I’m delighted to welcome Jody to the Writers Room!
Jody, who’s your favourite author, and what’s your favourite book?
Denis Johnson, and Train Dreams.
What are you reading right now?
What Jonah Knew by Barbara Graham.
Tell us about your writing journey so far.
I’ve been writing with serious intent since 2005. As long as I can remember I always dreamed of being an author, but until ’05, I thought it was something other people did.
When I learned there were creative writing degrees, I decided to pursue writing passionately. I graduated with my MFA in 2013, published a handful of short stories along the way, and signed with my literary agent, Annie Bomke, in 2019.
It’s been a long journey, and perhaps I’m a slow learner, but my book is finally on the cusp of publication.
What’s the best and worst thing about being a writer?
Telling stories is the best part of being an author. Getting the stories right is the worst thing. It takes a great, sustained, and collaborative effort to write anything of value.
What does your writing process look like?
Wait? Writers are supposed to have processes?
All jokes aside, my writing process is mostly an intuitive one. I have a situation and a character come to mind.
I start writing from that kernel and often delete multiple drafts before I stumble into the actual story.
I’m highly character focussed, and there is often a question I don’t know the answer to at the heart of every project.
What are you working on right now?
I’ve been deleting drafts of my sequel to the forthcoming novel about washed up detective partners. The question I’m exploring in this novel is why physical beauty matters to people.
What would you like to have achieved by the end of this year?
The speed of publication has a lot to do with this answer. My goal is to have 5,000 copies of my forthcoming novel presold.
If you could share just one piece of advice with other writers, what would it be?
Your book is an asset. Yes, it’s a piece of art, but unless you think of your book as an asset, you won’t have the mindset to sell it to its full potential, and what’s the point of writing stories if no one’s reading?
Finally, where can we check out what you’ve written?
Jody J. Sperling is the author of a forthcoming novel, THE NINE LIVES OF MARVA DELONGHI. He hosts THE RELUCTANT BOOK MARKETER, the only podcast for novelists exclusively on the marketing mindset needed to make a career out of writing.