Author Interview : SJ Pajonas

The Daydreamer Detective Braves The Winter banner
Today is our stop during the blog tour for The Daydreamer Detective Braves The Winter by SJ Pajonas. This blog tour is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The blog tour runs from 11 till 15 July, you can view the complete tour schedule here. There’s a tour wide giveaway during this tour, the giveaway can be found at the bottom of this post.

We are thrilled to interview the author and are glad to know more about her book and her writing process. Here’s what she has to say:

What inspired your latest release?

This is the second book in the Miso Cozy Mystery Series, and it’s my main character’s chance to turn her life around in midst of hardship. For this novel, I decided to concentrate on money matters, both for my amateur sleuth, Mei, her new boyfriend, Yasahiro, and the victim. Money as a motive, whether someone needs money, someone wants money, or someone’s trying to hide money, is always a strong plot device. I was inspired to write this motive based on my characters situation when the first book ends. I wanted to show her strength in the middle of adversity, and I think I accomplished that.


Do you outline your books or wing it?  Describe your process.

My writing process tends to differ depending on the project. But, in general, I get an idea first. I write down the idea, and I let it sit in my brain for a long time, sometimes months, before I do anything with it. This can happen with multiple ideas at a time. Like right now, I have ideas for four different projects bouncing around in my head. When I’m finally ready to sit down and start a project, I write out a small outline first. I like to get the first act of a new novel down before I start writing. This way I know how to begin my project. After that, I brainstorm ideas for the middle and end of the book. I make sure I hit all the important parts of a three-act structure, and I continue writing until the novel is complete. I then take a few days off before brainstorming new ideas for the first editing pass. But most of the time now I can finish a book in about two drafts. My critique partner reads it and gives me feedback as well. Then I line edit my books, listen to them to catch proofreading errors, and send it off to proofreaders before I publish.


What, in your opinion, is the hardest part about writing?

The hardest part about writing is balance, knowing how to keep the story going but not tire the reader yet still keep them interested. Slow down too much and they may get bored. Speed up and they may get tired. Get bogged down in the minutia of the world and they become lost. Balancing out all the details with the characters in the world is the hardest part of writing, but it’s also the most rewarding part when you get it right.

The hardest part about publishing is convincing other people that it’s hard to write. Everyone has this idea that they can easily write a book. They snap their fingers and think, “I can do that, no problem!” So they have issues paying for the books I write. There are still a few people out there who understand it’s difficult to write a good book, and I want to hug and squeeze every single one of them. LOL. So I try to be transparent about my process in the hopes that people see just how hard I work.


You’re having a party.  What character from your book do you hope attends?  Why?

I really hope Mei shows up. She’s both a good conversationalist and good at listening. I could talk to her all night and not feel like I’m struggling to get through small talk. She loves a good drink too, and we’ll definitely throw back a bottle of saké together.


What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Don’t give up your day job. Or get a day job and don’t rely on writing. LOL. Writing and publishing is a volatile business. One month you can be killing it, making $10,000 or more, and the next month you make nothing. Have a steady job that gives you a paycheck, and some health insurance too. Write in the mornings, at night, and on the weekends. I’m a stay-at-home mom first and an author second. Once the kids are in school, I have the time to write. Before I came a stay-at-home mom, I was a web developer (and still am), and I wrote down my ideas on lunch breaks and in notebooks. Aspiring writers should work on their craft, study story structure and character development, and read a lot. Write when they can, and go to work. It’s the best way to get started.

Thanks for having me today! I really enjoyed answering all of your questions! XO, SJ.


Start this series for free!
The Daydreamer Detective, the first book in this series is free for a limited time! You can grab your copy of The Daydreamer Detective for free on Amazon, B&N, Kobo and iBooks!

The Daydreamer Detective Braves the WinterThe Daydreamer Detective Braves the Winter (Miso Cozy Mysteries #2)
By SJ Pajonas
Genre: Mystery/ Cozy Mystery
Age category: Adult
Release Date: 7 July 2016

December has set in and just when the rural town of Chikata is recovering from one murder, Mei and her new boyfriend, Yasahiro, find their friend, Etsuko, dead in her apartment. Etsuko was sweet and talented, and now everyone suspects her longtime boyfriend killed her. Mei doesn’t believe it, though, and she vows to help solve the crime.

But Mei has more to think about than murder. With the barn gone and their vegetable stores destroyed, she and her mother are down to their last canned goods and no money for heat. Mei’s mom is fortunate to find work, but Mei must fend for herself, get a job, and keep their financial situation a secret from Yasahiro. In pursuit of paying work, she stumbles onto a new witness to the crime, and before long, the dead woman’s secret life unravels before everyone’s eyes. Half-starving and out of her element, Mei is on thin ice, and it’s going to take a whole lot of ingenuity and quick thinking to solve the crime before the killer gets to her as well.

You can find The Daydreamer Detective Braves the Winter on Goodreads

You can buy The Daydreamer Detective Braves the Winter here:

The Daydreamer Detective Braves the Winter teaser 1

The Daydreamer Detective Braves the Winter teatser 5

The First book in the series:
The Daydreamer DetectiveThe Daydreamer Detective (Miso Cozy Mysteries #1)
By SJ Pajonas
Genre: Mystery/ Cozy Mystery
Age category: Adult
Release Date: 31 march 2016

Luck? Forget it. Mei Yamagawa is fresh out of it. She’s just been downsized from her 3rd job in five years and her bank account is dry. Now, to keep her head above water, she must leave Tokyo and move back to her rural Japanese hometown. And there’s nothing worse than having to face your old rivals and ex-boyfriends as a failure while starting life over as a farm girl.

But when her best friend’s father is murdered, and her best friend is named the main suspect, Mei turns her daydreaming ways towards solving the crime. Between dates disguised as lunches with the town’s hottest bachelor chef, searching for clues, and harvesting sweet potatoes, Mei has a lot of non-paying work cut out for her.

Will she catch the killer before her bad luck turns worse? Or will she fry in the fire with the rest of her dreams of success?

You can find The Daydreamer Detective on Goodreads

You can get your free copy of The Daydreamer Detective here:

The Daydreamer Detective teaser 3

The Daydreamer Detective teaser 4

SJ PajonasAbout the Author:
Stephanie (S. J.) is a writer, knitter, amateur astrologer, Capricorn, and Japanophile. She loves foxes, owls, sushi, yoga pants, Evernote, and black tea. When she’s not writing, she’s thinking about writing or spending time outside, unless it’s winter. She hates winter. Someday she’ll own a house in both hemispheres so she can avoid the season entirely. She’s a mom to two great kids and lives with her husband and family outside NYC. They have no pets. Yet. When it comes to her work, expect the unexpected. She doesn’t write anything typical. Find her online at

You can find and contact SJ Pajonas here:

There is a tour wide giveaway for the blog tour of The Daydreamer Detective Braves the Winter. One winner will win a bundle of S. J. Pajonas ebooks. Including: Removed, Revealed, Washing Statue Wanderlust, and The Daydreamer Detective.

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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