Author Spotlight – J.A. Schneider

Hello everyone! I hope you all had a relaxing weekend! I am extremely honored to have my friend and fellow Indie Author, J.A. Schneider on my blog today!! Her debut novel, “Embryo” is an exciting and controversial medical thriller that is sure to keep you riveted! With her novel receiving rave reviews and 5 stars, “Embryo” is the ultimate thriller novel to add to your TBR list!


Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I grew up loving to read…everything! From Nancy Drew to the back of a cereal box. Words and story ideas are always teeming in my head – a very colorful place! I’m a wife, mother, passionate about reading & writing – especially thrillers, medical thrillers, and mysteries. Decades of being married to a cardiologist means that there’ll be fascinating medical angles even in “regular” thrillers that I write. CanNOT fall asleep without reading…even after a long day of writing.

What do you do when you are not writing? Any hobbies?

I’m passionate too about gardening, always digging out some boulder for a new shrub or tracking mud around the house. My favorite plants are boxwood and rambler roses, which can reach 30 feet and are now blocking second floor windows. I spend a lot of time on a ladder…

Is there anyone who has influenced/encouraged you to write? Who and how/why?

Mainly it was just me, scribbling away from age 12, and then during my French lit major years. Then there was my husband, who despite being headed for med school was an English major and still reads his favorite Conan Doyles; practically knows them by heart. Other influences were writers during my Newsweek years. The oft-heard dream there was to “stay home and write.” The brave ones would leave, then come back with the challenge “You’re still here?”

Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?

Ira Levin and Agatha Christie at her best. I am fascinated by writers who in one or few words can say it all. For example, news comes that’s sad or terrible, and a character just says, “Oh?” There you have it; in one word that character has revealed indifference, shallowness. Levin is the master; I am fascinated by his ingenious brevity. Scenes that have influenced me hugely are, for example, the one in Levin’s “The Boys From Brazil,” where the female former warden in a concentration camp is to be brought from her prison cell for Lieberman, the Nazi hunter, to question. Lieberman is just dying of nerves wondering how he’ll react when he sees her. Finally, her lawyer brings her. The door opens. Lieberman’s heart is in his mouth…and out simply comes a drab old woman with “a disappointed mouth.”

“A disappointed mouth!” This person’s whole life summed up in three words! And we see her, much better than if Levin had gone on and on about her pallor, sunken features, shuffling gait, depressing German prison uniform. He could have done that, but he didn’t. With those three words we see that woman so clearly that it hits us emotionally.

Can you give a brief synopsis of your journey to publication with your first piece of fiction?

That was DARKNESS FALLS, a thriller which sold in a 3-day auction to Simon & Schuster’s Pocket Books. That book just started with something someone said, and the idea grew. I mulled over it for months, and did umpteen drafts. That was back in the day when you actually met your editor and they’d take you to lunch. Can you imagine such a time?

How did you choose the genre you write in?

I’ve always loved adventure thrillers, even as a child reading “Black Beauty” or “Kim” or Nancy Drew. The one exception was “The Secret Garden,” which I still love.

Do you work with an outline, or just write?

I start with a rough outline, which “sets the tracks” to start with but goes off the rails pretty fast.

How did you come up with the title for your current novel?

EMBRYO… I saw the cover image first, and the title just came.

What do you think readers will appreciate most about your book?

A story about malignant geniuses tinkering with IVF and human genetic engineering hasn’t been done yet. Some will call this sci/fi, but the technology is there. That’s what’s really frightening. There are also scenes so scary that they approach Gothic horror.

Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with?

There will be a sequel to EMBRYO. Readers won’t want to say good-bye to two of the characters, and neither will I.

Have you ever considered writing a book in first person with a male lead character?


What is your favorite part about being an indie author?

The independence! Traditional publishing has gotten slower than ever, with editors getting laid off and books winding up as orphans for months on abandoned desks. Also, I don’t miss agents and editors, some of whom can be awfully nit-picky.

What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?

“I’m not writing well enough or fast enough.”  I’m my own worst critic. The sweetest compliment I ever received was from an editor who said, “You put your heart on the page.”

Can you tell us about your upcoming project/book?

There’ll be two upcoming books. Second, a sequel to EMBRYO, and before that a medical/legal thriller: Should a lawyer defend her philandering husband in the murder trial of a girl he dallied with?

Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?

Mainly, believe in yourself. Understand that we’re all our own worst critics. Also be patient with yourself. Some stories can rattle around in our heads for years and then suddenly resolve themselves and say, “Okay, I’m ready.”



J.A. Schneider, Author

J.A. (Joyce Anne) Schneider is a former staffer at Newsweek. She has published FLORA TRISTAN and DARKNESS FALLS (Simon & Schuster, Pocket Books); EMBRYO is her first ebook. She is passionate about reading & writing – especially thrillers, medical thrillers, and mysteries. Decades of being married to a physician and patient explainer means that there’ll be fascinating medical angles even in “regular” thrillers that she writes. She canNOT fall asleep without reading a favorite book…even after a long day of writing.



Embryo by J.A. Schneider


“Maria Moran’s first inkling of trouble was the coppery taste in her mouth. It came suddenly, a rushing whoosh of something that made her gag, and when she reached to wipe her mouth, her hand came away smeared with blood.”

So begins this thriller about a young intern, Jill Raney, determined to investigate tragedies and terror at a famous fertility and genetic engineering hospital. When two pregnant women die and a fetus is delivered with severe chromosomal abnormalities, Jill’s superiors – including handsome, smitten-with-her resident David Levine – insist there’s no common link.

But her suspicions deepen with the grotesque murder near the hospital of another pregnant woman – her belly drained of amniotic fluid. And when a woman miscarries in the hospital and then disappears, Jill frantically searches for her – following a terrifying path that seems to link all the victims: Is someone experimenting with life…and the structure of human life itself?

An unforgettable tale of suspense with a shocking denouement, Embryo takes you deep into the mind of a malignant genius.






Book available on:


(Soon to be available on Nook, Smashwords, etc.)


About solitaireparke

Solitaire Parke is an author of Science Fiction/Urban Fantasy, Poetry and Larger World books. He is a lover of dragons, the poetry of Edgar Allan Poe, and has a large collection of science fiction books and movies. After becoming an award winning photographer and earning a degree in music theory, he worked in graphic and web design, but he always returns to writing. When he is not writing, you can find him reading, watching a sci-fi television show or movie, or researching a new “techno gadget” on the internet. He now resides in Arizona with his family and is the proud owner of Tairobi, his Manx cat, who has been an enormous help in the writing process by lying on the computer keyboard - always willing to lend a paw or two!

Posted on June 4, 2012, in Author Spotlight and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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