J.B. Vample is married and lives in Philadelphia, PA. She attended college at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore; and although she majored in Computer Science, her first love is and has always been writing. The concept of her current book series came to her in her late high school years. Since then, she has dreamed that readers would one day fall in love with her characters and their stories. After years of writing only for herself, she finally decided to share her work with the world. "College Life 101: Freshman Orientation" which was published December 2015, is her first published book and book one of a nine book series called "The College Life series." Aside from writing, she enjoys martial arts, reading and listening to music.
Q & A
Q: What made you create this series?
A: I was seventeen years old when this concept came to me. I was sitting at my grandmothers computer and as usual, I started day dreaming. (I have an overactive imagination and tend to live in my head a lot.) I was months away from graduating high school and was set to start college soon after, and I started thinking about what my college life would be like. From there, I created character names, added a description to each one and just started typing. The rest is history.
Q:Is any part of this series based off of your life? Which character do you identify with the most?
A: No, this series isn't based off of my life. I used my experience as a college student to develop story-lines that readers of that age can identify with, but it’s strictly a work of fiction. As far as which character that I identify most with...First let me say that I love all of my characters, and I see a little of myself in each one of their personalities. But I can say that I identify with the character Chasity Parker, the most. She, like me is a loner, and very guarded with her emotions.
Q: Are you traditionally published or self-published? What made you go with your decision?
A:I am self-published. I decided to self-publish because the type of series that I am writing isn’t really something that many traditional publishers or even agents are looking for. Or, I should say, it’s not really well-know. As an African-American author, the biggest genre is urban or street-lit fiction and that is not the genre that I am writing in. Because I am so into my series and my characters, and didn’t want to toss the story aside to write something that was considered "popular", I decided to self-publish. I know that I have a great story concept and I wanted to get the books out any way possible.
Q: What are your hopes for readers of the series?
A: I just hope that they enjoy reading the books, and that they are reminded of their college experiences when reading them. Or, if they have not been to college, that the books make them want to attend. Hell, they make me want to go back.
Q: What is your biggest regret?
A: That I didn't start following my dream sooner. I let fear and doubt stop me from seriously pursuing my writing for years. It wasn't until I hit thirty-four that I told myself to cut that mess out. Who knows where I would be now if I would have done this sooner. Then again, who knows if I would have been this passionate about following my dreams at a younger age. So I guess my delay happened for a reason.
"I don't want to be the "next" anybody. I want to be the "first " me."