I’d like to welcome B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree J. T. Bishop today to talk with me about her book, The Red Line: The Shift. T.J. is the author of the Red-Line trilogy. Born in Dallas, TX, she began writing in 2012. At that time, the end of the Mayan calendar was approaching (Dec. 21st). There were all sorts of theories and speculation as to what the date meant and what would happen when it arrived. J. T. watched a video on Facebook that spoke about the Mayan calendar. It talked about how extraterrestrials had visited earth thousands of years ago in order to meet and exchange information. J. T. didn’t know much about that, but it did spawn an idea. What if those extraterrestrials were still here and lived among us? Thus, Red-Line was born.
Two years later, the trilogy was complete. She has been working hard since then to publish all three books and is excited to announce that the third book in the trilogy, Trust Destiny, will be published on Nov. 1st, 2015. J. T. currently works in the corporate world, but hopes soon to be a full-time writer. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling to amazing places, and spending time in nature. Getting up in the morning with a cup of coffee and her laptop, ready to write is the start of a perfect day.
J.T., how did you discover indieBRAG?
I think I heard about in an author discussion on Facebook. Somebody mentioned it, so I did a little research to find out more about it. I submitted my book soon after.
Please tell me about your story, Red Line: The Shift.
Red-Line: The Shift is about Sarah, a woman who learns she’s a member of an extraterrestrial race living on Earth. She is about to Shift, which is a transformational event that all people of her kind experience. But her Shift will be different. Because she’s a Red-line, a member of her species not seen on Earth in over seventy years.
John Ramsey, a Protector has been assigned to ensure her safety, and together with the help of three others, they must keep Sarah alive as she Shifts. But at the same time, they also learn of a new threat – another Red-Line that has other plans for Sarah.
What an intriguing premise! What was your inspiration?
I was inspired by a video I saw in 2012 regarding the end of the Mayan calendar. It theorized about Earth’s origins and how extraterrestrials visited here thousands of years ago to meet and exchange information. It made me think, what if they were still here?
I also liked the idea because it gave me the freedom to play with these characters. I could give them unique abilities and talents. They are highly sensitive, intuitive and empathic. They also have the ability to manipulate energy. Most of the time, if you have characters with special powers, they are witches, vampires, werewolves, etc. I love those books, too, but I liked that I could do something different in this story.
How does Sarah get along working in a bookstore?
Sarah starts out working in the bookstore, but she’s not there for long. Events occur that alter her life forever, making her future career plans obsolete. The only reason she’s in the bookstore when the book opens is because she’s lost her corporate job, and she needed to find work. Her aunt knew someone and helped her find work there. Sarah is in a transitional period when the story begins, which makes sense considering what’s about to happen to her.
Please tell me a little about John Ramsey.
John Ramsey was a fantastic character to write. Very few know this, but I based him on the Robert Downey Jr. portrayal of Sherlock Holmes. I even made Ramsey’s middle name Sherlock. He’s cocky, brash and impulsive. But also fiercely loyal, compassionate and he takes his job very seriously. He will do whatever it takes to protect Sarah. Of course, it doesn’t help that he’s falling for her, too, which adds a whole other dimension to his character. Very fun.
What is one of the abilities that Sarah develops during her, “Shift”?
Sarah is a Red-Line, which makes her unique. The other characters are Gray-Lines and they all have intuitive abilities, some more than most. After Sarah Shifts, she must quickly adjust to her new sensitivities and learn how to use them. As a Red-Line, she can do everything a Gray-Line does, but at a higher level. She also has additional gifts that Gray-Lines do not. One of the most important talents she finds she has is the ability to heal. I won’t say more than that, because I don’t want to give anything away.
Who is Hannah and what is her relationship to Sarah?
Hannah is also another favorite character. She shows up to help John Ramsey with Sarah. She is a former nurse who helps Sarah with her personal needs as she experiences her Shift. She gets more than she bargained for though when she realizes who Sarah is and how her assignment could turn dangerous. She hangs in there though and decides to stay and help despite the risk. Hannah is a Gray-Line and becomes an important friend to Sarah throughout the trilogy. Her role becomes pivotal as the story progresses.
How did you come up with the title for your book?
It’s related to the story and embodies exactly what is happening to Sarah, the main character. It was a logical choice.
Who designed your book cover?
Peter from BespokeBookCovers.com. He lives in England. I found him while doing research for book cover designers on-line. I liked his other covers, plus he’ll do as many changes as I need without charging extra fees. I’ve used him for all three books and he’s done a great job. It’s a little more expensive, but a good cover is a must, so it’s worth it.
When you’re stuck on a scene in your story, what do you do?
I’ve been pretty lucky so far. Writing this book came easily and so has writing the subsequent books. I usually have an idea of what I’m going to write when I begin a scene. Occasionally, I may question how to begin a new chapter, but I find if I just start writing, even if it’s not something I’m sure about, that within a few sentences, the flow starts to kick in. If I don’t like what I wrote when I get started, then I can always go back and fix it. As far as writer’s block, it’s never been a serious issue.
What are you working on next?
I’m working on my fourth book, entitled Curse-Breaker. It’s a new story with new characters, but there’s a connection to the trilogy, which makes it fun.
Curse-Breaker is a stand-alone story. It can be read before or after the trilogy. The trilogy books all have cliff-hangers, so I wanted to write a book with a beginning and an end.
It’s mystery/suspense with a little romance thrown in.
Do you stick with just genre?
Yes. Those are the stories that draw me in. I don’t exactly think of it as “writing genre,” though. I just write what I’m interested in. I read genre, though, so I suppose that’s why I write it.
Where in your home do you like to write and what is your process?
I like to write in my living room. I grab my laptop, sit down on the couch, get comfortable and start writing.
My process is simple. I have an idea what I’m going write that day and I just start. I don’t really outline the whole story up front. I tried it once, but then never referred to it. I didn’t really need it. I find that I like being open to whatever happens as I write. New characters can show up, and the story line can take an interesting turn. Usually when that happens, I pay attention because it usually means something important. Many times, something pops in my head, I add it in, and somewhere down the line, maybe several chapters later, I can see how it fits perfectly into the story. It’s funny how often that happens.
And if I end up writing something I don’t like, I’ll just take it out. Not a big deal.
Is there a favorite food or drink you like to enjoy while writing?
I usually write in the morning after I wake up, so I’ve usually got my cup of coffee in hand.
Is there a particular hobby you enjoy when you’re not writing?
I’m pretty low key. I like to visit family and hang out with friends. I live near a nature trail and when the weather is nice, I love to go for a hike. I also love to go to the movies and when I get a chance, travel.
For my birthday, someone gave me the coloring books for adults, along with the coloring pens. I find that this is also a great way to relax. An occasional massage doesn’t hurt either.
If you’d like updates on upcoming books and events, then connect with J. T. on the J. T. Bishop website and her Facebook page.
We are delighted that Stephanie has chosen to interview J.T. Bishop who is the author of, Red-Line: The Shift, our medallion honoree at indieBRAG . To be awarded a B.R.A.G. Medallion TM, a book must receive unanimous approval by a group of our readers. It is a daunting hurdle and it serves to reaffirm that a book such as, The Red-Line: The Shift, merits the investment of a reader’s time and money.