Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Debut Author June Bliss is no Stranger to the World of Media

Today, we welcome June Bliss to The Diamond Mine. With experiences ranging from interning and working for Nickelodeon to becoming a freelance copy writer and production manager and more, it's little wonder she's ventured into the role of author as well. Her first novel, Starfish Street, was published last summer.

Suzie: With your hands in so many different things—multi-media projects, writing screenplays, freelance copywriting, and developing television show ideas—what is your strategy for staying on top of your different projects?

June: Wow! When I read that all in one sentence it does seem like my work could be overwhelming, but it's really not. Basically I have two types of work -- contract jobs that pay me and writing something that hopefully I can sell one day. The jobs that are attached to a paycheck have to take priority over succumbing to my wandering imagination. Oh, reality!

Suzie: Your internship and subsequent job were with Nickelodeon. What are you most proud of from that experience?

June: Yes, I have always been extremely thankful for settling on my internship at Nickelodeon because it led to my first full-time job after college. I became the production manager on SpongeBob SquarePants by the time I was 25 and that made me feel pretty accomplished.

Suzie: As someone whose internship turned into a job, did you ever find yourself floundering after college like your main character, Maggie?

June: I've always known what I've wanted to do, but there have been plenty of times when I have had to figure out ways to secure temporary employment in order to keep the long term plan in place. There was only one month after college (that seemed like an eternity at the time) when I was searching for a job before I received the offer from Nickelodeon. Thankfully I was able to work at Nickelodeon for some stability after college. Since I've been freelancing I certainly haven't always had stability or a constant flow of jobs, which can make me feel like I'm floating around in the ocean like a flounder. Despite my temporary feelings I can always see the light at the end of the tunnel. I suppose all creative types need this ability in order to persevere.

Suzie: Which of your own personality traits made it to your characters?

June: Hmm... let's see. I do make a concerted effort not to make any one character seem like me, but surely I do share some traits with many characters. I have the tendency to daydream like Maggie, make a joke like Lorraine and tend to strangers or newcomers like Mable.

Suzie: Who are your favorite authors? Which authors have influenced your own writing?

June: I like C.S. Lewis and Jack London. I can't say that they have influenced the writing of Starfish Street because the story is not anything like their books. However, I'm sure that they have influenced my writing as a whole.

Suzie: Do you have a favorite place where you write?

June: I usually write on my laptop which regularly sits on my desk in my home office. I also tend to bring it into the sitting area in my bedroom which we (my husband and I) call my "second office."

Suzie: You lived in Oregon for three years, and obviously, the beach has a special place in your heart since Starfish Street is set in Cannon Beach. What other areas of Oregon spoke to you?

June:  Oregon has many beautiful areas. I am partial to the coast, but the forests are just as striking. I particularly remember all of the green driving up and down the 5 freeway since we don't have so much of it here in New Mexico. There are many cities to visit along the way to Portland such as Ashland, Eugene and Salem.

Suzie: Do you have another novel in the works? And if so, will any of the Starfish Street characters make a cameo?
June: Maggie's story has only just begun. I would like for Starfish Street to be the first in a series. So, not only will there be cameos but you will be able to follow many of the characters to the next book in line.

Thank you for your time today, June. It's been a pleasure having your join us here on the Diamond Mine.

Readers, we've just touch the surface of June's career. Here's a little more information from her.

June Bliss had a song in her heart and a love for performance from the very beginning. Since every song and every show needs a good story, writing became an obvious career choice for her. While Bliss studied in college she worked on student films, assisted in a small production office and interned for Nickelodeon. With a degree in hand that internship led to a full time career as a production assistant on Hey Arnold! at Nickelodeon. She quickly worked her way up to production management on the enormously successful SpongeBob SquarePants. All the while the visionary Bliss had an independent spirit that was calling loudly. She decided to venture out on her own as a freelance writer and production manager. Bliss has used her creativity and organizational skills to work on a variety of multi-media projects and writing assignments for companies such as Hit Entertainment, Pepsi and RadioShack. Meanwhile she writes screenplays, develops TV show ideas and most recently has published Starfish Street. Bliss is a graduate of Biola University and completed a program at The Los Angeles Film Studies Center. She hopes to continue telling stories in various mediums. Bliss resides in New Mexico with her husband Ben and her faithful writing companion Sasha the chow chow.

About June's Book

Most new college graduates are trying to figure out what they are going to do with their lives. That is just the case with Magnolia who goes by Maggie. She is a cynical, art graduate who has become bogged down with her life circumstances. She finds herself at home with her fragile, single mother when she receives a call from her great-aunt Lorraine. 

 Lorraine offers Maggie a summer job watching over her cottages in Cannon Beach, Oregon. Maggie accepts and her experience at the beach changes her life entirely. Maggie’s particular affections for the magnificence of creation and the kind people at the beach lead her to a new life guided by faith. 

Available on: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo Books, Scribd, and Oyster Book.

Follow June Bliss on Social Media


Ann Ellison said...

I enjoyed the interview with June. Her book sounds like a good one especially since I have visited Cannon Beach and love that area. I have gotten Starfish Street and look forward to raeding it.

Trixi said...

Very interesting article, especially because I live in Seaside....just the next town up from Cannon Beach (15 mins)!! I've lived on the Oregon Coast for almost 20 years now, started out in Lincoln City back in 1996! I love it out here, the diverse landscape, the call of the ocean, the majestic mountains, just everything! My husband & I have explored all over Oregon & Washington and it never ceases to amaze me on the beauty God created :-) I don't think I'd want to live anywhere else!

Renee Blare said...

Hi Ann and Trixi, welcome to the Diamond Mine! I'd love to visit Oregon. I keep saying I'm gonna get out there but it never happens. :( Oregon and Washington IS on my list though! It will happen. I vow it! LOL
Thanks again for stopping by!

Suzie Waltner said...

Much of my extended family (grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles) live in Oregon. In fact, my family lived there for a few years when I was in grade school. I remember trips to Seaside and Cannon Beach. Beautiful beaches with the rocky and sandy combination. Thanks for stopping by to visit us.

June said...

Renee, yes, go visit the West Coast! Make sure you check with the rest of us for good travel tips. We can all chime in with our favorites.

Trixi said...

Renee, please do make it a place to visit someday....the Pacific Northwest is so beautiful, but then I might be a bit biased, lol! There are so many places to visit in both Oregon & Washington, so much diversity of landscape & people. Oh and the history, if that's your thing, there's lots of it here! The Oregon Trail for example :-) As June said, if you need any tips or places to see, just chime in & we'll give your our "favorite" places to go, eat, explore or relax by! :-)

Peggy Trotter said...

So glad to have you on the Diamond Mine, June!

Emy Watson said...

free traditional book publishers?