I have “met” so many wonderful writers through communities on Facebook. Froemling is no exception to that. I love hearing about the process for prolific writers! Especially candid, and detailed ones. So settle back, this is a great one!
How did you know you had this series in you?
I come from an online gaming world. It’s like improv with writing. I write as a character and someone else writes as a character. We go back and forth. Well, I have written easily 40 novels worth of material that way. So when I decided to strike out on my own with writing (which is really an adventure in writing with my husband), I knew I could write more than just a single book’s worth of material.
I’m not sure I am great at the “serial” format because I don’t like perpetually ongoing stories. I want them to end at some point. So all of my stories are broken into novels. They have a beginning and an end.
Why did you choose to use a series format?
Accountability. The idea that someone is waiting to pay me for the next chapter pushes me to produce the next chapter. Series format works well with how I started writing, which I call roleplay.
It is daunting to try to think of an entire novel, all the characters, and little details all at once. With a novel, and people who plan, all of that is done before you even start writing. Outlines, character sketches, side notes, vision boards.
I’m a pantster. I don’t plot, or plan, if I can avoid it. I like to just sit down and write. It’s much easier to write 1500-3000 words in a sitting, with only focusing on what needs to happen in that tiny segment.
I’m usually this way, too. But, I’m trying something new with a WIP and plotting out some subplots. They are still these short scenes like you mention, and there is flexibility in where to put them as the story calls for them.
When I’m roleplaying, it’s all responsive/improv, so I have to wait for them to post to respond. So I get instant feedback, it’s fast paced, and it’s a wild ride.
But writing a serial lets me play all the roles how I want, and still get that fast feedback. It’s like writing teeny tiny novels that all connect together to make the big novel.
I’m in it for the recognition and praise. I want people to love my stories as much as I do.
That is honestly a large part of it. Though, I like to get paid, too.
What is your greatest challenge in writing?
Tense. I like to write in the present tense, first person. That is so I can pretend I am the character. But I really write whatever tense strikes me at the moment and spend HOURS fixing it. Ben, my husband, teases the hell out of me about it.
I empathize with Ben, my husband writes like you do. lol
Followed by isms. “A little”, “a bit”, “though”, “So..”, “and then” “of a noise” are some of my big offenders. I have them all listed in Pro Writing Aid to flag them.
It’s good to recognize these. “Just” and “Then” are two of mine.
What surprised you in the writing process?
How much I hate editing. I just want to be creative, write it out, and share it. Having to sit down and read through it with a critical eye to improve it drives me crazy and makes me grouchy pants.
I have no idea why. I love all my stories and could read them over and over. It’s just something about doing the ‘grown-up’ work of writing that makes me sulk.
“makes me sulk” I love this description!
Is there something that you found particularly helpful?
Using the speech tool in Scrivener to read my chapter/episode out loud to me. I write the chapter, spell check it, edit in pro writing aid, edit in word, and then put it back into Scrivener. I have the tool read it out loud to me to find weird wording, missed words, or incorrect words that editing tools will not get.
It greatly improved everything when I started doing it. It also gives me an idea how long it will take a user to read said chapter/episode.
You are not the first author to mention a technique like this. I need to try it.
I know we tend to write what we know, but did you need to do research for this book?
I have done research on all my books. Even with writing what I know.
For Mistress Giselle, and The Naughty List I had to research laws and origin dates of things that didn’t exist in 1978-1986. For example. Boxers weren’t a thing until late 1985. Or how, without cell phones how people communicated. The different mentalities and mindsets, types of cars, and the list goes on and on.
For Savannah Nights I did research on all the various underworld creature rules to create my own list of rules on how each one behaves. Like vampires not being allowed to cross a threshold uninvited. Or a demon cannot possess you without a contract. Or werewolves being allergic to wolfsbane and silver. Do the wolves turn you when they bite? Or do we follow the whole “mark your mate” trope?
For Fall of Avalon I spent a lot of time researching folklore, fairytales, and mythology. Verifying what is in public domain, and what is copyrighted. Since the book is a menagerie of fictional characters and historical figures it was important. Also, I had to research actual wars. Since the books tie into real world events to explain parts of the story, I want to make sure I get dates and times correct.
My Viking Alpha even had research. Viking culture, time travel theory, and witchcraft practices/beliefs.
If so, what was the coolest or most surprising thing you learned?
That is really tough. I love learning all sorts of cool things. I think, probably, that Vikings left all the finances and “business” decisions to women. They thought it was witchcraft and that women were better suited to it.
I forgot that the woman handled the money, I knew that once.
This is followed quickly by learning about when VHS played a big part of the porn industry, and how porn movies are made. Hope-Marie gets wrapped up in the industry briefly, so it was important to get the “behind the scenes” aspects right.
Another funny thing I learned in the entire writing process is that my husband has a steamy hot imagination and some of the explicit scenes are definitely spiced up from his nuances as much as my own.
Side benefit there!
What else can you describe in your writing process?
I write with my husband. We talk through scenes, act out scenes, and he often provides the male voice in the story. I put a little piece of me, and him, into all our characters. There are whole scenes written from experiences we have had.
For example, in The Triple Six, there is a chapter titled ‘Don’t Look At Your Watch’. It’s a hilarious chapter about getting to school on time and Billy not understanding the importance of how long it takes a teenage girl to get ready in the morning. It was spawned from one of my cello competitions in high school. I was freaking out about my solo performance and my mother looked at her watch. I lost my cool and screamed “Don’t look at your watch!” It’s kind of a funny jab at each other today, but it inspired the scene between Billy and Shelley in the book.
How do you know your piece is ready to be shared/complete?
Truth. It’s NEVER ready. I was so nervous when I released The Triple Six that I kept finding things wrong just to not release it. Ben finally took my laptop from me and pushed the go button. Writing is organic. It will always grow and change as I grow and change.
I believe in ever-pursuing personal growth. Even now, looking back at The Triple Six, I wish I had stuck to my preference of first person for one character, present tense. And that maybe I went more into the biker gang part of it. I am not the same writer I was six months ago. No one is, and if they feel they are, they aren’t pushing themselves to get/do better.
But here is the great thing… updates are allowed. It’s not like I carved it in stone. I can make changes and fix things after the fact.
This was one of the most important lessons that I had to learn about writing.
Who is your expected audience?
I thought my target audience was women from about 30-40 in age. But I have found that some men enjoy my stuff far more than women.
I write pretty explicit romance, so that might be it. Since Ben and I write it together, it often gets both a male and female perspective
I have had a few people who have issues with explicit scenes complain to me about not putting trigger warnings into the episodes because the sex offends them, but the violence and gore does not. So I thank them for reading, and clearly tell them it is labeled 18+, steamy, and romance. If you are reading any kind of romance novel (outside of Christian) there is an implicit warning that it is 18+, it’s the purpose of the genre. Novels do not put trigger warnings in the chapters, and I would probably stop reading a book if it did. It rips the reader out of the immersion of the story.
Who has been your strongest supporter?
Ben, my husband. He has been there from the moment I said I wanted to try, supporting me. He has not complained one little bit about me spending all the money on my ads, software, and whatever else, instead of Magic cards.
He listens to all my stories as I work through them. He helps me act them out. He comes up with ideas he wants to see in them. He loves the characters and stories as much as I do.
He holds me and reassures me when I cry about not being good enough. Or when I get a terrible rating/review. Reminds me that I am good enough. That people do love my stories, and that he is so proud of me getting published.
He literally took my first books and showed them off to his whole family.
Awwww, that’s sweet!
If you could have any author (alive, dead, or fictional) read your book, who would you like to read it?
Oh man. Maya Angelou. She’s my childhood hero. I know, I’m weird. But she was the bomb! She was strong, smart, funny, and just one of the coolest people alive.
Probably followed by Diana Gabaldon. Or Nora Roberts. Or Jim Butcher. Hell, I think it’s cool that other authors on Vella read my stuff at all. Okay, who am I kidding, I think anyone other than my husband or family reading them is cool.
Lol, that’s true. Hmmm, I don’t know Jim Butcher, I need to look him up.
What author, or book, or series most influenced you?
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. I started reading it when it came out in 1991. I fell in love with it. I related to Claire immediately (we share a birthday) and I absolutely love everything about that book series. I told myself that some day I would be the next Diana Gabaldon.
Something else you can share with us, that helps the reader see you as a “real” person (favorite type of cookies, something from your bucket list, favorite book as a child,…)
I had gotten divorced in 2014, then went through the rebound shenanigans and had become “man vegan” to get my life in order. I literally said those words not more than a month before the rest of this took place.
I met my husband at Gen Con 2015, a board gaming convention. Two weeks prior to the convention, my sister calls me and has me go visit her. She and her husband teach me how to play the game, Marvel Legendary by Upper Deck. They then tell me they have entered me into the $10,000 tournament at Gen Con. I’m like..alright. No big deal.
Day of the tournament rolls around and I am kicking ass and taking names. In the third round, I get paired up against Ben. I beat the pants off of him! Well, fate made it so his brothers weren’t with him (they are uber close), so after the round we both had the same OCD about putting the game back together. Then he wanders over to the waiting area with me where we start talking about our jobs.
At the time we were both software engineers. My mother was standing between us. She’s only five feet tall. I’m five nine, and Ben is six two. Anyway. She wanders about ten feet behind him and turns to face me, giving me the thumbs up.
I ended up placing 22nd and Ben 11th out of everyone. I won $25 and was the top-placing woman in the tourney. But the best thing I won was a date with Ben. We laughed and talked. Then had two more dates during the convention. After which, we decided to give a long distance relationship a try.
We got engaged (at Disneyland in front of the castle) in 2017 after I completed the Star Wars Half Marathon.
We were married in 2018 and are blissfully happy together.
I love this story!
What else is important to share about your book?
Oh gosh! I have so many books. So.. I will share about the series instead.
The Wolfe Legacy started as a talk game between my husband and I. We told the story of John Wolfe and his twelve children, starting in the early 1940s and going into the near future. Ben, my husband, would play his characters and I would play mine. It’s improv acting in a story-telling format. When I decided to write the stories we agreed to start with Hope-Marie Wolfe (#8 of the kids) because her story sang to both of us. It is currently slated to be a four, maybe five, book series within the larger set (Mistress Giselle, A Devil’s Hope, The Hope Foundation, and Queen of the Southside). Mistress Giselle was a rom-com with steam, kink, and mobsters. Set in the late 1970s.
From there, we wrote about Elijah Joseph Wolfe (#7 – goes by Joe) because he and Maman are mentioned in Mistress Giselle. And I got the funny idea of a Christmas-themed caper for him to solve. He is a beat-cop turned police detective that later becomes smoking hot, mc-dirty pants SWAT in Kansas City, Missouri. It also gave me a chance to write Elle, his main squeeze as a female version of Joe.
Savannah Nights is an underworld game Ben and I created for our online writing communities. It has vampires, werewolves, dragons, fae, witches, and divine beings. It basically takes everything in the paranormal world to mash them up together. We chose to start with the Triple Six, a werewolf biker bar, because I really wanted to explore the relationship between an underworld creature (Billy) and his fated mate, a human (Shelley). The Triple Six is an origin story of how Billy and Shelley became prominent figures in Savannah, Georgia’s underworld community. It explores relationships, bikers, and werewolves. It also opens the door to explore the rest of the universe. We have several books slated for this series. The Accord, talking about the contract between all the underworld creatures and humans is coming out later this year. As is Night Rangers, focusing on the human paranormal military arm of the group. Poltergeist Girl, following one of the prominent hunting families that joined The Accord in Savannah.
Immortal Love Saga will be three books, My Viking Alpha, My Celtic Luna, and Eternal Mates (working title). It was originally supposed to be satire. A very tongue and cheek poke at paranormal romance. Then Ben tricked me into making it a real story! It’s the epic journey of Lily and Rolf, fated mates. It has werewolves, Vikings, witches, and time travel. It was my Nanowrimo project in 2021, and has been great fun to write.
Chronicles of Nodd is my baby. It started back in 2012/2013 on one of my writing communities. We told stories as if we were fairytale characters trapped in the 1960s London scene. Well, it has massively evolved to be transformed into a set of novels. So I decided to tell the story of the rightful ruler of the kingdom of Nodd (where all the stories live). Take every story you have ever read, and assume what you know about that story is wrong. Then mash that up with how what happens in Nodd affects our world, and vice versa.
When can we expect more from you?
Right now. I am constantly producing. My goal is to publish a book a month. Lofty, I know. But so far, so good. I definitely start a new Vella each month.
Where can we find your book?
https://amazon.com/kindle-vella/tags/jrfroemling are all my vellas!
https://amazon.com/author/jrfroemling has all my eBooks and print books.
https://laterpress.com will also have all of my library as I get it uploaded.
Where can we find you?
is the best way to get all my information, books, events, social media, and so on. I am most active on facebook.