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If you haven’t heard of Jacob Burrage, it will not be long before this author takes the literary industry by storm if he hasn’t already. Jacob is the Publisher & CEO of J. Burrage Publications, LLC and the author of Caught Up, a contemporary urban literature (fiction). He wrote the book in 2006. Its First Edition was published in November 2007, and the Last Edition in June 2010. The sequel to Caught Up, The Forbidden Lounge, will be released in July 2011.
One World Singles Magazine Blog had the opportunity to talk with Jacob. He took time out of his busy schedule to share his reasons for becoming a writer and offers some inspiring advice to would-be authors.
Q. Jacob, Please, tell our readers something about yourself.
A. Well, I am a simple young man. I was born and raised in Mississippi and I left when I was 18 to join the Army. After spending nearly 11 years in the services, I left in March 2010 and went full force with my writing and with the development of J. Burrage Publications, LLC. I started writing at around age 10 and been writing every since. In addition to contemporary fiction, I am also a science fiction writer.
Q. Who or what inspired you to become an author.
A. I can't really tell you what inspired me to write. I was an introvert growing up but my best way of communicating was by writing. I also had a very active imagination so as a child the best way to make that come alive was by writing. Besides, I couldn't draw to save my life so I had to have an artistic skill somewhere...;).
Q. Are your stories taken from current or past events?
A. Depends on the genre. My contemporary fiction takes place in the present day. My sci-fi work normally is set a few hundred years from now.
Q. Have you ever had writer's block, and if so, how did you overcome it.
A. Writer's block...hmm. I'm dealing with that right now in one of my projects I am currently working on. When I get writer's block, usually I just step away and try to refocus. I do that by listening to music and sometimes placing myself in an environment to help stimulate the flow again. But my best cure is just giving myself a break and just letting it flow because you can't force. A little known fact...music is a big influence in some of my non-sci-fi writing.
Q. As a writer, what challenges, if any, have you faced and how did you overcome them?
A. Time. Life has a way with going on its own course and sometimes priority shifts. When I was in the Army, just having the time and the drive to write was the biggest challenge I've had. I have dealt with it by rearranging some of my priorities because writing really does require a lot of time and energy.
Q. You have a company called J. Burrage Publications. How did this company come about and what type of service does your company provide?
A. JBP was formed in March 2007, a few months after I first wrote Caught Up. I started it because I didn't want to turn Caught Up over to another publisher and risk losing the full meaning and power of the story. Also, I wanted my own business and I figured I might as well make a business out of something that I love. Right now, because JBP is still in the early stages I am publishing my own work but I am looking to publish other authors in the near future.
Q. Your book, Caught Up, sounds intriguing. Could you please give our readers a synopsis of and an excerpt from the book?
A. Thank you. Here is the synopsis to Caught Up: Jeremiah Blackwood is a young, dark and very eligible bachelor who is trying to defy the odds of the stereotypical black man in the dirty south and overcome the small-town mentality that constantly threatens his success. Through hard work and determination, he honed his craft as a writer and began making his mark in the community when he met a caramel complexioned girl who could make Buffy the Body look like Miss Celie in The Color Purple.
She seemed so innocent the first time they met. Her beautiful brown eyes beckoned him into her lonely soul. Her smile was enticing, yet friendly. He knew she was the woman of his dreams. Much to his surprise, he found that not only was she far from perfect, but soon realized that she was involved in some things bigger than he could wrap his small mind around.
Q. Are you planning to write any more books in the near future?
A. Yes. I am currently writing the sequel to Caught Up. It's called The Forbidden Lounge. It should come out July 2011. I am also working on a collaboration project.
Q. What advice would you give someone who is thinking about writing a book?
A. First, if you think that by writing a book you will automatically become rich and famous...forget it. Writing the book is the easy part. Getting it out there is that hard part. It will take a lot of research and a lot of hard work. But it is a very rewarding feeling. So don't do it for the fame. Do it because it's what you really want to do, whether you want to entertain, inform, or just release. In other words, do it for the right reasons.
Second, don't get discouraged. You got to put your game face on in this world. It's just like the music industry. You might face rejection. You might get people to tell you that it is garbage. But you got to have that passion like this is a Pulitzer's Prize novel and somebody got to read it.
Third, research, research, and research again. There are a lot of agents and publishers who do not have your best interest. The publishing world is a business and what is the main goal of business? Money. If you step out in the publishing world without your game face and your guns, you just might get taken advantage of. Decide what is best for you. If you plan on going for a publisher, hire an agent (but make sure that agent is legitimate). Most of your big publishers won't even look at your work without one. If you choose to self-publish, make sure you know the ins and outs. I do not recommend going to those companies that allow you to self-publish, such as Xlibris. While such companies work for some, they are not true self-publishers. My personal rule of thumb: If they have to slap on their own ISBN then they are the publisher, not you. So all you did was pay a company to publish your book. If you do choose to self-publisher, look for a company that offer services. I personally offer services for self-publishers but that's what it is. There are no offer to publish. JBP will publish with no charge when the time is right.
Q. How can our readers and future authors get in touch with you?
A. I have several. You can email me at email@example.com. You can look me up on Facebook and Twitter. The username for both is JBBurrage. I'm on MySpace at jb39301. Caught Up has a fan page called Caught Up Fan Page. Also look up my fan page on Facebook at Jacob "JB" Burrage.
Q. Thank you for allowing us to talk with you. Do you have any words of wisdom?
A. You're very welcome. It was a great pleasure. All I can say is check out the book. It's hot! ;).