Ask the Author: Jake Vander-Ark

“Have a question about my books or writing process? Ask!” Jake Vander-Ark

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Jake Vander-Ark I'm about 1/4th of the way done with the Lighthouse Nights "sequel" (not really a sequel... but kind of). But divorce, travel, a third-life crisis, and complete lack of money has made it hard to continue. I'm hoping to jump back in at the end of the month!

In the meantime, help me spread the word! Without money, reviews are my only source of fuel to keep me going!
Jake Vander-Ark Hey Marti! I'm so glad you checked out Brandywine... somehow it's both my least-popular and most-loved book, ha.

There's no clear-cut explanation for the ending, but I did have a solid idea in mind when I wrote it. I think the answer lies in the aftermath of Janie's dance and the differences between where the characters end up in both the prologue and the actual ending... as well as the over-arching theme of "faith."

That's about all I can give ya ; ) If you have any thoughts on the ending, I would love to hear them. There's really no right or wrong answers!
Jake Vander-Ark As of March, 2016, I'm publishing my sci-fi novel called The Day I Wore Purple. (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...) As soon as the book goes live, I'm going to jump into the sequel to "Lighthouse Nights!" (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...)
Jake Vander-Ark Feedback is what keeps me motivated. When readers tell me that my books moved them, inspired them, or pissed them off, it makes my day.
Jake Vander-Ark Buy the book "Writing a Great Movie" by Jeff Kitchen. It's about screenplays, but it applies to novels too.

Do not write about what you know! Use your everyday life to make your stories honest, but do not write a book about your everyday life!

Finally, your English teachers were right... show, don't tell.
Jake Vander-Ark I've never had a serious bout of writer's block. I map out my stories on notecards before I ever begin (my favorite part of the process), and I just jump from one note to the next until the story is done.

I actually created an infographic about this... check it out! http://www.vanderarkbooks.com/how-i-w...
Jake Vander-Ark I'm find inspiration in everyday life. That's not to say I write about everyday life, but I try to let my conversations and observations spark story ideas. I came up with the idea for The Brandywine Prophet backstage at a dance competition. I thought of The Day I Wore Purple when my grandma was dying. Lighthouse Nights was a rejected story idea in a screenwriting class. Also, I was browsing reddit when I came up with the concept for my next book.

I carry a notebook with me wherever I go and I'm constantly writing down new ideas!
Jake Vander-Ark To be honest, I'm horrible at writing short stories. It's a completely different art form than novels, and one that requires diligence and brevity that I don't have! However, if you ARE able to write short fiction, you'll do very well with online readers who like bite-sized stories to read on their mobile devices.

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