myself pretty disenchanted with standard industry practices at just about every level. (This doesn’t mean most publishers are inherently bad or evil, although as with every rule or disclaimer, there are exceptions.) So I thought about the situation from the perspective of both authors and readers, ran some numbers, worked out what I’d need to give people the best of both worlds, and voila! Semper Press was born. I’m really hoping that Semper will end up setting the tone for how authors and readers are regarded by the industry, so that instead of being treated as cash cows, they are finally treated as the valued and valuable partners they are.