Happy last week of August folks–uh…isn’t that an oxy-moron? And who coined the term oxy-moron anyway?
Welcome, indie author Jennifer Jensen!
Congrats to you on your latest release, THROUGH A SHIMMER OF TIME! What do you love best about writing?
When I speak in casual conversation, I mix words or syllables up rather frequently – I like to say I have dyslexia of the mouth. The advantage of writing is that I get to think about what I’m saying and re-write it until it’s exactly what I want. I love playing around with the way sentences flow.
Along with re-writing, I love the occasional times I get “in the zone” and lose track of time because the scene is flowing. I love the sense of accomplishment when I finish a scene/chapter/story and know it’s the best I can do. And I absolutely love when someone reads it and chuckles or gasps at just the right spots, or says they couldn’t stop thinking about the characters.
I love rewriting too, Jennifer. I love tilling groundwork that’s already been laid. And I totally get what you mean about a reader’s reaction when they ‘get it’ the way I intended. My favorite compliment is, “I was there!”
What do you like least?
Taking the full-blown scene in my head and somehow getting it down on paper so someone else sees what I see. It’s gut-wrenching work for me and makes me wonder why I choose to do this, but it helps immensely to know that I’m not alone–countless writers out there go through the same thing. It’s a relief when my rough draft is done and I can start playing with it.
What got you started?
Besides the snake/cake/rake book of poems I wrote at age 6? Mostly it was being a reader. I loved escaping into other worlds through the books I read. Like binge-watching a TV series today, I would immerse myself in one time period or with one author. I devoured every Walter Farley book about the Island Stallion, and remember spending a lot of time in a wagon train, living in colonial America, or watching Henry the Eighth’s wives try to survive. he escapism is just as strong today, but I really don’t think you can be a writer without also being a reader.
I also answered one of those ads in magazines that said “We’re looking for people to write children’s books.” Thank goodness the Institute of Children’s Literature wasn’t a scam! I sold my first short story for Lesson #6. I wasn’t off and running, but I kept heading in the right direction.
Where do you get story and character ideas?
Most of my stories come from the great “What If.” What if two sisters were jealous of each other? What if the culprit in a crime was a horse? And right now, what if a kid got zapped back in time and didn’t know how to get home?
My characters are usually created along with the plot. I have a basic idea in my head- age, sex, and a bit of attitude. When I stick him/her in a situation, the personality and talents begin to grow to either fit or complicate the problem. That adds plot possibilities, which further add to the character. It’s a nice spiral of building the two together.
Talk about current, past and future projects, upcoming releases, maybe your ‘dream novel’?
I’ve published a number of children’s magazine stories and done a chunk of journalism in the past. The big project right now is releasing my children’s novel, Through the Shimmer of Time. My main characters are complete opposites: Jim is a modern 12-year-old, bored out of his mind at a living history park. He goes in search of a haunted cabin he’s heard about. What else would any adventurous, impetuous kid do, right? But he ends up in 1838 and meets Hannah, an 11-year-old who is helpful, respectful and a bit timid–until she gets wrapped up in Jim’s problems. There are mysterious thefts, angry townspeople, and a ghost who needs her name cleared, and the kids are the ones to put it all right again. Read an excerpt here.
Future projects? Oh, the possibilities! Something set in Ireland, where we lived for a few years. Some horse-oriented stories, drawing on a lifetime of experience. More middle grade and some women’s fiction with mother/daughter/sister relationships. More time travel too! Hmm . . . what would happen if I put all of those into one book?
Try putting it all into one book and see. Keep me posted, too. I love time travel stories!
The next project is already started, though – Jim and Hannah have more adventures planned. THROUGH THE SHIMMER OF TIME is the first of several, with #2 coming out in 2015.
Through the Shimmer of Time is available now in both print and e-book at Amazon. Contact Jennifer directly for an autographed print copy.
Connect with Jennifer via one or all of the following:
- Her blog (JenniferJensen.com)
- Twitter (@jenjensen2)
- By email: Jennifer (at) JenniferJensen (dot) com
Thanks, Jennifer, for sharing your author origins with me and the wonderful folks who make themselves regulars here. I wish you all the very best with your current release and upcoming projects! I have tremendous respect for all authors, but I find the indie-crowd to be particularly special, taking on a world of behind-the-scenes work one might not realize until one ventures into that place–and making themselves available to each other to offer invaluable assistance whenever needed. You awesome folks rock!
To my awesome, very kind and faithful readers and followers, I thank you, and ask you to SHARE via one of the buttons below on behalf of Jennifer! Thanx again and have a wonderful day and week!
Happy Labor Day weekend too!