JP Meador has written over twenty books. A small portion of them are listed here: The Wagon Wheel, Strada Almaden, 32 Ounces of Wisdom, A Place I Call Home, Are You Supposed to be Taken Seriously?, Love Unfolding, Observing What is Not Seen, The Atrium, Off the Top of My Head, Subterfuge, No Need to Bleed, The Light Stream, and more.
See the Links section at the bottom of this interview for links to these works, a link to JP Meador’s listings on Amazon, and the link to his Facebook author page.
What made you decide on Strada Almaden as an author name?
I don’t want people to be confused. I am Jon Meador, JP Meador and love every aspect of Almaden so my author page is Strada Almaden. Strada Almaden means in Spanish, the road to Almaden. JP sounds much better than Jon when you publish books so I use JP. How can I explain this, Strada Almaden is similar to a metaphor, my poems and stories open the door to the memories I carried while I lived in Almaden. I still live there, even though I live in Fresno. Most of my family live there still, I go back whenever I can. I have walked on the roads and cleared many trails in the foothills that many people have hiked in Almaden. I may be absent from Almaden but I still call it home.
What made you want to write?
What gave me the inspiration to write comes from singers and songwriters. I am a poet first and foremost. The ideas that I get for my books comes from my personal experience.
What got you into writing in this genre?
I have always enjoyed listening to songwriters and I wanted to write just like them. Poetry just arrived naturally. Poetry came to me like Pablo Neruda wrote in his poem, “Poetry.” I believe poetry is born within a person rather than practiced. It takes a while for that part of a person to be known. It may sound strange but I’m still developing as a poet.
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing for the past twenty years. I wrote my first poetry book in sixth grade because it was an assignment and I didn’t know anything about the subject. I didn’t pick up a pen and write another line of poetry for eight years.
Tell us about your past books and stories?
The first book I ever wrote was called, The Darklight Café. I spent a lot of time writing about girls and my experience with relationships. Then I grew out of that and wrote about other subjects that mattered to me at the time. I feel that the world wants you to be something other than what you were meant to be. I don’t like being under a label and I find myself misunderstood by other people. I am poetry but don’t know any other way to explain it.
What is the writing process like for you? What is your writing day like? What have been the biggest influences on your writing?
The process of writing can’t be forced. It will arrive when you least expect it. I’ve learned you need to have a pen and paper with you at all times. I used to walk to work with a small notebook because you never know when true inspiration will strike. It begins with a funny line or a thought than you put the time into it and it will transform to something you can use in a poem or it may stand alone as a storyline for a short story or a novel.
As I said, my influences are not from literary figures but songwriters. I just think they are more interesting and real.
What is your favorite book (other than your own book, of course) and why? What book disappointed you and why?
I have always been interested in autobiographies because people interest me. The book that caught my attention and couldn’t put down was a book written about Jim Morrison by Jerry Hopkins and Danny Sugarman called No One Here Gets Out Alive. I read a lot of books about famous celebrities like Elvis but I also like reading books from Lee Child and his character Jack Reacher. Those types of characters interest me.
How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
I no longer think about what may or may not be interesting to the reader. I just write what interests me the most.
What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?
Stephen King covered what tools you need to be a successful writer was a vocabulary and good sense of grammar. I would add to the list that a writer must have a great imagination as well.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author?
I learned from David Whyte that you need to feed your longings and desires.
How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best for your genre?
I market my work on my author’s page on Facebook. The best way to advertise is the traditional way, doing readings and word of mouth.
What piece of your own work are you most proud of?
I feel I’m still growing as a poet and a writer. If there was a work I’m most proud of, it would be the book, Observing What Is Not Seen.
For those who haven’t read any of your stories, what story/book of yours do you think best represents your work and why?
Observing What Is Not Seen is a book of poetry and I feel it reveals more than what was written. It was dedicated to my late brother Gregg who taught me the importance of observing the world around you and to appreciate music.
What are you doing next?
I have published two books in July. I wrote a book on understanding poetry called Poetry Abounds and another book called Creative Joys that talks about writing and the need to keep at it. My next book I’ll publish will be three short stories called, Bound to Nowhere.
What advice would you give aspiring writers?
The advice I would give aspiring writers would be keep writing. Don’t ever give up. Listen to your instincts and be careful who you ask to look at your writing.
“A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul.” ― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
JP Meador has worked as park aide, security guard, computer technician and federal contractor. He was born and raised in Almaden, located in south San Jose, CA where he developed and indulged his interests in poetry and American History.
His first poetry book was called Forgotten Sentinels published in 2012 (now titled, A Place I Call Home) poems about abandoned military installations along the West Coast, which he visited throughout the decade of the nineties.
Since 2012, he has written over twenty books of poetry, novellas and a memoir called, “Are You Supposed to Be Taken Seriously?
He’s been married twelve years to his wife Debbie. They live in Fresno, CA with their grandson Matthew and a German Shepard pup named, Sasha.