JM Buckler Press Kit
JM Buckler has been featured in top media including ABC, NBC, and Fox. She is the award-winning author of Seeker of Time, Stillness of Time, and Passage of Time, young adult fantasy-fiction books which have received praise from the likes of Kirkus Reviews, Literary Titan, Readers' Favorite. Game-changers in the young adult marketplace, Buckler’s novels combine electric storytelling with deep spiritual lessons and meaningful takeaway on how to cope with life’s hardships – addressing everything from betrayal and heartbreak, to violence and death.
Buckler is a mentor and educator at TheKey2Free, a non-profit organization that provides safe transition housing, education, and therapeutic care for human trafficking survivors. There, she teaches writing as a tool for healing to clients participating in the LAUNCH program. JM Buckler also offers writing-based programs to diverse audiences – teaching how to use the power of the pen to reshape and reclaim one’s life, as Buckler did when she began her own writing journey: After years of drifting through life, feeling insecure and lacking a sense of meaning or purpose – always trying to be the image and fill role that others held out for her – Buckler took a leap of faith and walked out on the person she was supposed to be, instead diving into the world of her imaginary characters. Through developing their lives, Buckler discovered that she cultivated her own – ultimately finding her calling and passion, transforming her reality, and emerging a grounded and confident young woman.
Buckler lives in Austin, TX, with her husband, son, and Havanese dog. She can be found at JMBuckler.com.
JM Buckler has been featured in top media including ABC, NBC, and Fox. She is the award-winning author of Seeker of Time, Stillness of Time, and Passage of Time, young adult fantasy-fiction books which have received praise from the likes of Kirkus Reviews and which have been best-selling young adult books on Amazon. Game-changers in the young adult marketplace, Buckler’s novels combine electric storytelling with deep spiritual lessons and meaningful takeaway on how to cope with life’s hardships – addressing everything from betrayal and heartbreak, to violence and death.
About Seeker of Time
“I cannot guarantee I’ll be the person you want in your life, but I will do everything in my power to be the person you need.”
Elara Dunlin never imagined how much her life would change after moving across the country at the start of her senior year of high school. Who is the mysterious man with the piercing blue eyes who follows her everywhere she goes? Strange events unfold, causing Elara to question her own reality. Her predictable and simple life changes on one cold, fateful night ... the night when the elusive blue-eyed man approaches and shares information that turns her world upside down. Eventually, Elara realizes that she must tell her only friend, Cyrus, the truth about the mysterious visitor. Will he believe any of it? The elusive man continues to reveal dark secrets about her troubled past, adding a new dimension to their growing relationship. Is she willing to place all of her trust in the one person who pushes her physically and emotionally farther than she ever thought possible? He warned Elara that her life would change forever, but does she have the courage to move forward? Seeker of Time is the first installment in the award-winning Seeker of Time Series. Filled with startling twists and turns, this epic adventure leaves the readers on the edge of their seat, longing for more.
About Stillness of Time
“I had to believe the good in life always prevailed. I had to believe that in the end, the truth would triumph.” Mystery, danger, and heartache are all things Elara must face now back on Aroonyx. Jax continues to reveal dark secrets that challenge Cyrus’s and her trust, pushing them farther than they ever thought possible. Can they keep their identities hidden from Zenith and the Collectors? New and mysterious friends help the twins through their darkest hours, while enemies lurk around every corner. Eventually, Elara and Cyrus discover things are not always as they seem. Unsure of their fate, the twins form an unbreakable bond that over time will be put to the ultimate test. Elara’s relationship with Jax evolves to a whole new level, only to be challenged during a life-changing night. Presented with a difficult choice, Elara is forced to make a sacrifice that alters the course of her future forever. Does she have the strength to accept this new fate? Can you truly love someone enough to let them go? Stillness of Time is the second installment in the Seeker of Time series. Filled with danger, adventure, romance, and heartache, this book dishes out surprise and suspense at every turn, sending readers on an emotional roller coaster that leaves them breathless, longing for more.
About Passage of Time
“Love is the source of our power, and in the end…love always wins.”
Abandoned and betrayed, Elara struggles to let go of the man she loves, while her fearless mentor encourages her to stand against the evil dictator who rules her home planet. To succeed, she must rise above the darkness and trust the voice that hums near her heart. The twins experience a setback after a deadly standoff with the Inner Circle. An act of love transforms Elara’s destiny, and an act of hate pushes Cyrus to his breaking point. Zenith makes a bold move that disrupts the lives of everyone on Aroonyx. Samson takes charge and gathers the citizens to prepare for war. An alliance is formed, and a traitor seeks revenge. A tragic event in the West Village sends Elara tumbling further into the darkness, leaving her to face the masked dealer alone. Outnumbered and out of luck, the twins must rally the recruits to end Zenith’s reign. As the epic battle approaches, the hands of time pause during a life-changing event, and a visitor from the past alters the future. Passage of Time is the third installment in the award-winning Seeker of Time fantasy fiction series. Meaningful lessons challenge the reader, sending their hearts on an emotional marathon that leaves them sprinting toward the finish line.
Areas of Expertise
Using the power of the pen to reshape one's life
The art of storytelling
Pitfalls authors face
Young & New Adult Literature
Capturing Readers' Attention
Sample Interview Topics
Establish a Healing Writing Practice
It’s 4:00 am – too early to get up, too late to take another sleeping pill. So you just lie there, exhausted, as your mind flies rapid-fire from one issue to the next: Where will you get the funds to pay for your daughter’s last year of college? Why has your husband been so withdrawn? Should you move your mother into a care facility? Why can’t you stop eating those cookies at work? Over the past three decades, scientific research has proven that personal narrative writing – the act of writing out your feelings, without paying attention to grammar, punctuation, or sentence structure – is one of the most powerful forms of self-expression, with a healing impact on the mental, emotional, and physical levels. The reason it works, says scientific and medical leaders, is that the act of consolidating thoughts into written language slows down “monkey mind” – that relentless inner critic or worrywart – and helps us organize, understand, and extract meaning from events that otherwise might leave us feeling powerless and heading into a tailspin. In addition, whereas we once thought that our genes were our destiny, we now know that our lifestyle practices, in particular, those which reduce or inflame stress, directly impact whether disease genes will be switched on or off. The implications are tremendous: We are in the driver’s seat of our health! And expressing our feelings through writing, experts say, is one of the most powerful methods of creating balance and harmony in our lives, and therefore, optimizing our health. Added bonus: personal narrative writing is free, private, and can be done anywhere anytime! JM Buckler explains the science behind the writing method and additionally lays out the steps for setting up a healing writing practice, in just four weeks – offering added visuals such as beautiful journals, both homemade and store-bought, that add joy to the daily ritual.
Say Yes to Yourself
From birth, we are encouraged to follow a standard script and are discouraged from veering off course. Social creatures by nature, many of us find the stakes unbearably high for going against the grain: We risk social approval, family support, financial stability, and community belonging – leading many of us to live our lives in “quiet desperation,” seemingly happy and fulfilled on the outside, but feeling hollow and lacking meaning or purpose on the inside. We may ache to step into our authentic beings, but feel confused about our identity, or how to go about manifesting her/him. We may fear setting out on a new path because of the uncertainty of taking the first step, and we want assurance that everything will be OK. Through sharing her own transformational journey of initially bowing to fear and conforming to social norms, to ultimately not giving a f*** and going on to create her own vibrant reality, JM Buckler provides guidance on how to say yes to yourself and find the courage to risk losing your ordinary life, so as to create an extraordinary one
Kiss Your Self-Doubt Goodbye
Despite knocking out three solid books and walking through life with confidence as an author, wife, and mother, JM Buckler still struggles with self-doubt. It whispers in her ear daily, in fact, like an old enemy poking at her. It no longer controls her or interferes with her life, however, as it used to. Buckler shares the skills and strategies she developed for training her mind to believe in and focus on her vision and to deflate the energy and power of negative messages – whether from inside or outside. Among others, she shares what it takes to assert one’s value, without the implicit endorsement of a major publishing company, prestigious university, or other forms of a social crutch – upon which so many of us rely, to establish and internalize our sense of self-worth. As part of this conversation, Buckler discusses the importance of establishing a raw and authentic presence – publicly owning one’s struggles and sharing the process of overcoming them, in the interest of providing guidance and inspiration. She compares this approach with that of conventional motivational speakers, who hone a polished and hyper-accomplished persona – unwittingly cultivating a sense of shame and insecurity among their followers, by seeming too perfect or far-removed from common struggles.
Navigate the Indie Publishing Waters
From being treated as if you are not a “real” author to being hated for your success, and from desperately seeking time to write, to forcing yourself into a book business mindset, JM Buckler lays out the hidden trappings of the indie publishing industry – helping new authors realistically assess the life and work of an indie author, then figure out how to make it all happen. Among other considerations, she addresses how to develop thick skin in response to critics, while remaining open to useful feedback; how to cultivate a both/and approach to indie and traditional publishing, instead of an either/or mindset; how to focus on writing your book, even while plagued by anxiety about the uncertainty and hard work that lie ahead; how to set your intention, establish your purpose, and find your audience; how to cultivate work-life balance; and how to identify and outsource the work that someone else is far more qualified to do than you.
Sample Interview Questions
What is your fantasy fiction series about?
What led you to become a writer?
How did your life change once you started writing?
Why did you choose to write fiction instead of non-fiction?
Why did you choose to write young adult novels?
What sets your books apart from other young adult novels?
There are alarming statistics on the increase in rates of anxiety, depression, self-harm, and suicide among today’s youth. How do you want your books to help?
You teach youth how to use writing as a tool for coping with life’s challenges. What is one of the most powerful experiences you had doing this work?
What is personal narrative writing?
What is the science behind personal narrative writing?
How did you develop your own method of personal narrative writing?
What do you have to say to non-writers who want to try healing through writing?
How can someone use fiction writing to heal from painful experiences?
Why do you think most people stick to doing what they are told to do, even when they are miserable? How can they get out of that rut?
Your characters jump back and forth between Earth and the planet Aroonyx. How is that jumping a reflection of your own life experience?
What advice do you have for those who are ready to take the plunge and follow their calling – in life? in writing?
How do you juggle being a wife, mother, and full-time author?
What inspired the characters in your books?
What inspires you to write?
Sample Article: “Jump,” by JM Buckler
When you look back, you can see traces of that person inside you trying to emerge, but getting shut down for one reason or another. In my case, I was the kid with the wild imagination, never just playing or studying or riding in the car, but always creating dramatic narratives around me. In elementary school, I kept getting in trouble for pointing my finger at the teacher. I meant no disrespect. I was just absorbed in my little universe, where the teacher was a character in an elaborate theatrical production, one I created by “painting” with my finger. Of course, no one bothered asking why I was pointing at the teacher. As these things go, I was just treated as a disruption to the class, because I refused to follow the script.
By the time middle school rolled around, I’d learned to follow that script – to swallow that wildly imaginative little girl, keep my head down, and do what they expected of me. The turning point happened when my father bought me a jacket with Disney characters on the back. After being mercilessly teased for it the next day at school, I wanted to burn that damn jacket. I had just learned the first in a series of lessons: it’s not OK to be me. And so I conformed. On the outside, everything stayed the same – I made good grades, had a circle of friends, and seemed well-adjusted. But inside, I felt an emptiness that over the years grew into the sense that my life lacked purpose and meaning. I never finished anything I started, struggled through early college courses after all my peers had graduated university, and I had as many as 13 jobs in one year – some more interesting than others, some causing me shame, and all seeming to lead to nothing.
I continued to do the “right” thing until one day in my sociology class, I realized college education wasn’t for me, so I stopped trying to fit the mold and fight my true self. Instead, I embraced myself – closing the book, getting up in the middle of class, and walking out. That decision turned out to be a life-defining moment. It was as if something inside unplugged and released. I didn't know what my next step would be, but I allowed myself to dwell in that place of uncertainty, rather than trying to rush into something else. And it was in that place of not-knowingness that my first book appeared when I woke up one morning. It wasn’t a dream; rather a reality, clear as day – the beginning and end of my first book, Seeker of Time.
My job was to fill in the middle, which is exactly what I did, over the next four years, whenever I was doing something mindless – driving to work, shopping for groceries, taking a shower. I followed and expanded the story in my mind, breathing life into the characters. Four years later, the book was bursting at the seams of my mind, to the point where I could no longer contain it. Until then, I had kept it a secret, even from my best friend—my husband. I finished nothing in my life, and the thought of sharing another idea, another thing, I would never complete caused me great anxiety. But during dinner one night at the Cheesecake Factory, I told him the entire story and waited in anxious suspense for his reaction.
He was blown away, full-stop. He told me he believed in me and that I had to write the book.
With my husband’s validation, I felt the courage and strength to sit down and knock out the full prologue that very night. Following my initial burst of inspiration, I struggled terribly with writing, in particular, with my self-esteem as a writer. I hadn’t even finished college, so who was I to write a book? There were so many successful young adult authors in the world, and they all surpassed me with their knowledge and talent. How could I compete with that?
Not long into this internal battle, I got pregnant. A traumatic delivery resulted in PTSD and an unexplainable chronic illness. A few months after the birth of our son, I slipped into a dark depression. I stopped writing. I lost my will to live. Life got hard. The emotional and physical pain were unbearable. After several months of battling depression, I opened my unfinished manuscript. The demons of self-doubt still plagued me...until the day I had the proverbial a-ha moment: While a plethora of young adult books were incredibly well-written, with exceptionally developed characters and plots, I realized, many lacked depth and substance. They failed to provide guidance to the youth: deep spiritual questions and ways to approach the challenges in life. Yes, I thought they were good reads, but what happens when the book is closed?
Dropping to my knees, I prayed with a full heart. "Lord. let me be the steward of your work."
I wasn’t aware, but at that moment, I got out of my own damn way. I intuitively recognized that I was a channel for something greater—and when I opened myself up to that power, it flowed through me. The next morning, I wrote with a ferocity unlike anything I had ever seen before, and after years of the book languishing on my desk, I finished it in two weeks flat. I completed my second book, start to finish, in one month, and completed my third book in thirteen days.
While writing, I allowed my characters to process dark emotions. I allowed them to face their inner demons, and by doing so, I healed, physically, mentally, and spiritually. The depression lifted, the chronic illness vanished, and my relationship with God grew stronger. Witnessing the power of writing out one's feelings, led me to share my journey with at-risk youth in juvenile detention centers, children in foster care, and middle school and high school students around the state of Texas. Everyone experiences trauma differently, and sometimes it's hard to revisit one's troubling past, so I suggested writing participants create a fictional character, like I did in my writing, to walk through the trauma. Therapist around the country praise this technique. It allows the individual to take the personalization away from their writing while still processing negative emotions. The positive effects of expressive writing, a term coined by Dr. James Pennebaker, an American social psychologist, opened my eyes to the healing benefits of journaling one's emotions. It's the prescription you can write yourself. Sharing this knowledge with the world is one of my greatest passions.
Since the night of my surrender, I have worked harder than ever before, but for the first time in my life, it hasn’t felt like work. I am living out my true calling, my life’s purpose, my heart’s desire. Writing is like breathing; a natural rhythm my body has learned. Like an arrow, I aligned with the purity of my soul and stepped into the skin of my true self. In doing so, I stopped feeling insecure, stopped feeling the need to conform to anything other than my authentic self. Instead, I feel grounded and confident in who I am. Just like Jax, Elara, and Cyrus, the main characters in my books, the purity of my intentions enabled me to jump through a portal, into a magical realm, where I now manifest my greatest self each day.
It’s your turn: Jump.