Author Interview – J.B. Havens – Steel Corps Series

Howdy folks.

The weekend starts here and what better way to celebrate than getting to know another amazing author.

For your reading pleasure tonight, I give you our esteemed guest author J.B Havens and her novels jam packed with military thriller action. Join us now as she steals our breath away and gets our pulses racing.

 

Hey there J.B. – thank you for taking the time to be with us today to talk about your Military action thrillers and your writing processes.

Let’s start with all of your novels from your Steel Corps Series. I believe you have just released the third book in the series. Tell us more about the unifying themes of the books, along with the characters and the adventures that they find themselves encountering as the bullets and mayhem start flying.

In the first book, Core of Steel, it’s a lot of character building, followed by intense action. What I tried to showcase with Mic was her innate ability to be a leader to these men and survive impossible situations. Steel Corps is sent on a mission to Colombia to recuse an informant for M1-6 and assassinate the head of the Fernando drug cartel and a mysterious figure known only as The Frenchie. That’s the basic mission, but there is so much more than that.

Before they can go, they need another man on the team for the mission. Corporal Chris Jordon is brought in and Mic has to train him in a very short time frame. Only, against her will she finds him very attractive — an attraction she refuses to act on. I tried to explore how she is hard and determined, willing to do just about anything to complete her mission. In this first book, is where the reader really begins to learn who Mic is and just what she stands for. The loss of a team mate hits them all very hard and leaves you hanging, wondering what is coming next.

Book two, Hardened by Steel, is a continuation of the first book. Remnants of the Fernando cartel come back to haunt Steel and this time they must go to Mexico. A replacement for their fallen team mate arrives and he’s not welcomed with open arms.

While solving that conflict more trouble arises for Steel. A person from Mic’s past is in danger and she has to save them, even as she does, Mic unearths old personal demons she thought long dead. Then, Mic is forced into giving herself up into the hands of a real madman, Julio. A butcher and serial killer. The beauty of Mic is that she’s flawed. She’s no superhero. She’s human and feels fear and despair. I take her to the brink, only to bring her back again.

Book three, Forged by Steel, picks up five days after the end of Hardened. Mic is down, but not out. The team is really rallying around her. Jordon is by her side more than ever and their relationship continues to develop. We find out more about Rook, the newest team member as well as an international player. The very core of steel is shattered in this book with a plot twist that no one will see coming (or so I hope!)

The biggest theme throughout the books I would say is torture. Both actual and emotional. Of the characters and their enemies. Why they are who they are and what has shaped them into being these deadly warriors.

I understand that you are also involved with a crossover project with Samantha Cole, who I have previously interviewed recently about her writing processes and books (See Author Interview – Samantha A. Cole – Trident Security Services & Malone Brothers). Can you tell us more about this crossover project of her Trident Security Services series and your Steel Corps series, how this idea came about between you and what you are enjoying most about the collaborative process with Samantha? (The anticipated release of these crossover novels is towards the end of this year – check out Samantha’s blog for further updates)

Sam and I met through The Lincoln Fund last year. It’s an online annual auction to raise funds to get service dogs for service members with PTSD and other issues. She helps to organize it and I donated last year. We began talking and reading each other’s books and realized just how similar our characters are in some way. Steel and Trident fit together like puzzle pieces. It was Sam’s idea to do the crossover novels and I jumped at the chance to work with her. She’s a fantastic writer, with an amazing ability to create her wonderful characters.

One of her characters, T. Carter, is sort of the male counterpart to Mic. These have been a joy to write. Sam is amazing to work with. It’s a lot of communication and compromise. We constantly email each other back and forth with edits and additions, etc. It’s a true collaboration. In many ways, I feel like writing these novellas has made me a better writer.

coreofsteel

What do you find the most difficult thing about writing? And what do you find the easiest?

The most difficult thing about writing I think would be, not so much the writing itself but everything else that comes with being an indie author. You’re responsible for all your own advertising and promotions, etc. Plus I find editing a challenge. It gives me a migraine every time but it must be done. There is so much more to writing than just putting pen to page.

The easiest, I think would be talking with fans and the stories themselves. Sure, there are moments when I stare at the blank screen, begging my mind to start working but for the most part, it’s easy and fun. Creating an entirely new world and pushing your characters through it. It’s a great feeling of accomplishment when the book is finished.

Who are some of the authors in general that inspire you?

Mark Tufo is a big one, he weaves humour and horror together seemingly effortlessly when I know it’s anything but. He’s a master and I strive to be at his level. Cristin Harber, both for her writing and her level of success as an indie author. Everyone starts somewhere and I hope one day to be at her level.

hardenedbysteel

What sort of research do you do to write your books?

Well it depends, I’ve used everything from Google Street View to get a look at Russia to talking to vets about the most effective way to kill someone with a knife. One particular time, a friend of my family is a former sniper and he told me the best place to shoot someone so there was no twitching or danger of reflexive trigger pulls. Being a writer is never boring.

Why do you write? What inspired you to become a writer?

I’ve always had a lover for reading. From a very young age, I read just about anything I could get my hands on. As a teenager, I dabbled a bit in short stories and bad poetry. It wasn’t until about two years ago that I got the idea for Mic and Steel and began writing seriously. I really strive to write the sort of book I would want to read. It’s about quality work.

forgedbysteel

What keeps you motivated during creative slumps? How do you deal with Writers Block?

I’ve had writer’s block a few times and each time I’ve had to work through it differently. Sometimes it’s a matter of reading through what I’ve already written or just talking about it with a fellow writer. You have to keep at it. Sometimes it’s like your brain seizes up and you can’t squeeze one more ounce of creativity from it. That’s a myth. It’s there, locked away, the trick is accessing it. Some writers don’t believe in writers block. I do, having been there. Another thing that works is writing, something, anything, even if you delete it later. You have to exercise the muscle or it’s useless.

How do you spend your free time when you are not writing?

Spending time with my family, reading, cooking, or watching whichever TV show I’m hooked on at the moment. Right now I’m addicted to Supernatural and Shameless.

beyondthenight

Tell us more about your upcoming projects. Are you working on anything specific or have plans in the pipeline?

Besides No Way In Hell, with Sam Cole I’m working on a full length novel for a character I debuted in my anthology, Beyond the Night. Her name is Molly and she carries a razor wire wrapped Louisville Slugger to brain zombies with. It’s great.

I’m a huge fan of all things zombie and knew I had to write one. Molly feels as if she’s got a lot of stories to tell and since the release of the anthology she’s the one most people are asking to see more of. While writing Molly’s book, I am also working on Bound by Steel, book four in the Steel Corps series.

Finally, are there any nuggets of wisdom that you can impart to other aspiring writers?

Hire a professional editor, use beta readers, grow a thick skin and stay humble. Oh and do your best to NOT respond to negative reviews. It’s a general no-no. I can’t say that I’ve always abided by that bit of advice, but in general, it’s best to take the high road and keep your mouth shut. No matter how much your writer’s ego was damaged. Everyone gets negative reviews. Everyone. Don’t take it to heart. Not everyone is going to love your book, the sooner you accept that, the happier you will be.

And that’s a wrap! You’ve been a wonderful guest JB and it’s been great having you here.

Bio:-

jbhavens

J. B. Havens is a wife and mother of three. When not with her family she is writing, researching, or furiously reading on her kindle. She has a serious love affair with coffee and a good Philly cheesesteak. She is currently busy plotting and writing the next book in the Steel Corps series.

You can connect to her on the following Social Media platforms:-

Amazon Author Page:-J.B. Havens Amazon Author Page
Facebook:- J.B. Havens – Author (FB)
Instagram:- jbhavensauthor (Instagram)
Twitter:- J.B. Havens – Author (Twitter)
Website:- J.B. HAVENS OFFICIAL AUTHOR PAGE – HOME OF STEEL CORPS

You can buy her books here:-

Canada:- Buy J.B. Havens books in Canada

UK/Europe:- Buy J.B. Havens books in UK/Europe

US/Rest of the World:- Buy J.B. Havens books in US/Rest of the World

If you too would like to be interviewed on my blog at TooFullToWrite and you have a book or a series of books that you would like us to chat about then fill out the Contact Me form here with your details and we can arrange a future interview slot.

Still want more? Well, J.B.’s characters are in the military and are loyal, dependable and fierce creatures to deal with. For more articles regarding the ‘Fierce’ prompt, check out the links below:-

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