Coffee chat with sci-fi author J. I. Rogers


Joining me today in my virtual café is sci-fi author, J. I.Rogers who is a green-eyed, ginger-haired, caffeine addict currently working on ‘The 942 Series’ of science fiction novels.

When not acting as a conduit for the voices in her head, J. I. Rogers is busy being an artist or indulging her inner child with boondoggles that lead to eye-strain and tinnitus. She lives in the wilds of British Columbia, Canada, with her husband and their collection of movies, books, computers, games, and cats.

Please raise your coffee/tea mug as you welcome her to my blog.

D L: Firstly, since this is a coffee chat, how do you have your coffee (or not as has been the case)? And what is your favourite time of the day to partake?

J. I. ROGERS: I like my coffee fresh ground, black, or with a tiny bit of honey. I can drink it hot or cold, and at any point in the day— sips coffee and grins.

D L:  Self publishing is hard enough without being bombarded with so many conflicting pieces of advice. It's easy to say 'don't listen to anything', but that's not helpful because most writers are still learning or perfecting their craft. How do you make the decision to listen to or ignore a piece of writing/promotion advice, especially if this advice is from other authors?

J. I. ROGERS: That’s a good question. I’m lucky, I’m old, and I’ve already run the insecurity gauntlet as an artist – I’m still a bit neurotic, but I have much thicker skin than I did when I was twenty. I can admit the fact that I don’t know everything and I love it when I find something that helps me improve.

As to advice? I listen to what the person has to say, and if it resonates, I’ll read a chapter (or more) of their work and compare their style to mine and see if I can learn from it (or if they follow their own advice). It’s important not to fear what people have to offer, just examine it from a detached position and assess how useful it is. If it makes you mad or hurts your feelings is it because it’s just criticism or because it’s hit on something? Did the person offer it because they want to tear you down, or because they honestly feel it will help? Always check for the constructive elements in any advice. Ignore critiques that don’t point out positive elements in your work as well as areas for improvement.

Regarding promotion advice, I prefer to know who I’m dealing with so I can avoid any hidden agendas. Small groups, personal exchanges at Cons, book signings, etc., are my cup-o-joe. I ventured past my comfort zone earlier in the year; I signed on with a book giveaway promotion and got a massive mailing list from it, but I’ve had misgivings about using it. When I submitted my title and the $$, I assumed that my book would be one of the items listed in the giveaway. Only the person who put it together was included in the bundle of well-known authors. My name appeared in the ‘this collection is sponsored by’, but my name without a title means nothing – numbers mean nothing if people regard your mailings as spam and tag it as such. I consider that lesson learned, so it wasn’t a failure.

D L: You've plotted 8 novels for 'The 942 Series'. Do you find it difficult to stay focused on one series? What do you do to keep yourself motivated?
J. I. ROGERS: No, this story seems to have found the compulsive part of me, and I’m in it for the long haul. When I’m stuck, I skip ahead or go back on the timeline and fill in details there, or go do something artistic.

I’ll let you in on my secret - I’m writing the entire series at once. Books two through five emerged while I was writing book one; there were too many storylines to put into one book. The remaining three contain snippets that didn’t fit into the earlier books. My newsletter will contain my short stories and those range all over the timeline.

D L: So many dystopian book covers are sepia in design. What was the inspiration behind your book cover?
J. I. ROGERS: Genetics and genetic engineering play a major role in book one and I wanted an image that evoked a higher-science feel while being slightly menacing… plus I like colour. Each subsequent cover will feature a silhouette, a number, but a different image and colour in the background.

The beta cover designs on my website are all sepia, and I almost went with them before I noticed the trend. I think we can blame Fallout 3, any number of post-apocalyptic movies, and aged photographs of better times for that phenomena.

D L: Science is important to science fiction. When and where did your interest in science begin, and does it play a part in your normal, daily life?

J. I. ROGERS: I have always been interested in science; I was one of a handful of girls that took chemistry, physics, and biology straight through grade twelve. I’d considered a career in medicine, but my better angels shook some sense into me when I went for a tour of the hospital I’d be training in. I abandoned that path and went to art school to train as an animator instead.

As far as playing a role in my daily life goes – my cooking could be considered a form of alchemy, and I like to keep up with the latest tech and discoveries.
D L: And lastly, are you a biscuit or cake kind of person? And what is your favourite biscuit/cake?

J. I. ROGERS: Do I have to choose? I am a comfortably upholstered individual; my physique has been lovingly crafted by sampling both biscuits and cake… No? You’re going to make me choose? Ok. A good coffee-flavoured cake, to go with my coffee.

D L: Thanks so much for dropping by. J. I. Rogers also runs a newsletter  that's a little different to many newsletter you may see in your inbox which are author updates primarily  in the body of the emails. For a start this newsletter has an amazing cover.


"As if being born Diasporan wasn’t enough, Technician Nash Korpes had the bad luck to resemble his Tyran ancestors almost identically in both form, and manner. These traits, though highly prized by the special projects division at the shadowy Korlune Military Research and Development, mark him as a specter from their warlike past. With only his intellect holding his sanity in place, he wages a private war against the entire socioeconomic status quo and begins to uncover the truth that threatens them all."



Newsletter – “Tamyrh Quarterly”:


  1. Replies
    1. You're very welcome. I forgot to sign up to your newsletter. I want one!!


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