Interview with JD Estrada
Once I started digging into JD’s life, I was quickly enamored. First, he has twelve books published on Amazon. As a fellow indie author, I was impressed. Second, his author bio is friendly and personable. He’s an author who seems to enjoy connecting with his readers. Three, I’ve caught him interacting, answering, blogging, retweeting, and generally reaching out to his fans, readers, fellow writers, and admirers. Even though JD Estrada seems to be a complex person (read his bio below to see what I mean), and he writes in a variety of genres, he is simply put, an overall nice, approachable person. I am now a fan.
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About JD Estrada
After years working in advertising, JD Estrada decided there were better ways to write fiction. Born on August 13th, he shares birthdays with Alfred Hitchcock and Fidel Castro… an interesting coincidence since his mom is Cuban and he loves a good story.
Truth be told, he always dreamt about being an inventor, he just didn’t know he’d end up doing it using words. Where some people choose to invent new products, he has chosen to invent worlds through words.
In college, he studied psychology for 3 years before he realized that if he finished, he’d need a psychologist for himself. Not being too enticed by the whole full circle nature of that trajectory, he switched to Marketing, Advertising… and Psychology. He just couldn’t let it go.
An avid reader of Science Fiction and Fantasy, throughout his life, he’s always loved writing and connecting with people. Mind you, although he loves those genres, his reading tastes are as eclectic as his musical passions. So from rock to salsa to classical music, he also reads and writes in a variety of genres and is just as satisfied writing a review or a poem as he is in working on his next novel. His blog is called For Writing out Loud and on this blog he’s been able to connect to hundreds of fellow readers who share the passions of writing and connecting.
This obsession with the human aspect of who we are is deeply embedded in all his work and his first book is no exception. Though still starting its journey towards the top 100 Amazon books, Only Human is the first link within the Human Cycle, a three–book exploration of humanity through fiction.
He has also released the second installment of the Human Cycle, his first bilingual compilation of essays, poetry and short stories, his first Spanish poetry collection, and not one, but two non-fiction books. He is currently working on a sci-fi novella and recently finished a young adult adventure of a boy who dreams of flying. In addition, he consistently writes on the above–mentioned blog (jdestradawriter.blogspot.com) and rants with zest on Twitter via @jdestradawriter. He also has instagram and youtube if you want to see what he’s getting up to or what delicious cuppa tea he may recommend.
His favorite band is Pearl Jam, he was born in Puerto Rico, he bodyboards and to him, playing a guitar is as therapeutic as a notebook. So by all means, visit, say hi, and connect.
He hopes you are doing well and that you enjoy your visit to any of the literary planets he has lovingly crafted.
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Hi JD, thank you for agreeing to an interview. I’ve read your Amazon profile and it’s impressive. So you were born in Puerto Rico. Do you currently live in the states?
Hi, Joanie and thank you for having me and being kind enough to interview me and my deep thanks to Sandy for the love, support, and at least seven new types of awesomeness. Although home shall always be Puerto Rico, I currently reside in Atlanta, Georgia, which has been a very lovely city. Truth be told, I miss my home a lot, but Atlanta is a beautiful place to live in with a ton of things to do, conventions to attend, and concerts to rock out to (Seriously, you need a freelance job just to cover concert expenses).
I see from your author bio that you went to college for Marketing, Advertising, and Psychology. How have these three applications helped you write stories?
Well the fascinating thing of my major is that it allowed me to engage in such different information. That in itself is a godsend to someone like me because I thrive when I get new, random, and fascinating information. All three invite you to understand and look at human behavior and while psychology is mainly geared to understanding human behavior, marketing and advertising do the same but with the added intention of wanting to understand to influence. It’s a bit Machiavellian in that sense, because in advertising and marketing, we are meant to elicit a response through communication, which is exactly the same as you do with a story, except the medium is different and you’re based on strategy. With marketing, you come into contact with fascinating information of how companies thrive in places and you can easily appreciate the huge impact a small change can make. In marketing, a design change can make or break a product, while in a story, one edit can be the difference between a phrase hitting home and giving you all the feels or falling flat. With psychology, you learn to look at things from countless angles and to try and understand. In general, having a diverse educational background means I got to read all sorts of things, and that feeds into my stories. I like mash-ups, I love variety, I love mixing odd things and making them work in new and quirky ways.
You seem to be a born natural at connecting with people. Have you always been social?
That is very kind of you to say and you know how they say never talk to strangers, well I did that, but I still smiled. To me, it’s always been interesting to connect with people and although a lot of young people have grown up with the Internet, I know the difference of life without the Internet and dreaming about chatting with people and hearing phantom noises of “uh-oh” from my ICQ days. I enjoy connecting with people and in as many ways as I can. It’s something that has brought me a lot of joy and taught me to be smart with how I practice empathy, because a kind word at the right time can make all the difference. People don’t put much importance to words and I can’t disagree more. I know the value of a comment, of genuine encouragement, of telling people something positive but true about themselves. I love telling stories and to me one of the best ways to learn how to tell stories is to exchange stories with people and a lot of people often need a willing ear that won’t judge but will truly listen. Some people wait their turn to talk, others listen to immediately give an opinion, and although I could do either of those, I work hard to listen and only offer feedback when it’s asked or when I think it’s pertinent. Something that’s also been super important to me is to connect with people of all social strata, all races, all genders, all religions, and offer a friendly hello. I am a big believer in equality because I think in it is the solution to a LOT of problems. And if you ask me, equality begins by being kind and fair to any and everyone.
Since this issue is all about poetry, please tell us about yours. Does it come natural to you to put pen to paper and write a poem? Are there any plans for future books of poetry?
Ah my blessed poetry, without it I would have probably lost my marbles long ago. Poetry has been a go to coping mechanism since high school and if ever you question whether there is magic in words, you just need to find the right poem to learn how powerful and real that magic is. For me, paper to pen leads to happiness quite often, even when I write sad or angry things because I work hard to practice what I call emotional alchemy (you can read about this in my non-fiction book Peace, Love, and Maki Rolls). I’m also a big supporter of more people reading AND writing poetry and to be more free with it. It seems to me that way too many English professors frustrate students with poetry by either giving the same tried and true poets to discuss in class or by brutally grading papers.
Poetry to me is a very personal, very intimate and powerful thing. I hide a lot in poetry but reveal just as much. I treat each collection like an album though, meaning that the poems that are included in one collection NEED to make sense in that collection. If you read poems in Dark Strands, you know they’ll be dark and a bit elegant. If you read Black Tie Affair, you know you’ll read something that is more for adults and goes great with whiskey. By the same token, Captured Moments offers snapshots of life and some social commentary. Between the Tides, my first collection, has ups and downs and possesses an ebb and flow I enjoy reading to this day. My Spanish poetry collection is very personal and written mostly while waiting while mom went under the knife and me coping with the stress and angst. And Roulette of Rhymes is super varied, but somehow, all the poems make sense in the build-up to the epic 800-line poem The Madness of Jonathan J George.
If you also read my fiction, you’ll see I always sneak some poetry in there because I think it’s important and because I enjoy it. It’s liberating, it’s fun, and it’s a very me thing. There are most definitely plans for more poetry because it’s a very important part of who I am and I also enjoy going to comic cons to sell poetry and show that I am in fact a renaissance geek 🙂 As for those plans, I’m designing the interior for my first haiku collection, I’m writing another Spanish poetry collection reflecting on Puerto Rico and what it means as part of my identity. I’m also working on collections with sadness, hope, and love as their central themes. These may take a bit longer because I want to get each of them over 1,000 words and of course if other concepts for collections come about, I’ll start a new one if it feels like something different and worthwhile. In short, the next steps in poetry for me will probably be bigger, possibly explore full concepts, and Spanglish is definitely in the future as well. Anything is possible, but what is for sure is that poetry shall be part of my life as long as I live… and part of my mission is to convince people that poetry is just what their lives needed.
Thank you, JD. We wish you great success with all your endeavors.
Libros 787 – https://libros787.com/collections/ven…
EBooks – https://www.books2read.com/u/38gaMw
Books are also on Amazon: https://smile.amazon.com/JD-Estrada/e…
Website – www.jdestradawriter.blogspot.com
Twitter – www.twitter.com/JDEstradawriter
Instagram – http://instagram.com/jdestradawriter/
Google+ – https://plus.google.com/u/0/
Facebook page – www.facebook.com/JDEstradawriter
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/dash…
Soundcloud – https://soundcloud.com/j-d-estrada