J.B. Vample is an author who fell in love with the written word at a young age. While in her final year of high school, she came up with the concept of her new adult fiction series, The College Life. After years of writing only for herself, J.B. published her debut novel College Life 101: Freshman Orientation in 2015. Since then, she has written and published the other eight installments of TCLS. Her latest contemporary romance standalone, Right as Reign, is her tenth novel. Currently residing in Philadelphia, J.B. continues to write while managing her career as an indie author.
1.) Tell us a little about yourself.
Well, I’ve been writing since I was a child thanks to my overactive imagination. Writing has always been something that I genuinely enjoyed doing. It was a hobby that allowed me to express myself. From middle school through high school I wrote poems, countless journal entries, short stories, and even a few full manuscripts. At the age of seventeen I created my now published College Life Series, though at the time I didn’t think it would ever be published. I wrote it because I wanted to read something that I, as a young Black woman who was getting ready to go to college, could identify with. It was for me and me alone. It wasn’t until I hit my mid-thirties, did I realize that my hobby was actually my gift. I decided then to finally make a career out of doing the one thing that I always loved. I published the first book of my series in December 2015 and six years later, I am now the author of ten published books.
2.)Tell us what your book, Right as Reign, is all about.
Right as Reign is a contemporary novel about a woman who suffers a blow to her personal life yet restores her happiness in an unexpected way: by falling for the one man she convinced herself she could not have. This is a friends-to-lovers romance story with compelling Black characters that also deals with family dynamics, friendships, frenemies, and personal growth. A beautiful story if I do say so myself.
3.) What was the inspiration for this book?
First, let me start by saying that I hadn’t planned on writing a new novel so soon after finishing my series. I didn’t even think that I could, honestly. But this story hit me out of nowhere during the summer of 2020. Consuming me so much that I had to drop everything and write it. I was inspired by the fact that this is a story about finding true happiness in spite of personal obstacles, while also highlighting Black love.
4.) What is the most challenging obstacle you faced writing your novel?
I’d have to say the most challenging obstacle was pushing myself as a writer. I went from writing a nine-book teen/new adult coming of age series, to writing a romance novel. A standalone novel with brand new characters who were already established adults, and with certain scenes requiring more…ahem, detail, which was new for me. Trying to ensure that the story and characters were fully developed throughout, while keeping good pacing, engaging dialogue, and completing said story in one book, without having it feel rushed—I’ll thank my total disregard for genre word count rules for that—Yes, this was definitely different for me. But in all honesty, I loved writing this book. So, while it was a challenge, it was a welcomed one.
5.) Who is your favorite character?
I’d have to say the heroine herself, Reign Price. I identify with her on many levels, and it was a joy telling her story.
6.) What was one thing you learned about yourself while writing this book?
Stepping out of my comfort zone helps me grow as a writer.
7.) Describe your book in one line.
A heartfelt, emotional love story with the perfect mix of drama and lighthearted moments.
8.) Why did you choose to self-publish your book?
I decided to self-publish this book just as I had the others before it because I love the control that comes with being an independent author. Noone can tell me what to write, when to release a book, what my cover should look like, how many words, etc. I have complete control over every aspect. More importantly, my success is not contingent upon someone in the traditional industry deeming my book “good” enough to publish. I know that it is. Also, I can write my books with my compelling Black characters without having to center the story around Black trauma, because that’s “what’s selling”. No, I, and other Black authors can and do tell amazing stories in all genres without shining a spotlight on racial trauma. I get to share my work with the world without being put in a box. I get to do things my way.
10.) Where can our readers find you on social media?
Readers can find me on the following social media platforms:
Facebook: Author J.B. Vample
11.) Please share your website with our readers.
Sure, my author website is https://jbvample.com/
Audra Russell is a blogger, freelance writer, and published author. She holds two undergraduate degrees in journalism as well as a Master of Science degree in Education. She also completed the Wesleyan University online Creative Writing Specialization course series.
She is an avid reader and writer’s advocate. Her passion for promoting the works of up-and-coming authors inspired her to create her podcast, Between the Reads, as well as her website, Read It Black to Me. Her debut novel, BLOOD LAND, was published on August 29, 2020, as her fiftieth birthday gift to herself. She lives in Maryland with her husband of more than 20 years, her 3 amazing children, a 12-year-old perpetual puppy, two dueling cats, and her lone surviving chicken of 8 years who she affectionately renamed Gloria (she will survive!)