Portland News

April 15, 2024

Going Deep with J. Denison Reed, the Mastermind Behind ‘Clifford’s War’

Going Deep with J. Denison Reed, the Mastermind Behind 'Clifford's War'
Photo Courtesy: J. Denison Reed

By: Michael Beas – Atlas Elite Publishing

We’re excited to talk with J. Denison Reed, the bestselling, award-winning author behind the breakout thriller series ‘Clifford’s War’. Reed’s protagonist, Clifford Dee, really illustrates his ability to create characters that engage readers on every level, whether they are reading ‘Clifford’s War: Without End’ or ‘Clifford’s War: The Bluegrass Battleground’. In this interview, Reed talks about his creative process, challenges, inspiration, and the importance of community.

How do you handle writer’s block or moments of creative struggle?

Take a break. Listen to music, read, watch TV, or go for a walk or a drive. There have been plenty of times when I wanted to write but had a mental drought. I would concentrate on something else and allow the ideas to marinate. Sometimes that is all you need.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors who are just starting out?

Set writing goals. Develop one character, write one scene, or research one topic. As you get used to doing that, expand on it. Eventually, you will develop good habits and find yourself in a routine. Keep writing. If something isn’t working out, move on to the next scene. Rewrites are just as important as initial drafts. No baseball player won a game with their first swing at bat, and no writer creates the perfect novel on their first draft. You have to practice and tweak your skills to make it work. Keep going!

How do you engage with your readers and build a community around your books?

Most writers dive into social media to connect with readers, but it is very saturated and difficult to gain traction. By all means, use social media, but do not limit yourself there. Reach out to your local library and donate your books to them. Contact bookstores and ask to do events. Reach out to coffee shops and other brick-and-mortar stores with a physical presence and ask if you can sell your books. Join farmer’s markets or other multi-vendor events. Some writers even give away samples or entire books to engage readers. Not everyone reads, and not every reader will enjoy your genre, so be patient with people. Don’t compete with your fellow writers – help them. Readers do not stick to one brand. Helping other writers will help yourself as well.

Are there any upcoming projects or future books you can tell us about?

My current work in progress is a prequel to the first Clifford’s War novel, The Bluegrass Battleground. It follows the life of the Tye Brothers and how they survived a sadistic and abusive father  living in foster care and became notorious killers for Bandoni’s Mafia family. I wanted it to be darker and more of a psychological thriller.

How do you approach research for your novels, especially when it comes to military or historical aspects?

Without a travel budget and still working full time, I have to rely on internet research or reading other stories and conversations with others on their experiences for references.

Download J. Denison Reed’s Bestselling Series today!

Published by: Holy Minoza

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