- Day: What literary pilgrimages have you gone on? For Example, Hemingway’s house.
Jennifer: There have been so many! I’ll do my top three. In Salem, MA, I visited the Nathaniel Hawthorne house and the house which inspired “The House of the Seven Gables.” Faulkner House Books in New Orleans is run out of a home where he once lived. It’s the smallest bookstore I’ve ever seen! I’ve also visited the area where the Outsiders was filmed in Tulsa, OK. It’s a must for any fan. Yes, that’s a movie location, but it was based on a book.
- Day: If you had the opportunity to live anywhere in the world for a year while writing a book that took place in that same setting, where would you choose?
Jennifer: My initial reaction is to say Iceland because I long to visit there, but I would choose England. It’s not too exotic, but if I’m going to be there for a full year, I want comfort not adventure.
- Day: Picture this: You feel uninspired while you have sat at the computer for an hour without conquering any words. How do you get your creativity flowing?
Jennifer: I always write in Several stories at a time. If I’m not feeling one, there’s usually another causing my fingers to fly across the keyboard. Otherwise, I just type anything, just a couple random sentences. It will get my mind working to clean it up, make it fit the story, and that typically helps.
- Day: Are you a plotter or a Pantser?
Jennifer: Both! But I lean toward pantser. I have a general idea going into the story and maybe a few notes, but it unfolds as I write. Take Fogpoint Harbor for example. I had the house on the coast in mind and what happens at the house. I also knew a relative would move there and take over. The rest of it came to me as I worked on it.
- Day: What is your most unusual writing quirk?
Jennifer: I have to have silence to write. There are so many authors with a playlist, or they choose music to fit the tone of the scene they’re working on. It distracts me.
- Day: What is your favorite genre to read, and why?
Jennifer: I love horror and suspense. I want to be terrified and unable to stop turning pages because I have to know what happens at the same time.
- Day: Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
Jennifer: Original. I don’t write to market or follow tropes. I have more story ideas than I will live long enough to write. I write the stories consuming me and hope they find popularity.
- Day: If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Jennifer: You’re better at this than you believe you are.
- Day: What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
Jennifer: I’d have to say it was the bundle of ISBN’s from Bowker. IngramSpark doesn’t issue free ones, and I’m very glad I bought my own to be able to publish on that platform.
- Day: As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
Jennifer: A squirrel. Imagine a very busy road. There’s a squirrel on one side of it and a mountain sized pile of nuts on the other. The squirrel is darting around, zig zagging, back and forth, here and there, trying to make it through the traffic to get to the nuts. That’s me. That’s my writing style.
- Day: How many published and finished books/Vellas do you have?
Jennifer: Under this name, I have three published books and four Vellas. The first seasons of Ravenwood and The Below will be published this fall.
- Day: What does literary success look like to you?
Jennifer: This is a fluid construct. It was the first time I saw my name in print. The first royalty I received. The first five star review from a stranger. Becoming a five figure author was another success milestone. I don’t think I’ll ever get to a point where I’ll be comfortable saying, “I’m a success.” I do enjoy the milestones along the way.
- Day: What’s the best way to market your books?
Jennifer: I wish I knew! I use social media and word of mouth the most. I’ve recently tried FB ads for one of my Vellas. I need to take out more and try some Amazon ads as well.
- Day: What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
Jennifer: I don’t research before I begin. I jump in the deep end. Some things I look up online like who was king at this time. Other things, I might ask friends. My ex-husband was a cop at one time, so he gets any questions falling into the law category.
- Day: How many hours a day do you write?
Jennifer: That depends on my work schedule. I write anywhere from 0-2 hours on days I work. If it’s my day off and I have no errands to run, I could spend 12-14 hours writing.
- Day: Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?
Jennifer: I usually include small bits of foreshadowing. If it will be discovered a character is a werewolf, he might bark or growl his words for example. I’d like to leave Easter eggs, but it’s not my strong suit.
- Day: What was your most harrowing scene to write?
Jennifer: That was chapter sixteen in the book Air: The Elementals. As difficult as it was to write, I’ve received amazing feedback from people telling me how much it hurt to read and how much they sobbed.
- Day: What is your favorite time to write, and why?
Jennifer: A couple hours after I wake up, whatever time that might be. It’s when my mind is freshest, and I have the most energy.
- Day: Do you feel like it’s most important to have A) Strong characters B) Mind-blowing Plot twists, or C) Epic settings?
Jennifer: All three are important. I like to have characters who make the reader feel something. Love them or hate them. Either way, they’ve connected.
- Day: Can you give a shout-out to a fellow author?
Jennifer: Yes! My friend Jinapher Hoffman is a fantasy writer, and her first book “For Mist & Tar” was recently released.
Jennifer’s top three Kindle Vellas:
Kat was surprised to learn of her great-aunt’s death twenty years after she had been led to believe Aunt Dot had passed away. As the soul inheritor of the estate, there was a catch. She had to live in her aunt’s house for one year to collect. The mysteries surrounding her aunt didn’t end with why she had been lied to about her death. Recruited by the police to solve a town’s murder, Kat relies on an unlikely source to solve the crime: the ghosts residing in her aunt’s Victorian home.
Along Route 116 where the state road weaved its way through the backwoods of Massachusetts was the lane leading to Ravenwood. It was easy to miss. The only travelers in that area were either lost or looking for the old Europeanesque inn. The only people who traveled west of Ravenwood were the people who had grown up there. They knew the woods, feared the creatures who dwelled there, but they respected them. They had made friends with the woods for it were the trees who wouldn’t let you leave.
All manner of supernatural and mythical beasts dwell in The Below. Their refuge underground has kept them safe for centuries. Phillipe had always known he would never go to The Above. He was the last of his kind, and he hadn’t always followed the rules. He accepted this as his fate until he learned the truth about his parents. Their murder and the lies that covered it up sparked an outrage. There was only one way justice would be carried out, and that was by Phillipe’s own hands.
Jennifer also wrote a YA Elemental series:
Lilah is not at all pleased about her family’s move to the Midwest regardless of the circumstances behind why they were summoned. It’s unfair she has to trade in her days in the sun on the beach for the lackluster cornfields and bare trees filled autumn. Especially since it is centuries old rules and traditions dictating her family’s code. That is until she meets Jackson. The timing of events couldn’t be more wrong. Secrets are revealed and psychic powers unleashed as she comes into her own while navigating the diminishing fine line between family honor and independence. Will she be able to help the other Elements fight the unknown force hunting them down while forging her own identity? Air is the first book in The Elementals series revealing the truth behind myths and legends dating back millennia. Time is running out for the four to bring about the Return and restore Balance to the earth.
Everleigh is torn between her grandma’s old fashioned ways and wanting to unite the Elementals in the fight to save their people.
Judd is torn between two identities. The private life he leads has to remain a secret. It’s the only way to save his son. The life he’s known by is a past filled with carnage and intimidation. His people are being hunted, and he has to figure out a way to save them without putting his family at risk.