JB Schroeder’s Trial by Fire (ahem, red pen).


JB Schroeder, Author of Unhinged

Hi Readers- Sarah Andre here! In the small world department: I sat next to a friendly woman at a recent luncheon, who turned out to be the mother of a romance writer. Not only did I know her daughter’s name, JB Schroeder, among the thousands of authors, but she was a guest on Kiss and Thrill last year, hosted by Lena! Naturally I invited JB to my house when she came to visit her mother and the hours flew. We talked about writing as if we’d been best friends for years! When I heard she had a new release coming out I invited her back to K&T- let’s catch up with what JB’s been doing, shall we?

Hey girl! You and I had a discussion about certain books kicking our author butts, but being better writers in the end because of all that hard work. Locked, Loaded, and Lying was that book for me. Yours, is Unhinged, which is also releasing today, May 24. Congrats!

Thank you! Yes. I wanted to try something unusual with Unhinged, but didn’t pull it off so well in the first draft. It went through four major overhauls—essentially re-writes. And then came the revisions! But it was all worth it! The story is better for it, and I was determined that my second book to hit virtual shelves would be just as good as the first (Runaway). According to my Review Crew ARC readers, I succeeded in that! Hooray!

Yay- I can hardly wait to read it, JB! As a struggling pantser I’m dying to know what techniques others have learned in their trial by fire. Tell me three writing challenges you learned from re-writing/revising Unhinged.

Red Herrings don’t necessarily make twists—sometimes they are just distracting.

When I started Unhinged I had three possibilities for the villain, and I thought I intertwined it all pretty well. But my critique partners felt that one characters role be condensed to reduce confusion. Later, my editor strongly suggested that same character be eliminated entirely because she wasn’t really necessary! It changed a lot in the book, but you find other ways to do what you need to, and make better use of the cast that is there. In other words: do more with less!book

Sometimes it’s all about the reveal.  This ties in closely to my red herring problem. You don’t have to keep the villain’s identity secret. Even if the reader knows fairly early WHO the villain is, they still love the journey. For one thing, its exciting to know more than the characters know. Just like watching a movie, gripping the edge of the chair, and thinking “Oh no, sister, bad idea. Do NOT go into the basement!” For another, the fun is in the HOW. How does the villain create trouble, how do the protagonists find out what they need to, and of course, how do they stop the villain? In Unhinged, I actually mapped out on a timeline exactly what could be revealed when for maximum effect. And I’ve been hearing a lot of OMG’s from my readers in all the right spots, so I know it worked!

Villains need motivation too. My first draft of Unhinged had the villain just plain crazy—which was super fun and allowed for a lot of creative license. But my agent pointed out that that level of loco meant the villain couldn’t possibly pull it all off. I needed a serious motivation and goal for the villain, not to mention a reason behind the crazy. It took weeks, but when I finally came up with THE IDEA—everything came together: goal, motivation, conflict, numerous juicy bits to reveal, and even an awesome twist.

Oh my gosh, this sounds SO exciting! And I absolutely LOVE your cover and the series name. I  know you’re a graphic artist who does covers and this is your own creation…I’m green with envy. Thank you for joining us, JB! We wish you all the best in your new release, and come back to visit us soon! (Both K&T and my house.) 🙂

So thrilled to celebrate release day with the fab ladies of Kiss and Thrill. Thank you, Sarah!

Unhinged is available on Amazon here

And you can connect with JB on her website.

About Sarah Andre

Romantic Suspense That Keeps You Up All Night! I live in sunny FL, love daydreaming, reading and chocolate. I write in the wee hours of the morning before my helpless hubby and 2 male Pomeranian pups awaken with their demands. :) My debut LOCKED, LOADED and LYING is available now.

Posted on May 24, 2016, in Author Interview, Author Spotlight, book recommendations, Celebration, New Release, Sarah Andre, Uncategorized, Writing Craft and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 24 Comments.

  1. Welcome, JB and HAPPY RELEASE DAY!! I appreciate the craft tips and have studied them while formatting this. 🙂

    I agree a villain ought to be crazy-smart, not just crazy. And the better his motivation the more chilling the story.

    Have a great day with our readers!

    • JB Schroeder

      Thank you, Sarah!!! I was so thrilled to meet you, and I can’t thank you enough for hosting me at your house and now on your blog! You are the best!!

  2. Happy Release Day to an awesome author and great person. So thrilled for you, J B!

  3. Good lessons, JB. Congratulations on the new book, it sounds great!

  4. Welcome to our blog, JB! Congratulations on your new book.

  5. Reblogged this on Book Smart TV and commented:

    Great interview by Sarah Andre of JB Schroeder.

    • Thanks, Diana! Know you’re busy over at the Rubies! 🙂

    • JB Schroeder

      Diana, I saw one of your posts about being a woman and keeping safe–retweeted it! There’s a scene in this book where Tori learns a few things at Aiden’s martial arts studio to protect herself!

  6. Welcome back, JB! So excited that you have another book and I can’t wait to read it. I loved the first so I’m sure the second is amazing!

  7. Congratulations on release day, JB. Unhinged sounds great, I can’t wait to read it!

  8. Welcome back! Great to see you here, and congratulations! Love the cover and I can’t wait to dive into this!

  9. Thank you so much for being our guest, JB! We wish you soaring sales, and welcome you back when your next release comes out.

  10. Sounds like a great story!!

    • JB Schroeder

      Thank you, Carrie! Some of those books on your blog sound great too! I just signed up to follow! ; )

  1. Pingback: JB Schroeder: Release Day for Unhinged! | The Violet Femmes

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