J.E. Tyler has always had a vivid imagination! Inspiration from his favorite cartoon and dreams of his own sparked the beginning of his passion for creative writing. Fast forward to years later and you can purchase one of his five published books. You can get on the waiting list for his novel and even purchase a children’s book on his website.Get the full scoop on how a passion for creative writing transformed to ScribBoy Scribe Media. It’s all on this episode of Dreamer’s Den Podcast!
Danielle: Welcome back for another episode of Dreamer’s Den podcast. I’m your host Danielle Towner. And today we have with us a guest whose an author among many of his other talents. But today we want to talk about publishing and authorship and all those things because many people aspire to be an author or put out their first book but you know they need to have the courage and instruction and the inspiration to do so. So today you get to have that. You get to talk to J. E. Tyler of ScribBoy Media. So Welcome James.
James: Thank you. Thank you for having me.
Danielle: Thank you for coming on and there are some things I wanna know myself so we’re gonna go ahead and get started.
Danielle: Now you published 5 books and you also will be releasing a novel soon. So let’s talk about that before we talk about anything else.
James: Yes-yes. Yes, so I started writing books in 2012. Before that, I wanted to but I was never able to finish a full novel. Um, so my first novel was a science fiction novel. And its called “RHE Aftermath”, and then after that marketing that proved to be a bit difficult. Especially at the time, you know a lot of the big blockbusters now are all like big fantasy, science fiction type films.
James: You know at that time it was kinda hard to market that to a black audience.For me anyway. And so I moved on to more urban-realistic fiction with my Rumor series. Um, it stretches over two books. It’s the story of a little girl who grows up in this small, southern church town without the guidance of her mother. You know it’s very dramatic, very heartfelt, very spiritual novel. Um and so the last of those was in 2014 and then after that, I kinda took a break for an extended number of years. Then I came back with my children’s book which was “Little Angels”. Also if I fast forward..uh if I rewind I did a short story in between the two Rumor novels. And I rewrote that short story recently and re-released it as a longer extended version kinda like a little novella called “That Dance That We Do”.
James: Right, And so currently I’m trying to go back to the fantasy genre but this time I’m being a little more smart about it. I’m trying to make it a little bit more, even though its fantasy based, it’s very realistic as far as the issues the characters are dealing with. It puts me in the mind frame of like uhh “True Blood”. Like fantastical elements but grounded with very real issues and very real characters.
Danielle: Now that’s one thing I was going to mention. Like that it’s, I guess before it was seen not as common for people who look like us to be into the sci-fi. And even from a writer standpoint.
Danielle: It’s not as common. And now people are breaking ground and now it’s becoming more common in making waves and opportunity for more writers to come into it.
James: Yes. Yes, which is so great it’s a fun genre to write. Especially for a creative because you get to pull on your creative muscles the most with that because depending on how far you go into it your creating an entire world.
James: You know as opposed to other types of fiction where it’s based on real life so you just like kinda making creative scenarios in the real world. With fantasy, you’re making it all up. That is so fun.
Danielle: Yeah like there is really no box. No bubble.
James: Exactly. Right
Danielle: So speaking of creative. You’ve been promoting your creative writing workshop.
Danielle: Now for those who plan on attending this workshop, what can they plan on doing and learning?
James: Yes. So, it’s literally brand new. I just had the first one a week ago. And it’s so fun. If anyone who has the pleasure to attend this workshop can look forward to it being very fun and very informative. But, I’m not…so the thing that I aim for the workshop is to make it very relatable, you know very simple, and it’s not like your sitting down just writing. We’re not going through writing. I approach through a standpoint people already know how to write. I’m just teaching how to tell stories and apply creativity in storytelling. So it’s very fun it’s very interactive as in audience participates. You get to get up you get to really like tell stories. I teach you techniques of how to pull on that creative muscle and add more reality into something surreal, something out of your mind.
Danielle: well congratulations. Because I think that is so cool. Now is this something people can have access to digitally, online, or just strictly face to face?
James: Yea so right now it’s strictly face to face and on my website, I will be releasing little tips periodically. This will be a while off. Maybe next year. But I’m planning to publish a book on creative writing as well which will mirror the workshop and I’m hoping to use that as a tool to get the message out there more and maybe to book more workshops. And be face to face with more people.
Danielle: Okay, cool. Now your new website recently launched and you’ve been really working hard at raising awareness of your new media brand so, how does the new brand fit into everything you been working on?
James: So the new brand fully encompasses everything I’ve been working on. I thought it was so important for me to re-brand because when I started this journey for me it was all about books, writing books, and putting books out there. But it’s like I’m at the point now I’ve reached my fifth book, although I’m still very much so challenged by the process and still enjoy the process very much. I think it’s time for me to expand, I think at the heart of it as I said with the workshop I consider myself a storyteller more than just a writer and I wanna be able to tell stories through different forms of media.
And so through media brand like ScribBoy scribe media, which is my new company, I’m planning to move more into hopefully short films, stage plays and more forms of storytelling. I’ve even thought about comic books, anything I can think of because this is the type of stuff I’m into as far as what I entertain my time with. It’s not just something I just jumped into, I’ve been taking acting classes myself, I’ve taken improv classes. I have been studying the art form in my own time as well. I think it’s time to make myself uncomfortable and make that leap into new territory similar to what it did with my first novel.
Danielle: That’s incredible. That’s awesome and it kinda takes me back to my thought process with constantly learning and growing and expanding from where you started. And if you’re not evolving like that something is not going right.
James: True, very true. Because when your passionate about what you’re doing and standing still it doesn’t feel right you feel stagnant. So yeah I agree a hundred percent.
Danielle: Yeah and I can relate. It just makes it fun. It makes it feel not like work when you are including the things you are interested in and taking that to another level.
James: Right. Exactly, because you know the art itself is so fun. The art is exhilarating but once you include the other elements like you gotta market. The business elements and everything that comes with it. You know I feel like that what helps you get that extra mile, helps you stick in it through all the levels of the work that it takes because you’re passionate about it.
Danielle: Right-right. So true. Now you answered my question pretty much about what’s next for J.E. Tyler.
Danielle: Oh no it’s fine, it worked out perfectly. So is the stage plays and different forms of media. What is your mindset in moving from books to theater?
James: It’s frightening. Even the thought of it makes me uncomfortable. But like I mentioned before that’s why I’m pushing myself. I was watching a documentary about a year or two about, it was focused on Mike Tyson and he said something that has stuck with me till this day. He said, “The key to success is to be comfortable being uncomfortable”. And that stuck with me and it’s like at this point, it’s still challenging but I feel like I need to push myself into a realm where I’m not comfortable so I can continue to grow.
James: Because it’s during those uncomfortable moments where you have to fish around, you have to adjust, you have to stretch yourself. That’s that forming where you’re becoming what you’re supposed to be. I’m terrified because I haven’t done anything like this before but like I said I’m a storyteller so I was terrified before I wrote and published the first book so it’s time to go at it again.
Danielle: Right. It’s like… I’ve never done it but I can imagine it’s like sky diving or something like that for the first time.
James: Yes. Right exactly, because it’s an entirely different process because in writing everything is on me. I do it all, I sit down and create the story on my own, But, when it comes to the theater I’m going to have to rely on actors, I have to rely on the director, you know I have to get funding ill to have to find a venue, props, set design. It’s so much more, it requires more help and more of a team. It’s very intimidating.
Danielle: Yeah it does get nerve-racking when you’re used to being in control of everything and you’re like a control freak. To leave something in the hands of other people is like, “ok, I’m going to do this, I gotta trust you”
James: Exactly. Almost like you said with the free fall you know it’s like standing up and falling back, and trusting someone is going to catch you. It’s terrifying but it’s a part of the process.
Danielle: Right. It is, now what’s your background and how did that get you to where you are? With becoming a writer and publishing five books and a novel and just ready to take another leap?
James: Right, it’s been a long journey like when I was a kid I was a really quiet and really introverted kid, I’m still very introverted as an adult, but I’ve had to push myself a little further. But I was very quiet, very introverted but I’ve always been a creative even before I knew what a creative was.
James: I didn’t even know what to call it, all I knew as a kid was to watch cartoons like most kids. My favorite show was Thundercats and you know back in those days we didn’t have streaming and we didn’t have all these different cartoon channels and things that they show. Cartoons only came on Saturday mornings or Sunday mornings.
And so I remember throughout the week I’m missing ThunderCats. I was always thinking about ThunderCats and my family thought I was crazy because my grandma had this huge tree in her backyard and I would walk around that tree pretending to be ThunderCats. And it’s so funny if you listen to them tell the story today it’s just me walking around the tree yelling Mumm-Ra!!
But it’s so funny even then I was telling stories, I didn’t have the episodes so I was making them up in my head. And so I didn’t realize I was storytelling until 5th grade my teacher name was Dorothy Bell. So she basically made us write a story once a month everybody in the class we had to write a story.
And I remember that first month and that first story I did not want to do it, and I was telling everyone I do not want to do this. But she was adamant about it and you know I was always like a student-student I hated bad grades. I did not want to make bad grades so if the teacher says I gotta do it then I’m going to do it cause I going to get this A. So I just was thinking and I just wrote something. And I didn’t think anything of it. I didn’t think it was anything special and we all turned our papers in. And she would volunteer two people to read in front of the class and she picked me.
So I got in front of the class and read my story and to my surprise the entire class and we were like nine and ten years old, the whole class applauded like all the other kids were like “that was so good”’ And in my mind, I was like oh really? It helped me out, I was excited, I take it home and I showed to my mom like mom look what I did. And she read it and she didn’t believe I wrote it. She took it to work with her and then she started showing her co-workers and they were in disbelief like “ how old, is he? Nah, ain’t no ten-year-old write this”. She told me this started to boost my confidence so this moment forward, I started to look forward to those stories every month I even started writing a series.
I had these two characters called Sabrina and Tim and I called it the Sabrina and Tim stories. And every month depending on what holiday fell on that month they would meet Santa Claus or meet the Easter Bunny and they would just be on these fantastical adventures. And every month everybody would love them and that was the birth of the author.
Danielle: Wow. you should reintroduce Sabrina and Tim.
James: Sabrina and Tim..right well actually I still have one of them, my mom had it on her computer and she sent it to me I think last year, it was Sabrina and Tim and the genie. I read back over. You know it’s one thing to look back into your memories but to actually see it at 30 plus years old what you wrote at 10! I was impressed you know grammatical and paragraphs and structure and flow I was like “oh wow”. And that’s pretty good cause I’m usually not impressed by my work.
Danielle: Yeah I think we all get that. But going back to what you said about you made up these stories going around that tree with the ThunderCats. That is like becoming of your imagination as a kid becoming in your imagination. And don’t treat them like their crazy.
James: Exactly. Right
Danielle: So I heard that you should let children have imaginary friends. That is the spark in that creativity.
James: Yes. Exactly. I definitely feel that way. You know I was having a conversation the other day with someone about this. Like as we get older the expectation that is put on us stifle our creativity. Because the older you get everything to become more about logic and the way things supposed to be and the way things have always been and it kinda puts you in that box and you’re punished for going outside the box.
So I definitely think in my opinion that’s what children have one up on adults because they don’t have those limits and they’re able to think outside the box freely. Which that’s powerful when you’re looking at the things around us with cell phones and no one would’ve been able to come up with these things if they thought inside the box. They had to have seen things that don’t exist in order to bring it into fruition.
Danielle: So true, so true. Now your books and your novel, they center around different genres.
Danielle: Do you have a favorite genre or do you like to mix up your creativity?
James: I love to mix up my creativity. I never want to be put in a box, that’s why I’ve kinda tried my best to brand myself as a multi-genre author but I will say I do love writing fantasy.
Danielle: Oh yea
James: I love it. I absolutely love it cause it’s so fun. Especially the whole concept of world building cause if you think about things like Star Wars or Avatar, even the Marvel films. To be able to build all these different characters and bring them together. They have their own personas, they all have their own backgrounds, their own worlds, they’re own families, their own religions, it’s like reality like how we all are in reality everybody has their own world in which they come from. And to be able to bring all that together and to say all that comes from a single person mind, to me that is power and to me that is fun and I absolutely love it. I love it.
Danielle: Yeah I can relates and like you said with any kind of creativity you have that excitement. And to start from nothing see these things happen and before you know it you look back and it’s like wow that came from me. Through god I did that.
James: Right. Exactly-exactly and you know what I’m glad you said that too because I feel like we’re most connected to God when we’re being creative. You know that stuff is coming from somewhere and we know he’s the ultimate creator. So it’s just like power I feel like that’s like being plugged in.
Danielle: So true, so true. This has been incredible and awesome and I’m glad you came om. Now for anyone who is interested in your creative workshop or interesting in getting in touch with you or learning more about you share with us your contact information the websites, social media, all that.
James: Yes-yes, so I am J.E. Tyler so the best way to get in contact with me or see what’s going on with me is my website: ScribBoy.com. All of my social media, whether it be Instagram, twitter, Facebook all ScribBoy, it’s a play on words Scribble a then boy. And you can email me as well firstname.lastname@example.org and It comes directly to my phone and I’m always looking and I always respond as soon as I can – which is usually pretty quickly.
Danielle: Yeah you did respond really quick the other day
James: Exactly. I’m on it. It comes right there. I immediately go to it. And yes the creative writing workshop if people are interested please book me through my website, it has the book me at the bottom of the page.And I’m willing to travel with notice and we would have to speak about arrangements please book me.
Danielle: Awesome, well other then that if there is any question you have for J.E. Tyler or for me there will be a voicemail button at the bottom of this podcast. Just press that button to ask a question and we will respond. Again thank you guys for listening and I know you learned a lot so I won’t even hold you and as I always say “ Dream until your dreams come true”