Everyone’s writer journey is different because what drives each person is different. Some people love honing their skills in a specific genre or style, some might love spending years developing an intricate world or worlds, and some might love to push themselves in other ways.
As an indie author, the freedom to pursue whatever creative adventure you want is one of the most liberating experiences ever, and for me, pushing myself in many genres aligns with my personality and is me being my most genuine. As of today, I’ve published twelve books. These include:
- Six poetry collections with a wide range of feels, styles, and even lengths, one of them even being in Spanish.
- Two urban fantasy novels (Only Human and Shadow of a Human) that are my exploration of what it means to be human while chasing after angels, demons, vampires, plant people that are called photogeni, and therians (never call them werewolves).
- A bilingual collection called Twenty Veinte, which includes short stories, poetry, and essays in English and Spanish with a rhyming bilingual poem in the middle.
- Two non-fiction books: Peace, Love, and Maki Rolls and For Writing Out Loud. The first is a guide to creative kindness, and a certain brilliant indie author described the other as a daily reader for positivity and motivation.
- A middle-grade fantasy short story collection that take place in the world of dreams and is called the Daydreams on the Sherbet Shore. The stories within have been described as whimsical, modern-day bedtime stories, and I actually kind of love that description.
For my thirteenth book, I’m releasing my first full-length middle-grade fantasy about a kind boy who dreams about flying, and its name is Given to Fly. For this book, there are a couple of things that were taken into account, but one of the most important details is that the book does not have violence of any form. Maybe I delved into a bit of ultra-violence in my other books, or maybe it’s a response to what we see in the news every day, but it was very important for the book to be kind, fun, and uplifting—not the easiest thing but a very rewarding effort.
As you can see, I’m kind of a fan of variety. Some people might think there’s a lack of focus on my part, but the reality is that if you see my music history on Spotify and the books and movies that I enjoy, you can see I’m just expressing who I am. The beauty of it is that I have fans in several genres and people who only read my poetry, or my fiction, or my non-fiction. The main thing I promised myself a long time ago is that I wouldn’t limit myself creatively, and I’ve stayed true to this promise, which has been incredibly rewarding for several reasons. For one, the only limits that exist for me are the ones I impose. Secondly, I get to know myself in so many ways by tapping into different themes, styles, genres, and writing skills. It’s a very curious experience because you keep discovering more parts of who and how you are, and although not always easy, it is very rewarding.
How you approach a poem is very different from an essay, a short story, and a novel. How much or how little you plot is up to you, and for me, I’m a fan of trying different methods to tap into different parts of my soul well. Inspiration also has a knack for arriving at different moments and in different ways. While The Human Cycle came about almost like a self-imposed dare, the epiphany for Given to Fly came while I was on the Soarin’ ride at Epcot Center. The entire inspiration for the novel had eluded me and then in one two-and-a-half minute ride, my senses came in contact with things that triggered lightning, and I had a bottle waiting.
I got off the ride in tears of joy with my idea in hand, and then I began the process of outlining, of asking myself what parts of my childhood I wanted to delve into, what adventures I wanted to have, who I wanted to meet, and what things in my life inspire feelings of floating. Some of the answers I got to that question were music, food, inner peace, and other random things…and how I translated each of those into a fantasy setting was incredibly fun. Think about it, have you ever tasted something SO good that you’re almost at risk of floating off blissfully? Okay, now take that moment and think of the most random whimsical way of expressing that, and that was just part of the process while writing Given to Fly.
Writing is a liberating thing to most of us, and it can be for you. It all begins by being more focused on crafting something that’s true to you and that you’ve never written before. Rather than trying to impress someone, focus on entertaining yourself, and push yourself. Be a harsh editor, a kind brainstormer, plot or pander, but be true to you. I have, and I can’t recommend it enough, because at the end of the day, what I write makes me smile, and if you can achieve that, trust me, you’ll make at least one other person smile—and that’s how it all begins for us.
JD’s Latest Release
John Rivers is a kind and imaginative 11-year-old who is about to learn that magic not only exists, but is closer than he thinks. As much a dreamer as he is curious, John comes across a house that defies logic while embracing the amazing. Influenced by Hayao Miyazaki, Peter Pan, and dreams of flight, Given to Fly is a book full of heart that skips the violence in favor of the fantastical.
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 writing his next novel. One of his blogs 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.
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.
Blog/Website: For writing out loud – The Blog & Website of Author JD Estrada – Writing frees my mind. Feel free to share the ride.
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