We don’t want to give too much away, but Split is definitely one of the most original romances we’ve ever read! What inspired you to create this exciting new story?
There were really two significant things that inspired Split. If you’ve ever loved someone who suffers from depression you learn that you never really know who you’re going to get when you see them. You have to learn to love both sides of them – the happy and the not-so happy sides. This idea in relation to romance really intrigued me.
The second thing that inspired Split was The Phantom of the Opera. I always loved the story but was frustrated by the way it ended. I wanted Christine to choose Phantom over Raul, but the logical side of me understood why she’d pick the safer of the two, after all, it’s hard to live out the dream of two kids, the white picket fence, and the golden retriever from the basement of an opera house. It made me wonder…what if she could have them both?
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
I always wrote, but never thought I was good enough to be a writer. I read about authors like the great Stephen King and how many rejection letters he received and thought if The King wasn’t good enough surly I’m not.
What do you love most about your job?
The best part of my job is creating fictional worlds for people to escape to. We live in an age where everything negative is reported instantaneously via social media and news outlets. My goal has always been to create a safe place for readers to lose themselves in even if only for an hour a day. A respite from the everyday anxiety and depressors.
What do you love most about writing romance?
Writing romance gives me the same thrill as reading romance does. It’s an escape from the everyday, a few hours of relief where I get to be an MMA fighter, or a stripper with a torrid past, or even a mentally ill wanderer. And the best part is I get to choose how those stories end.
Do you have the fun creating your heroes and your heroines?
Absolutely. And creating two characters and then throwing them in a room together for the first time is so much fun. I get to sit back and watch the fireworks.
Do you have a favourite hero or heroine from your books or by any other author?
This is nearly impossible to answer. I think whomever I’m currently working on is always my favourite. Right now it’s a thug named Milo that I hope readers will get to meet in 2017.
Who is your ultimate book boyfriend?
I designed my perfect Book Boyfriend with Lucas in Split. He’s the good guy and the bad boy – gentle, loyal, fiercely protective – he’s soft and rough all at the same time. He’d sacrifice his own life for those he loves and destroy anyone who threatens them. I’ve taken the best elements of every Book Boyfriend and rolled them all into one.
If you could recommend one book to someone who’s keen to start reading romance, what would you choose?
I think Jamie McGuire’s Beautiful Disaster is the perfect gateway drug. Nowadays there are so many varying degrees of ‘romance’ in novels. For someone who has never read one, to dive into Fifty Shades of Grey might get a little shell-shocked. Beautiful Disaster is the perfect book to ease a newbie into the genre.
If you could take only three essentials with you to a desert island what would they be?
Do we have wifi on this island? If so, definitely my Kindle. I could live a long happy pirate life with my Kindle, margarita fixins, and one girlfriend (preferably one who was an excellent fisherwoman and could build a fire by rubbing two sticks together).
Who would be on your dream dinner party guest list, dead or alive?
Stephen King and Jesus Christ.
What are your guilty pleasures?
Coffee, Rocky Road ice cream, and expensive shoes.
There’s so much interest and excitement around romance fiction right now. What do you think that romance readers are looking for in the romances they read today?
Readers today are looking for more than a simple romance. They want suspense, mystery, and a gripping storyline that keeps them enthralled and guessing until the very last page. They want novels that deliver unpredictability along with steamy chemistry and characters that make a permanent mark on their hearts.
We can’t wait for more from J. B. Salsbury! Can you give us a hint of what you are working on next?
Wrecked is the story of a woman with severe OCD who makes her sister a promise that puts her in over her head with a sexy ex-Army Sergeant who suffers from PTSD. Between her compulsions and his inability to blend into civilian life they struggle with friendship, which makes falling in love even more problematic. Similar to Split it will have a dark angsty feel, but the reader will find a good amount of comic relief between our two main characters. Wrecked is due to release summer 2017.
J. B. Salsbury’s captivating standalone SPLIT is out now!