Author Spotlight – J.R. Roper

As promised, here’s our spotlight with multi-award winning author, J. R. Roper! 

The Debut Collective is a supportive tribe of authors (both published and aspiring), editors, formatters, and cover designers working together to foster a new generation of stories and authors. We will be publishing 5 short story anthologies in June 2016.

We are pleased to share the following interview.


Please share a little about yourself and your background.

I live with my wife and two sons in West Michigan. I teach junior high social studies and love working with this age group. You’re probably thinking that I’m crazy, and you are correct. I’ve been writing since 2007 and my debut novel, The Hunter Awakens, was published in 2014 by CHBB Publishing.


Please share information on any published or upcoming books.

The first two books in the Morus Chronicles, a fantasy series for middle grade readers, have been published along with a short story collection.The Hunter Awakens Cover with Awards


Which Debut Collective anthology/anthologies will you be published in?

My story, Between Wolves and Monsters: A Houweling Series Short will be published in Act of Bravery.


Share a brief teaser or logline for your story/stories.

They expected an easy money maker, what they found was a ghost town.


Share an insight into your main character. What made you want to write a story from their perspective?

My main character, Dagan, works with his father as an exterminator in the western part of Annwen. They usually deal with bugs and rodents but take this job ridding the eastern field of wolves because the money is too good to pass up. This story is a prequel to a new series I’m working on. And the events of this story really influence Dagan, the protagonist of the series.


What genre(s) do you write and what draws you to that genre?

I write middle grade and YA fantasy mostly, but also have adult horror short stories published along with the occasional article. My personal essay, Over the Edge, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. I had a poem in an art exhibit. I love writing, so everything is fair game. My passion is for children’s fantasy mainly because that was my first love as a reader. Thank you J.K. Rowling.


Describe a typical writing day, or is there such a thing for you? Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day? Write in Scrivener, notebooks, or on cocktail napkins?

I usually write after my kids have gone to sleep. I find that weekly goals work better than daily goals and I still write with MS Word. I like to average 500 words per day when I’m in writing mode. I find it to be the most realistic number. It’s easy to get depressed when lofty goals aren’t met, so I am nice to myself.


Are you a plotter (outline plot) or a pantser (prefer to run with an idea)?

I write an overall story outline to start and then I outline scenes as I write them. This helps me work within a story structure but allows me to change as the story and characters dictate.


What book(s) are you currently reading or would you recommend?

I am trying to finish The Last Apprentice Series by Joseph Delaney and am on the second to last book, I Am Alice. I’m always reading articles and bits of books online. I really like Rayne Hall’s craft books and find myself reading sections of those often.


What is your favorite writing/reading related quote?

“Everyone has talent. What is rare is the courage to follow the talent to the dark place where it leads.” – Erica Jong


Tell us 5 random facts about you:

-I have performed a graveside service. No I’m not a pastor.

-I’ve been with my wife/bestie since 1999 when I was a freshman in high school.

-I love sour patch kids.

-Northern Michigan is like heaven.

-I had a stroke when I was 15 years old.


Does music influence your writing? If so, can you share a song that inspired your Debut Collective anthology story?

I always write to soundtrack music. Two Steps From Hell dominates my playlist.


What advice would you give to aspiring writers? How has participating in the collective and the anthology project inspired or pushed you creatively?

Fall in love with your story and characters but never fall in love with your words. Words will always need to be improved and murdering them should not be painful. This anthology project pushed me to delve deeper into one of my novel characters and write a story that really impacted them and informed the character.


How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Website or Blog:




Amazon Author Page:

Any other book links:


Thank you for participating! Please join us on Friday, 2/26, when the Debut Collective will feature editor and author, Elisabeth Kaufman.


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