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JD Kaplan
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  • Woodstock, IL
  • United States
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Primary Role
Favorite Literature Type
Favorite Genre or Category
Favorite Book
Someplace to be Flying
Favorite Author
Charles deLint & Neil Gaiman

Welcome To The Dreamside

What is the Dreamside?

It's the mystical and chaotic place where all dreams take place. It is an ever shifting landscape made up of a patchwork quilt crafted by the minds of people asleep and dreaming in the Waking World. Separated from our world by the Wall of Sleep, this is where the stories in my books take place.

So come on in and explore the Dreamside...


Spotlight Interview With Author JD Kaplan

JD currently lives in Northern Illinois with his wife, two kids and very insecure Golden Retriever, Max. He has worked in the software industry for nearly 18 years after a period of failing to publish his poetry. At this stage in life he's actively trying to change careers again to be a full time author of fantasy and science fiction novels.



What makes you proud to be a writer from Chicago? I don’t know that pride comes into it but I grew up in the Chicago suburbs and after spending about 20 years living elsewhere (Austin, Tucson and San Jose) it’s really great to be home. It’s funny how the things that bugged me about this place have become a source of great comfort. I love the down to earth people here.

What or who inspired you to become a writer? At the age of 13 my aunt introduced me to Frank Herbert, Stephen R Donaldson and J.R.R. Tolkien and that year I wrote a 200 page book. It was the worst garbage ever but I did complete it and it had a story. I guess that’s a victory in itself. I’ve tried my hand at a few different styles of writing—poetry, short literary fiction and music—but in the end I have come back to the type of stories I loved as a child.

When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? When I first graduated from college I got a job in a bookstore in Tucson and spent all my free time writing poetry and short fiction. I basically collected rejection notices…this was at a time when you still got rejection notices from publishers and agents. Nowadays you’re lucky if you get a post it note with ‘no thanks’ scrawled on it.

Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? As a kid I was quiet, shy and a bit reclusive. I loved to curl up with a good book that featured impossible things. I didn’t have much interest about reading stories that were feasible—I wanted to escape. Both my parents were educators and reading was valued as a good pastime in our house.

Do you come up with your title before or after you write the manuscript? Sometimes I come up with a title before or during writing, but rarely do those titles survive to the end. The one exception to that is The Scary Girls. I tried different titles for that book but in the end that one just stuck.

Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? My writing falls somewhere into the broader range of urban or contemporary fantasy. There aren’t any vampires, werewolves or benevolent monsters in them. It’s more like the urban fantasy of Charles de Lint or Neil Gaiman, though I would never compare myself to them, of course. I’ve heard people refer to it as ‘slipstream’ lately. Stories with magic and fantasy elements but set in the modern world.

What was your inspiration, spark or light bulb moment that inspired you to write the book that you are seeking promotion for? Listening to Forsythia by Veruca Salt really loudly in my car as I drove somewhere. I just got this scene in my head where the main character first meets the Scary Girls. I ended up replaying that scene in my head over and over, tweaking it, adjusting it, even roleplaying it until it solidified. That was where the book was born.

What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? Every time I complete a book it’s so empowering. I’ve got two I’ve published and another three that I’ve completed but have shelved. That moment when you finish it is quite awesome.

Have you had a negative experience in your writing career? If so please explain how it could have been avoided? I had an agent request my manuscript then lose it, forget who I was and then eventually just blow me off. The entire process took 6 months and really almost killed my energy to get published. On the other hand, I guess I should thank her for driving me to self-publish, which has been an awesome experience.

What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? The first moment I held a trade paperback copy of my first book. Then again with my latest book. I had kind of thought it wouldn't be as intense as the first, but I was wrong.

Have you had a negative experience in your publishing journey? If so please explain how it could have been avoided? Well, since I decided to go independent, I’ve not really had many negative experiences. Sometimes it’s disappointing at how hard it is to get noticed by readers. Marketing a book is hard. It takes a different skill set than is needed to write the book.

What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Write every day no matter what. I liken it to running. If you’re a runner, you make sure to run every day. You build it up as a habit that you just do without having to convince yourself to do it. Even one missed day can take you out of your stride.

Who is your favorite author and why? I have two favorite authors. Neil Gaiman and Charles de Lint. Both of them write the kinds stories I love to read: lyrical, thoughtful and full of magic. Their stories draw on myth, folklore and other sources to inject magic and fantasy into our everyday world.

Is there anything else that you would like to share with us? I am really drawn to strong female characters. One of the things I love about the more mainstream urban fantasy genre is the wealth of strong female leads. Mercy Thompson (Patricia Briggs) is probably my favorite character currently. Some of my favorite characters in my own work are female. Penny from Waking Dreams, and Foxglove from The Scary Girls were so much fun to write. I really want to get to the point where I feel comfortable writing an entire book from the perspective of a strong woman.


The Scary Girls by JD Kaplan

“Male guitarist needed. Talented humans only. Ask for Forsythia.” Trick is looking for a new band. So what the hell, he makes the call. Which is how he meets the Scary Girls. Mysterious, Beautiful, and otherworldly, there’s something downright...scary about them. But the music he makes with them is incredible. Magical. Because of them, he discovers a world within the one he knows, just left of center, hiding around the next corner. A world of magic, improbability, and impossibility. Trick changes. He senses more—he is more. He’s always felt out of place, uncomfortable in his own skin. Now, he’s coming alive. But who is relentlessly and terrifyingly hunting him? Can Trick figure it out before someone gets hurt? All he can do it try. As it turns out, that’s a fine place to start...

Cold Coffee Press Book Review For The Scary Girls by JD Kaplan

‘The Scary Girls’ contemporary urban fantasy by JD Kaplan will captivate your imagination and tease your own dreams. Kaplan’s descriptive writing will draw you into the plot by his use of vivid colors, musical concepts, space and time, people and places, romance and terror, reality and fantasy.

His main character named Patrick Benjamin MacKenzie, better known as Trick to his friends takes the reader into his world as a lead guitarist for a band named ‘Fishmonger’. Little does Trick know that by walking into ‘The Carpenter Creek Brewery’ for drink or two one night will change his reality!

Three women, all with the name of a flower will soon come into his life. His reaction: “The music we'd made together had been magical. Like good sex almost. No, amazing sex. I was hooked. I thought about them that entire night and when I finally I fell asleep my dreams were full of music and magic, all of it revolving around those girls, The Scary Girls.”

Characters that you might meet or hope not to meet somewhere at some time will overwhelm your senses. Music, romance, supernatural places, images, and characters from an ancient world take you on a journey to the “Dreamside”. When you wake there will be a lot of questions, but I guarantee that the read will be intense.

Cold Coffee Press Endorses ‘The Scary Girls’ by JD Kaplan as a contemporary urban fantasy that will stimulate your imagination. We received this book in a PDF format for review. The review was completed on March 29, 2015. For more information please visit Cold Coffee Press.

Book Excerpt Link
Amazon Author’s Page
Amazon Customer Reviews Link
Amazon Print Purchase Link
Amazon Kindle Purchase Link


Waking Dreams: The Torment Of Colin Pierce by JD Kaplan

Sometimes Colin Pierce’s dreams come true--unfortunately they aren’t always happy dreams. Several years after a horrible nightmare claimed his wife and youngest daughter, he finds himself pulled into the mysterious world of dreams again. This time the Wall of Sleep--the line separating the Dreamside from the waking world--is under attack by a malevolent entity known only as the Torment. If this monster succeeds in breaking down the Wall, what will keep all our nightmares from invading our lives? It’s up to Colin, accompanied by his surviving daughter and their strange and mysterious neighbor, to go to the Dreamside to rescue the Wall and save both worlds. And maybe, just maybe, along the way he can save himself...

Book Genre: Urban/Contemporary Fantasy

Book Excerpt Link
Amazon Author’s Page

Amazon Customer Reviews Link
Amazon Print Purchase Link
Amazon Kindle Purchase Link


Black Crow Book Trailers
Produced by Author/Artist JD Kaplan

Please See The Book Trailer Video Samples Below


About the Author and Video Artist: JD Kaplan currently lives in Northern Illinois with his wife, two kids and very insecure Golden Retriever, Max. He has worked in the software industry for nearly 18 years after a period of failing to publish his poetry. At this stage in life he's actively trying to change careers again to be a full time author of fantasy and science fiction novels.

Trailer Content:

1. You need to provide the book cover and other images (in Jpeg format) that you would like in your book trailer. Keep in mind that you MUST have full permission and rights to this content.

2. You decide on a budget ($100.00 or $150.00) and I get materials. I will never exceed your budget without your consent. I will guarantee permissions and rights to any content I purchase on your behalf.

3. Music/sound effects: I am willing to use Logic Pro X to put together soundtrack at no extra charge or options using your budget I can purchase music. There are certain types of music I’m not able to put together, mainly orchestral arrangements.

Artistic Direction Options:

1. You need to provide a script (bio, book description, purchase links, website links etc.).

2. Please specify some of themes you want explored. Tell me what your vision is for your trailer.

3. You can send me the book and tell me to go nuts.

Book Trailer Pricing:

1. The Base Package is $100 for one video lasting 1-2 minute video (bare minimum).

2. The Extended Package is $150.00 for one video lasting longer than 2 minutes.

  • There is a 10% discount for all Cold Coffee Press Authors. This means that you have to be an active member of this site:
  • The price includes one major edit. There will be an additional costs for future updates to the original after the video has been published.


1. When you decide on a package and have discussed it with me by way of email. I will send you a Pay Pal Invoice for the package that you decide on. Pay Pal accepts Debit, Credit and E-Checks.

2. The base payment or $100.00 or $150.00 is due up front, budgeted expenses incurred to be paid on receipt of the final product.

3. If I am buying content based on your budget, the trailer will be watermarked. Watermark will be removed on final completing and settling of account. Estimated fees will be discussed with you before production of the video begins.


The trailer may be made available for your review depending on the stage of work and how much artistic control you cede to me.

Final Product:

1. I will upload your video to ‘You Tube’ where you can get the embed code to use on your websites and blogs. Please tell me upfront if you need an additional format to ‘You Tube’. I will make sure that your first frame begins with a photo or cover image so you won’t end up with just a ‘You Tube’ logo as your first frame.

2. iMovie file, mp4 converted trailer and any stock content materials purchased. Please note that video footage obtained from stock image sites is usually only licensed for a single use.

Testimonials/Reviews: Please send your testimonial/reviews to JD Kaplan and Cold Coffee Press.

Contact Information:

Author/Video Artist: JD Kaplan



Video Sample One: (Waking Dreams) by JD Kaplan

Video Sample Two: (The Scary Girls) by JD Kaplin

Video Sample #3: Unmasked by EM Kaplan

Video Sample # 4: Mystery by EM Kaplan

Books Published by JD Kaplan
The Scary Girls
Waking Dreams: The Torment Of Colin Pierce

Author JD Kaplan’s Website and Related Sites
Cold Coffee Café Author JD Kaplan
Cold Coffee Press Author JD Kaplan

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