Author Interview – J.J. Reichenbach – The Nix Series (Dark Fiction/Horror/Thriller)

Hey there everyone, welcome, welcome.

It’s me again with another engaging interview to chase away your Monday Blues.

May I introduce you all to the amazing talents of author J.J. Reichenbach, as she takes us on a thrilling, chilling journey through gothic horror, darkly humourous fiction and the paranormal with her fiendish series Nix.

Have a spine tingling time and enjoy as always folks 🙂

 

Hi there JJ, a very warm welcome to you today, we can’t wait to hear more about you, your passions and your writing inspirations.

Thank you very much, I’m happy to be here!

Let’s start with your darkly humourous horror series Nix, where you currently have two books in the series published. Please tell us more about the dynamics of your series, the overall premise that has led to the continuation of the series and the challenges your protagonist Nix faces across the course of her chilling adventures.

The most succinct summary I can offer about this series is that it’s about demonic possession from the demon’s point of view.

Not the head-spinning, split-pea-soup-vomiting exorcist-style demon possession, but a light and perhaps more insidious version. The kind of demonic possession that makes you wonder if your neighbour isn’t really your neighbour anymore, or if your wife’s odd behaviour lately is due to menopause or a demon wearing her face as a mask. It’s definitely a dark horror comedy, provided you have a twisted sense of humour.

Nix isn’t the antichrist or anything so extreme, she’s just a demon with a lot of time on her hands—an eternity, as far as she knows. And she enjoys killing that time by killing people—or just playing with them like a cat batting around a mouse. Her goal is to have fun, for the most part. Until she comes across some monster hunters and inadvertently gets wrapped up in an apocalyptic plot. She’s 100%, irredeemably, unapologetically evil…but she has no interest in ending the world—in fact, she likes the world quite a bit, it’s her playground, and the whole apocalypse thing becomes a threat to her survival. So she reluctantly gets involved and by the second book is even forced to work as a team with the hunters in order to achieve the common goal of survival…and the rest, you’ll have to read to find out. But if you like shows like Supernatural, Walking Dead, or American Horror Story, it’s probably up your alley.

Nix

You also have a handful of Short Stories published on your website. Can you elaborate more on them and the wicked tales that you spin? Are any of them similar in tone to your Nix series? (I will include the link to your website in the interview)

I do! I like to tinker from time to time, and not every piece can make it to a novel length, so I like to put those ones up on my site to give people an idea (and fair warning) of my writing style. The short stories I’ve written are definitely “softer” in that they are not nearly as explicit or gory as Nix, but each has its own thread of horror to it and each is a good example of my writing style and tone. Nix contains more humour than some of the short stories, but they do give my potential readers a good idea of what they’re getting themselves into if they delve deeper into my work.

If your novels were to be made into films (or even a TV series), who would you cast in the lead roles?

Oh wow, this is a question I’ve thought about a lot—embarrassingly a lot! I love Rachel Miner, who plays “Meg 2.0” in Supernatural and started out in my head as the basis of the Nix character (which was only ever meant to be a one-off short story), though the two characters ended up departing significantly as Nix developed. But when I picture Nix (while she’s inhabiting a young hunter named Rachel, in homage to these origins) that’s who she looks like to me. Melissa McBride, who plays the kickass character of Carol on The Walking Dead, is who I would want as Joan—she looks all sweet and motherly but is secretly a deadly weapon. Norman Reedus, also of Walking Dead fame, would be my choice for Elliot. And Scarlett Johansson (who needs no introduction), obviously, in any role I could get her. Jessica Lange (American Horror Story) would be perfect in my mind for the character of Val in book 1. The great thing with Nix, as a character, is that she can be anyone—any actor or actress, any age—because she can body-hop as much as she pleases, so I’m sure I could fit a ton of amazing actors in and find a reasonable excuse as to why it a) fit the plot and b) had to be one of my favourite actors. This is one of those questions you can have too much fun with, so I think I’ll leave it there for now before you have drag me away! I’d be interested to know who my readers would cast, though.

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

Most difficult: sitting down and actually writing. Forcing myself to make the time and take the time. The easiest? That’s tougher, a lot about writing is hard work, but I think the easiest is when you hit that “flow” point while you’re writing and the sentences seem to float up and craft themselves—it’s hard to reach that point of focus, but once you’re there the writing becomes easy and satisfying and makes all the other effort worthwhile.

Who are some of the authors and historical figures that inspire you?

Too many to name off, certainly, but chief among them: Chuck Palahniuk, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Virginia Woolf, Hemingway, Mary Shelley and her mother Mary Wollstonecraft, H.G. Wells, Shirley Jackson, Robert Frost. I’m probably leaving out many of my favourites, but while my own writing style may differ significantly from most of these authors, each taught me something about writing that stuck with me and shaped me as a writer, and for that I am forever indebted.

JJ Reichenbach Teeth

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

Often, I write my books in Thailand, near the sea and away from the word. And a drawback and benefit of that isolation is a spurious and unpredictable internet connection. Many times I’ll end up doing my research after writing the book and include annotations as I go along regarding where more research is needed for the editing phase. But a lot of the research about location or climate and terrain, that sort of thing, I get from actually being in a place. I’ve gone to California a couple times now, particularly northern California (which I loved), including some of the towns I write about, and I take a lot from my experiences there as research for my books. At other, non-isolated times, I can be obsessive about research, right down to determining the exact humidity on the exact date in the exact location I’m writing about—which is why I find I get more actual writing done without an internet connection. It forces me to worry about the plot now and the details later.

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

Some days, I ask myself this and I just don’t have an answer. I quit writing every other week—done, throwing in the towel, getting a real job. But I always end up back at it. It’s something I’ve always done and I was an avid reader growing up. Half the time I hate writing, but when I love it…it’s like a captain loves the sea, my only and truest love. So at the end of the day, I suppose it’s mostly a compulsion; write or suffocate.

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

When I have writer’s block (which I know full well is just an excuse not to write, and one I have often), I clean and organize. Obsessively. Everything from vacuuming the light fixtures to relabelling all the jars in the spice cabinet so that they have matching fonts. I’m a little intense to be around in that state, so mostly people just get out of the way and don’t ask questions. If they notice something later, like a meticulously organized cupboard or a bookshelf rearranged three times in one week (height, alphabetical, theme—who can choose?), they just nod and say, “Ah, she’s got writer’s block again.” Since I have it often, you can imagine how clean my living space is! A good way for me to break out of it is to travel or read, anything to get me out of my own whirling head and quiet my thoughts enough to hear them again.

You have access to a time machine. What advice would you give to your younger self?

I would say: “Chill the ever-loving fuck out and stop taking yourself so goddamn seriously!” In fact, I should probably get a tattoo of that and repeat it daily, because it’s advice I could still use!

Notorious Nix

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

Hmm, free time is in short supply—my main job is editing for other authors and companies, and that takes up most of my time as it is. I do like to read a good book, binge-watch some Netflix, or explore abandoned buildings whenever I get the chance.

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

Well, I’m working on the third book for the Nix Series—this one will be fun, lots of cannibalism and gore and murder. But it might take a little longer than the last book since I haven’t had a lot of time to work on it lately—but I’m looking forward to writing it!

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

Wisdom from me? Hmm. I guess a couple things:

1. Learn to take constructive criticism: this means listening to people who know what they are doing and taking their advice into consideration (especially if you get the same advice repeatedly from different sources); this also means knowing when to disregard the opinions of others—not because you feel hurt by the opinion or your emotions are involved, but because you know in your gut and after careful analyzation that the advice is not helpful to you; and finally it means cutting the umbilical cord between you and your work—you’ve got to be tough enough to accept that not everyone will think your baby is beautiful and that’s okay, it doesn’t mean your baby isn’t beautiful and it is not a judgement of your value as a writer or as a human being, it simply means that you may need to work harder at your craft if you’re serious about pursuing it, or that the person who doesn’t like your baby is utterly irrelevant and maybe they just don’t care for babies like yours or in general hate babies. Some opinions are worth hearing out, and some are complete garbage not worth a second of your thoughts—learn the difference by finding people whose opinions you know you can trust and not taking every opinion thrown at you as gospel (most people think they know what they are talking about, and very few actually do, but it’s important to maintain the balance of being open to criticism but never thrown for a loop by it). Never let it be personal and never allow yourself to react to it as though it is a personal attack. Finding a good editor to coach you will make a world of difference to your ability to understand constructive criticism, apply it (and know when to apply it or disregard it), and recognize that your work can improve dramatically because of it. Never let a fear of criticism hold you back from improving upon your skills. Your writing is part of you, yes, but you are not your writing. So take that step back and be objective, never defensive.

2. You’ve got this. It’s okay if your first book sucks. It’s okay if your second book sucks. If you hit the third and it still sucks, you need to start considering that you’re writing faster than you are learning the craft of writing and may need to adjust your priorities accordingly. But it’s still going to be okay. You’ll get rejected sometimes—that’s fine. That happens. But if you really love writing and you want to and are willing to commit to learning the craft of writing, then you are already a writer. And it’s okay to call yourself a writer, or an author. That’s a hard first step for a lot of writers, allowing yourself to call yourself a writer or an author—it seems so big and we can feel so small. So screw insecurity, get yourself some business cards with your name and WRITER emblazoned across the front and hand them out to random people in the streets—fake it until you believe it, and by the time you believe it, it will already have been true for a good long while. So embrace the stumbles and the scraped knees as part of the journey and pick yourself up and follow your dreams. Don’t ever stop.

Anyway, that’s my two cents!

And that’s a wrap! Thank you for introducing us to both yourself and your wicked books, we are in for a spooky and fun time for sure when checking them out. I’ll be sure to curl up with your books, a mug of hot chocolate and dim the lights for good measure too 🙂

Thank you so much for having me, it has been a pleasure!

Bio:-

JJ Reichenbach

J.J. Reichenbach is a professional editor by day and a horror writer by night. She has two BA degrees from the University of Calgary, one in sociology and one in psychology. J.J. lives in Calgary with two affectionate hellhounds and bookcases full of nightmares. She is an avid traveler and likes to spend half of the year in Thailand as often as possible, where she writes and edits on the beach. She specializes in gothic and supernatural horror.

You can connect with her on the following Social Media channels:-

Facebook:- J.J. Reichenbach – Author (FB)
Twitter:- @jjreichenbach (Twitter)
Website:- The Website of Horror Author J.J. Reichenbach

You can buy her books here:-

Buy J.J. Reichenbach’s books in Canada

Buy J.J. Reichenbach’s books in the UK/Europe

Buy J.J. Reichenbach’s books in the 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, since one of JJ’s books has Notorious in the title, I thought this would be an excellent opportunity to link to the ‘Notorious’ theme over at The Daily Post. Notorious is an excellent word, especially since it belongs to a really catchy Duran Duran song too 🙂 For more articles on the topic of notorious then check out the links below:-

1. Water for Weight Loss – Whole, Hearty, Happy
2. shame – Secret woman
3. Blarney – Flying Solo
4. Visa’s calling…again – Girl Writing
5. Throaty Lumps – Poetry Moments
6. Bonkers Away! – Notorious
7. Le Drake Noir – Week of prompts
8. A Little Guidance(Episode 1) – Lifes Journey
9. Death from overwork: Japan’s notorious ‘KAROSHI’ – Writing Challenges
10. religious conclusions ⋆ Obsolete Childhood
11. Footnote in the Book of Life – Rhyme In Time
12. stay afloat – jacey caitlyn speaks
13. You’re dismissed, woman. – awesomeloopy
14. Notorious by Duran Duran – Run and Travel
15. #26 of 30-day Blogging Challenge – Where to Find Free Music for Videos
16. My Mixed Blog – Non-Notorious Me
17. Oiseaux Words – Professionalism
18. Midnight Calico Farm – Friday’s Hunt May 21st
19. Righting a Wrong – Stories and more
20. Glimpse – kittysverses
21. logicaldreams – Drabble: Misattributed
22. Midsummer Showers – Kaleidoscope of my life
23. The Showers of Blessing – Royal Family
24. Blarney – Thirty by Thirty
25. Prankster – The Icognito Writer
26. Troubled the Waters – Flowing Like Milk and Honey
27. Tombstone’s Spirit – Wind Kisses
28. Notty nor Nice – thinkinkadia
29. Jackfruit – Melinda J. Irvine
30. Condemned By Reputation – Debbie Gravett
31. Inspiration – The Chaos Within
32. Invisible Illnesses – Descend & Daily Prompt
33. Jungled! – Pebbles
34. thrones & claws – Tiny Fawns Writings
35. Success Inspirers World – Don’t be notorious!
36. Reviews and Stories – Devil’s Waiting
37. Giggles & Tales – Death is Notorious!
38. Being Notorious – atrangizindagieksafar
39. WorldwideFriends – Depression & Gambling
40. Notorious Villains – aroused
41. not again – Spreading My Wings
42. In that Moment, a Lunchbox Made My Day Better – Adventures of a Busy Mom
43. Jumping to conclusions…… – Mum’s the Word Blog
44. Musings of a Random Mind – The Medium is the Message
45. What Do You Want To Be Remembered For – Lifes Journey
46. Grammar Police… – Mum’s the Word Blog
47. Notorious – Leigha Robbins
48. Notorious – The Bag Lady
49. The Notorious P.I.G. – The Hockey Mom Fit Life
50. Notorious Is Enjoyable – Rip Them
51. Notorious – U Be Cute
52. Notes to Women – Rescued
53. Sandra Pavloff Conner – Wanted Poster
54. Notorious Farce: When Life Knocks You Off Your Feet… – Success Strategies
55. Leaving The Nest – The Chicken Grandma
56. Notorious – wordsareallihavesite
57. Shook Ones Pt. III – wordujour
58. “Notorious Farce.” – Nomadic Adventurer
59. Notorious Photographer – Beatrice’s Page
60. Sometimes I think About Certain Events – Karuchan
61. Sand bar Notoriety – Inner Alpha
62. Tangled Webs – Ummm…That’s Mine…
63. 6 ways to deal with being impatient – Wonderful treasures
64. Everything and anything – Be Known For The Good
65. ~138 Of 368~ – ……….365 Days………..
66. Reversed Hedgehog – Jackalope’s Tea
67. Red’s Wrap – Tiny’s Sheep
68. Mirth and Motivation – Reflections: Notorious Neighbors?
69. RICHARD BERKSHIRE – The Glorious Tie
70. Scottish Legend’s Blog – Notorious
71. Legendary – Inner Whispers
72. Nothingness – The Moving Finger Writes
73. Notorious – Short Poem – In2Lauren
74. 20 Travel mistakes to avoid! – TheGreatAmbini
75. mycreatorscreation – The Notorious Squirrel
76. Mainline_Matter – Notorious FLQ Kidnappers
77. The Last Pawn – Notorious (Daily Prompt)
78. Ana Linden – Notorious
79. SERENDIPITY – MY NOTORIOUSLY NEW PRINTER
80. Did you know??? – stbarbebaker
81. Nothing is permanent – The Money Fast
82. Ruthless Lover – Wings Of Poetry
83. Blame The Society – On a mission
84. VirtuousParagon – Should I Wake?
85. 16 Bars – Wells Baum
86. The Notorious Monster I Loved – HurryUpnWait
87. Grip – A Short Conversation
88. How Will I Know – Lives in the Lyrics
89. Infamous Behavior – As I was saying…
90. Chasing Thoughts And View Points – Being Notorious is “Two-Faced”
91. Swell Time – How you are remembered
92. Scandals of Science: Passion of Love, War and Possibility – Letters and Poems
93. Meanings – Asma
94. Notorious–Daily Prompt – Fearless
95. Venting about Procrastination – thepathtocreativity
96. Poetry: Crazy Dream or Reality – The Militant Negro
97. The Consulting Writer – Notorious, like so many YouTube Vloggers
98. The G Sandwich – Busting Stones
99. The Ubiquitous Burrito – Doing Our Bewildered Best: Dispatches from the Pilgrim’s Path to Notoriety
100. Sagesse :|: Oblige – …Yet Cast Your #Bread…
101. yochet – Freebie Friday – Finger Knitting
102. No Mercy (A Dark Tale) – Smell The Coffee
103. Notorious – Field Notes From Over The Hill
104. Hope for Tim Allen’s Last Man Standing – persuasion2015
105. Kerrstee – Notorious
106. The View From My Window – Notorious
107. Notorious – Book Meets Girl
108. Just Brittany Moments – The Gymnast!
109. Heavenly Creatures – Review – shivamt25
110. The Wandering Poet – Reputation for being cute ^.^/
111. Curious Hart – Notorious Characters
112. A NOTORIOUS ACHE – Grief Poetry
113. Notorious to not be notorious bringing lights (lime, or dim)… – cries from an unkempt garden
114. Notorious – inspire1daily
115. uncertainty reigns – Writing the wrongs
116. 1939 Recipe for Lemon-Cream Doughnuts! From American Cookery Magazine! – kindergartenknowledge.com
117. Giggles & Tales – The Daily Prompt – Notorious 2
118. Escape. – manumausam
119. HOW TO READ NOTORIOUSLY LONG BOOKS – rhymeagination
120. hoosiersunshine13 – A Day in the Life
121. Susie Lindau’s Wild Ride – Notorious Colorado Weather – A Photo Essay
122. The Last Job (Part – III – Finale) – Beautiful Mind
123. Life On The Skinny Branches – Idol Dream
124. { From N o T o R i O u S to Prestigious } – My Word Soup
125. Na’ama Yehuda – Nana the Notorious
126. Urban Poetry a digital art and poetry wordpress blog. original poems copyright by linda j. wolff Poetry: Crazy Dream or Reality
127. Bipolar is Notorious… (Daily Word Prompt is Notorious) – My Loud Bipolar Whispers
128. A Leap of Faith – Creative Mind
129. A smile greater than notorious; – A Place to learn and grow together
130. The Son of Il Cane – The Mind of Nox
131. Charron’s Chatter – Equine Writes
132. David Bowie, Panic in Detroit – Lorraine’s frilly freudian slip
133. Notorious. The Only Way to Describe It! – My Brain, the Puck
134. Charmed Chaos – The Kiss
135. Wanted – Flowing Like Milk and Honey
136. SHINE MAGAZINE – Common Trends On the Road to Success
137. slideaways – Severn Bridge
138. andsoitisborn – Redemption
139. POTUS 45 Prison Diet and Exercise Plan – A lot from Lydia
140. White Trash – Dangerspouse
141. lifelessons – a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown – Notorious Begins with “Not”
142. hopeforheather – Notorious
143. Notorious – Margaret writes about life and everything else
144. Fear and Loathing Burgers – I’m a Writer, Yes, I Am!
145. Southern By Design – Will Love Win?
146. Notorious – A Sawyer’s Daughter
147. Seal Matches – Stories in Short #25 (The Hotel Notorious)
148. Notorious – Piercing the Mundane
149. juantetcts – Daily Post
150. Notorious – Image & Word
151. The Brain – emotionsoflife2016
152. Photos – More Spring at Longwood
153. Crimson Red – Zeckrombryan
154. sonja benskin mesher – . writing .
155. The Cat Chronicles – Daily Feline Prompt: The Notorious Feline
156. Dronstad – Annihilator of Tamir
157. Song of Wind (Sedoka) – Thoughts of Words
158. Giggles & Tales – The Daily Prompt – Notorious!
159. Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss – The lady with the camera
160. Best. Day. Ever!! – Autism in Our Nest
161. 13RW: Turning Pages of History – The Indigo Pages
162. Scary mornings – My little storybook
163. All will fear her sugar tantrum – Sarahs Crazy Mind
164. Exploring the World around us – Notorious
165. The Notorious – Written by Beth
166. witchlike – Anne Boleyn, Women’s Martyr
167. Notorious cheetoes ⋆ Obsolete Childhood
168. Zachary W Gilbert, Author – Bones of Yesterday
169. “No Jail!” – CD-W, Author Flawed to Perfection
170. Forget everything and simply be notorious – THEGIRLVERSUSWORLD
171. Stop these two notorious killers in their tracks – Marketing With Sylvia
172. Those notoriously naughty birdies – Bird Flight
173. kwesi – infamous
174. LadyLebz – To The One Who Broke My Heart
175. Notorious dudes and their notorieties – Train Of Thoughts
176. Notorious Names – Jittery Goat
177. … now i will be mad – stoneronarollercoaster
178. Notorious – What Wendy Writes
179. The Problem with Millennials… – Positively Un-broken
180. Zombie Flamingos – Kitten Thurs…no, wait…yes, we made it to Friday!
181. Notorious Kray Twins – britishsouthasian
182. Relax – M-m-m-mild to the b-b-b-bone
183. Piper’s Adventures – Notorious: A Fisherman’s Tall Tale
184. Vox Humbug – Pale Sonnet
185. BronxBeyondBorders – Notorious
186. How to Get Ahead in Business Without Being Notorious
187. Scared and Alone – Michelle’s Multifarious Musings
188. Notorious – damswriter
189. The Odds – Reactionary Tales
190. Notorious – Allison’s Written Words
191. the15thday – capital f. and u. c. k. e. r. and s.
192. Duran Duran! – SweetHandlettering!
193. Call For Time Bandits – Free The Truth
194. Frank Prem – Acland Street boredom
195. Happy Birthday! – Redux Of Rex
196. Frank Prem – for the (rockfall) record
197. Notorious – ‘A Meat Market.’ – Adoption – Happiness is egg shaped
198. This Moment – Grace
199. THE NOTORIOUS SEDUCTRESS – Rainbow
200. Notorious Habit – mslazyboots
201. Designer Sophisticate – Let’s hop in the wayback machine, shall we?
202. Travel Much? – Iceland much? Lava land
203. All About Writing and more – Notorious
204. Travel Much? – Enjoying Nyhavn, Copenhagen, Denmark
205. Notorious Beings : Dark Aura and Sexual Attraction – Chronicles of an Orange-Haired Woman!
206. I wrote a book. Now what? – Monologue-ing
207. Cimmerian Sentiment – #4 Just Jazzy (Waking Up Jayla)

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3 thoughts on “Author Interview – J.J. Reichenbach – The Nix Series (Dark Fiction/Horror/Thriller)

  1. My first love in book genres was horror. Lots of Stephen Kings. And I think that’s why I read through the interview! The concept of a horror story from the perspective of the demon..was quite hard to escape 🙂

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