Special Guest PJ Schnyder and a contest

I want to welcome a fellow OWG’er and Decadent Author to my blog today.  Please extend a warm welcome and a lot of comments for PJ.  There’s a contest too 🙂

Could you tell us a little more about your non-writing life?

The majority of my life outside my writing is taken up by the Day Job. LOL.

That’s not a bad thing, because I love what I do. My day job is challenging and dynamic, allowing me to travel and make an impact in lives. All of the travel gives me fun ideas for my writing too.

When I’m not working the day job, I’m very active in mixed martial arts. I study Muay Thai, Jun Fan/JKD and Kali.  I hope to get into a little Brazilian Jiu Jitsu soon too.

I’m also a bit of a gamer and otaku.

As you can see, my interests are widespread. As fun as it all sounds, there are some nights you’ll find me curled up in my reading chair surrounded by my 3 dogs and super sekrit ninja kitty.

Could you tell us a little more about your writing life?

The Triton Experiment series will be kicking off with Carina Press starting with the release of Hunting Kat in July 2011. It’s a sci fi romance featuring a kick ass heroine and an incredibly sexy alpha hero.

The Terra’s Guardians series was released last fall with Decadent Publishing. Heart’s Sentinel, Book 1 of the series, has also recently gone to print. It’s available via Amazon.com

Red’s Wolf, Book 2, is a novella length available in eBook format.

Do any of your novels have special stories involved in their writing?

Funny you ask. I recently wrote a brief blog post touching on this.

Hunting Kat has a prequel, the very first novel I ever completed from start to finish and it will never see the light of day.  😛

I began writing it in high school, taking inspiration from the brilliant personalities of the founding class of the NJ 932nd Air Force Junior ROTC. My original intent was to write hard science fiction surrounding the adventures of a group of cadets defending Triton Space Station from invaders.

Only two characters made it from the original novel into Hunting Kat. Kaitlyn is the heroine experiencing flashbacks due to the trauma she suffered during that time. Katzer is another character mentioned, in memory only, who did not survive the invasion.

Kaitlyn, and her story, grew and matured beyond the events of her past and the 932nd.  However, the horrors she experienced in the prequel will continue to echo throughout The Triton Experiment series.

Similarly, my writing evolved from hard sci fi  to the sci fi romance of Hunting Kat.  I have to admit back in high school I never would have thought I’d be writing romance. Now, I can’t imagine not.

Where and how do you get your ideas?

Plot bunnies, they are everywhere!

I might hear a random fragment of conversation, or see something during my day or read some tidbit online. If I see something in my travels, I try to take a picture of it to capture how my mind’s eye saw it as a story bit.

Are you an outliner or a pantzer, or like me, somewhere in between?

Both. I always try to start with an outline. Invariably as I’m writing a scene, the characters or dialog take a twist or turn and I’m pantzing it. Then I’ll tweak or redo the outline as I go.

The reason I maintain the outline is to have a high level view of my overall plot at the end, both to check for plot gaps and also to help with writing my synopsis.

I also practice component based authoring.

What’s your opinion on writer’s block?

It happens. When it does, I try to change up my mind set. I’ll go train in MMA or take a walk with the predators. I might take along, hot shower.

Sometimes I have to drop the project for the night and work on something else. I’ll come right back to it the next day though, or if I’m lucky, even the same night.

Do you ever base your things in your books on real life experiences?

The opening scene of Heart’s Sentinel was inspired by a real life experience. I wanted to take classes in Mixed Martial Arts and even though I was 28, I asked my father to come with me to check out the school. When we entered, an instructor greeted us and asked my father to sign a parental permission slip for me to take the trial class, having mistaken me for under 18. LOL. I was pretty intimidated that day, but the instructor made me laugh. It’s a fabulous feeling being mistaken for over a decade younger than your real age.

Are you currently working on any projects? Can you tell us about them?

I am working on several at the moment.

There’s the next book in the Terra’s Guardians series. It was fully drafted and then I took a look and realized it needed some heavy revision to make sure it could stand next to the other books in the series. I have to apologize to my readers because they’ve had a bit of a wait for it, but I want it to be a great story.

I’ve also got books 2 and 3 of The Triton Experiment lightly outlined and a draft novel kicking off a completely new urban fantasy/paranormal romance series in the works.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Find a great writing group, either local or online. Surround yourself with people who can give you honest feedback and help you to improve.

I interviewed awesome photographer, Kyle Cassidy, who said, “…there’s nothing quite like the motivation of being the only one in the room who hasn’t done something cool in the past 24 hours to keep you working and striving to be better.”


And the contest.  We’ll draw one lucky winner who will receive either a copy of either Heart’s Sentinel or Red’s Wolf.  All you have to do to enter is leave a comment and a way for us to contact you.  We’ll draw the winner next Sunday the 13th.





You can find my author bio here:
Contact links are here:
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30 Responses to Special Guest PJ Schnyder and a contest

  1. Dan Redding says:

    Hey there! I am a good friend of Julie’s and I had a question (to which the internets seem completely ignorant); what is a pantzer? I know what a panzer is but the only thing I can find about pantzer is it’s being a name (and I can’t believe Chrome is telling me panzer is not a word). Anyways, I am really curious, thanks!!!

  2. Cdnwmn says:

    Great interview, really enjoyed it. I always enjoy reading about other ‘TomBoys’ who still love being a woman. 😉 Can’t wait for Hunting Kat! 🙂

  3. PJ Schnyder says:

    Hi Dan, a “pantzer” in our jargon is a person who writes by the seat of their pants rather than outlining their scene first.

    Thank Cdnwmn 🙂

  4. Mona Fuqua says:

    Nice interview. Appreciate the shared knowledge on component based authoring. Totally off topic have you considered competing professionally in MMA?

    If you could have one of the “gifts” your characters have what would it be?

  5. Sally A Wolf says:

    Great interview I really enjoyed it as always keep up the good work. I have a question for the author her life seem very hectic how does she find the time to write at all?

    • Hi Sally! thanks for dropping in. I imagine PJ gets her writing in the same way I do… I just make it a priority because it has to happen.

      She does sound like she has a lot on her plate doesn’t she 🙂


    • PJ Schnyder says:

      Hi Sally,

      Julie is quite right. I make it a priority. I also leverage a lot of time in transit on airplanes or waiting at the gate in airports.



  6. An says:

    What drew you to martial arts and why so many? (Great interview and lovely pic, btw.)

  7. Oh, my, I just love incredibly sexy alpha heroes! Can’t wait to read about yours…

  8. Wonderful interview! Makes me want to get back into martial arts, myself. 😉

    You know, Julie, it sounds like ALL authors have a lot going on aside from writing, lol. I admire the dedication and passion that you all put into your writing, though! 😀 Not to mention I’m greatly thankful for the subsequent reading!

  9. Ha! Cool quote from Kyle Cassidy (say that three times fast). Would love to be entered to win a book. 🙂 Great interview, guys.

  10. HunnyDanez says:

    Nice interview! I am enjoying getting to know a lot of the OWG members and their works!

  11. Vivi Dumas says:

    Great interview PJ. Can’t wait for Hunting Kat. I need to find some of your writing persistence and pick back up my laptop. (p.s. Don’t enter me in contest, already have both books. Just stopping by to say hello.)

  12. Gareth says:

    LOL, great post, I think the writing style is more Jog Pantzer. Enough of a form to give you shape but comfy enough to allow free movement. LOL. Great interview, as always a joy to read.

  13. Rachel says:

    Cool stuff! It’s fascinating to read about what inspires you.

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